bucket elevators are employed for

rotary dryers

Weve built a reputation on building the best rotary dryers in the industry. All of our dryers are custom designed to suit the unique processing needs of your material. Whether you require low or high inlet temperatures, short or long residence times, counter current or co-current flow, FEECOs design team can design a rotary drum dryer for your application.

Rotary dryers are a highly efficient industrial drying option for bulk solids. They are often chosen for their robust processing capabilities and their ability to produce uniform results despite variance in feedstock.

The drum is positioned at a slight horizontal slope to allow gravity to assist in moving material through the drum. As the drum rotates, lifting flights pick up the material and drop it through the air stream in order to maximize heat transfer efficiency. When working with agglomerates, the tumbling action imparted by the dryer offers the added benefit of further rounding and polishing the granules.

All FEECO equipment and process systems can be outfitted with the latest in automation controls from Rockwell Automation. The unique combination of proprietary Rockwell Automation controls and software, combined with our extensive experience in process design and enhancements with hundreds of materials provides an unparalleled experience for customers seeking innovative process solutions and equipment.

Rotary dryers are known as the workhorse of industrial dryers. They are able to process a wide variety of materials, and can lend a hand in nearly any industry requiring industrial drying solutions. Some of the most common industries and materials in which rotary dryers are employed include:

Unlike direct dryers, indirect dryers do not rely on direct contact between the material and process gas to dry the material. Instead, the rotating drum is enclosed in a furnace, which is externally heated. Contact with the heated drum shell is what dries the material.

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Our rotary dryers are built to the highest quality standards, with longevity in mind. The best part about buying a FEECO rotary dryer, is that you get the security of knowing your equipment is backed by over 60 years of experience, material and process knowledge, and a proven track record.


Archeologists date the first tools of ancient man as early as 250,000 years ago. Hand axes, stone knives and bludgeons were used in hunting food and for protection. But it was only 10 or 15 thousand years ago that man began to turn his tool-making skill to the production of agricultural implements. His transition from hunting food to raising food marked the beginnings of civilization. Within a few thousand years, larger urban centers of culture known as cities came into existence.

The collection of food, wheat and other grains offered man a number of advantages. Grains could be stored without spoiling. They could be stocked or carried from place to place and prepared in any number of ways. Grain could be traded for other essentials or comforts, eventually leading to the development of commerce and a means of supplying food for city populations from distant fields.

The first step in planting grain is breaking up the soil so that the seed may be covered. The most primitive instrument for this probably was a sharp digging stick or a sharp stone lashed to a handle. Egyptian drawings show the use of a triangular tool made by hinging two sticks at one end. The longer stick served as a handle and the shorter as a blade, swung with a chopping or hoeing action. A hoe of this type dating from 1,000 B.C. has been found intact. Other Egyptian drawings from 2,500 B.C. show such a hoe-like instrument or plow equipped with a pair of handles, drawn by oxen. A similar, one- handled-plow with a single point, dating from 300 B.C. was found in Denmark. In many parts of the world today, farmers use implements almost as crude and primitive.

Great changes in the agricultural revolution came with the development of iron and steel and are today scarcely 160 years old. In 1819, a New York State farmer, Jethro Wood, patented a cast iron plow. Iron was soon replaced by steel, and a series of plowshares were attached to a single frame in an implement called a gang plow. With his tractor, todays farmer pulls a series of steel points fitted to a single frame to help pulverize the soil after plowing. This implement is called a spike harrow and is used to reduce the soil to smaller fragments. Soil kept pulverized and free from weeds retains moisture needed by the seeds and wheat plant.

To sow seeds into soil ancient Egyptians cast seed wheat directly into the mud left by the retreat of annual floodwaters along the Nile. Cattle were driven over the area to trample the seed into the ground. For thousands of years, a more common method of sowing seed has been the broadcasting of wheat scattering it evenly by hand- a procedure still used today in many parts of the world. Working in this fashion, with a sack of grain slung over his shoulder, it would take a skilled man about 90 minutes to sow just one acre of wheat.

The modern farmer seeds his field with a machine called a drill. Seed for planting is contained in a hopper at the top, from which the seed is funneled evenly down into the earth and covered lightly with soil.

