Bulk materials handling solutions provider Martin Engineering introduced the company’s newest primary cleaner offering, the CleanScrape, to Zambia, following its launch at Electra Mining, which was held at the Nasrec Expo Centre, in Johannesburg, last year.
The primary cleaner has been supplied to mining company First Quantum Minerals’ Kansanshi mine, in the North-Western province of Zambia.
“This scraper is the latest addition to our belt-cleaning products and can operate on belts with speeds as high as 8 m/s and, in most cases, belts with mechanical joints. Minimal maintenance is needed and this cleaner wear life exceeds that of any of our competitor's products,” enthuses Martin Engineering conveyor product manager Louis Kruger, adding that the company services the Zambian market from its office in Witbank, Mpumalanga.
He adds that the company will be on site to assist with commissioning once the installation date of the CleanScrape has been confirmed by the mine.
The CleanScrape technology was first introduced to the market in 2010. The CleanScrape cleaner is installed diagonally across the discharge pulley, forming a three-dimensional curve beneath the discharge area that conforms to the pulley.
Kruger notes that in today’s tough economic climate, companies across global mining industries – including Zambia – are reliant on products and equipment to perform as efficiently as possible, as faulty or ineffective equipment can lead to regular unplanned downtime of conveyors and may cause damage to other equipment.
“Production losses, product degradation and unsafe working conditions will be imminent and will have major effects on the profitability of operations and the morale of all employees should equipment fail,” Kruger notes.
Although project work is out of the company’s scope of work, he explains, Martin Engineering has finalised an extensive number of sales in the Zambian mining industry, to which it offers support on all its products and services.
“We have found that mining, globally, mostly has the same challenges, most of which are associated with the operation of conveyor belts.”
Kruger explains that these operational problems cause increased demand for labour, production losses, unsafe working conditions and damage to equipment and machinery.
Other challenges at mining operations, even in Zambia, include material carry-back; material spillages; conveyor or structure damages, owing to conveyor misalignment; product build-up or degradation; and dust and material entrapment at the tail pulley and loading zones.
“However, these problems can easily be avoided or corrected with the use of specific engineered products,” Kruger notes.
Martin Engineering’s specially engineered product offering for the Zambian mining market, besides belt cleaners that can be installed in almost any application to reduce carry-back, include belt trackers for the carrying and return side of the conveyor, which are “easily maintainable”.
“The belt trackers keep conveyors in the correct position. These also limit spillage and protect the conveyor belt, as well as the structure, from possible damage,” Kruger explains.
Further, the company’s tail pulley protection products – such as its SS32 V-Plough and SC35 Bias Plough – prohibit fugitive material from being trapped between the belt and the tail pulley, while its belt support products, such as its track-mounted idlers, enable “safe, quick and easy” idler maintenance at the loading zone.
Kruger further adds that belt impact-support products – such as the company’s high-speed impact cradle and track-mounted impact bed – protect the conveyor belt in applications with massive drop-heights and where oversized material is conveyed, while double-lip skirting systems are used to contain the dust and material fines on the belt.
Belt support products are also offered for use at the loading zone to ensure a straight belt profile for skirting systems. Air cannons as well as a range of vibrators can also assist to remove material build-up and “hang-ups” in chutes and silos, says the company.
Martin Engineering also offers silo cleaning and its service technicians have an average 27 years of experience in bulk materials handling, Kruger enthuses.
He concludes that Martin Engineering’s product engineers and development teams work “side-by-side” with sales and service leaders to allow the sharing of innovative ideas within corporate mining communities based globally, as well as to “help facilitate the development of new products that ensure cleaner, safer and more productive bulk materials handling worldwide”.