Integrated technological solutions provider Siemens – in partnership with its subsidiary Flender and engineering solutions provider Tech Edge – unveiled a complete electromechanical cable belt conveyor drivetrain solution during a demonstration last month.
Siemens, Flender and Tech Edge announced during the demonstration – held in Edenvale – that they had formed a partnership that enabled them to develop such a solution that is ideally suited to the needs of the mining industry.
Siemens Process Solutions country business unit manager Tim Walwyn explains that the new drivetrain solution has been developed for deployment at mining company South32’s Wessels manganese mine, in the Northern Cape. The solution was designed to cater to common mine-related drivetrain concerns – such as longevity, reliability, maintenance costs and safety – and ensure reliable operation of the mine’s main manganese ore conveyer belt.
“The new electromechanical cable belt conveyor drivetrain is the first end-to-end integrated mechanical and electrical drivetrain system to be implemented at a mine by Siemens in South Africa,” enthuses Walwyn.
The complete solution – which has now completed its factory acceptance phase – is expected to be installed and ready for operation at the Wessels mine in April next year, he highlighted.
The aim of the drivetrain solution – commissioned to replace the ageing, operation-critical, ore conveyer drive system at the mine – is to significantly reduce mine costs by eliminating unnecessary line downtime. Walwyn emphasises that the system achieves this by combining the most robust product offerings from Siemens’ electrical range and Tech Edge’s mechanical range.
The design includes the replacement of the head-drivegear of the conveyor system and the design of a complete new drivetrain building to house all the new equipment required for the drivetrain. Walwyn stresses that the new drive system has been designed to be installed parallel to the existing conveyer system to minimise any disruptions to operations.
Operations will only be briefly disrupted when they are transferred from the mine’s existing conveyer system to the drivetrain solution, emphasises Walwyn. Siemens further states that it has also reduced anticipated downtime by working closely with its subcontracting partner Tech Edge to perform a fully integrated factory acceptance test of the complete electromechanical system as a functioning integrated drive system.
Walwyn states that the testing will ensure the highest degree of readiness before installing the solution on site, thus accelerating lead times and minimising operation downtime further.
The new conveyer system solution is a twin-drivetrain system with an overall capacity of 880 tonnes an hour operating on twin-motors with a combined output of 1 400 kW. The system’s cable belt operates at a 14.5º incline and runs at a maximum speed of 3.3 m/s and delivers a peak rope-pull of 30 t per rope.
Providing an integrated system from one supplier enables mines to minimise project risks by ensuring that all components – such as the motors, gears and conveyer belt system – are ideally designed to complement one another resulting in robust drivetrain performance and eradicating potential interface issues, concludes Walwyn.