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Durex president offers screening safety insights

By |  October 15, 2020
Keeping the areas around screens clean not only keeps employees safe, but avoids the potential of product contamination occurring. Photo by Kevin Yanik

Keeping the areas around screens clean not only keeps employees safe, but avoids the potential of product contamination occurring. Photo: P&Q Staff

Let’s say something wears on your feed end: You can design the panels on the feed end to be more robust. Maybe they wear longer and you change them out less, but you’re still only changing out one two-foot or four-foot row. So you can keep the machines running a lot longer.

Most modular systems are designed very well. Some have better holding power than others, and you’ll find that as you load them up. But they’re fairly easy to get in and out. People are more aware of where things wear and put guarding and lining in place to prevent that.

As a manufacturer, we like modular systems. They give great life for the customer, but what you don’t see is the throughput. Yes, there’s less open area; it’s easier to handle, safer to install and they last longer. With wire cloth, [producers] are changing [it] out after a few weeks. In a heavy application, modular would still make it a year. Smaller operations get three to five – even seven years of life – out of their modular event.

The only downside when it comes to safety and installing modular systems is space is always an issue in a screen box. The decks are close together, you have eccentric shafts running through there [and] maybe spray bars. All of that makes it more confined. So what you find – and it’s pretty interesting – is most of the maintenance guys are 150-pound guys.

That is the downside from a safety side. You are working in a tight spot. You can’t swing hammers, whereas once you have the wire cloth, you’re on the outside of the box where you have plenty of room to work and there’s usually a walkway out there.

Any other insights related to screening safety you’d like to share?

The industry in general has covered it. Preventive maintenance (PM) and lean thinking are things we didn’t do much of 20 years ago. As that’s progressed through manufacturing and the production industries, those PM programs are by far the most important thing to keep equipment and the employees safe.

Making sure you have the adequate staff and knowledge going through your facility to keep things greased and inspected are important, too. It’s no different than a manufacturing facility.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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