Whether in open-pit or underground mining, for steep inclines or across distances spanning kilometers – conveyor belts are the beating heart of many industrial sectors. In harsh operating conditions, they transport loads weighing several tons not to mention sharp, hot, oily and greasy goods. Smooth running of these belts is crucial for cost efficiency. If the belt system experiences an extended downtime, the entire production chain frequently collapses.
This in turn results in considerable sales losses for the operators. To allow conveyor belt systems to run free of faults and cost-effectively in the long term, even when subjected to high loads, the operators are focusing more and more on prevention. Innovative electronic monitoring systems make it possible to identify the exact condition of the conveyor belts at any time.
“More serious damage such as longitudinal slitting or splice faults on the conveyor belt can have serious consequences for system operation, and lead to total failures in a worst-case scenario. The monitoring system Conti MultiProtect helps to detect such damage at an early stage during operation and repair the damage in good time. This helps us to avoid extended downtimes,” explains application engineer Patrick Raffler. The way it works is that rip inserts implanted into the conveyor belt are checked for longitudinal slitting by means of their characteristic magnetic fields. Using RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips, ContiTech has been able to optimize localization of longitudinal slitting on the belt. Conti MultiProtect is also able to monitor the condition of the joints and identify damaged spots within the carcass. The user-friendly system has an intuitive operating design that uses a graphical interface.
“This permanent monitoring gives us a detailed picture of the condition of the conveyor belts at all times without having to interrupt operations. This allows cover repairs to be scheduled preventively in good time, thereby reducing maintenance costs,” says Raffler, outlining the advantages further. ContiTech is using software developed in house. “We’re putting our longstanding expertise to good use in the development of intelligent software solutions. This enables us to assist our customers in the best way we can. The new system permits more-accurate-than-ever monitoring of steel cord conveyor belts,” says Raffler.