It’s that time of year to check out everything around the asphalt plant. Because this issue of the magazine focuses on sustainability, let’s zero in on the recycling areas for a moment. Look at the vibrating screens that sort fresh millings or clumped recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) to be sized and prepared for use in mixes. A worn liner or screen that’s not tensioned properly will negatively affect production rates. Now is the time to fix that so winter processing of piles—or spring startup—is smooth and efficient. Once you’ve performed proper lockout/tagout procedures, you’re ready for maintenance.
- Step 1: Clean the equipment.
- Step 2: Inspect the liners.
- Step 3: Inspect the side plates.
- Step 4: Repair and replace worn items.
When it’s time to look at equipment, you must clean it to get an accurate picture of what’s taking place with components. Scrub and remove dust, debris, clogs, clutter, and, especially in the case of recycle operations, agglomerated material. Get that out of the way not only for optimum operation of screens and shakers, but also for the next steps—inspection.
When inspecting liners, you want to look specifically for “shine” or fractures in the material. Whether you have rubber, polyurethane, steel or plastic, the material will show signs of heavy wear when it’s nearing time for replacement.
When inspecting the side plates, look between the side plate and tension rail. This area will also let you know when it’s had too much wear. Look for that “shine” in the material. If you see cracks in the side plates, it’s time to bring in your OEM for help replacing the plates before a big failure occurs. You can install an insurance policy by putting in bar rail liners between the side plates and tension rails, but make sure you monitor these liners for wear.
When you look at the tensioning hardware, change out any worn nuts, bolts or washers. Replace any bent or worn tension rails. It’s a good idea to have backups in the shop if rails are just starting to show wear, but make sure you have a plan to re-check everything after a set number of hours of operation. There’s no point in letting a problem develop and grow into something expensive.