Dispersion of particles into the environment, carry-back on the return run of the conveyor and costs for cleaning belts, to name a few – wherever material is transported on conveyors, there remains much room for improvement.
Continental, a leading manufacturer and developer of innovative conveyor technology, offers a non-stick solution that helps to prevent material from sticking to belts and thus solves many problems at the same time.
“We offer ContiClean solutions for superior material release characteristics, for everything from cement to limestone,” says Chris Marchant, global product manager at ContiTech, a Continental AG company. “These ready-to-use conveyor belts not only help customers reduce the costs associated with cleaning belts and systems, but can also protect from belt damage and improve safety outcomes.”
ContiClean is especially useful for companies that transport very fine material, as Marchant explains: “The finer the material, the greater the difficulty with release when transferring it from one conveyor system to the next.
“Since the base material after mining, crushing and additives is a fine powder, ContiClean provides a useful solution – especially for customers operating in the cement sector. In normal circumstances, if the system happens to be completely exposed and it rains, it becomes even more difficult to remove the damp or wet powder.”
Higher cement demand, more sustainability awareness
Given the strong growth in demand expected for cement and concrete, increased sustainability, efficiency, safety, and profitability will play an important role in coming years. According to current forecasts, demand will increase by an average of 2% to 3% per year, mainly due to increasing urbanisation and investments in infrastructure. Based on these expectations, cement consumption will have almost doubled by 2050 compared to today.
“ContiClean supports the production of cement and other materials in being more sustainable through a reduction of dust-borne air emissions, pollution and waste,” Marchant says. “In addition to increased efficiency, the positive impact on the environment is of course a feature that helps companies operating in the cement industry reach their sustainability goals. Especially as the awareness for this topic is increasing.”
A long list of advantages
Standard belt covers and scraper systems may not provide sufficient material release, which can then lead to many adverse effects for production.
“Adverse effects resulting from carry-back issues include material build-up on pulleys, idlers and belt covers,” explains Marchant. “Any one of these issues can lead to increased cover abrasion, belt alignment problems, belt or system damage, and significant increases in the cost for clean-up. All of which contribute to safety and environmental hazards.”
With ContiClean, customers can benefit from increased material transfer, reduced material build-up on pulleys and idlers, increased belt cover and scraper life, reduced maintenance and safety issues, less downtime for maintenance issues, lower operating costs and increased profitability – the list of advantages is an extensive one.
Positive customer feedback, globally
The feedback ContiTech receives from its customers is consistently positive, as Marchant explains: “ContiClean is a global solution, with all regions reporting favourable customer feedback. For example, a system installed at a cement plant located in the United States reduced its carry-back issue by 95%.
“Another reported reducing their material build-up on the walkway underneath by 75%. The operator at this plant is incredibly happy with the results. Prior to the introduction of ContiClean, this was a major issue for the site.”
Another customer in Chile, who conveys material with sulfuric acid, expressed a severe problem with material accumulating throughout the system structure. “The customer’s previous experience with a competitor solution was not successful. ContiClean’s non-stick release characteristic is present throughout the carry side cover thickness. We helped this customer not only to overcome their material accumulation issue, but also to double their conveyor belt service life.”
Turning change into opportunities
The benefits of ContiClean for customers are also in line with the most important strategic goals established by Continental. By 2050 at the latest, the technology company and its supplier partners strive for carbon neutrality along the entire value chain.
“Alongside Emission-Free Mobility and Industry, Circular Economy, and Responsible Value Chain, Carbon Neutrality is one of four major pillars we are building on today and will continue to build on in the future,” says Marchant.
“With these efforts, we are following our sustainability ambition – providing the framework to turn change into opportunities.”