Foundations™ Learning Center

Material Flow Problems

If material isn’t flowing properly, production is affected.

Proper load zone belt support and sealing are critical to preventing spillage.


If you are using a hopper/bin/silo, eventually you will run into some sort of flow problem. Feed chutes or hoppers feeding conveyor belts get plugged. Wet/sticky material can build up over time inside of transfer chutes, plugging it and eventually spilling out. Most of the time, plants don’t know there is buildup until material is seen spilling out because the internal problem isn’t visible from the outside. Hangups in corners also lead to lancing and manual cleanout which create safety hazards. Air cannons and vibration improve material flow.


Don’t let flow affect your production. Keep your process going!


Root Causes:
  • High material moisture percentage
  • Change in material trajectory
  • Redesigned chute to get more/less flow from original plan
  • Changes in process such as belt speed, type of material, etc., 
  • As walls get beat up and rusted out, material will flow less efficiently

Best Practices:
  • Utilize vibration and/or air cannons to dislodge material blockages
  • Manage, monitor, and maintain bins
  • Proper design of chutes to encourage evacuation of all material
  • Line the hopper to prevent material sticking
  • Proper selection of flow aid to match material/buildup


Be proactive and preventative about avoiding material buildup that leads to stopped production.

Small problems can quickly turn into big problems.