Conveyor Replacement Parts – Why Pay More?

Replacement Chains

Conveyor Replacement Parts – Why Pay More?

Why Pay More?

Many suppliers of conveyor spare parts will tell you that they can faithfully reproduce quality spare parts for lower prices than an OEM. Replacement parts are not as interchangeable as these manufacturers would have you believe and often the tubes and spirals for the flexible screw conveyors are made to a much lower quality so they can achieve these lower prices. If you’re tempted by these lower prices we’re going to explain why sometimes its best to pay more.

Many companies are offering cost saving solutions on flexible spirals and tubes or ropes and discs and claim that these are manufactured to a high quality.

“There Is Hardly Anything In The World That Someone Cannot Make A Little Worse And Sell A Little Cheaper, And The People Who Consider Price Alone Are That Person’s Lawful Prey” – John Ruskin, 1819-1900.

Read the Full John Ruskin blog here.

Quality Guarantee

At Spiroflow we have over 45 years experience in the solids and bulk handling industry and we manufacture high quality replacement parts for flexible screw conveyors and aero-mechanical conveyors.

For the flexible screw conveyor, our spirals are manufactured either in mild steel or stainless steel and are heated treated to provide greater strength and longevity. The tube is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) food grade conveyor tubes are of the highest quality and more durable and abrasion resistant than any others on the market.

Replacement Tubes & Spirals

What are the risks?

Our spirals are heat-treated which means it is taken up to a critical temperature point and held there until the internal stresses of the steel have reduced. This will improve the ductility and toughness of the spiral resulting in a stronger and more uniform spiral.

Heat-treating the spiral in this way increases the cost of production which may be missed by other 3rd party suppliers in order to keep costs down. Ultimately purchasing spirals that have not been heat-treated comes with serious risks. The structural integrity of the spiral may not be to the standard you need for your process and under stress can warp, snap and excessively elongate causing you to buy a new replacement earlier than planned. If you have to buy it twice because it is of poor quality is it really cheaper?

An Example:

A customer has bought a poor quality motor from a 3rd party supplier and attempted to fit it to our equipment. Everything ran fine for a short period of time until they noticed the seal they had supplied had ruptured causing the powder to jam up the motor bearings. They then came back to us to resolve the above issue, they are now back up and running.

Replacement Parts for Multiple Manufacturers

We, of course, provide replacement parts for our own bulk material handling systems but did you know that our first quality parts are designed to work in systems supplied by other manufacturers? We supply the most high quality spares so make sure your existing equipment performs at its best with Spiroflow replacement parts.

So Why Pay More?

So when you’re looking to purchase your replacement parts consider the risk you will be taking purchasing inferior parts.

This article will help you with troubleshooting bulk bag conditioners by identifying the problems. Firstly, a bulk bag conditioner is a serious investment and is often a vital addition to the process of bulk bag unloading. Because this is a large financial investment it is vital that problems are fully understood. Then you will know how to avoid these issues and reap the full benefits of a conditioner.

What type of Bulk Bag Conditioner are you using?

When troubleshooting your bulk bag conditioner first you need to know which type of conditioner you are using.

The two types of bulk bag conditioner are manually operated and automated. This is dependent on what best suits the application. At Spiroflow we manufacture three types of Bulk Bag Conditioners: 1. Fixed Mast, Manual Operation 2. Movable Mast, Manual Operation 3. Movable Mast, Automated.

For more information on the difference between a fixed mast and a movable mast bulk bag conditioner click here.

There are also several customizable options which may be affecting your bulk bag conditioner. Do you have any of the following additional items?

  • Manual Turn Table: Rotates the bulk bag on a pallet 360° for 4-side bag conditioning
  • Automatic Turn Table: Automatically moves the bag on the turntable for conditioning of all sides.
  • Scissor Lift: Used with a fixed mast bulk bag conditioner. The manual or automatic operated scissor lift moves the bulk bag up and down.  As a result, this conditions at different levels of the bag.
  • Integration: The bulk bag conditioner integrates within the support framework of a bulk bag unloader or other process equipment

Identify the Problems

What are the issues you are experiencing?

