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Tips to ensure a successful spring start-up

By |  March 4, 2022
Keeping a well-stocked supply of essential parts on hand helps reduce downtime during unscheduled maintenance. Photo: Major

Keeping a well-stocked supply of essential parts on hand helps reduce downtime during unscheduled maintenance. Photo: Major

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

When it comes to optimizing screen 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 to ensure equipment is as close to OEM specifications as possible. This guarantees long periods of uninterrupted productivity.

To achieve this, there are three tips to follow in order to start the production season on the right foot.

The tips

1. Thoroughly inspect all equipment and perform any necessary maintenance. Taking the time during winter shutdown to inspect equipment and make repairs and replacements speeds up spring start-up. Still, it’s important to work through a maintenance checklist twice to ensure nothing was overlooked.

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

Key inspection points include the:

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 it 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. Inspect springs and V-belts and other components for cracks and signs of wear. This includes shiny, rusty or sharp surfaces on metal parts. Additionally, perform necessary repairs and replacements at this time.

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. Inspect welds for wear, and make any necessary repairs. Consider adding urethane or rubber lining on wear points to extend longevity.

2. Ensure the availability of essential parts to reduce downtime. Spring is a good time to work with dealers to guarantee parts availability for the upcoming year. 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 like bearings and belts. Working closely with dealers and manufacturers can help determine exactly which 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 manufacturer or dealer to ensure the screen media is accessible when it’s needed.

3. Perform a vibration analysis to establish a baseline for the year. 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. The tech can also help address improper settings and accurately measure changes.

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

Ready for spring

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


Matthew Armstrong is a business development analyst at Major.


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