Bulk Solids Conveyors: About Reliability

February 8, 2017

Equipment reliability is an essential requirement for economical production. Equipment which frequently malfunctions or breaks down results in lost revenues and increased costs. In some plants, chronically poor levels of equipment reliability results in a run-repair-run mode of operation which drives costs and causes inefficient production.

Reliability is about dependability, or more precisely, consistent dependability. Reliable equipment can be counted on to be available to run when needed. It will also run as intended – at the right speed, with the right performance, with the right quality.

Achieving reliability in bulk solids conveyors means going beyond using high-quality parts or advanced manufacturing processes. Reliability must be designed and engineered in. Thus, reliability-centered equipment manufacturers consider all possible failure modes and their effects when designing and engineering their equipment. Equipment reliability is a function of rigorous design, engineering, and manufacturing.

Poor reliability manifests itself most commonly as unplanned equipment breakdowns. Breakdowns usually occur at the worst possible moment – when a customer is waiting, or when you have an order that just has to get out. This unplanned downtime is much worse than planned or intended downtime because the costs are so much higher. While the cause of an equipment breakdown can often be the failure of a small part or component, the cost of the collateral damage can far exceed the cost of the original problem. For example, the failure of a bucket connecting rod on a bucket elevator can result in extensive damage that requires replacement of the entire assembly – a very significant cost.

At UniTrak, we use equipment designs with proven reliability in thousands of installations the world over. Over the years, we have evolved our designs by increasing our understanding of the true functions and operating context for the bulk solids conveyors we supply. We make every effort to deepen our understanding of failure modes, their causes and their effects. And most importantly, we use this knowledge to refine our designs to eliminate future failures and their unwanted consequences.

In addition to designing and manufacturing for reliability, we educate and support our customers to maintain and service their equipment to enjoy the full benefits of the reliability we have built in. Many equipment failures are due to taking no action until the unit fails. Regular inspection, routine service, and predictive maintenance can all help to reduce the incidence of unplanned downtime and assure reliable operation.

By supplying reliable conveyors, we allow customers to unleash the production potential of their equipment assets, improving throughput, revenues and profit. Reliable equipment has higher availability and uptime, leading to higher throughput and revenues. Costs are reduced by eliminating the need for maintenance personnel to address unplanned downtime, while. maintenance intervals are lengthened, all freeing up valuable resources for other uses. Equipment longevity is increased, reducing the need for outright replacements and spare parts. The net result is that UniTrak customers enjoy lower total lifetime costs through the superior reliability our equipment offers.

If you are in the market for bulk solids conveyors, such as bucket elevatorsflexible screw conveyors or aeromechanical conveyors, contact UniTrak to find out how our proven equipment reliability can help you do more with less.

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