  • The product is not being conditioned efficiently
  • The poles will not condition
  • The mast is not moving correctly
  • The turntable is not rotating 360°
  • The Automatic Turntable is stuck
  • The scissor lift is not lifting the bulk bag
  • The controls for the automated conditioner are not working

If you are experiencing any of these issues speak to your manufacturer or call us to today and we will help to further understand the problem.

Staying Safe While Conditioning Bulk Bags

Firstly, consult your manufacturer on what materials should and shouldn’t be used in a bulk bag conditioner.

Furthermore, staff operating a bulk bag conditioner should be fully trained and wear the correct personal protection equipment such as a high visibility jacket and safety shoes.

Do you have any questions?

I hope you found this article helpful.  You may want to check see a demonstration of our bulk bag conditioners or our video What you should know about Bulk Bag Conditioners.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our team at Spiroflow will be happy to assist you.

Here at Spiroflow, we’ve been in the bulk material handling industry for more than 45 years. Our team has designed and supplied thousands of installations all over the planet. It’s been our goal since day one to provide quality products and to help educate our customers.

A bulk bag filler is an investment and is often a vital addition to a process that involves bulk ingredients. As with any capital expenditure, it is important to know what kinds of bulk bag filler problems you may encounter, and how you can avoid them.  If used properly, those drawbacks are non-existent.

Spiroflow has been around for more than four decades. We specialize in powder handling and dry solids processing. Safely and efficiently filling bulk bags is one of our best skill set, and we know how important that is to our customers.

What type of Bulk Bag Filler?

There are several bulk bag filler models out there.  Because every process is different, there are many variables you’ll need to consider when choosing a bulk bag filler:

  • Available headroom
  • Filling by weight or volume
  • How filled bags will be removed
  • What material they are being filled with

Bulk Bag Filler Problems

Bulk bag filler problems can be sorted in several different categories. Here’s how to fix and/or prevent them. This article gives a general overview. Please be sure to consult your manufacturer and user manual for detailed instructions specific to your bulk bag filler.

Staying Safe While Filling Bulk Bags

First of all, only trained personnel should operate, clean, or maintain the bulk bag filler. A bulk bag filler can be dangerous if not used correctly.

Consult with your manufacturer on what materials and containers should and shouldn’t be used with your filler.

Working on a filler without guards, fixed flexible connectors or any other safety devices should only happen with the machine turned off. The unit feeding the filler must be safeguarded against unintentional start-up.

Compressed air is a potential hazard that should be mentioned. A lockout valve is supplied with air equipment to isolate the machine when it’s being serviced. Check with your manufacturer and/or manual about the maximum allowable operating pressures.

The condition of the bulk bag should be monitored too. If the bag’s body or lifting loops are damaged, the bag shouldn’t be used. Do not stand near the filled bag while it’s being lifted.

Troubleshooting a Bulk Bag Filler

Are you getting an incorrect weight reading (verified by weight of a known amount)?

  • Possible Cause: The weigh platform is resting on debris or other foreign objects.
    Solution: Clear debris or objects from around weigh platform.
  • Possible Cause: The rigid connection is tied to the weigh platform.
    Solution: Use only flexible connections to the weigh platform.
  • Possible Cause: Set points on the weigh platform are improperly set.
    Solution: Set points should be re-entered using the weigh control manual as a guide.
  • Possible Cause: The load cells may be damaged.
    Solution: Check the signals from the load cells (qualified electrician required). Replace the damaged load cell(s) and send the original load cell out to be tested.
  • Possible Cause: The weigh display panel may need troubleshooting.
    Solution: Refer to weigh display manual for troubleshooting information.

Does the neck seal fail to properly inflate?

  • Possible Cause: The air supply is shut off or disconnected.
    Solution: Turn ON the air or reconnect the air supply. Readjust the air regulator if required.
  • Possible Cause: The inflatable sleeve is leaking so much that it is unable to seal on bag neck.
    Solution: Repair or replace the sleeve.
  • Possible Cause: The Inflate / Deflate switch is faulty.
    Solution: Repair or replace the switch.
  • Possible Cause: The neck seal is over inflating.
    Solution: Decrease the air pressure on the precision regulator.
  • Possible Cause: There is possible blockage or leakage in the air lines.
    Solution: Replace or repair the air lines.
  • Possible Cause: The inflate switch is faulty.
    Solution: Repair or replace the inflate switch.

