‘Bulk goods used to accumulate right next to the conveyor belt!’
For a long time, fugitive matter was a thorn in the side of a large coal and iron ore processing storage and transhipment company. It caused wear and tear, contamination and maintenance-intensive working procedures at the loading point. By implementing an ImpTek impact bed, impact bars, Spill-Ex sealing blocks and ProTek ceramic skirt liners, TBK Spillage Control managed to bring the problem under control.
“We had previously been dealing with an outdated, maintenance-driven installation. Thanks to TBK Spillage Control’s customized solution, maintenance has now dwindled and carryback on the conveyor belt has been greatly reduced”, a spokesperson for the storage and handling company explains. “Previously, bulk goods were lying right next to the conveyor belt, comparable to a puddle of water if you leave a tap running all night. Now, the materials no longer seep out from the loading point, and there is little to no spillage.”
Efficiency and optimization
The more than 30-metre long conveyor in question is located below the loading points of three other conveyors. As different types of bulk goods need to make a right-angle turn at this point and then drop several metres downwards, this point is subjected to additional stress. The consequences? Belt wear and spillage or dust pollution. TBK Spillage Control was able to eliminate the spillage by installing a customized loading point in combination with an ImpTek impact bed and the associated impact bars. In addition, implemented, sustainable Spill-Ex sealing blocks provide a more efficient, less labour-intensive and optimized loading point. The icing on the cake is the ProTek ceramic skirt liners fitted to the inside. Skirt liners serve a dual role; as a primary seal to protect the Spill-Ex, and as a wear plate to protect the edges of the loading point.
Individual, fast and easy
“The name says it all: the impact bed absorbs the impact of the material being poured onto the conveyor belt. In addition to cushioning the impact energy, impact bars prevent the belt from collapsing due to the heavy weight, so no gap is created between the belt and the seal and no material can escape”, Alex Budding, account manager at TBK Spillage Control, explains. To seal the loading points and prevent waste, rubber sealing strips many metres long, are more the rule than the exception. The storage and transhipment company had used this solution in the past, but was faced with spillage issues due to the rubber wearing off quickly and irregularly. The company was regularly forced to replace the entire rubber strip, even when wear had only affected a small part of the sealing strip.
A problem which, according to Budding, is easily solved by the innovative, modular Spill-Ex sealing blocks: “They are separate blocks that you can adjust and replace independently of each other, which means you don’t need to throw away parts that are not yet worn out. Also, they are dust and material-tight, easy to adjust and help to reduce operational and maintenance costs. The rubber is enormously wear-resistant, yet does not cut any grooves in the belt. The flexible rubber provides a soft, yet firm contact with the belt.” TBK Spillage Control supplies everything from stock, which is a calculated policy, according to the account manager, to avoid frustration on the part of the customer and to prevent unnecessary downtime during the production process.
This modern storage and transhipment company tranships tens of millions of tons of bulk goods annually, of which approximately 5 million tons are transported via the loading point handled by TBK Spillage Control. Yet according to the spokesperson, on paper the company hardly notices any loss of material which, thanks to TBK Spillage Control, has once again become part of the production volume: “That may sound a little strange, but we are really talking about thousands of tons of material. It is a continuous flow of material. If we lose a couple of hundred kilos due to contamination, we barely notice. The advantage for us is more in the handling: we now have much less mess to clean up!
‘The investment pays for itself’
According to the spokesperson, the company is very pleased with this customized solution. Excessive wear and tear, contamination and intensive maintenance are now a thing of the past, and costs aimed at further optimization have also been eliminated since implementation. “It has been holding up well for over 2.5 years now. Maybe once every few months we need to adjust the Spill-Ex sealing blocks, but that’s no problem! The value of this investment pays for itself, through easier and reduced maintenance.” As a result, there’s no need to outsource any management tasks, which again has a beneficial cost impact.
The storage and transhipment company is also very satisfied, both with the end result and the collaboration: “TBK Spillage Control offers scope to engage and contribute. They know what they’re talking about, which is clear from everything they do. The steel structure is custom-made, yet everything was installed in a short space of time.” The spokesperson doesn’t have to think for very long about what impressed the company the most: “The option to extend a loading point over a longer section of the conveyor belt offers so many opportunities for the future!”