Product innovation in screening media may not be as fast-paced as the IT or telecommunications industries but there are innovative products available that can have a huge impact on your site and its production capacity. Screening innovation in the past has been limited to tweaks and modifications, slightly different apertures or better hooking. The introduction of Tufflex screens a few years ago was akin to the introduction of smartphones versus traditional mobile phones. We never really knew we needed a phone with a camera, a GPS and in-built games, but now it’s hard to imagine life without one.
Just as smartphones cover off the traditional functionality of making phone calls, Tufflex is used for screening product in the quarry market. It offers improved screening efficiency, substantially increased wear life, increased production uptime and occupational health and safety (OHS) benefits due to its light weight and flexibility.
Having to stop screening to clean or change-over causes no end of frustration. In one application in regional Victoria, the site previously had to stop machines every day for up to 40 minutes to clean screens that were blinding due to high levels of dust. Introducing Tufflex onto the screen deck has negated this requirement, increasing the production uptime by about 160 hours per year, providing savings in labour and through increased production capacity of more than $200,000 per annum.
A New Zealand site was previously limited to production during seven months of the year, as the cold and damp climate was causing the screens to blind up. The Tufflex screens, particularly those that are only partially welded and which give off a secondary vibration effect, have the capacity to self-clean, providing the site with the capacity to run all year round. Thus, the cost of the replacement screen isn’t the only metric to measure; this site has had a 35 to 40 per cent improvement in production capacity, allowing it to service customers throughout the year.
The Tufflex screening range is available with either square or rectangular apertures of varying sizes. The screens are either welded on every junction, or partially welded at every second intersection. The polyurethane coating provides extended wear life when compared with traditional wire screens, which become worn as aggregate and rocks are compounded over them. The composition of the polyurethane provides some slip for the product to be screened effectively while causing minimal damage to the screening substrate. Depending on the product being screened and the surrounding regional climate, Locker Group’s extractive team can assist in the selection of the most appropriate Tufflex combination.
OHS is not potentially the first criteria when selecting a screen type but as we all continue to focus on improving the safety of our employees, customer and contractors, the OHS elements of any choice are increasingly important. Tufflex screens are far lighter than their traditional woven wire counterparts. They are usually supply rolled and can be manoeuvred by one person, in sharp contrast to traditional woven wire, which necessitates a forklift, pallet or even boom lift to be lifted on-site. OHS practices may require three points of contact, and therefore moving screens using more than one person, but this task is even safer and easier given the reduced weight of Tufflex.
Cuts and abrasions normally associated with traditional screening media are all but negated; there are no sharp edges caused by cut wires along the edges of screens. Tufflex screens are fully encased in polyurethane, with only the hooks outstanding.
Tufflex screens offer an extended wear life, given their flexible nature and polyurethane coating. Customers have reported between four and 10 times the life expectancy, dependent on product, regional conditions and finished product size. Not only does this extend the initial screen cost over a longer period, it also offers a substantial increase in production time available. Reducing the requirement to stop multiple times a year for change-overs has provided Tufflex customers with increased capacity equating to $10,000 to $20,000 of increased finished product. This is without accounting for the labour and machine hire savings.
When next assessing your choice of screen, consider the wider picture. Comparing the price of the screens is important, as are the potential savings and increased production time available if you don’t have to stop.
Tufflex is the original and still the best poly coated, welded screening media.
Source: Locker Group