If you've ever seen the kind of chaos that a failed conveyor flight (or scraper) can cause, then you’ll understand just how much time, effort and money it takes to put this kind of problem right.
Unless you can find a solution, the costs could mount up fast!
The problem is, it’s not usually just a case of replacing the damaged flight. If the conveyor doesn’t trip out when it becomes jammed, then the chain will just keep on running - which can rip the inner plates away from the pin and create even bigger challenges.
Correcting the issue isn't an easy fix. You'll first need to check your stores for spares of the scraper - and possibly too for a replacement chain. But it's not always feasible to have spares in stock for every conveyor, especially when you're operating a large site.
If the damaged flight has become mangled up with the chain, then you'll also need to work out how much of the chain has been damaged, so you can remove that as well.
Once the chain has been replaced, then normally the attachment that the scraper attaches to will need to be welded on. The area around the welding will have to be cleared, and sometimes bonded welders will be needed in order for the scraper to be successfully reattached.
Surely there has to be a faster, simpler and more cost-effective solution?
Paul Adamson from the timber processing company James Jones Lockerbie, tells us he always used to use standard metal scrapers on his recovery conveyors which are used to catch wood off-cuts of various sizes. When a jam occurred however, it often resulted in significant damage, which meant keeping the conveyor going was proving an increasingly difficult task.
But since switching to INNO 100 engineered scrapers, Paul says he has had no further incidents of damage to the chain.
So what makes INNO scrapers different from standard metal scrapers? Firstly, they're constructed from multi-laminated beech which is both durable and lightweight (at about one-seventh the weight of traditional steel scrapers).
They have also been purpose-designed to break when they become overloaded which means there's no risk of the scrapers ripping the inner plates away from the pin or causing any damage to the conveyor or surrounding equipment.
The only recurring maintenance cost is the replacement of the INNO scraper. And they're easy to install, taking less than a minute to complete during any scheduled break.
“I’d never go back to the metal scrapers," Paul says. "The INNOs have saved time and money and they’ve also made my life so much easier. We make sure we always keep some in stock so the conveyor will never again have unscheduled down time. And on top of that we are saving 30% efficiency on the conveyor drive.”
If you or your engineers have seen the kind of damage that a failed scraper can cause then you'll also know how difficult and time-consuming it can be to put it right.
If unscheduled system downtime is an issue for your conveyor systems, then switching to INNO wooden flights could well be the answer.