According to the company, SKF’s range of bearing, seal, lubrication, alignment and housing solutions optimise conveyor performance and efficiency by enhancing component reliability and extending equipment life.
Great demands are placed on conveyors operating across diverse industries, which are required to perform the essential task of transporting a wide range of materials. Alongside high performance, conveyors in the light processing sectors (such as food and beverage) must also deliver enhanced product safety. Mines and quarries are increasingly expecting conveyors to move a more gruelling mix of bulk raw materials reliably.
Components such as engines, gearboxes and idlers on bulk conveyors are placed under severe strain during the transportation of abrasive material (raw coal, iron ore, etc.) under extremely harsh conditions that challenges their reliability. Most plants, whether in the light or bulk material handling sectors, are forced to drive down energy consumption and emissions in order to ensure sustainable operation and profitability while remaining environmentally responsible. Thus increased productivity and reduced costs are key drivers for end-users who look for improved performance, reliability and efficiency in their conveyors.
To meet end-user demands of realising substantial savings in operation and maintenance, SKF believes that equipment performance and lifespan can be maximised by evaluating the entire conveyor system as opposed to only addressing the performance of larger systems. By working closely with conveyor OEMs (Orginal Equipment Manufacturers) and customers, SKF plays a key role in optimising conveyor operation. Drawing on a century of experience in bearing and rotating product and service solutions, SKF offers components that have been specially designed and engineered to assist conveyor OEMs in meeting these challenges.
With literally hundreds of bearings in all rotating equipment operating on conveyors including pulleys, idlers, drive motors, etc., SKF’s bearing technology makes a vital contribution to cost savings with its highly efficient, low friction range of bearings that cut frictional torque, thus reducing energy consumption by as much as 50% (depending on application.) Furthermore, bearing life can be increased to give a profound reduction in energy savings which will have a positive impact on energy consumption and lead to lower total cost of ownership.
SKF’s latest high-performance seals provide optimum protection against contaminant and moisture ingress. By providing low levels of friction and retaining the lubricant, a correctly specified sealing solution from SKF will substantially extend bearing service life.
SKF conveyor component engineers have worked closely with OEMs to address premature conveyor chain and bearing failure caused by proven ovens, high pressure wash-downs and humid operating conditions typically found in the food and beverage industry. Moisture, water and cleaning fluid that creep into bearings reduce lubrication which can increase the risk of product contamination, causing premature bearing failure and leading to unnecessary maintenance and re-lubrication costs. This collaboration has led to the development of an efficient air-assisted oil projection lubrication systems which ensure reliable and effective lubrication of conveyor chain. Volumetric piston pumps precisely deliver a metered volume of lubricant to the points of friction while the chain is in operation and a control unit can be pre-set to the preferred timing for lubricant application. Accurate oil projection prevents lubricant waste and reduces environmental and operator safety issues created by excess oil. The chain does not need to be stopped for re-lubrication, increasing productivity.
In addition to a reduction in downtime and maintenance costs, further benefits of using SKF’s lubrication systems include reduced energy consumption and extended service life due to decreased chain wear and reduced friction. An air-assisted oil projection lubrication system in food and beverage applications, also helps support the HACCP process in producing safe food by preventing contamination from the lubricant.
SKF’s range of laser alignment tools, ranging from advanced geometric alignment to basic belt alignment lasers, offers precision conveyor alignment that delivers numerous benefits: An extremely smooth start-up with only minor adjustments needed in order to be fully productive, greatly reduced risk of belt damage during commissioning and training, extended operational life of idlers and pulleys, and considerable reduction in commissioning times compared to conventional belt tracking methods where idlers have to be adjusted continuously in order to train the belt along its pathway.