Mato Products has long been a household name in clip fasteners for conveyor belts, especially in the underground coal sector. The company operates one of only three high production Mato machines in the world, and significantly the only one outside of Germany.
After over 30 years of operation, the unit was overhauled in 2016 in an intense six-month refurbishment. It was upgraded from 180 tonne to 360 tonne capacity, speeding up production and ensuring ongoing cost-effectiveness and reliability of supply for customers.
While the application in South Africa was initially mainly underground, equipment variations for surface have now been developed and introduced to the market.
Speaking about some of the maintenance problems facing conveyors, Benjamin Sibanda, managing director of Mato Products notes that over-feeds at transfer points often lead to material build-up on the inside of a belt.
“As mines and other industrial facilities raise their environmental standards, they want to avoid problems like duff heaps under conveyors, which can cause pollution,” says Sibanda.
Mato’s belt cleaning systems include the Mato MCP3-S primary cleaner, which is installed at the head pulley. It is designed to be an aggressive head pulley cleaner, yet friendly to the conveyor belt surface and suitable for use with mechanical fasteners.
It offers a high level of cleaning due to its blade profile, and the spring tensioning system ensures the blade is in constant contact with the belt for the life of the blade while achieving up to a maximum of 75% cleaning.
The primary duty of the secondary Mato MUS2 belt cleaner, one of the company’s latest designs, is to remove fines and duff, for almost zero carry-back. It offers an M-TRAK slide on cushion and blade for easy installation and maintenance, adds Sibanda.
“The unique design of our MUS2 cushion is based on the principle of a parallelogram whereby the cushion stays true to the conveyor belts surface; ensuring the angle of attack is maintained.
“On the other hand, the unique M-TRAK is designed to eliminate lengthy maintenance downtime and ensures blade alignment is 100% true across the entire conveyor belt width. Blade replacement is also very simple with the design of the slide-on and slide-off principle, eliminating the need for special tools or training when maintenance is performed,” he says.
The plant tail-end cleaner is based on the same concept but is mounted on channels rather than on stringer pipes.
“This product includes innovative blade stoppers,” Sibanda explains. “When the blade is worn to a certain level, the mounted flat plate does not touch the belt, for better protection.”
Blades on the cleaners come in a range of materials suited to different applications, including polyurethane and tungsten.