Keep Your Powder Sifters Running Smoothly: Tips for Maintaining Flexible Connectors

Powder sifters are complex pieces of machinery. When things go wrong, it can be hard to know where to start. But before you invest in costly fixes, first inspect your flexible connectors. Here are some tips on what to look for and how to prevent future issues.

Signs Your Flexible Connectors Are Failing

Obvious signs of flexible connector failure are cracks, tears, leaks, and dust buildup. However, faulty connectors often cause problems that appear more serious up or downstream in the production line.

For example, product backup may lead you to think that your sifter can’t handle the feed rate or that the screen is the wrong size. But you may just be dealing with a connector that’s twisted, misaligned, or collapsed due to high suction. If your sifter isn’t keeping up that may be a sign your flexible connectors aren’t doing their job.

Proper Connector Length Is Critical

Having the right connector length between the sifter and inlet/outlet feed is extremely important. If the connector is too long, the areas where it folds will be prone to abrasion and cracking. If it’s too short, it can easily rip or tear off the equipment.

As a guideline, the maximum movement of a sifter shouldn’t exceed 20% of the total connector length. For example, if the flexible connector is 24 inches long, then the sifter shouldn’t move more than 4.8 inches in any direction. Whether you’re dealing with gyratory, centrifugal, or vibratory powder sifters, exceeding that 20% ratio can lead to accelerated wear.

The maximum movement of a sifter shouldn't exceed 20% of the total connector length.

When measuring for a new flexible connector on a powder sifter, it’s crucial to measure the movement both during operation and startup/shutdown. This accounts for the largest potential distance.

Invest In Quality Connectors

Choosing the right flexible connector and installing it correctly can make a big difference in sifter performance and maintenance costs.

A high-quality system designed for oscillating equipment like a BFM® fitting connector system is optimal. Their internal, snap-fit design creates a perfect seal, eliminating dust leaks that can lead to more serious problems.

While BFM® fittings work with many applications, Seeflex 040E connectors are popular for powder sifters. The ideal connector material depends on factors like operating temperature, chemical composition, and pressure. Seeflex has superior wear resistance and flexibility compared to materials like silicone or fabric, ensuring a longer lifespan on high-impact equipment. Since BFM® fittings are standardized, once the spigots are installed at the correct distance, every replacement will be the perfect fit. This eliminates product leakage and downtime for adjustments.

BFM fitting in a dust free compact sifter.

Explore Your Options

If you’re dealing with product leaks or backup, check out our overview of solutions for powder sifters. Even though your machinery may be complex, you may simply need better flexible connectors.