As in planting, instruments used to harvest wheat evolved during ancient times from the first sharp stones fitted into a wood or bone handle into skillfully crafted cutting instruments. The adaptation of iron and steel helped man develop the sickle, a balanced tool that was easy to swing. Even after 4,000 years sickles are still widely used. They are light enough for work by women and children. They permit the cutting of wheat at any height, so that the straw can be left standing or cut separately. The importance of the sickle in the history of man reaches a point of symbolism perpetuated in the Russian hammer and sickle device, and in many works of art.

An improvement over the sickle was the scythe- a longer blade with only a slight curve, fastened at right angles to a long wooden handle. Wheat could be cut faster with a scythe, and the worker could stand upright. But the straw had to be cut close to the ground, leaving it attached to the wheat head. A scythe is also a heavier instrument that requires a strong man for prolonged use.

As the wooden plow was displaced by iron and steel, better and more efficient methods of cutting were developed. In 1831 Cyrus McCormick invented a mechanical reaper. The two wheeled, horse-drawn invention pushed a series of moving, scissor-like blades against the grain to clip if close to the ground. A rotating paddle wheel swept the stalks against the cutting bales so they fell on a platform as the machine moved forward.

The modern farmer usually takes a sample of wheat to a local elevator for testing to check moisture content, which determines whether or not it is ready to harvest and can be stored. Wheat is relatively hard and dry when ripe. At this time, the crop is also an easy target for destructive fire, wind, rain or hail during a critical week to 10-day period when the grain must be cut.

A number of methods can be used to thresh out the cut grain and remove the wheat from its glumes. For thousands of years, wheat heads were spread on a plot of bare, hard ground or threshing floor. Cattle or horses were driven around and around until hooves accomplished the removal of the wheat from the chaff. Separation was completed by winnowing-or tossing the mixture into the air so that the wind blew away the lighter chaff and the heavier wheat dropped back.

The mechanical ingenuity that led to the development of a reaper also led to the development of the threshing machine. Industrialization- the use of new sources of power in steam and internal combustion engines, the improvement of transportation, and the growth of cities with greater need for food- served to revolutionize agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the time required for cultivation and complete harvest of one acre of wheat declined from an estimated 83 hours to little more than two man-hours. The invention of several machines made this saving possible.

One of the inventions, the threshing machine, used power fans to separate the chaff from the grain. The machines were expensive and often purchased by companies of farmers or independent businessmen. Local groups called threshing rings were formed of ten to twenty-five growers, and the farmers would cut and shock the grain in the fields belonging to members. The shocked grain was hauled in from the field and fed into the threshing machine. Chaff and straw were blown out into the pile on one side. Clean grain poured into a wagon or bags on the other side. The threshing rings also hired itinerant workers from the cities. This annual migration of thousands of harvest hands came to an end after the end of the First World War with the development of the combine, first as a unit to be drawn by horse or tractor and finally self propelled.

Wheat is transported from the field to a storage facility and eventually to a mill. Since prehistoric times, the goal of milling has been the separation of outer bran and germ from the inner, more digestible, endosperm of the wheat berry. While primitive man probably simply chewed wheat as food, and later learned to parch it for easier eating, archeological excavations of even the earliest known villages indicate forms of grinding.

The teeth of people from excavated villages dating back to 6,700 BC show no signs of wear that would indicate they chewed wheat. Apparently those early people already knew the use of stones for milling wheat. Pairs of stones, one for pounding or rubbing against another, are found at sites of ancient settlements in almost all parts of the world. Although crude, the pounding or rubbing of whole grain effectively reduces the kernel into flour or meal.

The pounding of two stones together would create wear at the point of impact. A depression was created. If two stones of the right shape are rubbed together the same wearing action evolved into simple mills in which wheat was poured in from the top and flour emerged from the grinding surfaces. The ancient Egyptians used saddlestones and mixed their crudely sifted four with a liquid containing natural yeast to create loaves of leavened bread in many different shapes and varieties. The process is illustrated in crude murals found in Tombs along the Nile River.

The addition of levers to millstones gave millers more power to grind greater quantities of wheat. The extension of the top stone made a hopper for the grain, a Grecian invention, called an hourglass mill. For thousands of years, flour for mans bread was produced by mills of exactly the same principle, modified to harness the power of men, horses, or oxen, or water, or wind power geared to turn the stones one against another. Fabric or mesh was used to sift the flour even as today, and the stones were dressed or scored with furrows to direct the flour out from the center to the outer edge of the grinding surface. A combination of sifting and grinding produced white flour.

