Conveyor Safety & Risk Mitigation

Conveyor Safety & Risk Mitigation

Risk mitigation is all about assuring safety of people, plant & equipment and your peace of mind

You and your customers undertake very large projects – projects worth hundreds of crores. So, how do you maximize conveyor safety and minimize the risks?

Risk management is a critical part of any project – especially so in your projects where the plant is often operated 24×7 and any interruption means heavy losses.

Safety switches and monitoring systems are usually installed at the very end of a project. Poor choice of this equipment hurts the OEMs as well as the end users on many levels:

  • If these don’t work as expected, project completion is delayed since the task is usually on the critical path and there is no time buffer remaining to take corrective action.
  • Delayed project completion means heavy losses for the OEM as well as the end user. OEMs will not get paid when they expected to get paid so end up borrowing even more to finance the project as its resources remain stuck in the project. On top of this, they may face heavy penalties for delays.
  • There is simply no way to recover these losses from the safety switch or monitoring system vendor since the value of what they supply is insignificant in comparison to the project value.
  • The end user has a serious problem when projects are delayed because it delays the timing of start of production and when the end user will derive the benefits for which the project was undertaken. It could turn a project with positive NPV into a losing project.

A poorly designed Safety Switch will work at the time of installation but then it remains idle for an extended period, out in the open and exposed to the environment. If it fails to work at the critical moment when there is an incidence, say two or three years after the start of operations – it will lead to loss of life, injury, destruction of plant & equipment or extended downtime & loss of revenue.

Good safety products reduce the customers’ risk while poor quality products increase it manifold by creating an illusion of safety and security.

Think about this when you write specifications for a new project or when you are procuring safety products for your projects.

Critical features to ensure safety and long switch life Their significance
All stainless steel parts that will not rust and jam Switches are exposed to the environment and remain idle for long periods in which they can jam due to rust and fail to operate in an emergency.
All stainless steel captive screws to secure the cover MS screws will rust and can be difficult to open at the time of maintenance. Once removed, they may not be easy to put back. If the cover is not properly secured using all the screws, the switch no longer meets the specified IP protection grade.
Double Break contacts with Silver cadmium tips Switch contacts can get welded together due to arcing or lose their electrical conductivity due to oxidation and fail to operate in an emergency.
Isolation of limit switch from the actuating handle If the actuating handle is directly connected to the BS switch, the heavy impact of a swaying belt can damage the limit switch causing failure.
Nitrile gaskets & bellows for lasting IP66 Grade Protection Ordinary rubber decays quickly losing its elasticity resulting in degraded protection. Water & dust can then enter a switch and create fault conditions – particularly when switches are washed using high pressure hoses.
Strong references and support organization Vendor should provide reputable customer references and have a proven track record of providing timely and good quality support.