inno flights conveyor chain

Biomass conveyor chains: 15 years of experience and counting

Written by Darran Green on 10 June 2020

Through the wider FB Group, we’ve been involved in the European energy-from-waste industry right from its very inception. Now with our dedicated conveyor division in the UK, FBkc, we are more committed than ever to helping biomass plants extend the life of their conveyor components.

Around 15 years ago, FB Chain and our German sister company, FB Ketten, started receiving enquiries about conveyor chains and associated parts for the incineration industry. The FB Group has been manufacturing chain since 1908 and has a strong reputation in many other segments, including sawmills, paper and pulp, and cement, so we took the opportunity to further develop our competencies and experience.

Through close collaboration with a group of reference customers, we set out to understand the specialist requirements of biomass and energy-from-waste (EfW) applications and design solutions tailored to their needs.

The biggest challenges we discovered were the humid environment, as well as the abrasive and unpredictable nature of the material conveyed. This led us to develop stronger and more corrosion-resistant chains through innovations in material, heat treatment and construction.

INNO-vation at its best

Our colleagues at FB Ketten Germany even designed a ground-breaking new scraper attachment for biomass and EfW applications. These INNO flights are manufactured from multi-laminated beech wood and are equally as strong as their traditional steel counterparts while saving up to 60% of the weight.

Not only do the INNO scrapers decrease the stress exerted on the conveyor drives for a longer service life, if any pieces of metal hidden in the biomass fuel become jammed, the scrapers simply snap. Unlike steel scrapers, INNO flights do not cause any damage to surrounding chains, sprockets and furnaces, and can easily be disposed of along with the fuel.

FBkc: Your dedicated conveyor chain team 

Our experience in the biomass and EfW industry started in Germany, simply because of the prevalence of this kind of power generation there. However, we have seen a growing number of biomass energy plants and, therefore, customer enquiries in the UK too.

During my five years at FB Chain, I’ve been able to share the lessons we’ve learned in Germany with more and more British customers, conveying all sorts of biomass fuels – from crops, wood chip, pellets and waste wood, to household black bin waste and commercial waste.

WtE – or energy-from-waste (EfW) as it is also known – currently accounts for over 11% of the UK’s electricity, a figure that’s only set to increase. To ensure we’re providing the best possible support for this growing UK customer base, we’ve set up a new dedicated conveyor chain division at FB Chain, called FBkc.

FBkc was born out of the merger of FB Chain and conveyor engineering specialist BKC in August 2019 and combines the strengths of both companies. While FB Chain brings a manufacturing resource and sector-specific knowledge, the former BKC team contributes decades of bespoke design, installation and reengineering experience for conveyors on all scales.

Together, the new FBkc conveyor chain division is an engineering powerhouse, ready to help British biomass power plant operators extend the life of their conveyor chain and surrounding components however we can.

Learn more about our INNO conveyor flights and stainless steel pins and bushes for corrosive environments.

 

FB Chain Wear Gauge

Topics: Conveyor chain, Biomass, Waste to Energy, Energy-from-waste, Corrosion

Darran Green

Written by Darran Green

A time-served apprentice, Darran has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of mechanical engineering, including the manufacture and sales of transmissions and other linear motion products.

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