Tag Archives: material handling

Syntron Material Handling to be acquired by Kadant

Tupelo (MS), USA – Kadant Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Syntron Material Handling Group, LLC from entities affiliated with Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Syntron is a leading provider of material handling equipment and systems to various process industries, including mining, aggregates, food processing, packaging, and pulp and paper.  Continue reading Syntron Material Handling to be acquired by Kadant

Coperion K-Tron at K 2016: New developments for high-accuracy feeding and conveying

Niederlenz, Switzerland (October 2016) – At K 2016, Coperion K-Tron will present a variety of new developments at stand B19 in hall 14. The new Electronic Pressure Compensation (EPC) system will be shown as well as a modified version of the Smart Flow Meter, which provides high accuracy feeding at high feed rates. The K-Vision line controller will also be on display.

Continue reading Coperion K-Tron at K 2016: New developments for high-accuracy feeding and conveying

Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 – A Photo Gallery

The One Stop Event for Material Handling and Processing – POWDER & BULK SOLIDS INDIA 2015    –     EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE

Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015, South Asia‘s most important industry gathering for process engineering and bulk solids handling was held at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre from February 18 – 20, 2015. The exhibition and conference was organized by NuernbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd. in co-operation with Vogel Business Media India Pvt. Ltd.

The grand inauguration of Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 was represented by industry dignitaries like Ashish Khanna – Tata Power Company Ltd., Prof. Dr. V.K. Agarwal –  Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India, Prof. Avi Levy – Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negav, Israel, Prof. Dr. Mark Jones – The University of Newcastle, Australia, Petra Wolf – Executive Director, International Division, NuernbergMesse GmbH, Mr. Bernhard Steinruecke – Director General, Indo German Chamber of Commerece, Mr. H. Ramakrishna, Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd., Mr. B. V. Sambhashivan, Independent consultant, Mr. R.S. Pandey – Former CEO, Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd., India, Rajesh Nath – Managing Director, German Engineering Federation (VDMA), Gerd Kielburger – Editor in Chief, Vogel Business Media GmbH & Co. KG and Sonia Prashar – MD, NuernbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd.

As in the previous years the exhibition was accompanied by a high quality conference and technical workshops session presented by eminent experts from relevant industry. The 3 day event provided an International platform for knowledge transfer, networking & business. 78 exhibitors from eight countries showcased their latest products and technologies, innovations and new products for material handling and process industry at this one stop event to an audience of 1971 highly qualified trade visitors.

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 Sonia Prashar – MD, NuernbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd., said, “Powder & Bulk Solids India continues to play a niche role as India’s largest trade shows for Powder and Bulk Material Handling. It provides a perfect platform connecting leading suppliers with the decision-makers in the Indian Powder and Bulk industry. The first day of Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 witnessed a rousing opening as quality visitors kept streaming in, right from the time the event was inaugurated.”

“Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 continues to attract the best talent in the industry who are congregating on one common platform. The industry needs to find sustainable solutions to coexist in a mature market and we are happy that the event has addressed those issues to a certain extent.” Stated Mr. Ashish Khanna, The Tata Power Company Ltd.

Milind Pathak, Director – Indian Operations, Portasilo says, “This is our first participation at Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015. We are proud to say that Powder & Bulk Solids India is the right platform to connect with the relevant audience. The potential of this industry grows with the development of our country therefore; the reason for our participation is not just to sell our product but to acquire knowledge of the market conditions. The visitor turnout has been good as there were quality customers.”

Prasanna Veeraraghavan, General Manager, Rotolok said, “The Bulk Solids Industry is huge and an event like Powder & Bulk Solids India helps us reach out to the right audience. We are participating for the first time in Powder & Bulk Solids India and with the kind of response we have garnered; we definitely look forward for the next year.”

Manjula, Managing Director, Hosokawa said, “We are very satisfied with the outcome of Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 as there were footfalls of new customers. Decision makers are very important for us to generate business and Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 gave us this opportunity to network with them. The event gives us a platform to showcase innovative products. We are happy that people understand our products and respond well to our ideas.”

Anton Benjamin, General Manager – Grinding & Dispersing Systems, NETZSCH said, “Powder & Bulk Solids is a very big industry with different segments. Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 helped the suppliers to grow. The event created a platform where manufacturers and service providers were able to connect with the customers in a much better way.”

