We’ve put together a list of must-have safety checks for you and your employees when it comes to your screen media systems – read more today.

Safety of employees is top-of-mind for many plant managers and executives out there, and rightly so. In our industry, there is a potential for many workplace injuries, with heavy machinery and lots of moving parts. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of must-have safety checks for you and your employees when it comes to your screen media systems. Read on to learn how more about workplace safety, as well as how to maximize the use of your screen media systems (safely, that is!).

1) Lock, Tag & TRY

If you’re performing any work on your screens, lock them out, along with their feed and discharge conveyors. It’s key to try the start button after locking out, to make sure you’ve got the right units. If you’re not sure where to lock out, there’s usually a plant diagram in the electrical room, or someone happy to show you how well they know the plant to help!

2) Keep it Quiet

Forget about wire or punch plate on your screens, this stuff operates at around 105dB! Switching to synthetic will reduce this to around 95dB. You might be thinking that’s just a reduction of 10dB, but decibels are a logarithmic scale, meaning each increase of +1db is a x10 multiplier. In brief, the difference between 105dB and 95dB is about half of what the human ear perceives. This will contribute to screen media safety with less risk of hearing loss and much better perception/awareness of what else is going on around the plant.

3) Lighten Up

Changing punch plate or wire cloth can be quite the task. It’s large, heavy and unruly to handle. If you haven’t done it before, think of moving a 4’ x 8’ section of sharp, heavy, floppy metal inches from the edge of a machine while balancing on ½” wide rails with openings below (eeek!). Unless you’re a heavy-lifting ballerina, it’s truly no fun. Consider modular media for a minute, which comes in 1x1’ and 1x2’ sections, for example. One person can change a localized area, away from fall hazards, without creating large open spaces to fall through beneath.

4) Make it Last

It’s no secret, changing screens isn’t fun, so why do it any more frequently than necessary? One reason is for screen media safety! Make sure you’re using as long-lasting screen media as possible as your throughput will allow. Place heavy duty media in your impact zones, and lighter formats in your flow path. This will even out the longest lasting options along your media screen’s surface and drastically reduce your workload, and exposure to any maintenance hazards. No matter what screen media you use, there are options for heavy duty to light duty formats to balance wear with open area / throughput. That said, synthetic media lasts 12-20x longer than wire will.

5) Keep Cool

Fire hazards are very real around screens. Gum rubber chute liners and cast-in-place media/liners (like spray bar boots and most magnetic liners) are highly susceptible to starting a fire. While all synthetics will burn when continuously exposed to flames, there are many options out there that reduce the risk of a fire and ensure screen media safety. Injection molded media will frequently allow a piece of hot steel to simply drop through for example, whereas cast-in-place media or gum rubber liners tend to spread fire rapidly. Some aggregate producers have entirely banned cast-in-place synthetics and gum rubber liners! If you’re doing hot work around synthetics, make sure your fire watch includes someone who can see below the work, and not just the workers above who are likely focused on their immediate point of work.

6) Dust It Off

Keeping the dust down is important to the safety of site staff and neighbors. Dust can easily blind up your screens. There’s a multitude of wire and synthetic choices out there to handle wet, sticky material on your screens. Using the right screen media to deal with blinding from dust suppression ensures you’re not sending staff into screens for nasty clean up jobs as a result of trying to improve their screen media safety in the first place!

7) Make It Simple

Make your screens simple and easy to deal with. This will ensure that when it is time to work on them, it’s likely to get done quicker and more accurately. Simplifying your screens with modular media also allows you to focus on higher priority tasks like plant automation, optimization, and better mine planning. Stop changing cumbersome screens and move on to something more fun entirely!

Go ahead, put these screen media safety tips into practice! In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Polydeck screens or any of our other products, contact us today!

Written by Alex Caruana, Aggregate Territory Manager for Polydeck.

Here's 5 quick tips on making sure your screens are running at optimal efficiency.

Screen media may be a small part of your mine or quarry operation, but it can have a big impact on overall production if it malfunctions. It can bring the entire circuit to a standstill and you could lose thousands of dollars due to downtime. That’s why, whether you’re using wire cloth or a synthetic option, periodic visual inspection is needed to make sure there isn’t any extreme or unusual wear. Here are five tips for keeping your screen media performing at optimal efficiency:

1. Make sure your screens are tensioned correctly

If you’re using side-tensioned media, during your inspections, you should always make sure your screens are tensioned correctly. Look for clamp bars that have come loose and for blocked apertures in the media, plugged with material or blinded over. While synthetic screen media, either polyurethane or rubber, can last up to 15 times longer than wire cloth, that only reduces the frequency of visual inspection—it doesn’t eliminate it. You’ll still need to regularly inspect your screens to evaluate media condition.

