The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly...Sites Seen During A Conveyor Survey

I was surveying a limestone surface plant. I started my day at the truck unloader and had to take a quick pause to snap a picture as I was taken aback by the view. Call me a nerd, but I find it beautiful to look up and see conveyors as far as the eye can see.

The Good

Conveyors help make light work of transporting tons of material. Productivity by definition is the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. Not only do conveyors increase productivity but they reduce the backbreaking labor and inefficiencies of manual methods of moving material. 


I continued my survey and saw this gem...

The Bad

I saw this and immediately realized that this belt had a carryback problem. Sand was sticking to the belt and was dislodged a little bit at every return roller. While this doesn’t represent much cost in lost material, it does require hours of manual cleanup which comes with increased safety hazards and maintenance costs. OSHA would have a field day with this.


As the survey was winding down, one discharge chute caught my eye...

The Ugly

This discharge had been added onto so many times and for so many different reasons, it was hard to see the original discharge. There is nothing majorly wrong with this approach (as long as it is safe), but it sure draws the eye. One thing to keep in mind when altering equipment outside of its initial intention is it could affect the operation. Such as if it was designed to handle a certain amount or type of material at a specific angle or speed and you alter that criteria, the outcome can be affected as well. All I could think was, “oh the stories this ugly transfer point could tell”


My piece of advice to you is: don't just take in the sights and view them as normal. If you see something that stands out to you, say something. Chances are there is a solution to correct the issue as well as provide opportunities for improvement. 

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