Nishant Jain, Application Engineer, Allgaier Process Technology said, “This is our third time participation with Powder & Bulk Solids India. The event helped us get an overview of the industry and the market condition. It acts as a platform to exchange academic knowledge. All in all we are very happy with our association with Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015. We look forward for the next edition.”

Hans-Heinrich Westphal, Managing Director, MBA GmbH said, “Powder & Bulk Solids India 2015 is a great platform for high ranking decision makers. This is our second time participation with Powder & Bulk Solids India and we are very satisfied with the response. The show helped us in networking with potential customers.”

Anant Wagh, Product Manager, Bectochem said, “Our association with Powder & Bulk Solids India has been for many years now. The show talks about the powder and material handling which is relevant to our business. We get to meet and interact with other exhibitors which help us get an idea of the market condition.”

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Following its successful Photo Gallery of the PBSI 2012 venue (37,503 visitors/readers since April 27, 2012) we present again some impressions, this time with photos from the organiser.

Please forward this link to your friends and colleagues so that they may consider exhibiting or visiting this important venue. And please note the date of the next event:

October 13 – 15 2016 at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India.

We invite and appreciate your corrections and proposals for improvement. Thank you.

Comments, corrections, suggestions and photo removal requests should be addressed to wohlbier@bulk-online.com

Copyright © 2015 by Online Services Dr. Wöhlbier

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Hans-Heinrich Westphal, Managing Director (right), MBA Instruments GmbH, Germany

 

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Petra Wolf – Executive Director, International Division, NuernbergMesse GmbH, Germany (center)

 

More information on MBA

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7. PBSI_2015_4099More information on DMN-Westinghouse

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FLSmidth Pneumatic Transport is bulk-online Leader

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More information on Martin Engineering

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Martin Engineering USA is a  “bulk-online Leader”  and a  “bulk-online Sponsor”

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More information on Portasilo Ltd.

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8. PBSI_2015_4138Allgaier Process Technology on the Portal

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More information on BS&B Safety Systems (India) Ltd.

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Petra Wolf – Executive Director, International Division, NuernbergMesse GmbH, Germany, addressing the PBSI 2015 Conference

 

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Mac + AccuRate = Schenck Process

Schenck_Process_300_Logo

Reports on “Parts and Services”

Baghouse Services Utilize 40 Years of Experience

With over 40 years of dust collection experience, our Baghouse Service Program helps customers lower emissions and meet EPA standards. Experienced technicians and trained crews handle inspections, bag changes, repairs, installations both new & used, flow studies, conversions and more for any size dust collector or brand.
Benefits of Baghouse Service Program:
Extended life of bags

  • Lower emissions
  • Reduced downtime
  • Reduced in-house maintenance costs
  • Improved plant sanitation and employee satisfaction
  • Minimized plant liability
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Reduced spare parts inventory

Tech Tips:
Monitoring the Differential Pressure of Your Baghouse
Tips from Schenck Process Service Technicians to ensure your equipment continues to run accurately and efficiently.

  • The differential pressure reading is a simple way to get a quick assessment of how your baghouse is running. It is important to monitor the pressure differential of your baghouse on a regular basis (at least once a day), and make sure the pressure differential gauge is working correctly.
  • If there are any sudden changes in the pressure differential, whether up or down, first make sure the two lines connecting the gauge are not plugged, crimped or damaged.
  • If the gauge is reading “normal” range, and there are no emissions visible, the filter is running properly. If, however, you begin to notice an upward creep in the pressure differential, it can be an indication that the filter bags are beginning to plug and may need to be replaced.
  • If there is sudden upward spike in pressure differential, it is usually symptomatic of an upset condition in the baghouse (for example, a sudden influx of moisture-laden air that decreases bag permeability) or possible problems with the bag-cleaning system.
  • If there is a sudden decrease in pressure differential, often accompanied by visible emissions, may indicate actual failure of one or more filter bags.
  • If you have any questions please contact our Baghouse Service group at 800-821-2476.

Schenck Process Crossword Puzzle
Test Your Material Handling Knowledge
Schecnk_Process_Crossword_Puzzle
Complete this puzzle and send it to mktg@schenckprocess.com for your chance to win a $100 VISA gift card. Winner will be determined by the most correct answers. In case of a tie a drawing will be held to determine a winner.


