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July 13, 2022

Entering 2nd Half of 2022: Maintenance check for your Bucket Elevator

To ensure proper performance and longevity of your bucket elevator, you need to perform regular maintenance. As we enter the second half of 2022, here is a general bucket elevator maintenance list you need to perform

Drive Chain and Belt

To start with the bucket elevator preventive maintenance checklist, you should inspect the lubrication of your drive chain and belt weekly. Problems with lubrication can cause all kinds of other issues. The last thing you want to deal with is a lack of lubrication. So do this on a weekly basis.

However, the rest of the drive chain and belt maintenance can be done monthly. During your monthly checkups, you need to look into the tracking, tension, and generally, the wear of the chain and belt. By checking it monthly, you can make any necessary corrections now. This way, the repairs are minor and inexpensive. If you put off the repairs to bi-monthly or quarterly inspections, you will likely find additional damage that may, in the end, be more time-consuming and expensive to repair.

Pulleys

Your pulleys are an intricate part of the bucket elevator. Generally speaking, you will want to check the overall wear of the pulleys every month. This shouldn’t take too long as it only requires a visual inspection. While performing the visual inspection, you should also listen for any strange noises from the pulleys. Strange pulleys will indicate a problem with how the pulleys are wearing, and you will need to identify which pulleys are the culprit of the noise.

The rest of the pulley maintenance can be done quarterly. Pulley lubrication doesn’t wear down as quickly as the drive chain and belt, so you can typically apply a new lubricant every three months. The same goes for the mounting bolts. Check the torque of the mounting bolts quarterly when you inspect and change the lubricant.

Bearings

Much like the pulleys, bearing maintenance is broken down into monthly and quarterly activities. For starters, you should check the temperature of your bearings monthly. If the bearings are running hot, it means there is unnecessary torque and friction on the bearings, and they need to be replaced. However, much like the pulleys, you can check out the mounting bolts every three months. In this way, the bearings and pulleys are similar in general maintenance.

Buckets and Joint Strips

Bucket maintenance is generally straightforward and can be done visually. Every month you will want to check for any missing buckets, loose buckets, and general bucket wear. You will also want to conduct the same kind of monthly inspections for the bucket joint strips. Should you find any kind of damage or anything unusual, you will want to replace the damaged buckets and joint strips.

Motor

The motor of your bucket elevator is put under the most strain during everyday use, so that it will require the highest amount of general maintenance. If you haven’t inspected the motor this year, you absolutely need to. In fact, much of the motor maintenance needs to be conducted weekly. The weekly maintenance isn’t terribly elaborate, as all you need to do is check the AMP draw and the temperature. Ensuring the operating temperature is within its desired level and that the motor is drawing the necessary power is a straightforward process. You do need to know the operating temperature, and AMP draw for your motor. This is information found within the owner’s manual of your device. If the motor fails, your entire bucket elevator will fail, so staying on top of motor maintenance is key.

Beyond temp and AMP draw, you need to listen to any unusual noises and vibrations coming from the motor and check the mounting hardware used on the motor monthly. Over time, the movement of the motor can cause the mounting screws to loosen, which in turn may cause the motor to shake, leading to internal damage within the motor. You will avoid these issues by checking for vibrations and mounting hardware monthly.

Controls

Control maintenance is simple enough to do, but you need to stay on top. Once a week, you will want to check the electrical wiring of the controls. Make sure all the wiring is intact, and nothing is becoming frayed. This is as much for safety as it is for general maintenance. While performing these inspections, you should also check the safety controls to ensure everything is operational. If there are safety shut-offs, you will want to exercise the shutoffs once a month just to ensure everything is working correctly.

Frame and Structure

Over time, regardless of the material you use on your bucket elevator, there will likely be some kind of material buildup in various areas of the bucket elevator. You will want to check for the buildup of the product at the beginning (or end) of every shift. Any kind of buildup can lead to significant performance problems. This visual inspection will help prevent problems during the next shift. Make sure to build it into the shift’s routine.

Every month, you will want to inspect for general wear and tear of the frame and inspect fasteners for tightness.

Reducer

Reducer maintenance can be broken down into monthly and quarterly jobs. Every month you should check the operating temperature and, at the same time, listen for any noise or vibrations coming from the reducer. As for your quarterly maintenance, inspect the lubricant level and replace/add lubricant when necessary.

Help With Your Bucket Elevator Needs Is a Phone Call Away

Do you have questions about your bucket elevator? Perhaps you want to upgrade your current setup, but you’re not sure what would work, or maybe you would like more specific instructions on routine maintenance based on your exact equipment? Whatever your questions might be, our staff here at Gough Econ, Inc. is here to help. Give us a call today.

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