Problem Solvers: Conveyor Idler Bearing Isolator Increases Reliability And Safety While Reducing Downtime And Power Consumption

Kathy | January 1, 2007

probsolvers_inproInpro/Seal Company has announced its new Belt Conveyor Idler/Roller Bearing Isolator. The result of direct customer request, input and feedback, continuous R&D and extensive field testing and trials, this product was designed to increase productivity, save energy and increase safety in coal mining, ore mining, aggregate and related applications that use belt conveyors in bulk material handling applications. Before the advent of the Belt Conveyor Idler/Roller Bearing Isolator, users had to deal with outdated sealing methods, in particular elastomeric seals to protect idler bearings. Small, spring loaded, contact seal, elastomerics are tiny plastic devices that make contact and rub on the exterior of the idler roll while operating. Elastomeric seals are widely used because they are cheap and because there has not been anything better available–until now. As a contact seal is prone to failure and needs constant maintenance, the entire bearing protection system is somewhat precarious. And when an elastomeric seal quits working, undesirable things happen, much of it without warning.

A huge industry problem
Belt conveyors are in service, around the world, working 24/7 to “trough the belt” or transport bulk materials in coal mining, ore mining, aggregate, hard quarry and related applications including; concrete, asphalt, fertilizer, salt, recycling, wood, pulp and paper, electric utility, grain, construction, agricultural, steel and general industrial. These belts are typically supported by three conveyor rollers, or idlers, positioned at intervals as close as three linear feet. One roller is horizontal and other two are positioned on either side, at an angle necessary to carry the burden. Depending on the specific application, they operate above and under ground and may extend for many miles over mountainous terrain, roads and streams. There may be as many as 10,500 bearings and bearing protection devices on the conveyor rollers per mile of run. In the mining industry, it’s estimated that each site has 3-4 miles of conveyor with idlers strung out the entire length of the belt.

When an idler fails, it is most likely the result of bearing damage caused by contaminants (dust or moisture) entering the bearing environment. Chances are the plastic has failed by wearing out and has grooved the shaft or has burned to a crisp at the point of contact. Once an elastomeric seal fails, contaminants are drawn into the housing, where they condense and contaminate the lubricant and cause the bearings to fail. The end result is a seized roll, belt damage or worse. The idler can burst open, and if it does, metal-on-metal contact can cause a fire. To counter this, most mining operations employ greasers that work around the clock trying to keep idler bearings lubricated in an effort to make contact seals work. But, because lip seals carry a 100% failure rate, eventually users will have to deal with catastrophic belt failure no matter what they try.

A welcome solution Inpro’s Belt Conveyor Idler Roller Bearing Isolator is custom-engineered to suit individual applications. It is easy to install because it conforms to existing clearances, housings and bearing patterns. It can be retrofitted to any existing manufacturer’s top side and return frame assemblies in any belt width or troughing angle for any brand of conveyor. It is available in any idler configuration, including: CEMA B, C,D and will fit any idler type including: transition, impact, troughed, training, return belt, flat carrier, impact, rubber cushion return, self aligning, self aligning return, offset center roll, picking and feeding, unequal length troughed, wire rope, wire rope return, low profile, “V” return idler, variable trough, rubber disc, ceramic, two, three and five roll garland, live shaft and side guide conveyor idlers.

Inpro/Seal Company
Rock Island, IL

Split Shaft Seals Curb V.O.C. Emissions

probsolvers_woodexOriginal MECO® custom shaft seals, made byWoodex Bearing, have proven effective in containing V.O.C. (volatile organic compound) vapors from rotating reactor, dryer, extractor and conveyor driveshafts, resulting in local solvent concentrations of 100 PPM and less. MECO’s patented seal designs are custom-engineered to accommodate diametric shaft run-out of 6mm and more and still hold vacuum. Some models can operate at high temperature without a purge or flush line. Fully split models can be installed on existing machinery with minimal downtime. Seal performance is reliable, with long run-time between rebuilds, even in applications with bent or misaligned shafts. Seal maintenance can be predicted far in advance. These seals are used on rotating equipment in the dry powder and bulk processing industries. FDA-approved materials are available.

Woodex Bearing Co., Inc.
Georgetown, ME


Repairs, Rebuilds, Upgrades

probsolvers3The Stock Perpetual Motion after-sales customer care program can keep you running during critical load periods.New in the U.S., it comes standard with the purchase of a Stock Bulk Material Handling (BMH) product, offering 24/7 support for companies wishing to improve existing plant performance without complete equipment renewal. It starts with a technical assessment of your bulk handling equipment and subsequent status report. From this evaluation, Stock can suggest upgrade or rebuild recommendations that improve performance and enhance operation without the high cost or lost time associated with complete replacements. Stock can perform the recommended service and provide guarantees on reliability and performance. Perpetual Motion can be built into a tailored contract package, allowing customers to upgrade a plant at scheduled intervals and as part of an ongoing program of services. These services typically include routine maintenance, lubrication and call out. Stock

Schenck Process Group
Cleves, OH


Meet All Sanitary Regs With This Easily Serviced/Cleaned Powder & Bulk Conveyor

probsolvers_4Hapman has added the Series 600 (6” diameter) Helix™ flexible screw conveyor to its versatile Hi/LO tilting base conveyor line. This original Hapman-design has the added option of a ribbon-style agitator to assure proper size reduction of material for consistent conveying. As with other Hapman Hi/Lo units, it can be quickly moved from location to location and is easily serviced/cleaned in its lowered position. Finishes can be standard industrial, food grade, or 3A Dairy.Hapman is currently the only manufacturer of flexible screw conveyors that is able to provide this USDA Equipment Acceptance Certificate.

Kalamazoo, MI


“No-More-Lube” Chain Technology

probsolvers5According to its manufacturer, the Renold Syno line sets a new benchmark for chain performance with little or no lubrication. Covering both small and large pitch sizes, this technology has been tailored into three different products that carry the Syno name. They include:

  • Nickel-Plated for hygiene-sensitive applications where lubricant contamination must be avoided
  • Stainless Steel as an option when the application requires enhanced levels of corrosion resistance
  • Polymer Bush to tackle serious wear and fatigue associated with higher-load, heavier-duty jobs

Renold Jeffrey
Morristown, TN


“Like-New” Separators With Genuine Parts And Rebuild Services

probsolvers6Operators of ROTEX® separation equipment can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that maintenance of this equipment is fully supported by the ROTEX Parts & Service group.Whether customers need a single replacement part or an entire refurbishing and upgrade of any ROTEX machine to like-new condition, the Parts & Service group has the expertise and the inventory to keep the company’s customers covered. According to a ROTEX spokesman, the company will completely disassemble the screener, replace worn parts and install the latest technology so that when it sends a piece of equipment back to the customer, it’s the same as a new machine. That’s quite a cost-efficient alternative to purchasing new equipment. The ROTEX line of innovative separation equipment includes Gyratory and Vibratory Screeners and Sifters for Dry Applications, Liquid-Solid Separators for Wet Applications, Automated Particle Size Analyzers and Vibratory Feeders and Conveyors.







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