Tuesday 30th Nov, 2021

Optimising your conveyor’s backbone

Idler are the main backbone of the whole system but are often ignored. Thomas Greaves, General Manager for DYNA Engineering, explains how to get the best results from idlers.

Idler are the main backbone of the whole system but are often ignored. Thomas Greaves, General Manager for DYNA Engineering, explains how to get the best results from idlers.

Idler sets are used to support the belt along the conveyor structure and are available in a variety of designs including inline trough, offset trough, return, trough trainer, return trainer, transition, and many more.

Usually speaking, an idler set comprises a steel idler frame and the cylindrical-shaped roller(s) fitted within it. Idler sets are probably one of the least routinely inspected components of many a conveying system yet are the main backbone of the whole system.

When operating at peak efficiency they will add many more hours of trouble-free running than a poorly maintained set. So, they have the potential not only to enormously improve conveying productivity but also avoid unscheduled shutdowns which often affect an entire project’s operation.

Idler frames

There are a wide variety of idler frames available. The four most common types each have benefits. Some of these benefits include impact absorption, support for the carry and return sides of the belt or maintaining correct tracking of the belt.

Idler rollers

Idler rollers, sometimes known as conveyor rollers or rollers, are cylindrical-shaped bars that run along and underneath a conveyor belt. There are many different types of idler rollers with varying functions.

Usually, idler rollers aid in the supporting of weight and impact of the material being transported along the belt. But they’re also invaluable in the smooth, continuous movement of the material along the belt.

Troughing idlers guide the transportation of objects on a conveyor. Idler rollers running beneath a conveyor belt form a trough that keeps loose material from falling off the belt.

Tracking rollers are a very useful idler to keep the conveyor belt operating within the conveyor system limits and specifications. Newer designs, such as the DYNA-TRAC Tracking-Roller, are self-aligning and adjusting maintaining the belt tracking down the centre of the conveyor system.

Quality assured

DYNA Engineering conveyor rollers are manufactured from high quality ERW tube, precision pressed bearing housings, quality double sealed bearings, and labyrinth seals. The company’s quality assurance systems include testing of rolling resistance, run-out and dynamic balance to ensure every roller meets their high-quality standards. Conveyor rollers are manufactured in accordance with strict quality controls and use the latest manufacturing techniques and equipment to achieve superior life, reduced rolling resistance, and ultimately delivering lower operating costs.

Thomas Greaves, General Manager for DYNA Engineering, said even a regular simple inspection of idler frames and rollers at each scheduled maintenance check could potentially avoid catastrophic consequences down the track.

“It doesn’t take long to conduct a simple visual and even taking a quick shot from a phone for further checking of anything which looks a bit suspicious,” he says.

“If an unscheduled conveyor stoppage occurs the entire project could be negatively impacted. The simple carrying out of a visual check can prevent this and the vast amount of money needed to repair and get the system, or the entire project up and running again”.

“When you think about it, it’s such a quick and easy thing to do and usually the replacement or repair costs for Idler frames and/or rollers are not that excessive. So, ‘just do it’ would be the mantra we’d recommend to all conveying maintenance people, whatever site they may be on”.

Dyna’s idler frames are fabricated in the company’s Western Australian workshops. They are available in a range of finishes, including standard painted, optional galvanised, or can be finished to any project requirement.

Greaves says they can even be painted pink if requested.

“We are market leaders for conveyor rollers and frames, we set very high design standards and do not compromise on quality,” he says.