Industry: Mineral Processing

Smiley Monroe’s Polymer Rollers Reduce Workplace Noise at USA owned Irish Salt Mines

Smiley Monroe’s Polymer 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 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 Polymer 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.”

Chris Jones, Smiley Monroe’s Head of Product Support added: “We originally recommended Polymer 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 Polymer 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 noise 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 Polymer Rollers on all of their surface conveyors, as hanging garlands, drop-in type end supported troughing sets and return idlers.

‘’We’ve been working with Smiley Monroe for over three decades. They provide a great product and speedy service. We’ve grown as a business because our customers trust the quality of products on our machines and the suppliers we use – that’s what makes Smiley Monroe such a valued partner.’’

John Pickering, Rapid International, Business Development Manager

‘’The quality of products we receive from Smiley Monroe is excellent. The opportunity to have after sales and spare parts like Zip Clip® readily available has helped us support our customers and go from strength to strength.’’

Stephen Conway – Territory Sales Manager, Edge Innovate

Energy Efficiency

Apart from longer service life, increased uptime and health and safety benefits, Polymer Rollers are 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, Polymer 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.

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