When customers approach UniTrak about sourcing bulk material conveyors, we are often asked if a product test should be performed. While a test may not be necessary in every buying situation, a good product test can ensure that the right conveyor is selected and potential misapplication issues in the field avoided.
Product testing is advisable when one or more of the following conditions exist:
• You are considering buying a conveying technology that you have never used before to move your product. Not all materials behave the same way in different types of conveyors. To ensure that the conveyor you are considering purchasing will handle your product trouble-free, it is prudent to test how the product behaves in that type of conveyor.
• The conveyor supplier has never handled your product before. Related to the above point, conveyor suppliers have varying levels of experience in handling different products and materials in their equipment. In cases where a conveyor supplier has a low experience threshold with handling a particular product, reputable vendors will recommend that a product test be undertaken to avoid misapplication issues later.
• Your product or material is characterized as “difficult-to-handle.” Products and materials that are sticky, tend to cake or pack, are friable, etc. can be problematic to handle. In such cases, product testing should be done to validate that the equipment under consideration can successfully overcome the handling challenges.
• You are unsure if the conveyor under consideration can meet your throughput needs. Depending upon the material being handled, some conveying technologies (i.e., flexible screw conveyors) can experience product carryback, which can reduce planned throughput rates. Testing the product in the conveyor will provide a more accurate determination of the actual throughput that can be expected.
At UniTrak, determining the need for a product test is a key part of every application review we perform. If we have successfully handled the product before and achieved the needed throughput rates, using the equipment desired by the customer, we may waive the need for a test, unless one is expressly requested by the customer. In every other case, we will recommend that a product test be carried out, unless it is not feasible to do so (for example, if a highly toxic material requires testing).
Product testing at UniTrak is led by our product engineers and carried out under controlled conditions. This allows to simulate as closely as possible the actual conditions under which a conveyor will be used. A sufficiently sized sample of product is tested to establish confidence that all the application requirements can be met. Following the conclusion of a product test, a comprehensive report is provided to the customer detailing the results.
If you are sourcing bulk material conveyors, UniTrak will be pleased to review your needs and test your product. Following your review and test, we will recommend the preferred equipment solution and appropriate accessories from our lineup of TipTrak™ bucket elevators, Powderflight aeromechanicals, and UniFlex flexible screw conveyors. To find out how to arrange for an application review and product test, contact our sales team today!