The application of wind or waterpower to the task of turning the grinding stones made possible larger mills with increased output of flour to sell in bigger markets. The Romans are believed to have been the first to use waterpower for milling flour, about 100 B.C.

In the 19th century, the industrial development that made possible the invention of reapers and threshing machines was also reflected in mill design and construction. Power carried by shafts, belts and gears was used to turn one or a series of stones. Water began to displace wind as a more dependable source of power and larger milling plants were built near sources of waterpower.

An American millwright, Oliver Evans, introduced screw conveyors to move flour and wheat horizontally and bucket elevators to lift grain and its milled products called grist. He assembled these machines, together with sifters or bolters, in the first continuous system in which wheat was milled into flour as a single uninterrupted operation. Machines were also added to clean the wheat to produce purer flour.

The gradual adaptation of industrial techniques and the dependence on water as a source of power, together with improved transportation by barge or rail and the expansion of the wheat lands westward, forced the shifting of milling centers in the same direction. From New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, the center of milling represented by the largest output of flour moved progressively to Rochester, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Buffalo-wherever the ever changing equation of transportation advantages and lower power costs combined to make wheat readily available and the shipment of finished flour more economical..

The use of harder wheat, initially imported from Canada in the middle of the 19th century, as well as the mechanization of milling, encouraged the widespread adaptation of a method called New Process. First used in Hungary, the miller using the New Process set his mill stones farther apart to crack rather than crush the wheat. He slowed the turning speed of the millstones at the same time to reduce the heat of friction and to grind and separate the wheat gradually into bran and white flour.

The stone grinding of wheat soon reached a high degree of proficiency, milling at extration rates that produced about 72 percent flour and 28 percent millfeed. Only a few workers were needed to tend the machines and handle the grain and flour. In 1870, the average mill employed fewer than three persons. Flour milling is perhaps not only one of the oldest industries, but also the first fully automated manufacturing process in the history of man.

The New Process mills in the United States used repeated grinding and bolting to eventually produce excellent white flour, equal to the best of Europe. Stone-ground whole wheat flour is occasionally featured as premium flour even today.

In the United States of 100 years ago, almost every settlement where there was a source of waterpower included a small community mill. Although the trend was toward larger plants of merchant mills that produced flour for sale commercially in larger market areas, the smaller grist mill, grinding either wheat or corn and sometimes alternating as a sawmill, continued to operate. In 1870, more than 22,000 mills served the total population of about 30 million people. Most of the small grist mills were driven by waterpower.

The invention of the steam engine by James Watt in 1769, the introduction of the more efficient roller mill system, and the application of the middlings purifier, combined to make possible model milling. The steam engine could be geared directly to the turning of millstones or employed to raise water into reservoirs, freeing the miller from his dependence on sources of natural power. Watt designed an English mill powered by steam in 1780. Less than 30 years later, Oliver Evans used steam to drive a Pittsburgh flour mill. By 1870, steam was used in 5, 383 of the 22, 573 flour mills in America.

The first mention of rollers to replace grindstones first occurred in 1558 with the publication of an engineering handbook by an Italian, Agostino Ramelli. His drawings illustrated a number of devices later adapted to modern milling. In 1662, another mechanical genius, G.A. Bockler, developed a mill using two corrugated rollers together with an agitating device for sifting the grind. Eventually the use of rollers for milling was widely adopted in western and central Europe. A concentration of roller mills in and around Budapest gave the name, Hungarian, to the process.

Word of the new roller process came to America. In the beginning rollers were used in combination with grindstones. An all-roller mill was constructed and operated briefly in Philadelphia in 1876. The first installation of commercial importance was made in Minneapolis in 1878.

Roller mills offered several advantages. They eliminated the cost of dressing millstones. They permitted longer, more gradual extraction, or the making of a larger amount of better grade flour from a given amount of wheat. The product itself was more uniform, cleaner and more attractive. Rollers were superior for milling harder bread wheats, reducing the kernel slowly into flour fragments to separate the bran. Roller milling also made possible the construction of larger, more efficient mills, hastening the abandonment of community mills and stone grinding.

