To Skive or Not to Skive
Newer, compact belt skivers eliminate the guide track and winch, as well as the need to nail down the belt, while enabling fast, easy removal of conveyor-belt cover material. Employing an integral ratchet-driven roller design, these hand-operated tools carve a flat-bottomed trough as deep as 10 mm (3/8 inch) in a single pass. The multiple-pass capability of these skivers allows for deeper skiving in rubber and synthetic belts up to 32 mm (1-1/4 inch) thick. A range of user-selected widths accommodates varying belt-fastener sizes.
Operation and care
Operating begins with simple manual adjustments for desired skive depth and width. With the skiver properly positioned and secured on the belt end, users ratchet the tool across the width of the belt with one hand while guiding the tool with the other. Two pairs of rollers – each featuring a serrated upper and smooth lower roller – clamp the belt as the serrated rollers grip the top cover and drive the skiver, pulling a special steel blade through the belting. The skived belt cover comes off in one continuous strip.
Easy hand-screw adjustment of roller tension allows optimum operation, preventing water and dirt from affecting the drive. The resulting flat-bottomed trough features a rounded inside corner to prevent the belt cover from splitting.
For maximum, ongoing performance, skivers should be cleaned after each use and kept in a clean, dry area. Although the tools are rugged and durable, care should be taken to avoid dropping or tossing them. Both the top and bottom edges of the blades should be examined, making sure they are sharp and undamaged. Some skiver designs enable the blade to be sharpened while it is attached to the tool.
Properly selected and used, skivers provide precise and uniform cuts and eliminate the perils and injury potential associated with a hand knife. Both in terms of safety and conveyor productivity, they are tools that may pay for themselves many times over.
Benefits of Skiving
- Reduced maintenance and down time,
- Employee safety,
- Longer splice life,
- Increased cleaner blade and fastener life, and
- Stronger splices.
Chip Winiarski is Flexco’s market manager for heavy-duty applications. He serves customers, distributors, OEMs, design firms, and belting companies engaged in surface mining, quarry, aggregates, cement, and related industries.
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