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Drive tech company joins Indaba community

An image of national sales and marketing manager Jonathan McKey

JONATHAN MCKEY SEW-Eurodrive is in the process of transforming the local drives and automation segment with its new 26 000 m2 factory in Aeroton, Johannesburg

22nd April 2022


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On its return to the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the Investing in African Mining Indaba is “looking forward to a reunion like no other” and, for the first time in its history, drives and automation specialist SEW-Eurodrive will be exhibiting at the event.

Under the overarching theme: ‘Evolution of African Mining: Investing in the Energy Transition, ESG and the Economies’, the mining community will be invited to look to the future by finding new strategies to deal with challenges and transform the industry.

This is an ideal first theme for SEW-Eurodrive, which is in the process of transforming the local drives and automation segment with its new 26 000 m2 factory in Aeroton, Johannesburg, says national sales and marketing manager Jonathan McKey.

The new facility houses the company’s head office as well as its massively expanded assembly, warehousing and repair facilities for geared motors and industrial gearboxes, as well as the company’s variable-speed drives and servo motors, which will be assembled in a purpose-built clean electronics assembly area.

The flagship SEW-Eurodrive product for the mining industry, the new Generation X.e Series of industrial gear (IG) units will be the first product to be assembled in this new local facility.

X.e Series IGs have been purpose designed to be more robust, reliable, efficient and easier to maintain, making them ideal for the harsh environments of the African mining industry.

The number of possible torque/speed combinations and fine-size graduations have been significantly increased to make the X.e series easy to customise to precisely meet the needs of applications such as mine conveyors or mill drives.

A number of additional modular features and options, such as motor adapters, backstops, various sealing and shaft systems and many more, also add to ease of use and reliability of X.e Series systems.

On the mill drive side, the use of the new X.e range in girth gear applications has become the global standard where drive reliability and flexibility with respect to speed and control are critical to secure maximum uptime and optimum grinding efficiencies.

SEW-Eurodrive’s segmented girth gears comprise precision-manufactured individual segments that simplify handling, transportation and onsite assembly of these very large open gears. This allows these systems to be more easily shipped to site in standard containers, while also simplifying onsite assembly, which can be done far more quickly and with much less lifting equipment.

And while these girth gears are key final-stage components of mill drives and rotary scrubbers, SEW-Eurodrive supplies total mill drive solutions and power packs, which typically includes the large electric motors, two-stage IGs and the external pinions to drive the girth gear, all of which are designed and manufactured by SEW-Eurodrive to best suit the milling application in question.

For high torque mining applications such as bulk materials handling systems and apron feeder drives on conveying systems, SEW-Eurodrive’s planetary P-series IGs can be coupled with primary bevel-helical gear units to offer compact and cost-effective solutions with high thermal ratings.

P-X series planetary units combined with proven X series industrial gear units offer all the advantages of two ground-breaking industrial gear unit concepts. The special optimisation of the gear unit housings and the shared oil chamber for both gear units ensure very high thermal ratings; horizontal, vertical or angled mounting position are possible; while increased load bearing capacity means that even heavy motors can be flange mounted.

Owing to simple installation and alignment, in combination with high operational reliability, maintenance costs and total costs of ownership can be significantly reduced, offering extraordinary economic advantages.

Further supporting mine equipment reliability, SEW-Eurodrive has also recently released its DriveRadar predictive maintenance management solution into the local market. DriveRadar automatically records and analyses digital operational data from industrial gear units and uses it to track equipment condition in real time and predict performance changes.

It enables mine operators to plan maintenance and repair activities predictively so as to avoid undesirable and unnecessary system-wide failures.

SEW-Eurodrive’s new local assembly capability will offer South and Southern African clients massively reduced lead times for replacement drive units and complete drive and power packs, which will result in better support for the local content requirements embedded in the Mining Charter.

The typical lead time for imported large industrial gearboxes by most gearbox original-equipment manufacturers can range anything from 18 to 24 weeks or more. Once SEW-Eurodrive’s assembly plant is complete and operational, it will be able to assemble most common modular designs locally at capacities of about five a week.

Final drive assemblies, when all components have been received from sub-suppliers, will see numbers achieved of about ten units a week.

This is a bold step that demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting South Africa’s localisation initiatives.

To view and find out more about these and many other advanced SEW-Eurodrive drive and automation solutions for the mining industry, come to the Mining Indaba at the CTICC from May 9 to 12.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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