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Purpose-built drive solutions for African mining

A visual representation of the DriveRadar Internet of Things predictive maintenance solution

COMPREHENSIVE VIEW In support of the reliability of mine equipment, SEW-EURODRIVE can also install its DriveRadar predictive maintenance management solution

29th July 2022


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Motors and drives original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) SEW-EURODRIVE notes the completion of the new multimillion local assembly facility in Johannesburg has resulted in lead time advantages.

The OEM is currently delivering on a R200-million investment in the expanded South African facility, which will enable SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa to look after another 24 facilities in different African countries.

SEW-EURODRIVE offers a range of purpose-built adaptable drive solutions to best suit the specific needs of equipment operating on African mines. “We supply innovative, high-quality and premium efficiency drive products. In addition, through a significantly larger local stockholding and our expanded local assembly capability, we can now deliver solutions with the shortest lead times available on the African continent,” says SEW-EURODRIVE’s national sales and marketing manager Jonathan McKey.

“Also, most of the accessories that are needed for these drive solutions, such as brakes, oil pumps and encoders, are also supplied by SEW-EURODRIVE many of which are not add-on components from sub-suppliers,” he adds.

Citing some key examples, McKey begins with SEW-EURODRIVE’s flagship New Generation X.e Series industrial gearboxes (IGs). “The X.e Series IGs offer robust, reliable, efficient and easy to maintain modular solutions that are ideal for the harsh environments on African mines,” he says.

The stockholding 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.

Additional modular features and options, such as motor adapters, backstops, various sealing and shaft systems, also add to their ease of use and reliability. “For mill drives, the use of the new X.e IG range has become part of the SEW-EURODRIVE global standard where drive reliability and flexibility, with respect to speed and control are critical to ensure maximum uptime and optimum grinding efficiencies, particularly when coupled to one of our segmented girth gears,” McKey continues.

SEW-EURODRIVE’s large open segmented girth gears comprise of precision-manufactured cast ductile individual segments that simplify handling, transportation and on-site assembly, as well as strength and hardness for longer lasting reliability. This allows complete drive systems to be easily shipped to site in standard containers, while also simplifying on-site assembly, which can be done far more quickly and with lighter lifting equipment.

While girth gears are the core component of mill drives and rotary scrubbers, SEW-EURODRIVE supplies total mill drive solutions and power packs, which typically include a large electric motor and IGs to turn the external pinion that drives the girth gear. “SEW-EURODRIVE will engineer and assemble the entire drivetrain to best suit the milling application in question, along with assisting commissioning of the lubrication, cooling, braking and low-speed maintenance gearboxes typically incorporated on modern mill drive solutions,” he says.

In support of the reliability of mine equipment, SEW-EURODRIVE can also install its DriveRadar predictive maintenance management solution. “DriveRadar automatically records and analyses operational data from our industrial gear units and uses it to track equipment condition in real time and predict performance changes,” McKey explains.

“DriveRadar is a fully functional industrial solution that is designed as a comprehensive condition monitoring systems for critical drivetrain systems. The system can be retrofitted, though, making it ideal for improving the reliability of existing mining plant. DriveRadar devices can be connected to any software or control environment with Ethernet-based fieldbus systems [using] WiFi, cable or through existing network channels,” he notes.

Describing the SEW-EURODRIVE offering for high-torque mining applications such as bulk materials handling systems and apron feeder drives on conveying systems, McKey notes that SEW-EURODRIVE’s planetary P-series series IGs are coupled with primary gear units to offer compact and cost-effective solutions with high thermal ratings.

“[Owing] to simple installation and alignment, the combination of P-X series planetary units with proven X and X.e series IG units can deliver high operational torque requirements and reliability, while maintenance costs and total costs of ownership can be significantly reduced, offering extraordinary economic advantages,” he suggests.

In addition, for many variable torque processing plant drive applications such as conveyors, pumps, extractor fans, bucket and chain elevators, hoists and lifting systems, travel drives and mixers, SEW-EURODRIVE’s comprehensive range of gearmotors and large IG solutions are available in numerous sizes and ratios.

Leaning towards Electronics, SEW-EURODRIVE’s MOVIMOT and MoviC solutions deliver gearmotors with integrated frequency inverters for applications that require an easily implementable variable speeds and special automated functionality.

“This new facility in Aeroton, Johannesburg, will massively reduce lead times for South and Southern African clients, for replacement units, spares availability and complete drive power packs,” he comments.

“Whatever SEW-EURODRIVE products the African continent needs, our intent is to localise product assembly and support – at large scales and volumes – to ensure that our customers have the shortest possible lead times that the industry can offer and the highest quality aftersales support services,” McKey concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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