Automated Conveyor Belt Cleaner Tensioner Reduces Maintenance, Guesswork

Martin's new autonomous tensioning system continuously monitors and delivers proper cleaner tension.

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

February 22, 2021

2 Min Read
Image courtesy of Martin Engineering

Martin Engineering introduces an autonomous tensioning system that continuously monitors and delivers proper cleaner tension.

By utilizing an intuitive new smart technology platform to maintain proper blade-to-belt pressure, the N2 Twist tensioner provides the best possible cleaning performance throughout the life of the blade. The system also alerts operators on the Martin Smart Device Manager app when the blade needs changing or if there is an abnormal condition. The result is efficient cleaning, increased safety, reduced labor, and a lower cost of operation.

“We designed the unit for heavy-duty applications and tested it outdoors in punishing environments and applications,” said Andrew Timmerman, P.E. and product development engineer at Martin Engineering. “The N2 Twist tensioner has proven itself to be a rugged and highly effective way to maximize both cleaning efficiency and blade life.”

The Importance of Proper Tensioning

Located on the head pulley, primary belt cleaners commonly have a twist, ratchet, or spring tensioner to ensure the cleaner blade stays in consistent contact with the conveyor belt for proper cleaning and material discharge. Prior to the new design, belt tensioners had to be monitored and adjusted manually, in some applications on a daily basis, so they would maintain optimum pressure and carryback removal. Estimating when blades needed changing was often a guessing game that, if left too long, could lead to belt damage.

Inadequate tensioning causes carryback to cling to the belt and spill along its path, piling up under the conveyor and emitting excessive dust. This requires extra labor for cleanup and can affect air quality. Over-tensioning leads to friction damage to the carrying side of the belt, premature blade wear and potential splice damage. Both scenarios create unsafe work conditions and raise the cost of operation significantly.

Next Step in Tensioning Technology

The N2 Twist tensioner automatically maintains precise cleaning pressure throughout the entire life of the blade, without maintenance. The tensioner applies the proper amount of torque to deliver optimum cleaning pressure at the blade tip, supporting the constant angle radial pressure (CARP) cleaner design that withstands the force of heavy bulk cargo but retains a consistently tight seal across the belt profile. 

Martin Engineering’s smart technology platform monitors blade wear and informs operators when the blade needs changing from control systems that are housed in a durable weather-resistant NEMA 4 control box. Experts recommend changing blades before there is a chance of detachment or a “pull through” (inversion under the head pulley). In the event of a premature pull through, operators are alerted, and the tensioner’s internal self-relieving coupling rolls over. A blade detachment also triggers an alert allowing operators to quickly shut down the system and avoid expensive belt damage.

The electrical system runs both the tensioning system and the sensors. The unit is powered by a rechargeable 12-volt battery life and can also be specified to run on 110-220 VAC. The system includes all necessary components for installation based on the power supply option. 

Martin Engineering Co., Neponset, IL 309-852-2384

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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