The third factor in the milling revolution, with new sources and application of power and the roller system, was the use of the middlings purifier. Edmund La Croix in Minnesota first constructed this machine in the United States in 1865. It first filled an urgent need in the making of flour by the New Process method and was later adapted to roller milling. Flour made from endosperm particles free of bran is usually the highest grade, and the New Process yield of this type of flour was small. The middlings purifier improved the yield.

Rather than working the entire wheat berry into a powder in one grinding, a miller using the gradual reduction process strives to break up the endosperm into bran free granular middlings or farina. Regrinding this material makes the best grades of flour. In the LaCroix machine, the coarse middlings passed over a vibrating screen. An upward current of air lifted off most of the branny particles, or purified the middlings.

Air currents produced by fans had long been used in milling to clean wheat. Bolting cloth to sift the flour and obtain finer granulation had been employed for hundreds of years. La Croix put the two together for a more versatile and efficient system of flour separation. An earlier process to separate bran from middlings had been patented in 1865, and flour produced with it was know as patent, a name still applied to more refined grades of flour. The invention and use of the middlings purifier made possible the continuous improvement of the flour stream as progressed through a mill to the final product.

The second half of the 19th century was a period of immense development and change in flour milling. Hundreds of patents were issued for mechanical purifiers, sifters, cleaners, dust collectors, grain washers and other milling equipment. Together, these improvements and refinement of the basic process- separating the outer bran and germ from floury, inner endosperm- made possible the modern mill.

Wheat arrives at modern mills and elevators by ship, barge, rail or truck. Chemists in product control, who inspect and classify grain, take samples of each shipment. A small quantity is milled into flour. The character of the wheat itself, its milling and baking qualities, determine how it is handled. Different wheats are usually blended before milling to achieve the desired end product. Similarly, different types of flour are blended to customer specifications and to provide desired baking characteristics.

The average bushel of wheat weighs about 60 pounds. At the standard extraction rate, providing about 72 percent flour and 28 percent mill feed, approximately 2.3 bushels of wheat are required to produce 100 pounds of flour.

A simplified schematic flow chart of 20th century milling is available by selecting theHow Flour is Milledlink. The flow chart displays the elementary steps in processing wheat into flour and explains the use and value of each separate machine. It is quite probable, however, that no two flour mills will ever be quite alike in terms of an exact sequence, placement or identity of machinery. The men who build the machinery, millwrights, constantly modify and improve the equipment according to the suggestions of technicians or the millers themselves. Equipment size, shape, housing, source of power and daily capacity all serve to individualize each flour mill.

As with the wheat itself, the composition of individual flours varies, depending on both the wheat and milling process. As the protein content of the flour increases, carbohydrate decreases. The mineral content varies with the grade, with lower grades generally showing higher mineral or ash values. Whole wheat or graham flour, as the name implies, contains everything in the wheat berry including bran and germ. Whole wheat flour is higher in protein than white flour milled from the same wheat.

bucket elevators | manufacturer | bulk material handling

Bucket Elevators are used to elevate bulk materials vertically. A Bucket Elevator consists of a series of buckets attached to a belt or chain with pulleys or sprockets located at the top and bottom of the unit. The buckets are located in a casing or housing to contain the material. The bulk material is loaded into each bucket as the bucket moves an inlet point. Conveying capacities up to 20,000 cubic feet per hour can easily be handled with Bucket Elevators.

bucket elevators - kotzur

A series of plastic or metal buckets are mounted on a belt and driven by a gearmotor attached to a pully in the elevator head. Material can be fed into the down leg, or the up leg of the elevator boot depending on the requirements of your facility.

Kotzur offers a self-cleaning boot, which minimises the amount of material remaining in the boot once the conveying run has been completed. This reduces the maintenance hours required for facility operation. Materials of construction include mild steel with a hot-dip galvanised casing, and full stainless construction. Other materials and finishes are available on request.

Kotzur Group acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live and gather as employees, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

5 advantages of bucket elevators | mind my business

Technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives. As more modern gadgets are introduced, they start to find places in our daily operations. This doesnt just affect us on a personal level, but also on a professional one. Many industries and manufacturing businesses are investing more and more in new technology to make operations run more smoothly.

