About the Spidler

The Spidler® has been designed to eliminate production losses caused by idler roller failures and to provide a complete asset management solution to revolutionise the way idler rollers are managed, all while reducing human intervention.


Changing conveyor idler rollers is a time consuming, risky and inefficient  task. The current method used to change idler rollers involves stopping production, isolating equipment, lifting the conveyor belt and manhandling the idler rollers to and from the conveyor installation (idler rollers can weigh up to 65kg each).


There are a significant number of injuries caused each year from this task. In an average bulk handling facility, a single idler roller replacement causes over one hour of downtime, resulting in significant production losses. The Spidler® was developed by Sandpit Innovation in response to the physical and financial risks involved in manually changing conveyor idler rollers.

A demonstration machine has been successfully tested in a large scale iron ore port operation located in Port Hedland, Western Australia. The machine demonstrated replacing carrier idler rollers from all positions using a gantry mounted robot, without human intervention, while the conveyor was under normal operating conditions (+15ktph).


By using robotics and automation technology, human intervention concerns are eliminated, vastly improving safety. In addition, the idler roller change-out is performed while the conveyor is fully operational, allowing production to continue unhindered.


In addition to safety, there are three primary value streams that deliver rapid return on investment and long term financial benefit.


Approximately 46% of the financial benefit is attributed to reducing production downtime caused by unplanned idler roller change-outs.


The Spidler® allows idler rollers to be replaced at any time, planned or unplanned. This significantly reduces the need to perform large scale idler roller change-outs during plant shutdowns, allowing a reduced work force to focus on other critical work. In most cases, this also allows an operation to reduce their overall shutdown schedule, meaning more plant availability.


Since idler rollers can be replaced any time of the day, they can be more selectively replaced based on their condition, therefore extending idler roller service life (reduced inventory and change-out labour). The subsequent financial benefit accounts for ~18% of the total financial benefit delivered from a Spidler®.