Unscheduled belt repairs can cause major headaches for miners, which is why ESS collaborates with clients when it comes to maintenance.
Conveyor belts are among the most expensive assets in a mining operation. Apart from the actual cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining the conveyor belts, they are also critical for ensuring the mines meet their production and shipping deadlines.
Unscheduled belt repairs or replacements can sometimes last days, causing considerable delays in the mine’s operations.
Many sites use conveyor belt accessories like belt cleaners, sealing and support systems, belt tracking and flow aids to increase the sites safety, productivity and conformance with environmental regulations.
These products and solutions also extend the life of conveyor parts and extend the life of the belt.
However, inspection and service of these products during planned maintenance periods or conveyor shutdowns are often overlooked.
Without correct and regular service, conveyor accessories are less efficient. There is a risk the equipment will fail, causing thousands of dollars in clean-up costs, new equipment purchased and, in the worst case, replacing the belt.
Inexperienced maintenance crews may incorrectly service machinery or fail to identify issues with conveyor belt accessories during shutdowns or conveyor belt inspections while the belt is running.
As with any type of potentially hazardous equipment, only workers who have been properly trained should be allowed to work with conveyors. During any maintenance routine, the conveyor system needs to be offline and locked out. It’s also important to have an emergency plan in place, with one worker on standby to assist the worker inside a confined space.
ESS Managing Director Bob Law says the company doesn’t just sell a product and walk away.
“We want our clients to experience long term benefits for their plant’s efficiency and personnel safety,” Law says.
ESS’ experienced service technicians install, monitor, and maintain conveyor accessories. The company also collaborates with the site to inspect the conveyor structure, conveyor accessories, and belt condition to produce a condition report and maintenance plan actioned by plant staff, contracting companies, or ESS technicians.
“We can either go and maintain the equipment for them or, if the client prefers, train and certify their maintenance personnel or site contractors to maintain ESS equipment on an ongoing basis,” Law says.
Many mines are also starting to use a predictive maintenance strategy to mitigate unplanned downtime and enhance operational efficiency. ESS Engineering can collaborate with a mine site’s shutdown planners to help determine the condition of newly installed and in-service equipment to predict when maintenance should be performed. This approach promises cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance because tasks are performed only when warranted.
ESS offers a range of flexible maintenance, monitoring and training services to ensure optimum performance from the plants conveying systems.