One of the most important machines in any coal mine is the bulk conveyor. A bulk conveyor is a conveyor that can carry large amounts of products from one place to another quickly. Conveyors are used in coal mines to transfer the coal and also to transfer dirt, rocks, and other materials out of the mine to make it easier to find new coal sources. Conveyors are such as necessary part of the mining business that the industry can claim the world’s longest conveyor belt, which is nearly 61 miles long.
According to Warwick Smith, the marketing manager at Martin Engineering, the size of the conveyor belts in coal mines play a huge role in the success of the mine. Conveyors that are too small will produce conveyor carry-back, which will slow production by a significant amount. Carry back includes small particles that stick to the conveyor belt and travel back toward the start of the line. Eventually, the particles fall off the conveyor under the conveyor belt, causing problems with the line and increasing maintenance costs. Carry back usually occurs at the joint between two conveyors when one conveyor has more product to transfer than the second conveyor can handle.
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of carry back in a conveyor system is to ensure that all conveyors are large enough to handle the entire load on the conveyor belt without any overflow. Another way to reduce carry back is to install conveyor cleaners. These cleaners can remove any particles stuck to the conveyor, which will help facilitate the conveying process. Pieces that can help reduce overflow and carry back include dust suppression units, effective chute design, the implementation of impact beds and the addition of skirting and settling zones. Some bulk conveyance designs come with the addition of these features automatically.