Does the bulk bag liner fail to inflate? (Only applies to optional bag inflation)

  • Possible Cause: The air supply is shut off or disconnected.
    Solution: Turn ON air or reconnect air supply. Readjust air regulator if required.
  • Possible Cause: There is a blockage or leakage in the air lines.
    Solution: Replace or repair the air lines.
  • Possible Cause: The inflate switch is faulty.
    Solution: Repair or replace the inflate switch.

Maintenance & Inspection

Regularly monitoring your equipment might be the best way to avoid mechanical failure.

  1. If you are filling by weight the weigh platform should be inspected on a monthly basis to ensure it is level.
  1. If you are filling by weight any spillage buildup should be cleaned as soon as possible. Erroneous weight readings may occur if the weight platform has foreign debris.
  1. If you are filling by weight use a test load of known weight to verify a weight readout on a bimonthly basis. This may give an early indication of future load cell problems. This may also be an indication that the weigh platform is out of calibration.
  1. If you are using vibration in your filling operation the rubber vibration isolator mounting pads should be inspected after every 1,000 hours of use for signs of wear or deterioration.
  1. The inflatable sleeve on the neck seal should be inspected monthly for pinholes, cracking, or other signs of deterioration. The loss of air pressure in a neck seal with a damaged sleeve can result in dusting and improper filling of the bulk bag during the filling cycle.
  1. The air lines and air supply filtering devices should be inspected at least weekly for cracks, leakage, and moisture build up. Drain and repair as needed.
  1. A complete bolt check monthly or more frequently when using vibration to compact product is recommended.

Do you have any questions?

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our team at Spiroflow will be happy to assist you.

Are you interested in more than just bulk bag fillers? We carry a full line of bulk bag dischargers and mechanical conveyors. We also perform control systems integration. Let us know if we can help!

Structural drag chain conveyor problems happen, but they are avoidable. They are an expensive addition to any process, and you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. This article is about helping you keep the conveyor running.

Spiroflow has been around for more than 45 years. Our team members take pride in assisting customers with their dry bulk solids and powder processing needs. This ranges from providing a simple hopper to a complete bulk material handling system. Our work isn’t done when the equipment is shipped. We want to make sure everything works well and as expected. Here’s how.

Defining Structural Drag Chain Conveyors

I want to spend a short part of this article describing what these conveyors are and why they’re needed. Structural drag chains are constructed from schedule 40 pipe and move material with an ultra-heavy-duty chain and disc assembly. The design of these machines makes them problem solvers for processors in search of the perfect conveyor for the most challenging conveying applications.

These should not be confused with tubular drag chain conveyors. Structural drag chains can handle material that tubular drag chains can’t.

Structural Drag Chain Conveyor Problems

Attention to Maintenance

No conveyor is immune to the need of regular maintenance. Imagine having your chain conveyor malfunction while it’s conveying a sludge-like product. Your system is halted and you have to figure out how to get the material out of the conveyor without it working. The sprockets can be manually rotated to empty the conveyor and to make the proper repairs. That’s time you can’t have back and it’s something that can be prevented.

I suggest making it a point to check the conveyor’s housings for wear every month. This type of conveyor is built to last a long time and you should expect them to last considering their price.

Choosing the Best Design

The fact that these conveyors can operate in up to three planes, such as a z-formation, is a plus. Keep in mind that with each added bend, an increase in horsepower is required. Usually, simple layouts are best.

Choosing the correct disc can also prevent issues in the future. There are plenty of options to choose from. Be sure to talk to your supplier about your product. The disc must be able to withstand possible chemical attack, abrasion, temperature, and more.

Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) discs are among the most popular choices. This material has extremely high abrasion resistance, low coefficient of friction, high impact strength, and long service life. It can handle temperatures up to 176°F (80°C).

