Three tips for effective screen media maintenance

Manufacturers often offer the service either through site visits or via a nearby dealer.
Manufacturers often offer the service either through site visits or via a nearby dealer.

As operations begin to slow down operations, it is a great time to reevaluate maintenance and training procedures to ensure optimum plant efficiency and product quality. Because, when it comes down to it, it does not matter how much material is produced in a day if it is not meeting spec. By Matthew Armstrong, business development analyst at MAJOR.

Though screen media is a minor cost when compared to larger equipment in a quarry, it is a crucial part of any operation’s profit machine. One unexpected break and thousands of dollars can be lost in terms of downtime and repairs.

For that reason, producers need to put a larger focus on proper screen media maintenance. Best practices result in fewer changeouts, less unplanned downtime, higher quality product and a more efficient operation. Here are a few things to consider:

Do not slack on installation

It is not uncommon for an operation to send the newest crewmember to complete the undesirable job of screen media changeouts, but the task benefits from someone with a bit more experience. The best screen media in the world would not do any good if it is installed incorrectly. This could mean improper tensioning or even installing it the wrong way around, something that happens more often than it should. The resulting issues can include accelerated wear, panels broken too soon and just overall inefficient screening.

While specifics vary depending on the type of media, there are a few overall best practices for screen media installation. To start, clean and check the condition of components that touch the screen, make sure that the screen panel matches what was ordered, and install the screen based on instructions from the manufacturer. During installation, make sure each support bar touches the screen and that the tension matches manufacturer recommendations.

Consider looking into screen media installation and maintenance training seminars to prolong screen life. Manufacturers often offer the service either through site visits or via a nearby dealer. The benefit will be a crew with shared knowledge of proper installation that could be worth thousands in unexpected downtime prevention.

Keep an eye on the screen

Once installed correctly, it is still best to check screen media at least weekly to make sure tensioning is proper and the panels aren’t showing unusual signs of wear. A little bit of extra time during routine preventative maintenance can have a noticeably positive effect on profits.

While checking tension, also look at the clamp bars themselves. Check for wear, corrosion or cracks and examine the rail for straightness, which is necessary for even tension. Examine all nuts and bolts and replace any that are worn, stripped or corroded. Shaker bolt threads with excess build-up can be cleaned by running them across a wire wheel. Also, replace clamp bars that are thin or caving in to greatly improve screen media wear life and be sure to choose OEM versions for proper operation.

Utilise diagnostic tools

Diagnostics systems can help prolong media life and improve screening by checking and monitoring a machine’s health. Use a vibration analysis system to inspect the machine for balance and excessive vibration, which can lead to screen media failure or unintended machine wear. Vibration analysis systems are becoming easier to use. Some only require a single, wireless sensor and allows access to results via a smartphone or tablet.

Though minor compared to the rest of an aggregate operation, producers benefit from staying proactive with screen media maintenance. Following basic preventative maintenance practices can mean less downtime, fewer headaches and more profits.



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