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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Bryant Telescopers for British Gypsum

Fully enclosed conveyor belt tensioners prove the ideal solution at Barrow gypsum mine

OVER time, all operating conveyor belts will stretch and require adjustment to restore optimal tension. Failure to do so will not only compromise handling efficiency, but can also result in unplanned downtime and maintenance and, therefore, higher operating costs. This was the exact problem at British Gypsum’s Barrow mine, near Loughborough.

This situation was not borne out of negligence, as the mine has extremely high standards on all of its conveyors, but it had become virtually impossible for the engineering team to adjust the conventional tensioners that the OEM had supplied with the conveyor system. The existing design was wholly inadequate given the harsh operating environment in which they work.

‘Incorrect tension and the need to stop/isolate the conveyor to clean the tension arrangement was leading to reduced life and tracking problems,’ explained mine manager David North. ‘We needed to make changes and it was precision engineering component suppliers R.A. Rodriguez who provided the solution.’

Output from the Barrow gypsum mine ranges from 700,000 to 1 million tonnes per year and it is an environment in which components regularly become caked with dirt and gypsum dust.

However, the Bryant Telescoper recommended by R.A. Rodriguez has a threaded internal adjustment rod which is totally enclosed and, therefore, protected against dust ingress, rust, corrosion and thread damage, providing both design and performance benefits.

The Telescoper uses standard pillow block bearings which are cheaper and easier to fit than the take-up bearings commonly used on conventional angle-frame tensioners. It also requires a shorter conveyor bed and the four-bolt assembly makes the product quick and easy to fit or retrofit.

In addition, a wide range of designs and modifications are available to tailor the product to specific applications, including take-ups with a linear actuator, spring compression or quick-release mechanism. Although primarily used as belt trainers and tensioners, Telescopers can also be adapted for other uses, such as levelling legs or in any application where controlled linear movement is required.

‘We now have two conveyors running with Bryant Telescopers. The first sets were installed in February this year and the second just a month ago,’ commented Mr North. ‘It’s obviously early days but because we are now able to achieve good tensioning and tracking, I would expect to get longer life with less downtime.

‘The photograph of the Bryant Telescopers on our M1 conveyor (see above) shows they can get completely buried in gypsum dust, which is almost impossible to regularly clean out as part of our ‘clean/lubricate/inspect’ regime because of the guarding and enclosed nature of the arrangement. In these conditions our old type of screw tensioner would have completely seized up.’

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