One such piece of tech is known as the bucket elevator. Sometimes called a bucket conveyor, the bucket elevator has numerous industrial applications. If you want to move a type of material vertically, this type of elevator can help.

In this type of elevator or conveyor system, a number of buckets are connected to each other. This is typically done on a strong chain. The way the elevator (either a continuousbucket elevatoror a centrifugal bucket elevator) works is through the movement of that strong chain. As the chain or belt is rotated, the buckets are driven upwards or downwards. Of course, the term elevator comes from the vertical movement. Depending on the design, speed, and capacity of the bucket, the system will either work more or less efficiently.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of the bucket conveyor system is its ability to transport materials much more easily. The bucket is also capable of much more gentle handling than workers are. A manufacturing facility that has a continuous bucket elevator can transport large amounts of materials much more easily and it can easily give a business a leg up on the competition in terms of sheer transportation capacity.

Depending on the hopper or bucket you choose, your elevator can haul bulk material with its ongoingcentrifugal force. Plus, since bucket elevators are designed to be incredibly durable, you dont have to worry about spillage. The bucket elevator is designed to remain upright and can prevent material damages.

No matter your project or your transportation needs, most bucket elevators can operate in almost all types of weather. This means that your products wont get stalled out or halted by inclement weather. As you know, being unable to complete a job can cost you time, money, and energy.

Buckets can come in many shapes and sizes depending on the overall needs. On top of this, many bucket elevators are designed to have a much smaller footprint compared to more traditional conveying methods. This saves a good deal of energy consumption and also saves on some much-needed factory or plant floor space. Commonly, bucket elevators are able to be customized to specific needs and project requirements. On top of this, bucket elevators can be crafted with a wide variety of materials, including stainless steel, carbon steel, and more.

Many industrial plants and manufacturing facilities constantly have to review theirexpenses and overheadto ensure that projects are staying on schedule and arent going wildly over their costs. Of course, this also builds off of some of the other advantages of the bucket elevator. Since its a weather-resistant system that can handle large capacities more effectively, its a great way to manage projects more smoothly. Bucket elevators are also incredibly helpful for streamlining operations which is also a major money-saver for businesses.

Many industrial and manufacturing businesses rely on bucket elevators to handle a large number of their transportation needs. As long as the machinery is properly maintained and regularly cleaned, the system can last for quite a while which makes it an excellent investment for facilities. You can find bucket elevators at competitive prices, and youd be surprised just how effective they truly are.

bucket elevators (products) - barbieri

Our belts for bucket elevators are used for vertical conveyance of material and are employed in many sectors. They require little space to overcome even great differences in level, as they develop in height. Given the structure of the conveyor, it is always important to pay attention to the risk of explosions caused by flammable dust. This can be solved by installing belts made of special and specifically certified compounds. Our beltsfor bucket elevators can have textile (FLEXOSIL) or metal (SIDERSIL) carcasses.

The core is made of synthetic weft and warp fabrics with reinforced weft to better withstand stresses from the buckets, especially during loading and unloading phases. Fibers are appropriately treated for low elongation and high Flexibility. The top and bottom covers, generally having the samethickness, protect the carcass and at the same time embed the heads of the fastening bolts. FLEXOSIL belts are produced with cut edges; (see cover table).

The core is made of a warp of metal cords, separated by rubber cushions from the top and bottom weave, also made of metal cords. Cords are made of twined strains to achieve maximum penetration and consequent bond of the rubber (fundamental especially in the presence of high temperatures). ST metal elevators can achieve the highest breaking strengths, up to 4000 N/mm. On specific request SIDERSIL ST belts can be made without longitudinal cords at the point where they are perforated. SIDERSILST belts are produced with molded edges; (see cover table).

The core is made of an open-structure warp of metal cords which interweaves with the high elasticity weave; as a result these belts feature high tensile strength and low elongation. The weft is made of a double row of rigid offset cords, one above and one below the warp. The main advantage these cords offer is togive the belt the transverse rigidity necessary for optimum conveyor performance as well as to make sure that the screws do not damage the belt or that the bolts do not come out. The maximum breaking strength is 2000 N/mm. SIDERSIL SW-RE belts are produced with molded edges; (see cover table).

