Conveyor belts are supported across their length by idlers or rollers; and on long overland conveyor systems, these idlers can run into the thousands. Worn or damaged idlers need to be changed as soon as possible in order to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs of the system; as well as to avoid the risk of any further damage to equipment or even the potential outbreak of fire. Conducting maintenance on belt conveyors – especially in tunnels or on elevated structures – is a challenge for all parties involved on site. The belt needs to be lifted and the idler(s), with a single part weight of about 50 kg or more, replaced. The issue of space really becomes critical in tunnels where space is very limited and the work has to be conducted manually. Enlarging a tunnel’s size in order to more effectively conduct maintenance, as well as for greater safety and access reasons, is almost impossible due to the significant costs to be incurred and an intelligent new solution had to be found.
TAKRAF designed and developed its maintenance cart as a means to overcome this issue and the maintenance cart makes it possible to access any location along the conveyor belt in the shortest possible time.
The maintenance cart is equipped with a number of clever solutions that enable the safe and efficient replacement of idlers in both the top and return strand of a belt conveyor in less than 15 minutes. The cart is equipped with a belt lifting device that safely lifts the belt away from the idler in need of replacement. The handling of idlers is supported by a small service crane, with idlers being attached to the crane by means of a special tool. Also, both new and worn idlers are conveniently stored in a special area on the side of the maintenance cart’s frame.
Depending on the maximum incline of the conveyor, the cart can employ either a friction based drive concept with driven wheels or a form-fitting drive concept such as a chain drive system. In a similar vein, various power supply options are also available, ranging from a diesel generator to a power rail next to the conveyor.
The TAKRAF maintenance cart is a safe and effective tool to ensure the safety of personnel and efficient replacement of idlers.