How Do You Quantify Belt Cleaner Investment?

There are obvious signs that a belt cleaning system is a necessity, and those signs are reactive to a bigger issue.

Common Signs:
  • Material ("mole hills") present along the length of the conveyor 
  • Material carryback burying the tail pulley or take-up pulley
  • Material built up on structure along return side 
More Serious Signs:
  • Employee/contractor injury due to manual cleanup FugitiveMaterialSpillage_Lee
  • Damage to the structure from running into it with machinery
  • Fines from regulatory agencies

Let’s talk about a specific example where you want to ask or already have for a belt cleaner to be budgeted for. You can't seem to gain any traction or get this approved. Why?

Are you stuck in an environment of “this is how we’ve always done it" or "we don't see a problem?" Let’s discuss the easiest way to quantify the investment. But first, we need to realize that while most of us care about the bottom line, we might not understand all that impact it. Things like:

  • Money spent on equipment
  • Material & profit loss
  • Labor time & money
  • Injuries/accidents
  • Premature component replacement

These issues can all be linked to material carryback. So, how do we fully understand (and how do we get others to understand) the value of investing in preventative measures, such as belt cleaners?

The Easiest Way To Quantify Belt Cleaner Investment:
  • Ask the manufacturer to install what they recommend for a solution as a trial (any manufacturer confident in their product should be jumping at the opportunity to do this). 
  • During the installation, clean up all areas around the conveyor belt.
  • Observe the recenly-cleaned area to check if it is staying clean (if this area was an issue previously and was visible to all personnel, that will speak volumes).
  • Track any money spent on manual cleanup around and under this conveyor before and during the trial (if you didn't spend any during the trial but previously had, this would be a very easy way to quantify the expense).

Look for obvious/easy ways to quantify the expense....things you can see and others will notice. In my experience, a few thousand dollars spent on belt cleaning is typically justified within days

Belt cleaning systems are a necessity in most applications. When sized, installed, and maintained properly, belt cleaners can (just to name a few):

  • Boost morale
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Increase gross profit on cost per ton
  • Reduce safety incidents

    More On ROI

Take the time, collect the correct data, and - most importantly - pick the correct manufacturer that will partner with you and see you through the solutions. You can make a difference in your workplace!