2. Resist stop-gap solutions

Resist the temptation to use stop-gap solutions to continue running damaged wire cloth. For example, when you install a patch on worn-out sections, or use a liquid urethane to fill in holes, you end up sacrificing screen efficiency. That likely will just make for a bigger mess later.

3. Clean, clean, clean

When replacing modular synthetic media, be sure to clean sand or fines from the frame surfaces and the fastening cavities to ensure a secure attachment to the frame. Make sure side wear plates are tightened down against the screen panels to prevent panels from working loose. Do not assume that, because synthetic screen media have significantly longer wear life and reduced maintenance requirements, you can put off checking the screens entirely. You could end up with damaged frames, out-of-spec products, and increased costs when you have to rush orders for replacement media.

4. Evaluate your screen performance or contact us!

Make sure to evaluate screen performance for unusual variations in acceleration, displacement, deflections, and critical frequency. Any one or a combination of these issues can negatively affect screen performance and can even result in structural damage to the support structure. Poor screening performance can often be traced back to the screen box itself being out of spec. If you are not equipped to conduct a screen analysis yourself, contact us and we would be happy to help you.

5. Be proactive

You need to use a proactive approach to ensure maximum cost efficiency, longer wear life, consistent specification accuracy, and the security of a reliable and sound screening system. Be sure to always monitor quality control procedures, check side wear liners, and ensure there is proper support and tensioning. When you conduct your periodic inspections, maintain maintenance records and follow recommended replacement and installation methods.

As a family-owned, private company whose sole focus is on your screening operation, Polydeck has the systems, experience, and expertise to ensure that, with regular maintenance checkups, your screening operation will produce the results you need for years to come. Our solutions are known for their high-quality construction, high open area, long wear life, and minimal maintenance requirements.

No other screen media manufacturer can provide you with the knowledge, application-specific expertise, and industry-leading Performance Guarantee that Polydeck can. Get in touch with us for your screening needs or check out our screen media options.

What is open area?

When we talk about “open area” on a screening deck, we mean the percentage of aperture space compared to the solid deck panels and railing system—that is, the area of the deck that is open to material flow.

How do we calculate open area?

It’s a pretty simple formula:

Open Area = Total Aperture Area (in?) / Total Panel Size (in?).

But it’s a calculation that can have a tremendous impact on your business. (Read about our Open Area case study between wire and synthetic media here.)

Why is open area so important?
The percentage of open area is the most critical factor in determining your deck’s efficiency in passing material of specific sizes through the screening panels. This percentage is directly tied to your operation's ability to put revenue-producing material in the stockpile, so you want that number to be as high as possible.

Why are Polydeck products the best choice to increase open area?

Polydeck is an industry leader in screening solutions that maximize open area, from our PIPETOP stringer system and groundbreaking panel designs to our team of process efficiency experts who can design a screen solution for you that delivers the results you require. (Read about our high open area panel here).

Here are 4 reasons why Polydeck is your best open area partner:

ONE: We use injection molding to produce our panels, which means that every panel is consistent in size and quality. It also means that we can produce a wide range of aperture sizes and shapes depending on your screening needs.

TWO: Our in-house tooling capability means that every die we use is manufactured right here in our Spartanburg, SC facility. We have the capability to customize your panel and solve any issues that may be unique to your plant.

THREE: Polydeck’s team of experts have seen it all. They combine many years of collective experience solving problems in the field with a dedicated passion for helping others. This level of experience and service gives us tremendous insight into the production challenges you face.

FOUR: We offer services such as screen performance evaluations and plant surveys, all geared towards helping you achieve maximum efficiency. No other screen media company out there does that for you.

How does my operation increase open area?

Whether you're using wire or synthetic media, Polydeck has an open area solution for you.

* If you’re currently using wire, but are interested in the benefits synthetic media offers, then we recommend our KWIKDECK solution as a no-risk opportunity to try synthetic media.

* If you're ready to convert to synthetic media, then our experts are here to discuss the conversion process and the impact it will have on your business.

