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4 Tips to Minimise Bucket Elevator Downtime


Bucket elevators are an efficient way to transfer bulk materials between production processes, but there can be several reasons why your bucket elevator is not operating smoothly. These can include:

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  • Slack or stretched chains.
  • Mis-aligned chain sprockets.
  • Missing or broken buckets.
  • Tipping profiles alignment on buckets.
  • Poor product feed with over-spillage.
  • Build-up of product material in internal casing due to poor cleaning regime.

Unscheduled downtime in industrial processes causes delays, frustration, and unforeseen operating/production costs, so following these five best practices will help keep equipment problems to a minimum.

Use these tips for checking your bucket elevator to avoid issues or creating an issue.

1) Component Condition

You should ensure the following;

  • Full set of buckets are installed correctly.
  • All buckets are swinging freely on pins.
  • All buckets are in serviceable condition - not cracked or damaged.
  • Track guides are straight.
  • Sprockets are correctly aligned and no teeth missing.
  • Any slack in the chains is taken up by the chain tensioning devices.

2) Avoid Overfilling

A common problem that leads to elevator downtime is the overfilling of the buckets. Improper regulation of the infeed rate or failure to correctly match the infeed rate and elevator run rate are common causes of breakdown. This area is critical and yet often overlooked. It is easily prevented with the correct feed rate matching the bucket elevator run rate. Any residual spillage can be cleaned out with the addition of spillage trays on the infeed of the bucket elevator. This can be incorporated into your regular maintenance schedule.

3) Implement A Thorough Cleaning Regime

A thorough, scheduled cleaning regime will ensure your elevator buckets are maintained in excellent condition. If reaching some sections of the elevator is difficult, we can supply removable panels to improve ease of access or even transparent panels allowing easy visual inspection.

4) Seek Expert Advice

If your elevator is regularly experiencing downtime, or you are having difficulty resolving persistent problems, photograph the issues and send them to our experts at Gough Engineering. We can assess the situation on your behalf and provide relevant advice on how to overcome any problems.

Contact Gough Engineering For More Information

At Gough Engineering, we offer a variety of vibratory feeders and bucket elevators for a range of applications and industries and can provide expert technical advice to help you to choose the right product for your production line.

To find out more, please call us on 01782 567770 or send us an enquiry.

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