Tech Tips:MECHATRON Feeders
Tips from Schenck Process Service Technicians to ensure your equipment continues to run accurately and efficiently.

  • Make sure your flex hopper clamp is above the guide pin on the front of the hopper. This ensures material will never leak from the flex hopper connection.
  • Do not use any chlorine based cleaners on the flexible hopper. If you have questions check with the Schenck Process Service department to make sure you’re cleaner is approved.
  • Make sure your inlet and discharge connections always have a little bit of slack. A feeder on load cells should be “floating.”
  • If in gravimetric mode make sure the feeder remains untouched. Bumping or resting on the feeder while its running can greatly influence the load cells and flow rate.
  • If changing to a new material, contact the Schenck Process Service department to help verify your helix is capable of your required rates.
  • If you have any questions please contact our Technical Service group at 888-742-1249 x3.

Schenck_Process_Mechatron_Feeder


Repair Program Extends Product Life
The Schenck Process Equipment Repair Program helps customer minimize costs, and avoid downtime. Repair work can be done on a wide range of equipment, for both Schenck AccuRate and Mac Process product lines.
Our Whitewater, WI Repair Center offers repairs on Schenck Process weighing and feeding equipment such as: feeders and weighfeeders, load cell modules, counterbalance scales, platform scales, mass flow meters, IDMS valves, iris valves, and controls. Schenck Process service personnel are available for on and off-site repairs and equipment exchange during times of repair. When available, refurbished equipment can be exchanged or rented during times of repair, reducing plant downtime.

Schenck_Process_Repair_Shop

The Valve Rebuild Center located in Sabetha, KS, restores airlocks and vales to peak performance. Services offered include: re-machining of castings, replacement of components (seals, o-rings, package bearings, and shaft blades), sandblasting, painting, re-anodizing, and new actuator packages. Schenck Process technicians will conduct a full inspection of equipment and will send a detailed estimate. Refurbished valves are returned in like-new condition and come with a 1 year warranty.
Schenck_Process_Valve_Rebuild_Center


About Schenck Process
The name Schenck Process is synonymous with more than 125 years of experience and is a strong brand. Originally founded as an iron foundry and weighing machine factory, it has grown to become one of the global market leaders in applied measuring and process technology. In 22 countries on five continents, more than 3,200 employees are developing innovative solutions for weighing, feeding, conveying, screening, automation and air filtration technology processes. The members of the Schenck Process Group are: Schenck Process, Schenck AccuRate, Stock, Redler, Fairfield, Screenex, Pentec, Clyde Process and Mac Process.

 

Playing with Fire? A Guide to Fire Retardant Conveyor Belts

September 2014

If a belt does not perform according to the manufacturer’s claims by wearing prematurely, ripping too easily, disintegrating due to excessive heat or because of oil penetration, the risk to life and limb is relatively small. But if a conveyor belt that is specified as being fire resistant catches fire but does not resist the fire the way that it should do then it will literally ‘convey’ the fire throughout the site. The consequences can be catastrophic.

 

Is cost being put before safety? 

Due to the financial pressures, more and more organisations are being forced to examine their day-to-day running costs and, almost inevitably, seek cost savings. The pressure to cut costs seems to be influencing buying decisions concerning fire resistant conveyor belts but is price being put before safety? The discovery that a belt is not sufficiently fire retardant is only likely to be made when it is too late.

Anecdotal as well as factual evidence gained from extensive laboratory testing certainly indicates that even some of the biggest users of conveyor belts are using belts that are not as resistant to fire as they are claimed to be. In a growing number of instances, many bulk material handling sites that should be using fire resistant belting are operating with non-fire resistant belts simply in the pursuit of ‘economy’.

At the same time, insurance companies are becoming increasingly concerned. According to at least one major insurer, claims for fires directly involving conveyor belts are costing an average of nearly $8 million per claim. To find out more about this highly important and complex subject we sought the guidance of the chairman of the international standards (ISO and CEN) committee and one of the world’s leading authorities in conveyor belting, Sytze Brouwers.