Cast iron discs are another popular option for drag chains. The material has a low cost and reasonable service life. This type of disc is a good option when corrosion, abrasion, chemical resistance, and product contamination are not factors. Mild steel can be used as an alternative. Both metals can handle temperatures up to 420˚F (216˚C).

You don’t have to sort these details out on your own. A trusted supplier can recommend the optimal layout as well as the best chain and disc assembly based on your application.

Is a Structural Drag Chain Conveyor a good fit?

Speed, Capacity & Length

Structural drag chain conveyors can run at speeds up to 50 ft/min (15 m/min) with a capacity up to 10 ft3/min (0.28 m3/min). A conveyor’s maximum total length is up to 400 ft (120 m) and multiple conveyors can be linked together.

Conveyable Material

We consider these conveyors to be ultra heavy-duty pieces of equipment. With that label, it means the conveyor can handle almost any type of bulk material. The following types of materials are typically conveyed well:

  • Dry
  • Fragile
  • Abrasive
  • Hygroscopic
  • Moist
  • Cohesive
  • Hot up to (420˚F/216˚C)
  • Sludge

It’s worth mentioning that these conveyors leave behind a low amount of residual material.

Dust Control

Structural drag chains are mechanically dust-tight and have an enclosed loop system. No systems filters are required.

Remember to Use a Test Lab

A trustworthy supplier will suggest running a material test before your design is finalized. That’s the only way to know for sure that your material will run in your application. Spiroflow has test labs in the United States and the United Kingdom. I can tell you from experience that fine-tuning a conveying application is easiest in during the testing phase.

Do you have any questions?

I know every process is unique. Give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions about this conveyor or your application. Our experts are also happy to help you with your mechanical conveyingbulk bag filling and discharging, or control systems integration needs.

What are the problems with cable drag conveyors? I know why you’re asking. Adding a cable drag conveyor to your process is an investment. You want to make sure you get the m­ost out of this machine. I can reassure you that these conveyors deliver exactly what they promise when ran properly. That’s what this article is all about.

Here at Spiroflow, we’ve been in the bulk material handling industry for more than 45 years. Our team has designed and supplied thousands of installations all over the planet. It’s been our goal since day one to provide quality products and to help educate our customers.

What Cable Drag Conveyors Do

A tubular cable drag conveyor uses a cable and disc assembly to drag material inside a totally enclosed tube. These types of conveyors can be designed to have multiple inlets and outlets. Material can be stream or meter fed into the conveyor.

More specifically, a motor driven sprocket within the tube pulls the cable and disc assembly in a continuous loop through the circuit. The conveyor can operate within multiple planes which provides great layout flexibility. If one isn’t enough, they can be linked together to cover greater distances.

How to Avoid Cable Drag Conveyor Problems

Do you want to make sure your cable drag conveyor is delivering the rate your process needs? Do you want to avoid spending a fortune on conveyor maintenance and replacement parts? Do you want to shorten system downtime? If you have any these questions or just want to know how to get the most out of a cable drag conveyor, the solutions are right here.

There’s nothing inherently flawed or faulty with tubular drag conveyors. Issues generally arise when operator mistakes are made. These errors are easy to fix and/or avoid. All you need to do is keep the following information in mind.

  • Every part of the circuit must be dent free
  • All internal moving parts must be in alignment with the exit and entry points
  • It is helpful to utilize available options that provide system feedback (level sensors, rotation sensors, and tension position indicators).

Mind the Material

Make sure the material you are conveying is appropriate for this type of conveyor. Anything abrasive, hygroscopic, cohesive, or slurries should stay out of a cable drag. Utilize a test lab if you have any questions about what should be conveyed.

Another tip, do not overfeed the conveyor. Trying to max out the capacity of a tubular cable drag conveyor may be tempting but it can put too much strain on its components. If you find yourself overfeeding a cable drag, you should consider a larger or different type of conveyor. An experienced supplier will make sure you get the right type and size of conveyor to meet all of your application parameters.

Keep the Conveyor Running Smoothly

The conveyor circuit must be supported with the included brackets to prevent circuit deflection during operation. The circuit is not self-supporting so particular care must be taken where changes in direction occur. This is normally achieved using bent tubes. In these areas, there’s more internal force present to change the direction of the conveyor path.

