St Marys’ conveyor clean-up

Published 17 April 2017

Carryback on the return side of conveyor belts impacts on plant operations and presents avoidable safety risks. St Marys Cement’s Detroit cement plant decided to minimise, if not eliminate, carryback on its No 14 conveyor, to help improve plant operations. By Dave Mueller, Martin Engineering, USA.

Barges dock several times a week to drop off raw materials

The issue of carryback clinging to the return side of conveyor belts is an ongoing battle for many industries that depend on efficient bulk handling. Carryback and subsequent accumulation interfere with plant operations and expose personnel to unnecessary safety risks when they clean up the material in close proximity to a moving conveyor. Fugitive material also represents a loss of usable product, which is particularly expensive if it has undergone any level of processing prior to the spill points.

Additionally, carryback can lead to spillage along the entire conveying system and foul rolling components, with extra cleaning and maintenance raising the cost of operation. Faced with this issue, a cement grinding facility in the Carbon Works neighborhood of Detroit discovered a way to virtually eliminate the issue of tacky carryback on one of the plant’s raw material transport conveyors.

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