Words of wisdom on: Conveying and material handling

By |  October 20, 2020

Editor’s note: As part of our Road to Recovery coverage, P&Q is turning to some of the industry’s leaders for their takes on the road ahead. This month, leaders from conveying & material handling manufacturers were posed with the following question: How are you and your dealers coaching aggregate producers through the pandemic when it comes to their conveying & material handling equipment?

Chris Casimir SEW Eurodrive


Take inventory of critical components for future planning

SEW Eurodrive’s Chris Casimir says slowdowns can create time for due diligence

Production slowdowns are a great time to inventory your critical components to prepare for the coming upswing. Take this time to review your production equipment and consider which components are critical to keep you running. These might include motors, gear units, pumps and large bearings.

Check the health of those components, perform any overdue or upcoming maintenance, and build an inventory catalog with equipment details like functional location, component type, manufacturer, model number and serial number. Some components can be difficult to reach, so keep a photo of the nameplate in a binder, maintenance folder or spreadsheet so it can be easily accessed.

It’s also a great time to reach out and build a relationship with your local power transmission distributor or manufacturer. If demand picks up but a component goes down, your relationship and inventory catalog can get you back up to speed that much faster.

Chris Casimir is product manager for industrial gears at SEW Eurodrive.

Matt Lepp VDG


Monitor and analyze equipment for upkeep and efficiency

VDG’s Matt Lepp explains how prior planning can prevent downtime and added costs

With all in-house manufacturing in the U.S. and Canada, VDG has maintained its supply chain during the pandemic. However, many U.S. companies have experienced disruptions and delays as they rely on overseas parts or materials to a certain extent, and the pandemic exposed how vulnerable our supply chain can be. 

Support of American-made equipment – not only drive solutions – is critical. Our message to our customers and resellers is to source American-made components through local supply chains to help build America’s infrastructure and secure the economy – both during and after the pandemic. 

Additionally, we are advising customers to minimize plant traffic by analyzing their conveyor systems for maintenance-intensive items. Utilizing components that require minimal maintenance reduces demands on already taxed personnel while also reducing operational and maintenance expenses.

Condition monitoring is also key in the effort to reduce manpower needs while promoting a safer working environment, by continuously ensuring proper drive operation, preventing potential maintenance issues before they occur.

Matt Lepp is heavy industry drive specialist at VDG (Van der Graaf).

Drew Felix PPI


Keep a watchful eye on material buildup, spillage

PPI’s Drew Felix offers advice to get the most out of idlers and pulleys

During this time, we are advising our producer partners to continue monitoring material buildup and spillage on their conveyors to avoid premature failure of components.

If their conveyor belts are having tracking issues, we recommend walking  the conveyor to ensure idlers are rotating and there is no buildup on the idlers. We are also advising lagging inspections for pulleys. Excessive lagging wear can cause the belt to drift or pull to where lagging remains, typically on the edge of the pulley, causing the belt to track off center. In that situation, we recommend having a spare pulley ordered as a solution.

Drew Felix is division manager for the Eastern U.S. and Canada at Precision Pulley & Idler (PPI).

Featured image: P&Q Staff

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