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Maintenance troubleshooting for sand-processing equipment

By |  February 2, 2016
McLanahan's Dylan Heath led the processing equipment breakout session during the company's Wet Processing School.

McLanahan’s Dylan Heath leads a processing equipment breakout
session at the company’s Wet Processing School.

Learning how to troubleshoot sand-processing equipment issues on your own is a surefire way to save time and money, as well as enhance efficiencies.

But what are some of the biggest mistakes producers make while running sand-processing equipment, and what are the best ways to troubleshoot a problem?

“Usually it’s just a lack of training,” says Dylan Heath, process engineer for McLanahan’s aggregate processing division, during the company’s first Wet Processing School. “If people aren’t trained on the equipment they’re running, then they’re often going to make mistakes.”

From Heath, here are some key indicators that your sand-processing equipment may not be working properly:

  • Product size. Make sure you’re meeting the proper spec size. If you’re producing the incorrect spec size, something could be wrong with your equipment.
  • Waste. If you’re seeing product material in your waste, something wrong most likely happened during the process.
  • Unusual noises in your screen. Hearing unusual noises is an indication that you should check your equipment. Some solutions include tightening loose bolts, guards or screen panels. This could also be occurring because your ancillary structure is hitting the screen, your screen is overloaded, or because of loose or damaged fasteners. Combat these issues when necessary by reducing the feed to the screen, checking the oil level and filling if necessary, as well as checking the drive shafts for wear and replacing if necessary.
  • Unusual motions in your screen. This could happen if there’s vibration in the support, misaligned rubber buffers, uneven screen feet or uneven loading. If the screen gets heavy on one side, you might see some side-to-side or circular movement, Heath says. Possible solutions are evening out the loading of feed to the screen, replacing rubber buffers, loosening the connecting shaft or repositioning counterweights.

When an issue seems greater than a loose bolt or an uneven loading situation, it’s important to consult an expert on the equipment or the manufacturer rather than risk breaking your equipment.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, you always want to consult somebody before you make any adjustments,” Heath says. “You could end up making the problem worse.”

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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