SMART Floors: Automating Metered Reclaim

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When it comes to automating material processing and storage, moving floors are a compelling option. There are several designs to consider, but it is important to understand the differences. Several companies offer moving aluminum slat floor systems that can quickly move the entire pile using friction. However, SMART Floors from BE&E have many unique advantages, making them a more attractive storage and metering option for many materials. SMART Floors can accurately “meter” material as it’s discharged, whereas the output from a moving slat floor depends on pile height and the friction coefficient of the material.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes a SMART Floor so smart.

Versatile, Modular Design

The versatility of SMART Floors makes them an essential addition to bulk-handling businesses of any size. Receiving and infeed are often convoluted processes that rely on manually operated equipment, such as wheel loaders, to move piles of unloaded material after trucks dump it on the ground (dead storage). However, our SMART Floors allow you to automate this process. For example, in addition to being loaded from conveyors or cyclones, moving-floor trucks can unload directly into our floors. Automation reduces the number of personnel required and the operational cost, particularly with wheel loaders, the ongoing expense of which has increased significantly over the years.

Another advantage of SMART Floors is its modular design. You can divide and install them in a way that best suits your operation. You can install SMART Floors in existing buildings or container systems with stroke lengths to match the width. As you line the strokers up side-by-side, you increase the system’s capacity. Increasing the pile height again increases the storage capacity.

Ease of Maintenance

Moving slat floors use a system of slats that operate together to move material, then retract individually to take the next “bite.” Since they are aluminum, the wear in a 24/7 operation is substantial. Maintenance of a slat floor requires a complete shutdown and a failure of any component shuts down the entire floor. With a SMART Floor, crews can perform maintenance work on individual strokers without shutting down the entire floor.

Redundancy and Reliability

Reliability is critical to your operations, and we designed that into the SMART Floor. Since each stroker is independent of the other and output is based upon total oil flow, a jammed stroker does not reduce output. If one stops moving due to an obstruction, the others speed up to compensate. The same ability allows maintenance to occur without interrupting the floor output. For instance, if a cylinder seal fails, simply shut that cylinder off and replace it while the others keep working.

An important part of a reliable design is simplicity. Our floors use a push-pull, hydraulic-based, wedged stroker system. The control of the stroke is entirely within the hydraulic valve. There are no limit switches. There is no electrical requirement beyond power to the HPU.

Rugged Construction

We know the demands on machinery in the industries we serve, so we build the SMART Floors tough. SMART Floors are all structural steel with oversized components. You can drive your loader right over them and not hurt a thing. The cylinders are welded with oversized tangs, bushings, and pins. SMART Floors will provide years of trouble-free service. In fact, our recommended complete inspection frequency is just once per year!

Metered Reclaim

Finally, as anyone who has dealt with bulk materials knows, one of the biggest challenges is often getting materials to flow smoothly and evenly. This difficulty is especially true for materials like biomass, as they can interlock and clump together.

This isn’t an issue in SMART Floors from BE&E, though. We tailor the size and shape of the wedges to the material properties, and the output required. We do not require any other added machinery, such as a rotating roll at the discharge, to achieve metered flow. The SMART floors sheer material off the bottom of the pile, so flow is truly first in, first out. SMART Floors even allow customers to blend contents in the discharge conveyor by using dividing walls to segregate material in storage.

Ready for a more effective way to store and dispense materials? SMART Floors are the key to making your process as smooth and reliable as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our products and see how we can help streamline your business!

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