Cone Crusher Maintenance
Top tips for getting the most from your machine this season.
Performing regularly scheduled maintenance on cone crushers is the most critical step in maintaining day-to-day reliability and optimum product output. Let it be known that even performing minor cleanup and inspections around and on cone crushers on a daily basis can yield increased service life. But doing a bit more can certainly boost production performance and product quality. Kraig Thistle, regional service technician for Telsmith, Inc., shares some top tips for getting the most from cone crushers this season.
1. Choke feeding is a must.
At the top of Thistle’s list is keeping the cone crusher choke fed during operation — a practice that maximizes the effectiveness of rock-on-rock crushing, which, in turn, maintains maximum manganese wear life and ensures a quality product shape. He stresses that it’s certainly common to see crushers operating with too little feed or with too many fines in the feed. A lack of feed causes side-loading of the machine, which means that crushing forces are affecting all internal components. Similarly, in the case of an overabundance of fines, crushing forces subject components to damage and premature wear. Additionally, when not choke feeding, one is increasing recirculating loads, which impacts components such as screens or other crushers that are downstream of the circuit.
2. Make oil lubrication systems a top priority
The importance of timely oil changes cannot be stressed enough, as your crusher uses the oil supply for both cooling and lubrication. Allowing the crusher to operate with worn-out or contaminated oil could lead to a decrease in bearing, gear, and liner life. Check your oil and filters daily, and change them at the proper intervals recommended in your owner’s manual.
Always uncover the source of contaminants. For instance, where oil leaks out, contaminants such as dust particles and water can get in. Inspect all your hydraulic systems and tag any leaks for corrective action on the very next maintenance cycle. Completely drain and thoroughly clean out the inside of the oil tank to eliminate any contaminants before refilling.
It is important to note that establishing a scheduled oil sampling program indicates a baseline of normal wear and can help indicate when abnormal wear or contamination is occurring. Oil that has been inside any moving mechanical apparatus for a period of time reflects the exact condition of that assembly.
If your crusher is equipped with an external-mounted oil pump, the following items must be checked or lubricated on a regular basis:
• Lubricate the oil pump bearings every 500 hours.
• Check reservoir oil level daily, and change oil every 600 hours of operation.
• Perform a weekly inspection of the oil pump shaft seal. A slow drip of oil from this seal is normal while the pump is operating. If oil leakage is greater than a small drip, evenly tighten the packing gland (seal) until approximately one drip per minute is visible with the pump operating. Do not over-tighten the seal so that no oil drip is present. The small drip must be present when the pump shaft is rotating.
Lubrication systems with tank-mounted oil pumps allow oil to be circulated before crusher startup to provide pre-lubrication of the crusher internal components. An alarm system is an integral part of this lube system. During the operation of certain cone crushers, an alarm may sound if any of the following abnormal conditions occur for more than five seconds — a low feed-line oil flow; a low feed-line oil pressure; or a high return-line oil temperature. If these conditions continue to occur, a time-delayed shutdown of the crusher may occur.
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