Sunday 20th Oct, 2019

Safety comes first with Hi Roller conveyors

By encouraging collaboration between two of its major brands, Ag Growth International and Hi Roller are helping grain handlers reach new safety highs.

By encouraging collaboration between two of its major brands, Ag Growth International is helping Australian grain handlers reach new safety highs.

In 1982, a conveyor company called Hi Roller began working on a solution to reduce grain dust.

Grain dust can be explosive, present environmental issues and can have high clean-up costs. The company’s solution was to release the Hi Roller line of conveyors which were enclosed to keep dust contained.

Designed specifically for grain handling facilities, soy and corn processing operations and industrial operations, Hi Roller conveyors contain dust and material spillage while also automatically reloading material back on the carrying surface of the belt.

Hi Roller continued developing the line, adding the ability to handle products from other industries such as clay, carbon, salts, borax and lime.

In December 2006, Ag Growth International, a global manufacturer of agricultural bulk handling systems acquired Hi Roller. The acquisition allowed Hi Roller to collaborate closely with AGI’s other brands and further improve its line of conveyors.

One of these brands was CMC Industrial Electronics, a manufacturer of hazard monitoring systems for industrial applications.

Bob Reiss, General Manager of CMC, says the two brands are highly complementary and come together to enhance safety.

“CMC provides a low voltage digital sensing platform that is safe for plant labour to operate and maintain,” Mr Reiss says.

“Sensors monitor shaft speed, bearing temperature, belt misalignment and vibration in harsh industrial environments.

“For a product like Hi Roller, this monitoring is critical. Grain dust can be volatile, and in an enclosed conveyor environment a single spark can set off a major fire or even an explosion.”

CMC’s platform is often deployed alongside Hi Roller conveyors to provide automatic safety measures. If the belt’s take-up shaft slows by 10 per cent, an audible alarm will sound to alert operators. At 20 per cent, the feed will go into a controlled shut down, taking away the potential for human error.

Grain handling ports are an extensive user of the conveyors due to their reliability in high uptime facilities, according to Peter Forster, Business Manager at AGI Australia and New Zealand.

“Hi Roller is the industry standard conveyor for these facilities, as it is dust free and operates at a high capacity,” he explains.

“When exporting grain to a ship, reliability is crucial. Explosions or fires have the potential to cripple important operations for years, which is why we don’t compromise when it comes to safety.”

In Australia, the two products are tightly integrated to offer comprehensive after-sales support at a competitive price.

“AGI uses its international partnerships to develop equipment suited for Australia’s high standards of safety,” Mr Forster says.

“We are already seeing major grain handlers standardise their facilities using Hi Roller belts and are excited to continue delivering high-quality infrastructure for the bulk handling industry.”

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