A manufacturer of powdered washing detergents in South African was experiencing problems with carryback on one of its main conveyor belts. Small particles with a high moisture content clung to the belt and migrated to the rolling components of idlers and pulleys, resulting in equipment failures and mistracking. This caused excessive wear on the belt and shortened its life considerably. The problems led to expensive downtime and increased labor for cleanup, equipment repairs and system maintenance. With monetary losses in thousands of dollars per month, operators sought a solution.
Inspecting the problem, Martin technicians decided that a Martin® Brush Cleaner would adequately clean the fine adhesive particles from the cracks and crevices of the belt to mitigate carryback from the return path. Using 12 strips with 0.040 inch (1 mm) polypropylene bristles to form a cylindrical brush, the 2 hp motorized cleaner spins against the belt path to shed both dry and moist material that would plug other brushes, introducing the product back into the material flow. The unit is suited for belts from 18 to 72 inches (~400 to 2000 mm) operating at speeds of up 500 fpm (2.5 m/s).
Nine months after the installation, operators report that there has been no unscheduled downtime from carryback. The conveyor has not experienced equipment failure or needed belt repair due to fugitive material. Moreover, labor costs for cleanup and maintenance have been reduced dramatically. "We are completely satisfied," a plant manager said. "There is no more carryback, which leads to less downtime and significant cost savings." Operators have begun the process of installing 28 more Martin® Brush Cleaners on conveyors throughout the facility.