During the design and engineering process it’s crucial to have a firm grasp of the characteristics of your materials and capabilities of your equipment. If you choose the wrong type of equipment to move your material (especially abrasive, corrosive, or high temperature material) you could face higher than expected maintenance costs to replace prematurely warn parts or even catastrophic failure resulting in costly unplanned downtime.
A Brazilian wood products manufacturer was experiencing a number of operational issues and bottlenecking with their conveyor system due to the characteristics of their product. The two biggest issues they faced were consistently falling short of their target output volume requirements, and frequent conveyor failure resulting in unplanned downtime.
Failing to Meet Production Goals and Equipment Failure
The original conveyor system needed to handle six flakers of product to meet facility production goals however, the equipment was not capable of handling the difficult to transport material and was limited to about 80% of the design capacity before it would immediately get plugged and shut the plant down. Similarly, the facility operations frequently faced unplanned downtime due to component failure in the existing equipment.
CDM Systems was called to the Brazilian wood products manufacturer facility to analyze the current situation and recommend a solution, while working with their existing equipment to eliminate the conveying problems. After a thorough diagnosis, the solution CDM recommended was to increase the sidewall height of the En-Masse Conveyor through the use of formed channels which were bolted to the existing conveyor sidewall. This allowed the Brazilian wood manufacturer to handle the full volume of chips and flakes the plant produced – eliminating one challenge. Another significant issue was that the original design of the equipment components (i.e. the chain) were nowhere near adequate enough to handle the operating loads of the design criteria. CDM offered a more robust, more reliable, and smoother operating solution.
While still being conscious of the need to stay within the company’s retrofit budget, CDM needed to find a way to retrofit the existing conveyor system to better handle the corrosive materials in order to reduce component failure rates. To solve this issue, CDM added a zero speed switch to each En-Masse Conveyor couple with an exclusive Kick-Out End Flap which would serve as a plug chute and chain break indicator. This would significantly reduce the damage to the En-Masse Conveyor, and the associated downtime.
After the retrofit was completed, the Brazilian wood manufacturer has been able to reach full production targets, reduce maintenance and operating costs, reduce downtime, and improve their bottom line. This resulted in two sister companies contacting CDM for help with their conveying challenges.
Learn more about how CDM helped this wood manufacturer save money on downtime and run at full capacity by reading the full application review.