No conveyor belt is fire proof

Fire resistant standards for test methods and specifications applied to conveyor belts are becoming increasingly stringent and can be very confusing. The first and most important thing to bear in mind is that conveyor belts cannot be totally fire proof. Using special additives and chemicals, the rubber used in the top and bottom covers that protect the carcass of the belt and the rubber skim between the fabric plies of the carcass can be engineered to resist fire but the complete structure of the belt cannot be made fire proof. The fabrics used in the carcass of the belt most commonly contain polyester and nylon, which have virtually no resistance to fire. In other words, every belt will begin to burn (and continue to burn) when exposed to a naked flame that has sufficient energy to ignite the belt.

 

What is meant by ‘fire resistance’?

Once a belt is ignited by flame then it will continue to burn until it is no longer exposed to the source of ignition. Although commonly referred to as ‘fire resistance’ within the conveyor belt industry, in real terms it is the ability of specifically designed rubber to self-extinguish once the source of ignition is no longer present.

 

Environments with inflammable dust and gas

EN 12882 is the standard for safety requirements for conveyor belts for general-purpose use (not underground). The most basic electrical and flammability safety requirement is EN 12882 Category 1. For environments where dust or other potentially combustible materials are involved, it is essential that the conveyor belt cannot create static electricity that could ignite the atmosphere. Belts need to be able to allow static electricity to pass through the metal frame of the conveyor structure down to earth rather than allow static to build up. At Dunlop we decided some time ago that the safest approach was for all of our belts to be anti-static and conform to EN/ISO 284 international standards. This means that they can all be used in ATEX 95 (94/9/EC Directive) classified zones. Some people mistakenly believe that all belts used in ATEX classified zones must be flame retardant but actually this is not the case.

ATEX regulations apply to industrial environments where there is a risk of explosion because dust or gas is present in the atmosphere. For those organizations that are buying conveyor belts for use in ATEX regulated areas it is very important to ask potential suppliers for a copy of a certificate provided by an appropriate independent testing authority such as the German Institute Dekra Exam GmBH.

DIN 2218 testing at Dunlop
DIN 2218 testing at Dunlop

 

Test method EN 12881 Part 1. Mid Scale method C
Test method EN 12881 Part 1. Mid Scale method C

Above-ground and general service applications

Because fire safety is such an important issue there are numerous safety classifications and international standards for which there are many different tests used to measure the self-extinguishing properties of conveyor belts. Rubber belts reinforced by layers of textile fabrics (multi-ply) or steelcord reinforcement are the most commonly used type above ground and in general service applications. The basis of most tests for belting used in normal industrial applications is EN/ISO 340. This standard makes the distinction between fire resistance with covers (K) and fire resistance with and without covers (S).

The relevance of “with and without covers” is that as belt covers wear during their operational life the amount of fire resistant rubber protecting the flammable carcass reduces. The best way to decide between ‘K’ and ‘S‘ grades is to consider the material being carried. For moderately abrasive materials then ‘K’ grade is usually perfectly adequate. This also applies to elevator belts. However, if the material is abrasive and tends to wear the top cover quite rapidly then the safest option is be to choose the ‘S‘ grade.

In both ‘K’ (EN 12882 Class 2A) and ‘S’ (EN 12882 Class 2B) grades, the rubber skim that bonds the fabric layers of the carcass together should also be fire resistant. In the case of ‘S’ grade (fire resistant without covers), the rubber skim should be thicker than the skim used for ‘K’ grade. The easiest way to tell if a ‘K’ grade belt has the required thicker rubber skims is to obtain technical datasheets from the manufacturer for both ‘S’ grade and ‘K’ grades and compare the carcass thickness figures.

Another reason why buyers should always request technical datasheets before placing an order is that they include information on the level of abrasion (wear) resistance. The ingredients used to create a fire resistant rubber compound generally have an adverse effect on its wear resistant properties. Consequently, fire resistant belts tend to wear faster and as the thickness of the rubber reduces so does the level of protection given to the inflammable carcass. To avoid premature belt replacement, in the case of purely fire resistance belting, buyers should always demand an average abrasion resistance level of no more than 150mm³.

ISO 340 testing
ISO 340 testing

At Dunlop our rubber compound technicians have proved that it is possible to have the best of both worlds by developing a fire resistant rubber that also has good resistance to abrasion. In fact our technicians have created a compound that has 50% better wear resistance than the DIN Y standard for abrasion resistant rubber. This means that the belt retains its resistance to fire for much longer and at the same time extends the operational lifetime by the same proportion. However, laboratory tests have revealed that this is very much an exception to the rule within the conveyor belt industry.

