Monday 10th Aug, 2020

4B swaps steel bucket elevator to help SunRice save

To assist with its program of continuous improvement, agricultural company SunRice selected the 4B Group to help upgrade older steel elevator buckets with modern polymer materials.

The older style of fabricated steel buckets was of a similar geometry to CC type buckets, which trials found to be inefficient. In fact, the buckets backlegged rice so significantly, throughput decreased by about 40 tonnes per hour and wear damage to the casings had occurred through the re-circulation of materials.

4B was contacted to consult and were engaged to provide a solution, which included providing suitable system belt speeds, adjustments to outlet chutes and selecting a suitable polymer style bucket that would not compromise the capacity of the system and operations.

A complete and thorough evaluation was undertaken of belt and pulley speeds, discharge efficiencies and actual volumetric filling factors of individual buckets. This was then assessed against the existing discharge chute design, which favoured the older style steel fabricated buckets.

In particular the actual centrifugal acceleration that was expected to occur with the modern polymer buckets was calculated and then cross referenced with the vertical and horizontal distances available within the existing discharge chute.

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The combined results provided 4B Engineers with the exact information required for selecting a suitable bucket, adjusting the angle of the outlet chute, applying a belt speed reduction that lead to increased individual volumetric filling, and reduce backlegging.

The SPS bucket provided the best results due to wide range of speeds that it can be utilised in on most elevator applications.

In this instance the elevator had been designed around an old bucket that was now considered inefficient in performance and costly to manufacture.

The 4B solution was able to deliver the benefits the customer was looking to achieve with while maintaining origin design capacity.