Our belts for bucket elevators are used for vertical conveyance of material and are employed in many sectors. They require little space to overcome even great differences in level, as they develop in height. Given the structure of the conveyor, it is always important to pay attention to the risk of explosions caused by flammable dust. This can be solved by installing belts made of special and specifically certified compounds. Our beltsfor bucket elevators can have textile (FLEXOSIL) or metal (SIDERSIL) carcasses.

The core is made of synthetic weft and warp fabrics with reinforced weft to better withstand stresses from the buckets, especially during loading and unloading phases. Fibers are appropriately treated for low elongation and high Flexibility. The top and bottom covers, generally having the samethickness, protect the carcass and at the same time embed the heads of the fastening bolts. FLEXOSIL belts are produced with cut edges(see cover table)

The core is made of a warp of metal cords, separated by rubber cushions from the top and bottom weave, also made of metal cords. Cords are made of twined strains to achieve maximum penetration and consequent bond of the rubber (fundamental especially in the presence of high temperatures). ST metal elevators can achieve the highest breaking strengths, up to 4000 N/mm. On specific request SIDERSIL ST belts can be made without longitudinal cords at the point where they are perforated. SIDERSILST belts are produced with molded edges(see cover table)

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bucket conveyors: frequently asked questions

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By James Bransfield, UniTrak Corporation Ltd. Bucket conveyors are used quite frequently in many bulk material conveying applications. However, many aspects of bucket conveyor design, features, and performance are not always well understood in the marketplace. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about these types of conveyors.Q: What is the difference between a bucket conveyor and a bucket elevator? A: Although the terms bucket conveyor and bucket elevator are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle differences in meaning. The term bucket elevator is the more traditional and perhaps more frequently used term. It is often used to refer to vertical conveyors that are used in agricultural and farm applications to move grain and other bulk commodities. Bucket elevators typically scoop product up with rapidly moving fixed buckets and discharge the material using centrifugal force. Bucket conveyors, in contrast, are positive discharge conveyors, where the buckets are held in an upright position and discharged using mechanical or other means. Bucket conveyors are typically used in situations where the gentle handling of product is a primary concern.Learn More about Conveying at the International Powder & Bulk Solids Exhibition & Conference, May 3-5, 2016

