Three Tips for Spring Start-Up

Spring start up 3

By Matthew Armstrong, MAJOR Business Development Analyst

Starting your production season off on the right foot doesn’t have to be stressful. When it comes to optimizing your screening capabilities, a little bit of forethought goes a long way to help reduce downtime and increase efficiency throughout the year. The key to a successful start-up is ensuring the equipment is as close to OEM specifications as possible — this guarantees the longest periods of uninterrupted productivity.

To help you achieve this, we’ve compiled three tips to start the season strong.

 1. Thoroughly inspect all equipment and perform any necessary maintenance.

Taking time during winter shutdown to inspect equipment and make repairs and replacements speeds up spring start-up. However, it’s important to work through the same maintenance checklist again to make sure nothing was overlooked. Simply assuming equipment is still in optimum condition can lead to unforeseen downtime and lost production. Double checking helps ensure vibrating screens are ready for operation when the first load of material arrives.

 Some key inspection points include:


  • Thoroughly examine all parts for cracks, wear and other issues. This includes crown bars and screen ledges.
  • Perform any necessary welding or maintenance.
  • To ensure proper and consistent tension along the entire length of the deck, a crown curve is necessary. A simple rope test can be used to check that it is intact. Run a piece of rope from one side of the vibrating screen to the other. With a proper crown curve, each support bar makes contact with the rope, forming a continuous arch from wall to wall. Likewise, during operation the screen panels will lay firmly on the supports.
  • Replace crown rubber with urethane to help increase productivity. Urethane lasts a full season, compared to rubber which needs to be replaced with every change-out. 

Exterior Drive Components

  • Inspect springs and V-belts and other components for cracks and signs of wear. This includes shiny, rusty or sharp surfaces on metal parts.
  • Perform necessary repairs and replacements at this time.

Chutes and Feed Pans

  • Examine for signs of wear such as shiny or rusty spots on metal surfaces. If the metal is too thin, dimples will also be evident on the underside.
  • Inspect welds for wear and make any necessary repairs.
  • Consider adding urethane or rubber lining on wear points to extend longevity.

 2. Ensure availability of essential parts to reduce downtime.

Spring is a good time to work with dealers and distributors to guarantee parts availability for the upcoming year. Keeping a well-stocked supply of essential parts on hand helps reduce downtime during unscheduled maintenance. This includes critical spares, such as screen media, as well as consumables, such as bearings, belts and other accessories. Working closely with dealers and manufactures can help determine exactly what parts to keep on hand.

For screen media, it’s important to review production numbers and determine your core media usage. From there, work with your dealer to ensure screen media is available when you need it. We recommend having at least two change-outs available — usually one on site and one with the dealer or OEM.

 3. Perform a vibration analysis to establish a baseline for the year.

Vibration analysis technology – like the FLEX-MAT Sensor — is a great tool for early identification of maintenance issues. It allows operators to monitor and avoid unexpected breakdowns with real-time evaluations. It can also help address improper settings and accurately measure changes.

However, without a baseline for comparison, vibration analysis is less effective. Spring start-up is the best time to record this reference point for the year. From there, we recommend scheduling quarterly visits with your dealer to monitor the machine’s performance. The initial data can also be used to make sure your screen is running as close to OEM standard as possible for optimal efficiency.

Ready for Spring

A successful season starts with spring preparations. Make sure your equipment is in optimal condition before the first ton is processed to increases productivity and profits.

Looking for more tips to increase your up-time this season? Reach out to your dealer or territory manager for more information.