You run a tight ship. You do everything in your power to manufacture and ship the best material possible. You take care of your employees, monitor safety, and invest in their overall wellbeing. This means you also take care of your equipment. After all, the only way to send out quality products and to take care of your employees is to take care of your equipment. If you have a bucket elevator you will need to clean it from time to time. Even if you’re moving plastics and metals or have a medical-grade HVAC system in your production facility the bucket elevator will become dirty. If you’ve only recently upgraded to include a bucket elevator in your manufacturing plant, you may not know exactly the best way to do this. No worries, as we’ve got you covered.
How to Clean a Bucket Elevator?
Here’s everything you need to know about how to clean a bucket elevator.
What Makes Bucket Elevator Cleaning So Much More Difficult?
The material used in a bucket elevator isn’t all that different from other kinds of conveyor belts and assembly line aspects within your production facility. The main difference is the bucket design. The buckets do not have as much room for you to access inside of the bucket. And if the buckets are on the deeper side it may prove especially difficult to reach in there and clean. Even the easiest-to-clean bucket elevator conveyors are, at the very least, time-consuming. So, if you’re new to the world of elevator buckets or if you’re just now considering the installation of one within your facility do note you’ll need to devote extra time to the cleaning of it. But don’t worry, it isn’t as daunting of a task as you might think. At least that’s the case if you invest in a bucket elevator from our team here at Gough Econ.
While learning how to clean a bucket elevator you must take care of some things, such as mentioned below:
Know Your Material
Before deciding on the best way to go about cleaning your bucket elevator, you need to consider what you’re using your bucket elevator. If you are using it to move non-food materials, you will have a few additional cleaning options. If you are using the elevator to move food, including everything from pet food to produce, you’ll need to use food-safe cleaning options to ensure there is no cross-contamination. If you have other cleaning equipment you use on other areas of the production floor, and different conveyor belts within the transportation set up in your plant, you will be able to use these same materials on your bucket elevators.
Accessing the Elevator Buckets
First, you need to schedule a time where you can perform routine cleaning. You should perform a deep clean several times a year and then you can perform some basic cleaning in between, although it will depend on what you use the elevator buckets for. You should take this time to inspect the elevator buckets and replace anything that is damaged or looks like it is deteriorating. General upkeep will help extend the life of your bucket elevator and reduce any unexpected downtime.
With a scheduled downtime, you should then remove the buckets from the elevator. Don’t try to clean the buckets while still attached as this opens up the possibility of injuries, not to mention it is easy to miss debris within the elevators, or to leave access cleaning solution within the buckets, which then might cause damage to the materials you place inside of the buckets during production. Once you have all the buckets removed, you can easily clean the buckets and inspect the rest of the elevator equipment.
Cleaning The Buckets
As indicated earlier, the best way to clean the buckets will come down to what you use the buckets for. You may end up removing some of these cleaning methods based on what is moved with the buckets.
To start with how to clean a bucket elevator, first, the easiest method and one you might want to consider for general cleaning (such as in between when you deep clean the buckets) is with alcohol wipes. An alcohol wipe is easy to do and will help remove just about all debris and gunk that has built up in the buckets. Alcohol will also help cut through grease that may have started to collect.
For a more extensive cleaning you will want to consider a hygienic cleaning solution. While the bucket cleaning via hand wiped alcohol is one option, a hygienic cleaning uses an industrial washing machine to really get in there and remove debris. This also works well if it has been some time since the last full cleaning. However, keep in mind that if you use the buckets for foodstuff, you likely will not be able to use a hygienic cleaning method on your buckets. Instead, you may be able to perform a steam cleaning. Steam clean is helpful if you don’t have the kind of downtime necessary to dry the buckets completely. Steam cleaning isn’t as thorough as wet cleaning, but it is a good option if you use foodstuff or in between your deep cleaning sessions, and you need something quick yet generally effective.
If you’re short on time, you can always spot clean with the vacuum and compressed air method. This isn’t the best option when you want a thorough cleaning, but it should work in a pinch, especially if you don’t have a ton of downtime to work with.
If you don’t have a ton of downtime in between shifts and stopping everything to clean your buckets isn’t an option, you should consider investing in dual buckets. This way, you can remove all the current buckets and then swap clean buckets in. With the dirty buckets removed, you can clean them without any kind of a rush.
Help With Your Bucket Elevators
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting with bucket elevators or you’ve been using the equipment for some time now; our staff is here to help you with all of your bucket elevator needs. From cleaning to new equipment, we’ve got you covered. And this is exactly how to clean a bucket elevator.