Cross Belt Sampling Systems

A Cross Belt Sampler is an automated means to collect a sample increment that is approximately equivalent to a sample increment collected using a set of static dividers on a stationary belt.


Cross Belt Samplers are used as both stand-alone primary sampling units, or as primary or other subsequent stage samplers in Multi-Stage Sampling Systems. Cross Belt Samplers are an easily implemented, cost-effective means of sample collection. There are many reasons for using Cross Belt Samplers, and these reasons often vary by industry. Some common reasons for choosing Cross Belt Samplers include improving personnel safety by eliminating the need for stockpile sampling, improving personnel safety by allowing personnel to collect samples without being in close proximity to operating equipment, reduced downtime compared to other sampling methods that may be in use, system layout constraints (e.g. height), and relative low cost compared to installation of other types of samplers. Cross Belt Samplers are an effective, value-driven sampling option when correctly designed and implemented.

How Cross Belt Sampling Systems Work

Instead of stopping a conveyor belt to define an increment with a stopped belt divider and removing that increment with a shovel and broom, a Cross Belt Sampler uses a rotating counter-weighted sample cutter and moves in a 360-degree rotation perpendicular to the material flow above a conveyor.

One increment consists of quickly accelerating the sample cutter assembly from a parked position over the sampler discharge area and continuing through a short period of steady-state motion until the sample cutter has rotated back around to the material flow on a conveyor belt. The cutter then passes through the material flow — which has been correctly formed to the cutter radius using the McLanahan Cut Zone System — and wipes the belt clean using a proprietary cutter wiper material while collecting a sample increment. Immediately following the collection of a sample increment, the cutter assembly rapidly stops back in its original parked position over the discharge area, where the sample is ejected from the sample cutter and deposited into the discharge chute.

The sample cutter drivetrain can be designed in several ways, but gear-reducer/brakemotor units are most commonly used on standard to heavy-duty units, with electro-hydraulic clutch/brake units being employed on extreme-duty units.

Cross Belt Samplers are used in many applications, including: plant product conveyors in aggregate and frac sand facilities; as-received and as-fired conveyors in coal fired power plants; ROM and loadout conveyors at mines; crushed ore conveyors feeding various types of beneficiation plants; stacking conveyors where bulk materials are stored; reclaim conveyors where bulk materials are removed from storage; and as secondary or tertiary samplers in Multi-Stage Sampling Systems, including McLanahan secondary sample processing offerings.

Why McLanahan Cross Belt Sampling Systems

McLanahan offers both first-class design and experience when it comes to Cross Belt Samplers. Cross Belt Samplers are not all designed (or created, if you will) equally. Simply put, it is top-notch design that sets McLanahan apart from the competition. This design expertise is what allows McLanahan to be successful in many challenging applications where others may falter. In fact, the majority of concerns that are associated with the use of Cross Belt Samplers can be minimized by correct design.     

McLanahan’s grasp of the cross belt design has led us to develop a complete line of Cross Belt Samplers, a product line that covers the entire range of applications — from standard to extreme — and matches the appropriate machine design to a specific application. This complete line of Cross Belt Samplers also includes the McLanahan Cut Zone belt contouring system. The Cut Zone System is critical to the success of cross belt sampling applications. Beyond design, McLanahan’s experience allows us to correctly select applications where Cross Belt Samplers will be successful and to make adaptations to a machine design based on the unique requirements of sampling applications. This includes knowing when to offer advice on which samplings applications may be best served with other sampling equipment options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cross Belt Sampling Systems

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If a Cross Belt Sampler does not suit your sampling requirements, McLanahan offers an assortment of Falling Stream Samplers that could be used if sufficient overhead clearance and footprint is available. Also, if the sampling application in question is related to sampling from trucks, railcars or other stationary lots, Auger Sampling Systems can be considered.

Part of what makes Cross Belt Samplers a cost-effective solution is the relative ease with which they are installed. In fact, if it is assumed that power is available in the area that the sampler is to be installed, a standard-duty 36” Cross Belt Sampler can usually be installed in a day or less. 

No. McLanahan Cross Belt Samplers are designed to be supported by a removable base that allows the sampler to be installed around the conveyor belt. 

Cross Belt Samplers are successfully implemented nearly anywhere material is being handled by belt conveyor.

Features & Benefits
  • Cost-effective sampling solution
  • Easier to install than other sampling equipment offerings
  • Incorporates the McLanahan Cut Zone belt contouring system for correct sample extraction
  • Multiple duty class designs are available, including standard-duty, heavy-duty, and extreme-duty
  • Designs suitable up to 10,000 stph (8,900 mtph) are available
  • Standard electro-mechanical drives and brakes with other heavy-duty drive and braking options are available
  • Multiple access ports to inspect and maintain all working components
  • Robust design intended for long-term reliability in harsh applications

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