Optimization of production

When is a conveyor upgrade actually a downgrade?

When greater production is needed to meet rising demand or when lower quality raw materials require more tons to be processed per unit of output to retain the same level of production, many operators simply speed up the conveyor. Rather than increasing capacity as intended, speeding up the conveyor often results in reduced capacity, because changes in the trajectory of the discharged material can cause build up and clogging of hoppers or chutes, leading to unscheduled downtime. 

More tonnage means more carryback, dust and spillage, degrading workplace safety and increasing labor costs for cleanup. Greater volume and weight could also require a more powerful drive, which may weigh more, requiring structural changes and potentially additional space, limiting access for maintenance. 


As bulk handling engineers, operators and maintenance mechanics make undocumented or unproven changes, over time, the conveyor operation and physical characteristics can morph the system. In some cases, the proper answer to the question, “Can we increase capacity on the existing conveyor?”...

Related articles:

Issue 12/2020 Solving problems

Ten common mistakes in conveyor specification and design

B?elt conveyors are often abused, whether through overloading, overuse or neglect (or a combination of the three). It’s almost as if designers and manufacturers have provided very robust systems that...

Issue 12/2022 Centred belt alignment

Identifying and addressing conveyor idler issues

On any belt conveyor system that moves bulk materials, the belt must run straight and true to maximize its life, minimize fugitive material and safety hazards, and achieve high system efficiency....

Issue 11/12/2008

Design of Heavy-Duty Idlers for the Upper Run of Belt Conveyors Part I: Idler Requirements

1. Introduction Compared to alternative transport options, the transport of bulk solids on continuous conveyors boasts significant advantages with regard to availability, cost efficiency and flexible...

Issue 10/2016

New Technology Generates Power Using Conveyor Belt Energy

Martin Engineering has introduced an innovative technology that uses the kinetic energy from a moving conveyor belt. The Martin® Roll Gen™ System allows operators to run electrical monitoring...

Issue 03/2009

Design of Heavy-Duty Idlers for the Upper Run of Belt Conveyors Part II: Engineering Design of Idlers

1. Introduction Idlers play a key role in the cost-efficient operation of belt conveyors. The stresses on the idler in heavy-duty belt conveyors present a particular challenge with regard to idler...