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Why predicting chute life is so important

Measuring the wear life of a transfer chute is no simple matter, as many different components need to be tracked. However, the benefits of doing this add directly to the bottom line through improved uptime.

Izak Potgieter, ISO systems manager at Weba Chute Systems, highlights how the company’s customised reliability model can capture key wear indicators for each chute – and calculate how much longer each liner, lip or other component will last.

“By feeding the model the right data – including wear measurements taken during regular inspections – plant operators gain valuable insight into wear patterns,” says Potgieter. “This information can be used to predict which components need replacing, and when.”

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This allows the necessary planning to be done, such as ordering the required parts to be ready on site for the next maintenance opportunity. This preventative maintenance ensures that there are no unexpected stoppages – with the related disruption and lost production time.

“Our ability to accurately predict the lifespan of the components inside our chutes streamlines the whole maintenance process,” he says. “We use this reliability tool extensively on all our maintenance contracts, but even those customers without such contracts can still request the service from us.”

With reliability modelling, customers can receive a monthly report that will provide a timescale of when maintenance is needed on each of the wear parts within every chute. The complexity of the model reflects the differential wear levels in parts of the chute where impacts vary – so that owners can focus on areas of highest wear.

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