Asphalt plant turns to Starclean to reduce clean-up on conveyors

400+ hours saved cleaning and maintaining single conveyor

The challenge

According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) over 25 million tonnes of asphalt is produced annually in the UK, the majority of which is made via sophisticated asphalt mixing plants.

Although a comparatively small part of the asphalt plant, belt conveyors are critical for efficient operation and disruption to the conveyor can severely affect the production process.

A leading national building material supplier was having issues at one of their asphalt plants. Located in the north west of England, the plant was struggling with the excessive maintenance required on the main incline belt conveyor.

The scraper installed on the conveyor couldn’t clean the belt effectively, which led to fine material adhering to the belt in the form of carryback. This accumulated under the conveyor, often in piles measuring up to 1.5m high, and required 30 minutes of clean-up daily. When the material became damp, it would build up faster than it could be cleaned and resulted in the need to divert the attention of the digger to assist with the clean-up.

In addition, the team had to maintain the scraper weekly and it would take around 30 minutes to back off, clean and reset. This was made all the more difficult due to the location of the scraper which required the team to access a confined space.

The site supervisor was looking for a way to reduce time spent on this maintenance hotspot. Hearing about the work ProSpare had done with other sites in the business, he contacted us looking for a better solution to these challenges.

The solution and improvement

Taking advantage of ProSpare’s on-site services, the client arranged for one of our Bulk Materials Handling engineers to visit the plant and evaluate the problem belt. After scoping the equipment and listening to the challenges the site supervisor was facing, our service engineer recommended the under performing belt cleaner was replaced with Starclean.

A Starclean primary belt cleaner with quick release tensioner and 85n tungsten carbide blades was selected. The model is highly effective at removing fines and moisture, while providing quick and simple, user-friendly maintenance.

3 years on, the site supervisor is delighted with the improvements Starclean had made to their operation.

Previously, the team had spent 30 minutes per day cleaning under the belt. Clean-up on this belt is now a bare minimum and the digger no longer required, with only ~10 minutes needed per week as part of standard housekeeping, saving an estimated 350 hours over 3 years.

Maintenance of the scraper itself has also reduced dramatically due to the simplicity and cleaning efficiency of Starclean, from 30 minutes a week to ~5 minutes a month, saving another 72 hours over 3 years.

Collectively, this results in a saving of 422 hours in clean-up and maintenance on this one conveyor alone.

Furthermore, the team commended the durability of the scraper, having only just replaced the blades after 3 years of operation.

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The Site Supervisor stated:

“Installing a Starclean belt cleaner has made a real difference to our plant. We’re really impressed with the performance and our belt is now being cleaned effectively.

I can’t believe how simple the scraper is to maintain and how easy it has made clean-up. The time we’ve saved cleaning can now be spent on other tasks.”

350 hours saved on clean up

over 3 years cleaning under the belt

72 hours saved on maintenance

over 3 years backing off, cleaning and re-setting the scraper

Other benefits:

  • Durability blades replaced after 3 years
  • Simplicity quick-release tensioner for user-friendly maintenance

Products used.