Blockage detection for coal chutes is a key factor in the transfer of solid material in bulk handling applications. When moving coal continuously over long (or short) distances, it’s important to consider directional changes to maintain high productivity and keep production schedules on point. As coal transfers from conveyors to inlet/outlet chutes to holding areas, such as silos and bins, to trucks or railcars for distribution, the potential for jams and blockages is high.
Production losses from a blocked transfer chute can cost thousands of dollars per hour. Once production stops to clear the blockage, downtime can stretch from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the severity of the blockage and the required cleanup. The unexpected disruption translates to lost production, lost material, possible equipment damage and safety hazards for employees.