Southern African bearings and power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI), a member of Hudaco Industries, is working closely with the manufacturers of the reclaimer chains in its product portfolio to penetrate the African market.
BI product manager Frikkie Ras tells Mining Weekly that the company has received interest in these bulk materials handling products from Africa-based mining operations since introducing the reclaimer chains manufactured by Germany-based Kobo and US-based Rexnord November last year.
However, the company has yet to supply the chain to a mining project.
BI, which is the sole distributor of Kobo reclaimer chains in Southern Africa, has been focused on the mining industry for many years and has supplied the highest quality sprockets and chains to the cement industry and diamond, coal and platinum mines in South Africa, says Ras.
“We have seen a gap in the market for reclaimer chains in Southern Africa and are working with our customers to supply reclaimer chains to the rest of Africa,” he explains.
Consequently, Hudaco and BI have started a project with BI’s export division and its mining segment leader.
BI offers a range of highly customisable chains that can address any challenge a mining site has to offer, says Ras.
To provide the best performance while operating in tough conditions, which are synonymous with Africa, Ras says a reclaimer chain must have large bearing areas, high harnesses and deep case depths.
“Rexnord and Kobo engineers have used these principles while retrofitting many reclaiming conveyors with chains and sprockets, achieving a longer-than-normal service life. For the superior value and performance specified by our customers, owing to their complex requirements, reclaimer chains are normally made to order and manufactured to meet the bespoke requirements of each customer and site,” explains Ras.
Kobo and Rexnord claim to offer the most extensive reclaimer chain range on the market, and can supply chains with a bent or welded attachment, an inner or outer roller and in lubricated or maintenance-free execution.
“Almost all chains can be manufactured in maintenance-free execution on request. The advantage is that the seal keeps a stable grease paste in the chain link, which extends the service life considerably,” Kobo explains.
Using a combination of materials and coatings to reduce wear and extend the chain life, as well as various roller types and attachments, these custom reclaimer chains are made to order to suit individual applications and facilitate customised upgrades for challenging applications.
Specialised materials and heat-treatment applications are also available for every pitch size, as are specialised sealing arrangements, outboard rollers to reduce wear to base chain rollers and perfectly matched chains and sprockets for smooth operation, adds Ras.
“We are working closely with our suppliers to guarantee quality and maintain a higher quality than what is expected by customers. We also offer to inspect the chain after its installation.”
BI has started a field service to assist with maintenance and breakdowns and can assist with the installation and in the commissioning of the chain.