Poor quality fire resistant belt can be expensive!
Poor quality fire resistant belt can be expensive!EN/ISO 340 testing

EN/ISO 340 tests involve exposing 6 individual samples of belt to a naked flame causing them to burn. The source of the flame is then removed and the combustion time (duration of flame) of the test piece is recorded. A current of air is then applied to the test piece for a specified time after the removal of the flame. The flame should not re-ignite.

The time it takes for the belt sample to self-extinguish is then measured. The duration of continued burning (visible flame) should be less than 15 seconds for each sample with a maximum cumulative duration of 45 seconds for each group of six tests. This factor is of paramount importance because it determines how fire can be effectively carried along a moving belt. The effects of fire being literally ‘conveyed’ to adjoining buildings can be seen in some of the photographs.

Even if a manufacturer states that their fire resistant belt has passed the ISO 340 test, the buyer should still exercise caution. A typical conveyor belt can easily travel more than 40 meters within the 15 seconds sufficient for a belt sample to pass the test but which would still allow the belt to carry flames over a potentially dangerous distance. For this reason our required time limit standard in Dunlop is no more than one second, ideally 0 seconds. Buyers of fire resistant belt are therefore recommended to ask to see copies of the test results and to check that the laboratory that has carried out the tests has EN ISO 17025 certification.

What standard of fire resistance do I need?

 When choosing a fire resistant conveyor belt, establishing the correct level or standard of fire resistance needed for a specific application or environment is of crucial importance. This can present one of the most difficult challenges for users of conveyor belts. For the vast majority of belts being used in the open air, Class 2A or 2B would be perfectly adequate. Class 2A demands that the belt is able to pass the ISO 340 test described earlier with the covers intact on the belt samples (K grade). Class 2B requires that the belt that can also pass the ISO 340 test with the top and bottom cover rubber removed (S grade). As mentioned earlier, the electrical conductivity of the belt also needs to fulfill the requirements of ISO 284.

If you are still unsure of the fire resistant grade of belting needed then it is best to carry out an internal risk assessment. If the expertise for this does not exist within your company then there are a number of external organizations (and almost certainly your insurers) that can perform this function for you.

For conveyors carrying materials that contain oil such as wood chips and biomass (some types can spontaneously combust), rubber compounds that are resistant to fire, abrasion and oil are available. There are, of course, two types of oil resistance – mineral and vegetable. This is yet another important consideration when deciding on the correct type of fire resistant belt so buyers are recommended to be very specific when making requests for quotations from manufacturers and suppliers.

 

Dunlop BV XS conveyor
Dunlop BV XS conveyor

CEN fire test standards

One of the most problematic aspects of fire testing rubber conveyor beltsfor industrial use above ground is that most of the test methods were established many years ago specifically for underground mining belts. Enormously complex and very costly testing has to be made by independent testing institutions. Because of environmental regulations, large-scale gallery fire tests now involve using a 12-meter long container filled with carbon to filter the smoke emissions before being released into the atmosphere. In order to be awarded a safety standard certificate every belt type has to be independently tested. For some tests a minimum of 20 meters of belt is needed

Such tests can easily cost up to 20,000 euros or more. For the manufacturers of solid woven underground mining belts and steelcord belting this is not a particularly big problem because there are a relatively small number of different belt types that have to be supplied for testing in large quantities. Although the test certificates are valid for several years, these large-scale tests present a huge and costly problem to manufacturers of rubber belting for above ground use because there is a much wider range of belt types. Such complex test methods have made it extremely difficult to develop improved levels of fire safety because if a belt sample fails the tests then the technicians have to go back to the drawing board to make further changes to the rubber compound and then embark on another round of expensive tests.

Apart from hindering development of fire resistant belting, it also means that it is very difficult to adequately test those belts that manufacturers claim reach specific levels of fire resistance. This is one of the reasons why there are so many end-users operating conveyors fitted with belts that provide totally inadequate levels of fire safety.

