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Advantages of choosing an OEM for pulley rebuilds


Advantages of choosing an OEM for pulley rebuilds


Mining companies rely heavily on conveyor systems to transport materials, minerals, and ores. The conveyor pulley is one of the most critical components of these systems, as it transfers the load from the motor to the belt to drive the conveyor.

Over time, conveyor pulleys can wear out, become damaged, or fail altogether, leading to costly downtime and lost production. Mining companies can give their pulleys a second life by rebuilding or refurbishing their conveyor pulleys. This provides a cost-effective solution when compared to purchasing an entirely new pulley.

There are many different options available to mining companies when it comes to choosing a vendor for pulley rebuilds, including an OEM or a more general machine shop.

Historically, mining companies have relied on specialist conveyor pulley OEMs for their rebuilds. These specialists have the expertise and necessary equipment to perform rebuilds to the highest standards.

Over time, smaller machine shops have begun to enter the market, offering lower-cost options for pulley rebuilds without specialist engineering and design knowledge. While this option was attractive for mining companies looking to lower operational expenditure, it came with considerable risks. The quality of work and the overall performance of refurbished pulleys declined, creating concerns for safety and productivity.

Lower-cost options for pulley rebuilds may seem attractive at first, but they cause more significant problems in the long run.

This article will explore the reasons why mining companies should choose OEMs for their mining conveyor pulley rebuilds and refurbishments.

What is a pulley OEM?

A trusted pulley OEM is a company specialising in the design and manufacture of conveyor pulleys according to the original conveyor specifications and client standards, using its own engineering and design capability. In the mining industry, OEMs are responsible for the design and manufacture of various mining equipment, including conveyor components such as conveyor pulleys.

PROK Chile refurbished this 64 ton drive pulley, one of the largest pulleys in the world, resulting in significant cost savings for the customer.

Why choose a pulley OEM for mining conveyor pulley rebuilds and refurbishments?

1. Comprehensive engineering and design capability and support

One of the main advantages of choosing a trusted OEM for conveyor pulley rebuilds and refurbishments is that they have the expertise and experience in pulley design, with the capabilities developed over decades of pulley design and manufacture. They can ensure that a rebuilt or refurbished conveyor pulley meets the original specifications and any subsequent modifications that are critical for performance and reliability.

General machine shops, on the other hand, do not have the same level of expertise in conveyor pulleys and conveyor systems. They may not have the necessary equipment or the knowledge and experience required to accurately diagnose the suitability for a comprehensive rebuild or refurbishment of a conveyor pulley.

Moreover, a reliable OEM provides comprehensive support, including consultation, diagnosis and troubleshooting, to help customers determine the best repair options for their conveyor pulleys.

They also offer maintenance and training services to ensure that their customers’ conveyor systems operate at optimal levels.

2. Access to original parts and materials

Another advantage of choosing an OEM for conveyor pulley rebuilds or refurbishments is that they use original parts and materials. OEMs have a detailed understanding of the specifications and requirements of conveyor pulleys and they understand the effects of changes to the life of a conveyor pulley. This ensures that the rebuilt or refurbished conveyor pulley performs to the same standard as the original product.

General machine shops may not have access to the same parts and materials and may compromise using lower-quality components; this reduces the reliability, safety and life of the pulley.

This original PROK pulley, in service for 10+ years, was recently rebuilt with an upgraded shaft and coupling arrangement.

3. Quality control and testing

A reputable OEM has stringent quality control processes and testing procedures in place that have been developed over several years of manufacturing conveyor pulleys that meet or exceed industry standards. This diligence and commitment to quality, coupled with the use of only highly skilled technicians, minimises downtime and ensures that the conveyor pulley operates reliably and safely in the conveyor application.

This is key in the mining industry where conveyor pulley assets may sit idle in storage for several years and need to be tested before going into operation. Preservation checks such as ensuring the bearings are acceptable by Vibration analysis and checking grease conditions in a controlled environment are critical.

PROK’s Vibration Analysis Test Rig gives customers confidence that they have defect free bearings prior to dispatch.

4. Expertise in material selection and manufacturing processes

Trusted OEMs have extensive experience and expertise in the design and selection of materials and manufacturing processes used in conveyor pulley construction. They have the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to rebuild the asset efficiently and effectively. They select the appropriate materials, coatings, and finishes required to ensure the pulleys are durable and can withstand the harsh conditions of mining environments. Trusted OEMs have the specialized manufacturing equipment allowing them to manufacture pulleys to precise tolerances.

Moreover, their streamlined repair processes and high level of quality assurance, ensures that the rebuilt pulley last longer, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacement.

5. Timely Delivery and Warranty

A trusted OEM understands the critical importance of timely delivery of a rebuilt conveyor pulley to ensure that downtime is minimised. They have streamlined repair processes in place, which enables them to deliver rebuilt pulleys within the agreed-upon time frame.

Reliable OEMs typically offer warranties and support services for their conveyor pulleys, providing mining companies with peace of mind knowing that their investment is protected.

Packaged pulleys ready for dispatch and delivery to key customers across Western Australia.

In conclusion, choosing OEMs for conveyor pulley rebuilds/refurbishments provides mining companies with several advantages over general machine shops. OEMs have in-house engineering and design capabilities, expertise in material selection and manufacturing processes, stringent quality control and testing procedures, availability of replacement parts, and warranties and support services. These benefits help mining companies minimize downtime, improve efficiency and ensure the safe operation of their conveyor systems.

PROK is a globally recognised OEM of conveyor pulleys with a long history of design, manufacture and supply of quality conveyor pulleys for heavy-duty mining applications.

The inhouse design tools, processes and quality assurance have been developed over decades. Through practical conveyor experience combined with the leading laboratory and university developed research into conveyor pulleys to provide the best fit-for-purpose and state of the art conveyor pulleys available globally.

PROK engineers treat a conveyor pulley as a complete assembly and not a combination of disparate components without looking at the interaction between all the components in an assembly. The traditional PROK calculations coupled with the latest analytical analysis and FEA ensures every pulley from PROK is the best option for the conveyor whether built new, rebuilt, or refurbished.

Contact us to find out more about our engineered pulley solutions.

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