The extent of movement can have a big impact on connector life. The larger the movement (or ‘throw’) is in relation to the connector length, the more stress it will put on the connector and its fitment.
Having The Correct Connector Length Is crucial
Probably the most important factor for efficient sifter operation is having the right length connector installed for the space between the inlet/outlet feed and the sifter itself.
The straighter the connector, the less wear will occur during sifter operation, provided there is the right amount of ‘slack’ to allow for the movement of the connector. If the connector is too long for the gap, the areas where the material folds will be most prone to abrasion and eventual cracking. If the connector is installed too short, it can easily tear apart or tear off the equipment.
Oscillating sifters, such as Allgaier, Great Western and Rotex, often have a large throw from left to right, as well as movement up and down. This aggressive action is especially challenging for flexible connections and establishing the right length of the connector for the application is imperative.
Don’t Cut Corners – Accurate Measurement Is Important
When measuring for the installation of a flexible connector on a piece of moving equipment like sifters, the movement should be measured both during operation and start-up/shutdown to account for the largest potential movement.
As a rule, the maximum movement of a sifter shouldn’t exceed 20% of the total connector length to minimize stresses that can cause premature wear.
Ensuring a connector is installed with the correct space to allow for the movement can be particularly difficult for clamped connectors as each time they are changed, they have to be manually adjusted, giving potential for inconsistency – and subsequent performance issues.
Investing In Quality Pays Long Term
Choosing the right connector for your sifter application, and having it installed correctly, is an important decision. A quality flexible connector system that is designed to handle the aggressive nature of oscillating equipment will pay dividends in terms of production ‘up-time’ versus frequent stoppages to replace or reposition a failing connector.
The BFM® fitting flexible connector system is ideally suited for all oscillating, gyrating or vibratory equipment and is the connector of choice for many multinational companies around the world for this reason.
Its unique internal snap-fit system creates a perfect seal every time and because the connector lengths are in standardized increments, once the spigots are installed correctly, every connector fitted is always going to be the perfect length for your specific application. To ensure the spigots are installed the correct distance apart, BFM® fitting have an Installation Gap Calculator available online.
A correctly installed BFM® fitting means you’re eliminating product leakage and downtime for adjustments.
Choosing the right material – Seeflex connectors have superior wear resistance
The right choice of connector for your application depends on many variables, such as operating temperature, chemical composition, pressure etc. The range of BFM® fitting materials offer solutions for every application, but the most popular connectors used on sifters and other oscillating equipment are the Seeflex products.
Seeflex has a unique construction method that makes it superior to many other urethanes or products like silicon or rubber as it will not tear – even if a hole is somehow made in it. Seeflex is extremely flexible and has impressive wear resistance, making it last much longer than most other products on the market.
Whilst BFM® fittings’ Seeflex 040E connectors are the most widely used on oscillating equipment, the BFM® range features other durable options, including breathable materials, that are also designed to last the distance on challenging equipment.