A fault on the structure of the 4.5km conveyor carrying limestone from this Spanish quarry to the main processing plant caused a catastrophic breakdown and immediately halted production. Mechanical repairs were required to the structure and the belt had to be retrieved, repaired and spliced. Time was of the essence; each day that the conveyor was out of operation meant that the cost of lost production increased significantly.
There were a number of factors that made this job particularly challenging.
- When the conveyor stopped, the belt snapped and folded upon itself, coming to rest in an area with difficult access for the equipment needed to retrieve it.
- The belt is 1400mm wide. Presses of the size required to make these splices are not common
- This is a steel cord belt, which in itself calls for a complex splicing procedure
- Time was at a premium due to the escalating costs of lost production
There are very few companies that could undertake this job due to the combination of skills and equipment required to complete it successfully, but when the customer approached Dunlop Service in Spain we were able to help. We knew that our colleagues at Dunlop Service in the UK had a press suitable for this job, and splicers experienced in working with steel cord belts were also available in both the Spanish and UK branches. Other equipment needed to retrieve and reposition the belt was available from our Spanish branch. We therefore combined our equipment and put together a team consisting of two splicers from Spain and two from the UK, plus a quality technician to check and scan the belt on completion.
Our team began work on Saturday and all the mechanical repairs were completed over the weekend. Splicing a steel cord belt is a lengthy and labour-intensive process requiring great skill and attention to detail. Working 16-hour shifts in difficult conditions our team completed the work by Monday and production could begin again.
The customer was very pleased with the way in which Dunlop Service was able to call on international resources to complete a very complex job, and our commitment to working long hours to complete it in as short a time as possible.