Articles & Case Studies

A brush with success!

Posted: Monday 20th June 2011

Longwood Engineering has experienced soaring sales of its pioneering Escalator Self Adjusting Brush System since it went into full scale production last year, following a 12 month trial at United Utilities' Rochdale site, which brought about spectacular results in terms of performance and reliability.

The self-adjusting brush is now standard on all new Escalator Screens and it was incorporated into the screen recently tested at NSEF. The brush can also be easily retro-fitted on to existing Longwood Escalator Screens and will reduce maintenance and operator intervention, provide cleaner screens and consequently reduce downtime caused by blockages in the downstream process.

The development of the new brush system was brought about by the need for regular adjustment of the fixed brush to maintain maximum efficiency, and the tendency to over adjust which causes premature wear on the brush. This meant that if the brushes were not correctly maintained over time, then cleaning is not as effective as it should be. Following discussions with customers, Longwood Engineering discovered that, in a number of cases, there were simply not the resources to manually maintain the equipment to optimum efficiency and therefore the performance of the brush would reduce over time.

As a result of these findings, Longwood Engineering set a target to reduce the requirement for operator maintenance. The solution has been to 'engineer out' the requirement for manual adjustment on the rotating brush by employing a self-adjusting brush system. The system was trialled throughout 2009 on one of three Escalator screens at the inlet works at United Utilities, Rochdale and consisted of 9 inspection visits, to inspect, take photographs and record hours run. During the test, the system performed faultlessly, operating as expected, by continually cleaning the elements to the same efficiency, even as the brush wears. The trial also produced other additional findings, including the increased life span of the brush due to reduced forces imposed on the rotating brush, reductions in 'work round' costs, operator and maintenance inputs and downstream equipment failure, zero drop of in hydraulic performance, reduced wear on other components of the Escalator and overall increased reliability of the Escalator Screen.

Longwood Engineering subsequently fitted the Self Adjusting Brush System to screens at Netheridge STW. Jeff Beddall, O & M Planner at Severn Trent's Netheridge site says: "We now have three Self Adjusting Brushes installed at our Netheridge site and we are absolutely delighted with the improved performance and reliability that this system has facilitated. A massive increase to rag removal from the screens, reduced blockages of primary settlement tanks and a significantly reduced requirement for manual intervention has not only dramatically increased overall efficiency throughout the process, but also brought about major cost savings."

Following the success at Netheridge, Longwood Engineering is now retro fitting Self Adjusting Brushes to a number of other sites for Severn Trent Water, and other UK water companies, in particular United Utilities.

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