* If you're already using synthetic media but you're not getting the open area you require, let Polydeck put our vast knowledge and experience to guide you to a custom solution that meets your exact needs. Case in Point: The Bell Creek Gold Mine near Timmins, Ontario experienced a blinding issue due to fibrous material found at their location. Polydeck's expert field team met with the facility operators and then worked with our engineers to develop a solution. As a result, we created a brand-new, custom panel design that uses a unique combination of material, aperture design, and panel flexibility to dramatically increase Bell Creek's throughput.

Need more open area? Want better efficiency? Looking for ways to increase throughput?

Contact your Polydeck representative, or visit polydeck.com/contact and drop us a line. Let's have a conversation!

Written by Luke Langner, Business Development Manager for Polydeck.

It’s easy to be complacent with screen media solutions that require downtime for cleaning and replacement. Improve your throughput, reduced downtime and increased production with the maximum open area and ease of use of Polydeck's Maxi Panels.

In an industry dating back tens of thousands of years, it’s easy to become complacent when considering success factors and efficiencies in your operation. However, it’s more than possible to design an operation that is efficient and advanced with the right screen media. Polydeck’s Maxi panel screen solutions increase an operation’s throughput and production efficiency in countless ways.

Throughput is, simply put, a production and success measure. In terms of material processing, it means your screen media is doing its job. Efficient screen media meets your machines where they are, allows for ease of cleaning and replacement, and provides maximum screening of material with as little downtime as possible. For many operations, efficiency is critical especially where resources are limited. Stopping to clear plugs and dealing with low open area is simply not an option when efficiency and sustainability are required of the site.

If screen media is not performing as it should, costly stoppages result, requiring workers to spend hours clearing plugging and getting screens to a place where they can begin production again. Polydeck customer Dufferin Aggregates Butler Pit, located in Cambridge, Ontario was experiencing significant downtime from pegging. With a constant focus on their efficiency and production goals, Dufferin did not waste their time seeking a better screen media solution. After the Polydeck team conducted an on-site screen performance analysis and presented their solutions with a guarantee that Dufferin would experience their desired throughput by making the switch, the choice was simple.

Maxi panels’ thin borders are specifically designed with throughput in mind, featuring relief angles to aid in proper screening. Once the panels were put on our customer’s screens, they provided maximum number of openings per square foot. Besides offering leading throughput rates, Maxi panels’ specially formulated polyurethanes combined with engineered panel geometry allowed the panels to flex and retain extended wear life. This innovative design coupled with Polydeck’s injection molding process ensured accurate, consistent open area which resulted in increased overall efficiency at Butler Pit.

Maxi panels also offer an advantage over wire cloth when considering the abrasion resistance of synthetic screen media and ease of use. Operations often default to wire cloth when production requirements are high but Maxi panels offer a significant cost benefit when you factor in downtime needed to change out wire cloth. Maxi panels’ modularity and snap fastenings make changeouts and swaps easy and quick. Less downtime means more productive hours on site. More production means more return from your site. In short, adding Polydeck’s Maxi panels to your operation means you’ll get more from your site than ever before.

The keys to success with screen media lie in today’s technology and the efficiency found in Polydeck’s Maxi panels. As seen at our customer’s site, Polydeck’s Maxi panels reduced downtime and increased production, two very critical elements for success in any operation.

Are you ready to increase the success of your operation?

Vicdom Sand & Gravel knows full well that producing and washing aggregate is tough on equipment. The family-owned, third-generation company has been producing stone, sand, and gravel for more than 40 years in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, a 30-minute drive northeast of Toronto.

Vicdom’s management also knows that unnecessary downtime comes at a high cost. Until recently, the company had been encountering periodic wear issues with the 5’ x 7’ wire screen media on its two-deck, 5’ x 14’ Dillon wash screens. The screens were being used to produce +5/8" over the top deck, 9/16"-1/4" over the bottom deck, and 1/4" chip through the bottom deck. Although the screens had decent wear life and met production requirements when in operation, once they became damaged, they had to be completely replaced.

“We’d get one hole in the feed zone and have to change the whole screen, even though 75 percent of the screen is still in good shape,” says Victor Giordano, assistant manager at Vicdom, and grandson of late Vicdom co-founder Vic Giordano. “A $500 screen was now garbage.”

The larger cost stemming from the screen replacements was the downtime that came with switching out the 5’ x 7’ screen media, which Giordano says cost his operation between one and three hours of downtime each time they needed to be replaced. So, when Alex Caruana, Polydeck territory manager for Central and Atlantic Canada, explained that the company could save money and reduce downtime in its operation by retrofitting its wash screens with a modular snap-in system, Giordano wanted to learn more.