Q: What are the size limitations of a bucket conveyor? A: Theoretically, a bucket conveyor of almost any size could be constructed. Practically, however, there are limits on the heights and lengths that are achievable with current technologies. In many applications, the objective is to achieve your vertical conveying requirements while using the least amount of floor space. Equipment height, or discharge elevation, can vary by manufacturer. For example, we have made bucket conveyors with discharge elevations of 120 ft, and it is possible to go higher with tandem belting. However, for many applications, discharge elevations in the range of 8 to 40 ft are more typical. Z-type bucket conveyors are frequently used to transverse long horizontals when it is desirable to avoid a transfer to another piece of equipment, or where space is too limited to allow for another horizontal conveyor.Q: What are the power requirements of a bucket conveyor? A: One of the major advantages to bucket conveyors is the lower power requirements of the equipment. With the weight of a loaded bucket assembly on either side of the vertical elevation of the conveyor being equal, the system is in balance. The only power required is that needed to overcome the inertia of the system and the weight of the material being lifted. Consequently, well-designed bucket conveyors can be operated with relative low energy requirements.Q: How should a bucket conveyor be fed with material? A: As with any conveyor, accurate infeed control is critical to ensure successful material handling when the conveyor is operating. Material should be delivered to the bucket conveyor in a uniform or metered fashion this prevents any sudden increase in the amount of product being introduced into the conveyor. Any dramatic changes or surges in input material can cause the buckets to overfill, causing material spillage. Often, vibratory feeders, screw conveyors, belt conveyors, and rotary valves are used to deliver material to a bucket conveyor in a uniform and consistent manner. Q: Is it preferred to feed a bucket conveyor from the side or from the end? A: Usually, material can be fed into a bucket conveyor from the side, end, or from directly above the buckets. In most cases, feeding in-line with the buckets achieves a more uniform distribution of material within the buckets. Feeding from the side, however, seems to be a more common method. Using this method may result in material piling up within the middle of the buckets. This problem may be alleviated by using a bias cut feeding pan or chute.Q: Are bucket conveyors suitable for outdoor applications? A: Bucket elevators are suitable for use outdoors. Typically, bucket conveyors for outdoor applications use stainless steel fasteners to prevent corrosion and rusting, and are often fully enclosed to protect the internal components.Q: How much material can a bucket conveyor handle? A: The capacity (or more properly, capacity rate) of a bucket conveyor defines the quantity of material that the equipment will convey. Bucket conveyor capacity, or capacity rate, is synonymous with throughput rate. The capacity of any particular equipment design is usually a function of bucket size, number of buckets per foot, and the unit operating speed. Bucket conveyor capacity is usually expressed as the maximum throughput achievable, given a bucket fill percentage and unit operating speed.Q: Can a bucket conveyor be stopped and started when it is fully loaded with material? A: Yes. Most bucket conveyors can be stopped and started when fully loaded with material. However, anti-rollback devices are required as a safety feature to prevent full buckets from travelling backwards when the conveyor is stopped.Q: How easy is it to clean a bucket conveyor? Cleaning of a bucket conveyor can be a significant issue in many applications. These types of applications are most commonly found in the food industries, such as snack food, vegetable and fruit processing, confectionery, pet food, and others. In applications where the cleaning of a bucket conveyor is an essential activity, using equipment of an open frame/tubular design is preferred. The tubular design allows cleaning fluids to reach all operating components and dissolve any accumulated material. Equipment with an open/tubular design also allows for faster drying times. Where it is not practical to use equipment of an open frame/tubular design, a bucket conveyor may be cleaned using a variety wet or dry cleaning methods, such as hand-wiping buckets, spraying the unit with hot water or steam, or using compressed air or vacuum suction. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. Increasingly, Clean-In-Place (CIP) systems are being used on bucket conveyors for sanitary wash-down applications. These systems require minimal operator involvement, can be made to run automatically, and may be used with foaming cleaners. A disadvantage of CIP systems are that they do not permit the continuous inspection of the cleaning effectiveness.Q: Can a bucket conveyor be used in hazardous or explosive applications and environments? A: In some applications, the risk of an explosion is real when the material being conveyed has a propensity to give off fine dust. In such conditions, the presence of a spark or flame can lead to a dust explosion. The consequences of such explosions can be severe, even catastrophic, resulting in possible loss of life and significant facility damage. In applications where the risk of explosion is real, a fully enclosed bucket conveyor outfitted with explosion-proof options and compliant to European ATEX or similar North American directives should be employed. Key equipment features to look for include the following: Fully enclosed or open designs may be employed. A fully enclosed design has the advantage of being completely dust-tight. These units have gasketing between sections and around all access doors to ensure dust-tight operation. Explosion-proof motors and complete grounding of the electrical system, including speed sensors and ionizer assemblies, to dissipate any electrical charge buildup The provision of conductive bucket assemblies, such as those with static-proof plastic buckets and joint strips, and a rubber belt drive, will prevent the accumulation of static charges. Unpainted pulleys and shafts to ensure a completely conductive path to ground Conductive grease in bearings to dissipate any static charge buildup Ground straps and grounding wire provided through the entire frame assembly to ensure a fully conductive path to earth Ability to operate under a nitrogen purge to eliminate the accumulation of any explosive atmosphere within the machine No interior ledges on which explosive dust can accumulateQ: What are the typical maintenance requirements for a bucket conveyor? A: Cleaning, lubrication, and tensioning are maintenance activities that are usually required on most bucket conveyors. Although the operating environments and the material being handled can vary significantly, cleaning of the conveyor is usually the most crucial maintenance activity. Unless the accumulation of fines is cleaned out periodically, these accumulations can lead to serious problems such as damaged buckets, or even a catastrophic failure of the drive chain. Lubrication and tensioning requirements depend on the particular design of the bucket conveyor being used. Most positive discharge bucket conveyors use a metal roller chain to lift and suspend the buckets. Such chains require periodic lubrication and tensioning. Other bucket conveyor designs use a molded rubber chain, internally reinforced with stainless steel cables, which does not require any lubrication or tensioning. Most bucket conveyors use bearings to support the main sprockets or pulleys, which require lubrication depending on the duty and exposed environment. James Bransfield is the engineering team leader for UniTrak Corporation Ltd. UniTrak manufactures the TipTrak line of bucket conveyors. For more information, contact Bransfield at [emailprotected], or visit www.unitrak.com. 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