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What to Consider Before Buying Elevators for Layout of Plant Processes


A bucket elevator is an effective way of raising/elevating free flowing bulk materials and feeding multiple production lines within a processing plant, to reduce the footprint of this type of equipment compared to others solutions in the facility and to ensure continuous availability of raw materials in the production line.

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Whether you are planning to install a new industrial bucket elevator or needing to replace your existing equipment due to low capacity or underperformance, it’s important to choose the right design and specification for your manufacturing business.

 In this article, we will outline the main considerations that will help influence your decision, which you should discuss with your chosen bucket elevator supplier.

Centrifugal Or Continuous?

Centrifugal and continuous are two popular types of bucket elevators and, while both provide continuous vertical conveying of raw materials, it’s important to ensure that you select the most suitable version for the intended application.

Centrifugal Bucket Elevators:

  • Fast operating speed
  • High capacity
  • Suitable for materials that can withstand scooping and throwing, without worry about degradation
  • Loading method: Material scooped from a hopper
  • Discharge method: Material is ‘flung/thrown’ into the discharge chute using centrifugal force.

Continuous Pendulum Bucket Elevators:

  • Low operating speed
  • Low to medium capacity
  • Suitable for dry and free flowing materials of inconsistent sizes, perhaps where product damage must be avoided, or can be used for even highly abrasive materials.
  • Loading method: gentle gravity feeding using for example vibratory feeders, manual deb-bagging or from conveyors and can be designed with multiple inlet feed sources.
  • Discharge method: Using gravity, material is gently poured from the bucket into a discharge chute and again, can have dedicated single or controllable multiple tipping points.

Belt Or Chain?

Belt bucket elevators are a cost-effective option, as the bucket is connected directly to the belt without the need for the additional mechanical elements such as a chain. Belt bucket elevators are suited to demanding applications in hostile environments and appropriate for high volume raw material management to feed silos or hoppers etc.

Chain based pendulum bucket elevators are a more expensive option due to their design and construction. With excellent product handling (up to 50 cubic meters per hour), the volume capacity of product material can be quickly delivered to multiple post-production layouts with superb almost infinite layout designs for any type of production facility and capable of handling delicate and abrasive materials without spillage.

Material Handling Capabilities

When choosing the bucket elevator, it is necessary to consider the application and material that will be transported to preserve the structure of the material. Fragility issues, for example, could lead to some materials being damaged if the wrong bucket elevator is chosen, so consider carefully whether degradation must be avoided.

Other factors affecting the choice of elevator bucket include: the size of material particles (as some processes are prone to operational problems if large particles become lodged in the equipment); the temperature of the product; environmental temperatures and the need for zero spillage.

Configuration/Layout Design

Finally, give thought to the layout of your existing production line and how the new bucket elevator will be accommodated. Aspects to consider include:

  • Travelling distances.
  • Travel orientations.
  • Availability of floorspace.
  • Multiple inlet feed points.
  • Multiple outlet feed points.
  • Multiple floor/level arrangements.
  • A safe, clean elevating casing/environment.

Contact Us To Find Out More

At Gough Engineering, we have acquired extensive experience of providing patented bucket elevators for a variety of manufacturing businesses, so we can design an effective solution that meets your unique needs. To find out more, please call us today on 01782 567770 or send us a message.

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