“Alex brought a diagram and did a good job in explaining what we had before with wire mesh and what we could have with Polydeck,” Giordano says. “The biggest knock on rubber and polyurethane is that it doesn’t have enough open area like wire mesh, but he showed that you didn’t lose any open area.”

Caruana showed Giordano he wouldn’t lose any open area by using a very simple, but effective method.

“What I typically do for a plant when they're considering one or more decks is very simple. I lockout, jump on the screen or take a picture, and just count the openings. I know how big the openings are, because I’ve measured them, and that also allows me to take into account any obstructions like bucker bars, side clamp rails, any diverters, any bolts and other things of this sort. That allows me to show the customer that with their current wire cloth, they have ‘X’ open area, whatever ‘X’ may be”, Caruana explains. “And then, I am able to show them that in their application, using our media, your open area would now be “X+,” and that's their new open area number.”

In many cases, this comparison is a big eye-opener for producers.

“Even with wire cloth, they may not have had all the open area they thought they did,” Caruana explains. “Just imagine a piece of mesh screen in front of you. It's unobstructed, and its cataloged open area, or book value, might be 65%. It looks very attractive. But when you actually put it in place, there are machine parts underneath it. So, you don't really have 65%, it might be 48%. Whereas, synthetic media is not the same. When synthetic media is giving an open area, that is the gross and net number. When installed, it still has that open area. If somebody tells you that you've got 48%, then that's the number in place. So, by me doing that comparison for people like Victor at Vicdom, they have that information available to them and they can make a more educated selection.”

Vicdom decided to change over one of its wash decks with a modular snap system using 1’ x 1’ Polydeck polyurethane panels with 1/2” square openings on the top deck and roughly 1/4” openings on the bottom deck. Giordano was impressed with the results.

“This year we changed two panels, total, on the conversion,” he says. “We would have normally changed five or six entire screens. Instead, we changed two panels that cost $90 Canadian each for $180 in a year. The efficiencies are good, capacity is good, and downtime is amazing,”

Vicdom has now outfitted all four decks on its two wash screens with Polydeck’s modular snap-in system using 1’ x 1’ polyurethane panels. The second wash screen has 5/8” openings on the top deck and roughly 1/4” openings on the bottom deck.

The reduction in downtime with screen media change-outs isn’t the only reason Vicdom enjoys working with Polydeck. Giordano says that Caruana’s level of professionalism has been a big selling point, always making himself available to assist with any issues that occur on-site.

The company had a processing issue last year with the first conversion, so they called Caruana to discuss the issue.

“He asked, ‘Are you sure your eccentrics are running downhill?’” Giordano recalls.

So, Giordano checked with his maintenance crew and it turns out they had done some work previously that day and accidentally re-wired the motor backwards on the screen causing the eccentrics to run uphill.

“We fixed the wiring, popped the stone out and it was working again. With his knowledge we were able to fix that issue right away,” Giordano says, adding that he has a great appreciation for the technical knowledge Caruana brings with him to the job site. “I don’t see a sales guy. I see a guy with a lot of pit experience now in sales, and that helps.”

Thinking about a conversion?

Polydeck has a team of professionals and more than 40 years of experience to help you optimize your screening performance while minimizing downtime.

Contact Us Today!

KWIKDECK is a simple and cost-effective way to try modular media.

Screen media is a critical component for the aggregate, energy and industrial, and mining industries. For decades, wire cloth has been the industries’ go-to media, but they are cumbersome to install and not as versatile as modular media. If you use wire cloth, you’re probably accustomed to changing them out every few weeks, a time-consuming and sometimes dangerous task.

What if you only had to replace your screen media twice a year?

Polydeck’s KWIKDECK system offers a better solution: A frame conversion that lets you try synthetic screen media virtually risk-free, with minimal set-up costs and easy installation.

KWIKDECK helps you cut operational costs, reduces downtime while improving safety, and keeps your equipment running at peak performance.

What makes KWIKDECK such an ideal solution?

KWIKDECK is also perfect for portable screening operations that need to alternate between wire cloth and synthetic media. Operators can easily switch between different media types to maximize production requirements.

KWIKDECK provides an opportunity for traditional wire cloth users to try synthetic media with minimal cost or risk. Install it at the feed end of your vibrating screen, and see for yourself what a difference it makes.

Learn more about KWIKDECK, another innovative product from your partners at Polydeck—and just one more example of how we’re together strong.

[1] http://www.pitandquarry.com/pq-university-lesson-8-screening/ 

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