Screw conveyors are an essential piece of equipment for many material handling operations, but they can easily be misused and result in operational problems and even catastrophic failures. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make with screw conveyors and how to avoid them:
Running them too fast:
The speed at which a screw conveyor runs has a significant impact on performance. Running a screw conveyor too fast can cause material to degrade, over-pack the trough, or cause excessive wear and tear on the conveyor components. A good rule of thumb is to run the conveyor at 60-70 RPM, which is typically the sweet spot for most conveyor sizes.
Just how speed plays a factor, overloading is also a common problem with screw conveyors and can be caused by both trough loading and inlet loading. Trough loading refers to the amount of material in the trough, and 45% is considered the maximum for conveyors. Meanwhile, at the inlet, 100% loading is acceptable, but the material should meter out to 45% through loading throughout the rest of the system. Overloading the conveyor can increase stress on the components, leading to early failure or breakdown.
Over-torquing the parts:
Another common mistake can be over-torquing the parts of a screw conveyor, especially at too low RPM. This can occur when too much horsepower is used to move heavy materials at low volumes. To avoid this, it's important to select the correct horsepower for the specific application and to monitor the torque on the conveyor components to ensure they're not being over-stressed.
Using too small of a discharge size:
Another common mistake is using a discharge size that's too small for the material being conveyed. This can lead to overpacking the trough, which can cause the conveyor to jam or fail catastrophically. To avoid this, it's important to select the appropriate discharge size for the material being conveyed and to regularly monitor the conveyor for signs of overpacking.
Not servicing as often as needed:
Lastly, regular maintenance is critical for the safe and effective operation of screw conveyors. Neglecting to maintain the conveyor, such as failing to generate and execute a maintenance plan, can result in breakdowns and early failure. It's important to regularly inspect and maintain the conveyor components to ensure their safe and effective operation.
While screw conveyors are an essential piece of equipment for many material handling operations, they can easily be misused and result in operational problems and even catastrophic failures. To avoid these mistakes, it's important to run the conveyor at the correct speed, ensure proper loading, avoid over-torquing the components, use the correct discharge size, and regularly maintain the conveyor.
ISC Manufacturing strives to design, build, and deliver the highest quality screw conveyors in the USA, we also strive to ensure our clients are set up for success along every step of the process.
We are always here to ensure you not only have the best equipment, but also know how to effectively run it. Call us today to talk about how ISC can help you with your next project.