PROK has just released a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) roller which, the company says, is lighter, more durable and avoids secondary conveyor damage in the event of a failure, reducing the unscheduled downtime that costs mining companies millions of dollars in lost productivity annually.
PROK Global Product and Engineering Manager, Ray Anderson, said the new roller was specifically designed for high speed and large tonnage applications where reliability was crucial.
“Conveyor rollers are a big cost and can cause huge risk to an operations output,” he said. “A mine or port facility with a large conveyor system will often need to replace several rollers in a day, and that requires a lot of maintenance manpower.
“If a traditional steel roller breaks it can damage the conveyor belt and the whole conveyor system can go offline, so the mining industry has been steadily moving towards lighter, more durable rollers made of advanced composite materials.
“Reliable rollers are crucial to maintaining production levels. If a conveyor stops due to roller failure, you start losing money.”
The global conveyor component manufacturer says it pioneered the use of lightweight HDPE material in conveyor rollers over 10 years ago searching for a solution that would not damage the conveyor belt in the event of failure, while reducing the risk of manual handling injuries when rollers were being installed or changed out.
Built on more than 18 months of research and development, its latest solution is state-of-the-art, taking low maintenance rollers to a whole new level, PROK said. Using a specially formulated reinforced polymer matrix, the lightweight, belt-friendly, wear-resistant roller has been created for heavy-duty applications.
Incorporating features to lower maintenance costs and a high-performance bearing housing to ensure there is no risk of end-cap walk over time, PROK HDPE delivers the reliability that can help mining companies increase production and improve safety, according to the company.
The HDPE rollers are made from a specifically engineered high-density polyethylene, which means they are suitable for corrosive environments. They also have a premium seal arrangement (with low friction properties to ensure low break away mass and run resistance during operation) and come in a range of sizes to suit a variety of mining operations and applications.
In what PROK claims to be a world first, the new HDPE roller also includes visual wear indicator technology to assist mining companies in improving their maintenance planning.
The original PROK yellow tube combines with a green inner layer to act as a visual wear indicator for maintenance teams so they can better plan their roller changeouts. This innovative feature will help customers to simplify idler maintenance and reduce costs, according to the company.