Smiley Monroe’s polymer King Rollers have just helped their customer, Irish Salt Mines (ISME), to achieve their aim of further reducing workplace noise on an enclosed high speed conveyor at their Kilroot site in Northern Ireland.


The 1200mm wide, 120 metre long reclaim tunnel conveyor running at 2.85 m/s, which is housed in a reinforced concrete tunnel below Irish Salt Mines’ storage facilities, transfers salt onto the shiploading conveyor. As part of their ongoing efforts to reduce workplace noise, ISME asked Smiley Monroe for their suggestions on how this could be achieved in the tunnel. Smiley Monroe recommended replacing existing steel idlers with polymer King Rollers, and since the customer had been using these successfully on their shiploading conveyor for several years, this action was quickly implemented.

Quiet Revolution

Jason Hopps, Surveyor and Health & Safety Officer with Irish Salt Mines, said: “I’m delighted with the performance of Smiley Monroe’s King Rollers, which have reduced noise levels significantly in our reclaim tunnel conveyor. After replacing steel return and trough idlers with King Rollers, independent tests recorded greater than a 50% noise reduction. We’re now actively replacing all remaining steel return and trough idlers on this conveyor with Smiley Monroe’s King Rollers.”

Keith Stevenson, Smiley Monroe’s Product Manager for King Roller, added: “We originally recommended King Rollers because of their robust design, which is ideal for coping with humid and corrosive environments, such as salt, zinc and potash mines. Unlike a steel idler, our anti-corrosive King Roller won’t rust and it’s triple labyrinth sealed bearings are proven to increase service life. In this case, however, it’s the added benefit of quieter running which results from King Roller s polymer construction that has helped solve Irish Salt Mines’ workplace noise problem.”

As sole supplier of conveyor belts and on-site vulcanising service to Irish Salt Mines for almost 35 years, Smiley Monroe is very familiar with the harsh conditions in which their customer’s conveyor idlers operate. Irish Salt Mines are now using Smiley Monroe King Rollers on all of their surface conveyors, as hanging garlands, drop-in type end supported troughing sets and return idlers.

Energy Efficiency

Apart from longer service life, increased uptime and health and safety benefits, King Roller is also 50% lighter than a traditional steel idler, so it’s easier to handle and can reduce a conveyor’s power consumption by up to 14%. Ultimately this will help reduce the business’ CO2 emissions and operating cost per tonne of material produced. With ever-rising costs in running plant and vehicles, King Rollers can assist energy-intensive operations, from quarries and mines to cement works, in making their sites more energy efficient.

The American owned Irish Salt Mining & Exploration Company (I.S.M.E. Co. Ltd) has been mining de-icing rock salt at its Kilroot mine near Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland since 1965. Producing half a million tonnes of de-icing rock salt per annum, the Irish Salt Mines can meet the toughest demands in the harshest winters. Export is handled through its deepwater berth on the north shore of Belfast Lough, complete with a shiploading conveyor running directly from storage facilities at the mine site.

Northern Ireland and India based Smiley Monroe, celebrating 35 years in business, is the world’s largest producer of highly customised ‘endless’ conveyor belts and CNC cut rubber parts for the mobile crushing, screening and recycling sector. Smiley Monroe conveyor belts and energy-efficient products can be found in bulk materials handling operations throughout the world, where they are trusted by customers to help them meet their targets for quality, safety, productivity and environmental compliance.

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