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Sealing the deal

With customers including Lafarge, Tarmac, Viridor, Biffa and Premier Waste, Canning Conveyors has found its waste/recycling customer base growing. It supplies conveyor belting, idlers, rollers and ancillary components and designs, manufactures and installs conveyors, hoppers, conveyor drums and associated plant and equipment.

Canning Conveyors managing director Andrew Canning says: “We are looking positively at 2011. It will be a competitive market but we have a large portfolio of conveyor products and services. And with more than 40 years of industry experience, we provide customers with high-quality equipment and services at the most economical and cost effective price.”

Since the introduction of the Canning SuperDrive range of overland ground conveyor systems in 2005 - which has the motor, gearbox and bearings totally enclosed and hermetically sealed inside a steel shell drum - the company says the motorised pulley has proved itself in the waste industry.

The recycling of general household waste, building waste and black bag incineration waste have provided a challenge in needing to seal the components used within conveyors and sorting systems. Some of the main culprits of system failure are video tapes, glass, plastic threads and steel or copper wires, which can become trapped and wind themselves around critical areas such as shafts and seals.

On the SuperDrive motorised pulley, Canning recommends fitting extra external non-regreasable steel labyrinth seals to provide the protection required against these particular problems. This will enable the pulley to operate without constant attention.

Where there is the added problem of extreme aggressive and abrasive dry dust, or, if it is in a wet form such as sludge and/or in a hot environment, the company recommends the Canning re-greasable type of seal, so they can be charged and then continuously purged around the seal area to keep it clear.

The company suggests the best way of to achieve this without constant maintenance is to fit a proprietary ‘grease-man’ system that administers a measure time-lapse grease release. It says it is essential that any SuperDrive supplied with re-greasable seals have automatic grease-men that must be used correctly and replaced in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions to avoid any warranty issues.

BUYERS ARE COMING AS FINANCE IS NOW EASING

Conveyor and screening manufacturers and suppliers report that the year ahead is likely to be competitive, and their efforts will be focused on providing customers with the right solutions at the right price.

Portable Conveyors sales engineer Nick George explains that while the past 12-18 months were tough because of the recession, since October/November 2010 business has been picking up. “From the start of January, our order books started filling up and are now full until April, with 90% of the work from the recycling industry,” he says.

He adds that most of this is for conventional picking stations and trommels, with around 25% of enquiries around more technical advancements and advanced equipment such as optical sorters: “Since Christmas there has been more confidence in the market and more disposable income.”

George believes that finance is now easing and says that his company has roughly a 50/50 split of customers which are able to finance their equipment in-house and those that have to raise external finance. The larger plcs tend to fund themselves while smaller independents have to opt for asset finance.

But while companies may be back spending, George says they are being careful and, as a result, the company has to ensure it is offering competitive quotes: “There are perhaps not the profit margins there used to be, but we are still in a very comfortable position.”

He has noticed a move away from construction waste to commercial and biodegradable waste streams, in line with current legislation and market drivers. He says businesses looking to invest large amounts of money on specific streams of waste are also now considering innovative pieces of equipment that also serve as labour-saving devices, so offering cost savings on employing staff.

Another small screening manufacturer which supplies the waste and recycling sector reveals that purchase decision making is currently taking longer than previously, but it is still securing a “reasonable” amount of work by word of mouth. While the firm will build whatever a client wants, it sees changes in kit specifications reflecting changes in legislation.

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