MoveMaster Chain Conveyor systems utilize the En-Masse principle, whereby bulk materials move across a pipeline through a dust-tight steel casing, gently in a solid, placid column - without dragging or scrapping. This smooth method of conveying avoids internal disturbance and prevents pressure being placed on the material. It also allows for discharge at any opening where the load is permitted to fall away from the flights.
The systems can be flexibly designed horizontally, on an inclined plane, vertically and around bends. Using multiple inlets and outlets, they can also be designed two-way, to convey in both directions.
Not only does the Schenck Process MoveMaster Chain Conveyor incorporate the En-Masse functionality, its versatility also allows it to handle an extensive range of capacities, ranging from 10 to 2,000 tons per hour. They are manufactured in sizes from 200mm wide upwards, enabling them to meet every requirement.
To ensure absolute quality control, the chains are made from high tensile alloy steel forgings and for maximum strength and service life, the chain links are heat-treated, while the flights are precision welded to them. The chain conveyor also features inspection doors that ease access and improve installation speed, as well as tail access that allows for easy, timesaving maintenance.
Often used in combination with the conveyor, the Schenck Process MoveMaster Bucket Elevator offers both belt and chain bucket functionality for light and heavy-duty industry applications. The steel buckets are designed to give maximum throughput while still maintaining the perfect fill and discharge characteristics. All Schenck Process Bucket Elevators are manufactured with heavy duty steel to withstand harsh environments and the elevator chains are again heat-treated and hardened to resist wear when used with abrasive products.
Schenck Process is a leading, global and trusted supplier of bulk handling industrial equipment, who support a variety of sectors including Food, Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals. Mining, Steel & Metals, Sand & Gravel, Cement & Gypsum, Grain & Agriculture, Transport & Automation and Utilities.
Providing New Equipment, as well as Maintenance and Testing Services, with Systems for Conveying, Weighing, Feeding, Screening, Powered Processing, Automation, Air Filtration, Bag Filling & Discharging, as well as Components and Spares.
A recent report estimates that the global gypsum industry will grow by more than 75% in the next decade, largely in response to the construction industry, with wallboard as a primary market driver for the mineral. Globally, the wallboard market is expected to expand at a staggering CAGR of 11.4% between 2019 and 2025.
While this substantial growth in demand is cause for celebration, the industry also has a few challenges to overcome, chiefly the reduction in available synthetic gypsum, and the growing pressure on producers to implement widespread wallboard recycling.
Gypsum wallboard lends a number of benefits in construction that continue to support growing demand for the product. It is cost-effective, resistant to fire, lightweight, offers aesthetic appeal, and has sound-dampening qualities. It meets a variety of regulatory requirements and also helps as a thermal insulator in homes and commercial buildings.
Before the pandemic hit, the US housing market was experiencing a much-needed rebound, with new housing starts up 3.2% in 2019 compared to 2018, and all regions of the country seeing a rise. And while the market took a hit in response to the virus, it quickly came back, surpassing pre-pandemic levels in June, according to industry expert Redfin.
And while its too soon to say for sure how the virus will impact the market in the long term, it has already caused a surge in buyers looking to move out of the cities into less populated areas, a trend likely to push new home builds and renovations.
The pre-pandemic economic rebound was also playing into demand for gypsum as a healthier economy gave rise to more disposable income, bolstering residential remodeling projects. Interestingly, instead of taking a hit from the pandemic, home renovations were one of the few fortunate sectors to see an increase, with homeowners finally able to devote time to the projects they had previously put off. A US Census Bureau report revealed that building materials suppliers and retailers in the home renovation space saw a year-over-year increase of 22.6 percent.
In some areas, a trend toward high-rise condos and rental units is also pushing demand for more wallboard. Cabot Manufacturing recently announced plans to expand their gypsum wallboard plant in Nova Scotia, in large part due to the rise in demand for rentals. However, as COVID makes multi-family units less attractive and pushes more people out of densely populated areas, this trend is increasingly under scrutiny and only time will tell where the proverbial cards will land.
While demand for wallboard booms, some suppliers are facing a challenge in terms of gypsum supply. Many wallboard producers took advantage of synthetic gypsum, a byproduct of the flue gas desulphurization process at coal-fired power stations. According to the Gypsum Association, about half of the gypsum used in the production of wallboard originates from the coal power industry.
Unfortunately, many wallboard producers built their business around the supply of synthetic gypsum, locating plants in close proximity to coal-fired power. But as coal falls out of favor, these wallboard producers are seeing their supply of synthetic gypsum dry up.
The trend is putting pressure on energy firms and preventing some from meeting contractual obligations to wallboard producers. As the cost of synthetic gypsum rises, producers will be forced to pay higher material and shipping costs to secure a source. Sources of mined gypsum are plentiful, but not an equal substitute for all wallboard applications.
In addition to the declining supply of synthetic gypsum, the industry is also facing increasing pressure to reduce wallboard waste, which is produced in large amounts as a result of both new construction and demolition. With demand set to balloon, that pressure is mounting.
When landfilled, gypsum wallboard is capable of producing hazardous hydrogen sulfide gas, a fact that has seen increasing regulation around wallboard disposal in recent years. Further, disposing of wallboard is not a sustainable approach and makes even less sense considering that gypsum is infinitely recyclable and holds several beneficial reuse opportunities.
Though there are a few hurdles to overcome before there is widespread adoption, many companies have already proven that wallboard recycling can be successful, with most focusing on producing either new wallboard, or a gypsum soil amendment from the waste.
The gypsum wallboard market is predicted to experience a significant boost in demand, owing to many drivers, including developing nations and a recovering housing market. As coal-fired power declines, however, acquisition of synthetic gypsum will continue to present challenges for some manufacturers, and the industry as a whole will have to take more action on recycling wallboard.
FEECO has been serving the gypsum industry since 1951, providing ore dryers for preparing mined gypsum for use in wallboard production, as well as a variety of equipment and services focused on processing both natural and synthetic gypsum for use as a soil amendment. This includes batch- and pilot-scale testing, custom equipment design and fabrication for drying, granulation/agglomeration, and handling, as well as a diverse range of parts and service support for gypsum processing operations. For more information on our gypsum processing equipment and services, contact us today!