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3 screening tips for spring start-up

By |  May 18, 2021
A successful production season starts with preparations in the spring, including an inspection of screen media. Photo: Major

A successful production season starts with preparations in the spring, including an inspection of screen media. Photo: Major

Starting the production season off on the right foot doesn’t have to be stressful.

When it comes to optimizing screening capabilities, a little bit of forethought goes a long way to help reduce downtime and increase efficiency throughout the year. The key to a successful start-up is ensuring equipment is as close to OEM specifications as possible, as this guarantees the longest periods of uninterrupted productivity.

To help you achieve this, here are three tips to start the season strong:

1. Inspect equipment, perform maintenance

Taking time during winter shutdown to inspect equipment and make repairs and replacements speeds up spring start-up. Still, it’s important to work through the same maintenance checklist again to make sure nothing is overlooked.

Simply assuming equipment is still in optimum condition can lead to unforeseen downtime and lost production. Double checking helps ensure vibrating screens are ready for operation when the first load of material arrives.

Some key inspection points include:

Substructure. Thoroughly examine all parts for cracks, wear and other issues. This includes crown bars and screen ledges. Also, perform any necessary welding or maintenance.

To ensure proper and consistent tension along the entire length of the deck, a crown curve is necessary. A simple rope test can be used to check that the crown curve is intact. Run a piece of rope from one side of the vibrating screen to the other. With a proper crown curve, each support bar makes contact with the rope, forming a continuous arch from wall to wall. Likewise, during operation the screen panels will lay firmly on the supports.

Exterior drive components. Additionally, inspect springs, V-belts and other components for cracks and signs of wear. This includes shiny, rusty or sharp surfaces on metal parts. Perform necessary repairs and replacements at this time, as well.

Chutes and feed pans. Examine for signs of wear such as shiny or rusty spots on metal surfaces. If the metal is too thin, dimples will be evident on the underside.

Additionally, inspect welds for wear and make any necessary repairs. And consider adding urethane or rubber lining on wear points to extend longevity.

2. Ensure availability of essential parts

Producers should work with a dealer to ensure screen media is available when needed. Photo: Major

Producers should work with a dealer to ensure screen media is available when needed. Photo: Major

Spring is a good time to work with dealers to guarantee parts availability for the season ahead.

Keeping a well-stocked supply of essential parts on hand helps reduce downtime during unscheduled maintenance. This includes critical spares such as screen media, as well as consumables such as bearings, belts and other accessories. Working closely with dealers and manufacturers can help determine exactly what parts to keep on hand.

For screen media, it’s important to review production numbers and determine core media usage. From there, work with a dealer to ensure screen media is available when you need it. It’s recommended that you have at least two changeouts available – usually one on site and one with the dealer or OEM.

3. Perform a vibration analysis

Vibration analysis technology is a great tool for early identification of maintenance issues. It allows operators to monitor and avoid unexpected breakdowns with real-time evaluations. An analysis can also help address improper settings and accurately measure changes.

Without a baseline for comparison, vibration analysis is less effective. Spring start-up is the best time to record this reference point for the year. From there, quarterly visits with a dealer are recommended to monitor machine performance. The initial data can also be used to make sure a screen is running as close to the OEM standard as possible for optimal efficiency.

Ready for spring

A successful season starts with spring preparations. Make sure your equipment is in optimal condition before the first ton is processed to increase productivity and profits.

Matthew Armstrong is business development analyst at Major.


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