Category Archives: General

Quality Conveyors Can Reduce Labor Demands

It’s no secret that the pool of qualified maintenance professionals in the United States is shrinking, a situation that has worsened during the past two years due to a high number of unemployment claims and a rash of retirements. And the near future doesn’t hold any promises that things will get better, as the shift […]

Pellet Production: What Type of Conveyors Should You Use?

North American production of wood pellets has soared over the past decade due to demand for renewable fuels in Europe. Barring the unforeseen, that demand is unlikely to abate anytime soon. Biomass-powered thermal energy plants in Asia are now drawing demand across the Pacific, and some power plants in the United States are cogenerating energy […]

Conveyor Safety

“The hopper gates opened.” “The conveyor system was not shut down or locked out.” “The conveyor had not been locked out.” “The employee … was cleaning near a conveyor belt.” “The employee … caught his shirt on the machine’s power lever.” These are notes from five of the eleven conveyor-related fatalities reported to OSHA through […]

CHP for Ethanol and Other Biofuel Plants

With California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards in place, manufacturers of ethanol and other biofuels are scavenging for means to reduce their carbon footprints. Among the various technologies that promise such a result is combined heat and power (CHP). CHP technology isn’t new, but it’s received attention as incentives to increase efficiency and lower carbon outputs […]

Diagnosing Chain Failure in Conveyors

While you may be tempted to blame your supplier when a chain breaks in your conveyor, it’s important you analyze what all happened leading up to the event to determine why the chain broke. It’s unlikely that the chain failed due to a flaw, so if you don’t identify the root cause, the same thing […]

Maintenance Prevention for Chain Conveyors

Drag-chain conveyors can get a bad reputation for the amount of maintenance they require. While it’s true that even the best chain conveyors need more attention than belt conveyors, it’s a misconception that all chain-style conveyors require excessive time and attention. There are well-designed drag systems on the market, our SMART Conveyor™ being the prime […]

Biomass Infeed Systems: Cost, Space, and Other Considerations

How much does a biomass infeed system cost? The answer involves a big “it depends.” Systems can be as simple as a wheel loader and a receiving bin or more complex and involve bunkers, metering, and screening equipment. Obviously, the bigger and more complicated the system, the higher the price. Containers vs. Bunkers SMART Containers […]

Conveying in Cold Temperatures

During February’s arctic blast, the state of Texas endured prolonged, freezing temperatures, to which the region is unaccustomed. As a result, power plants and manufacturers encountered issues with their conveyors freezing. According to climatologists, such wintertime dips may become more frequent due to a weakened jet stream. Utilities and manufacturers in the southern United States, […]

Long-Span Chain Conveyors

Some operations personnel are uneasy about long-spanned chain conveyors. Given their experience with most chain conveyors, their hesitation is understandable. But long spans aren’t a problem for our SMART Conveyors™. We build long conveyors all the time—some well over 100′. The ability to build long conveyors means that we can reduce the number of conveyors […]

Characteristics of Biomass and Biomass Ash

Bulk, fibrous biomass is notoriously challenging to handle. This fact should not prevent investment in biomass-derived products, however. It’s being done successfully every day, but it takes special knowledge, experience, and machinery. Engineers working on biomass projects must educate facility owners on the best solution for handling the material. Identifying this solution, of course, begins […]