The operation of belt conveyor systems in the bulk materials handling industry can cause significant challenges, such as limitation of production rate, reliability issues, safety risks like spillage and belt damage, or a high environmental impact.
Increasing the throughput on underutilized conveyors can be tough if setpoints are based on mass instead of volume flow. If the bulk density of the conveyed material fluctuates, setpoints based on mass readings (belt scale) must be set more conservatively to avoid spillage. Volume based setpoints allow a higher belt conveyor utilization.
Spillage of material due to overloaded or unequally loaded conveyors, or varying volumetric load, can be a risk for humans and machines. Material transfer points and loading and discharge points are particularly prone to spillage events. It can be a result of misaligned belts, that lead to increased wear or even belt damage. Both are critical for human safety and maintenance.
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