The circuit is constructed from multiple tube sections of varying lengths. These are joined with sleeved clamps at the joints between each section. It is very important that the joints are in alignment with the mating section and form a continuous uninterrupted circuit. The connection between circuit members must be flush without any burrs produced during cutting. This is critical for correct operation.

Maintain Proper Tension

To keep the cable and disc engaged on the drive and idler sprockets it is necessary to keep it taught. We always recommend the use of a tensioning device which applies a constant force to the system to ensure the discs engage correctly onto the sprockets. The applied force from the tensioner is variable depending on the circuit layout, length, and the material being conveyed. It is necessary to adjust this during commissioning to achieve optimal system performance.

Have any more questions?

Help is a phone call away. Our team in the United States or the United Kingdom is always willing to answer any questions you may have.

Here at Spiroflow, we have a wide variety of mechanical conveyors to choose from if a cable drag conveyor isn’t right for your process. We also design and supply bulk bag fillers and dischargers. If you’re interested in control systems integration, we do that as well. Give us a call.

What are the problems with aero mechanical conveyors? It’s completely understandable if this question is on your mind. There’s nothing inherently flawed with an aero mechanical conveyor (AMC) but issues can arise when the conveyors are used or set up incorrectly. Don’t worry! In this article we’ll run down how you can avoid headaches while using an aero mechanical conveyor.

What do we know? Here at Spiroflow, we’ve been in the dry bulk material handling industry for nearly five decades. It’s been our goal since our launch to provide quality custom designed conveyors to our customers and to make sure those conveyors work to the best of their capabilities. That starts with us understanding your needs.

What is an Aero Mechanical Conveyor?

Before I go any further, I want to explain how we define an aero mechanical conveyor and what it’s used for. An AMC’s purpose is to move material from point A to point B at a high rate. It utilizes a cable and disc assembly. It’s dust-free. The discs create an airstream that carries the material. Each pocket is made up of about 80% air and 20% material. This keeps the material from being dragged along the tube. This type of conveyor provides a total batch transfer.

Speeds & Capacities

The speed and capacity rates of an aero mechanical conveyor can vary depending on the size of the conveyor. For example, at Spiroflow, we design and manufacture AMCs in 3” (75mm), 4”(100mm), and a 5” (125mm) diameters. Speeds and capacities also vary depending on the material. AMCs don’t have variable conveying rates. See the chart below for an idea of how the AMC moves.

How to Avoid Aero Mechanical Conveyor Problems

The source of nearly every issue with aero mechanical conveyors is when the AMC isn’t used correctly.

Keeping the Proper Tension

The #1 thing customers do wrong with AMCs is operating them without proper tension on the cable. The cable is easily damaged if the tension is too tight or too loose. An auto-tensioning system will make your life much easier! Trust us on this one. Spiroflow developed a patented Dynamic Automatic Rope Tensioning system or DART for short. The rope/cable tends to stretch over time. The DART uses an air cylinder at one of the housings to maintain constant pressure. This keeps the tension on the sprocket and keeps the rope or cable on track. Overall, the DART saves you from manually having to check and adjust the tension and prevents equipment failure, which keeps your process moving.

Monitor the Sprockets

Problems can also be avoided if the operator regularly inspects the AMC’s sprockets. Placing a new cable on a worn sprocket defeats the purpose of a new cable. A worn sprocket will destroy a new cable very quickly.

Pay Attention to the Product

Although aero mechanical conveyors can run empty, running them while empty reduces the number of hours the conveyor or its components will last. It’s best to allow the conveyor to shut down and sit idle in between times when material is transferred.

Overfeeding can be a problem as well. Trying to max out the capacity of the AMC can put too much strain on the components. This also goes back to correctly sizing your conveyor for your application. An experienced supplier can ensure that the recommended conveyor is correctly sized to meet your required rate without overfeeding.

We strongly recommend material testing regardless of the product you plan to run. Utilizing a test lab early on will prevent problems in the future.

More Questions?

Give us a call or send us an email if you have any more questions. By the way, we don’t just design and build AMCs. You can check out our full line of products here. We also do control systems integration. More information on automation is here.