 

New CEN fire test standards to be introduced

The problem has long been recognised by the CEN standards committee and over recent years they have been trying to find a solution. Following recent meetings attended by technical experts from all over Europe, the Committee European de Normalization will be introducing several positive changes in 2014.

Agreement has been reached on using and adapting tests already in existence for quality standards such as DIN and BS that will involve much smaller scale tests using much smaller equipment. This will mean that major manufacturers will be able to experiment and carry out testing in their own laboratories. Ironically, these new test methods will actually be even more demanding than the old, large-scale tests. Major insurance companies are already showing interest and are becoming involved in discussions. For them, and for all genuinely safety conscious organisations, this can only be very good news.

 

Don’t play with fire

Although manufacturers and suppliers may be able to provide test certificates, in some cases the certificate may only relate to the belting that the manufacturer produced for test certification purposes. In reality, the actual belt delivered to site may well not be up to the required standard. For greater peace of mind we would suggest ordering an extra meter of belt and then have that piece of belt tested by an accredited testing authority or laboratory.

The price of not exercising caution simply cannot be calculated.

 

 

The author: Sytze Brouwers is the Chief Application Engineer for Fenner Dunlop BV (Dunlop Conveyor Belting) in The Netherlands.

Fenner Dunlop Group on the Portal 

 

I have an issue with a materials handling system and now where do I go with it?

I have an issue with a materials handling system and now where do I go with it?

This experience and question is being considered all the time as any given materials handling plant is going through this frequently. It can be so painful because the plant management wants it fixed quickly and with as little as possible economic impact.  You and / or your internal resources are completely overwhelmed with the task of diagnosing the problem by yourself and you know that you need help.  You suspect that the original equipment manufacturer maybe offering the most expensive fix with the longest time frame attached to it.  Now what do you do?

At the root of the problem is surprisingly one key item:  You.  What I mean by that is that you let the situation get to you.  This is meant in terms of economic and time frame pressure exerted on you by either management and or the urgency of the project.  Now you make less strategic decisions due to not taking your time thinking through the problem at hand.  What happens is that you attempt fixing the issue yourself even though you do not know what you do not know.  In the end the problem can be made worse and now this can come back and reflect badly on your career.

Planning is everything here.  You do not plan, you plan to fail.  The following is a cheat sheet summary of what you can do to plan through your issue:

  1. Define the problem.  Seems a banality, but this is the top number one reason why no one will be ever be able to help you effectively.  What I mean is for you to define a problem statement and then what you believe the root cause is.
    1. The root cause emerges when you ask yourself and the plant personnel involved in the challenge fives times “why”.  For instance: Why do we experience a low conveying flow rate?  By the fifth why you will have really narrowed it down to the root cause.
    2. Develop a problem narrative in writing and sketch it out.  Sketches preferably should be to scale.  Photos do wonders!
    3. Stay to describing what the equipment status and condition is, rather than what should have been (some folks are afraid to admit that there are issues in the plant, this is no time to be timid!).
  2. This may surprise you, but I would speak with the original manufacturer first about your issue.  This may render totally positive responses and the fastest results to dealing with your issues.  At least you get to know the way how professionals would solve the issue and how.  You can still resort to the other methods of self-help, if the manufacturer blows you off or otherwise does not treat you like he should.
  3. Look at online resources like the Bulk Forum for help.  Here it will be helpful categorizing your issue correctly and with the detail knowledge from point 1 inserted in your request for help.
  4. Look around and ask friends and your connections in the industry.  If you are not connected, now would be a good time to get connected.  One excellent resource is LinkedIn.  It has excellent focus groups that deal with so many situations and if there is not one, start one.
  5. Finally, you can give the good old college try a chance.  Doing this yourself can be as scary as it can be rewarding when you solve the issue.  Point 1 really will come to your rescue as it helps eliminate as many as possible variables.  Make sure to not making changes too quickly and too many at a time such that you can study cause and effect of what you are doing.

Now that you have a pre-flight check list I will leave you to making a few important choices.  The first one is for you to choose actively whether or not you want to make a change.  Scan for the support of your management and their back up as well as their financial commitment.  Nothing is worse than having developed a detailed plan just to be told that neither money nor time will be made available to you.  Then choose to plan your remedy and the resources to do this with.  What problems will you start doing differently from now one?  Choose wisely.

Ralf Weiser