Prairie Dawg Practical
by Tim Holmberg, DEMI Equipment
What do you do to maintain a materials wash plant? Do these plants require only minimal maintenance since they aren’t being used to crush rock down to size? Do they require little housekeeping to keep them clean and clear of rogue material and debris?
Does utilizing a fresh water source to operate the rinsing action or even scrubbing allow the wash plant to maintain a rust-free appearance? What about moving mechanical parts? It seems as though there would be much less to worry about than a self-contained, diesel-driven, remote control-operated piece of equipment. Let’s dive into a few of these questions and see if the answers shed some light on the maintenance of a wash plant.
After working in the maintenance and manufacturing of wash plants from the ground up over my (somewhat) lengthy tenure in the industry, I can definitely say that properly maintaining a wash plant – like any other piece of equipment – will majorly benefit the production output and run-costs for many years. As with most aggregate-related processing equipment, it is imperative to keep tight housekeeping practices.
Keeping a wash plant cleaned and clear of rogue material getting lodged between the screen box and rigid structure holding it in its place allows for best screening action throughout a run period, as well as minimizing any metal disfiguring or premature metal erosion. Also, one wants to stay ahead of the AR wear plate media being worn through and then especially wearing into the parent base metal it’s attached to in order to minimize any material leakage or even contamination of already sized finished product piles. By keeping these AR wear plates in good condition, you can rest assured that the customer receiving your finished washed material will be most happy.
Does providing fresh water make certain the wash plant will maintain a rust-free appearance or structural integrity throughout its life cycle? No, even freshwater usage doesn’t guarantee that after a few years the screen box and structure won’t require a good thorough paint refinishing process, including an on-site sand blasting procedure ahead of a new primer seal coat and high-quality industrial paint.
Some of the best preventative measures one can provide to help eliminate this premature rust invasion is to work at controlling bouncing, flying material projectiles. Just like you would prevent someone throwing rocks at the vehicle you own, you don’t want it to happen to this equipment because it will definitely lead to a shortened, more costly lifespan. Using a little practical ingenuity could protect your investment by prolonging the production lifespan.
Maintaining the internal or external moving parts when they are noticeably needing attention versus letting them reach their actual breaking point can be most beneficial since wash plants can damage themselves extremely if operated for only a few minutes with certain internal parts damaged. Keep spare parts on hand so you don’t have to push the envelope waiting for parts to be ordered and then delivered. This is often time you may not have when dealing with the mechanical aspects. Make sure you read and study the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules and life expectancy of finely tuned, quality-built screen boxes. By performing the scheduled maintenance recommendations you can save valuable dollars on unnecessary welding and machining costs. Whenever these processes are required to get the components back to their operable state, it could lead to the equipment never being as good as it was originally.
Lastly, screen cloth media and all associated components such as clamp rails – right down to the tensioning bolts – are a critical part of maintaining the wash plant’s overall integrity and production output. When any of these components get worn down or even broken, not only does product have more chance to be contaminated, it also lets the screen box itself flex and twist more than is considered acceptable – once again risking the entire wash plant’s structural integrity. So keep a close eye on the maintenance of your wash plant and you will be much further ahead at the years end profits.
If you enjoy these random aggregates and quarrying equipment-based subjects, tune back in for more topics to come. Send me a subject or topic you would like brought to light and any associated questions you would like to have discussed and I will gladly provide my best answer based upon my specific point of view and personal experience.
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Tim Holmberg / 2915 Idea Ave. / Aberdeen, SD 57401 n