Manufacturers commonly use flexible screw conveyors because of their low cost, reliability, straightforward operation and simple construction. This equipment is not complicated, but it should not be cookie-cutter either. Poor performance, excessive power usage, severe wear and material degradation can all occur if a flexible screw conveyor is not specified, manufactured and installed correctly.
Here are 3 reasons why an “off the rack” flexible screw conveyor might not deliver the material handling results you were expecting:
1. It Can’t Handle My Specific Material
Flexible screw conveyors can move many different types of materials. But if those materials affect conveying equipment in a way that wasn’t accounted for when the equipment was being built, there can be problems down the road.
For example, some bulk materials create friction, which can have a negative effect on the material itself and also cause the conveyor’s motor to be overburdened. This can create excessive wear and eventually lead to failure if left unchecked. In other cases, certain materials can build up on the screw and cause it to stall, effectively interrupting production.
2. It Has the Wrong Type of Auger
The screw or auger is the only part of a flexible screw conveyor that moves. That doesn’t mean only one type of screw will get the job done in every application. To get the best results possible from a flexible screw conveyor, it’s important to select the auger type that best suits the material you need to convey.
Flat Wire Augers
Flat wire augers are used for conveying powders or other light materials because the flat conveying surface applies a more positive forward directional force on the product being conveyed and reduces the outward force against the tube wall.
Beveled or Square Bar Augers
Beveled or square bar augers are specifically designed to convey difficult-to-handle or fragile material with minimal product degradation or damage.
Round Wire Augers
Round wire augers are made from a coiled round bar and are mainly used for heavy or highly abrasive materials. The biggest asset of this auger design is its strength and flexibility, which minimizes the load imposed on it by material weight, particle shape or material size.
3. It Isn’t Designed for My mode of Operation
Many applications require their flexible screw conveyors to perform intermittent or continuous operation. In both instances, special considerations must be made to ensure optimal equipment performance.
When conveyors must start and stop in a repetitive fashion under full load, some heavy materials may cause startup issues. To mitigate this problem, modifications can be made to the conveyor that will add to its structural strength and/or reduce the amount of material during startup. Flexible screw conveyors that perform non-stop for extended intervals need to be specifically designed for this type of operation and should be sized to run at an average speed range.
At Hapman, one of our core principles is that our engineers and manufacturing staff will not just pull a piece of material handling equipment off the shelf and give it to you. We create custom-tailored solutions for our customers after listening to their needs and answering important questions about their specific application.