Fan range redesigned to meet industry needs

22nd November 2019


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Global ventilation fans and systems manufacturer TLT-Turbo GmbH has announced the redesign of its Auxiliary and Booster fan range. The new designs engender efficiency and cost effectiveness in a versatile product range able to meet the ventilation requirements of the mining industry.

Development of the new fan range concept began in early 2015. Following a lengthy global market study to gain an understanding of the market requirements, the range was defined in mid-2017, with fabrication of the first units taking place shortly thereafter.

“The development of the Auxiliary and Booster fan range would not have been possible without the input of clients. This ensured that we focused on key market-driven requirements including energy efficiency, noise reduction, cost effectiveness and turnaround time,” states TLT-Turbo Africa technical director Michael Minges.

“To sell these products we needed to ensure close customer relationships and visibility. We are striving to change the industry’s mindset on the use of such fans to ensure proper fan selection for the ventilation required. In optimising mine ventilation, efficient, high-quality Auxiliary and Booster fans can add as much value as surface fan installation.”

TLT-Turbo started commissioning of the first iterations of the fan range towards the end of 2017, in the sub-Saharan market through its Africa office. The development of the various fan sizes of the new range was based on market interest at the time.

The fan designs and performance validation were completed at the end of July this year. The complete roll out of the product, with all supporting documents and certification, was targeted for the end of September.

Minges explains that meeting the identified market demands was the primary focus of the improved designs.

“As energy efficiency is one of the main drivers of industrial equipment usage, and minimum efficiency requirements on certain equipment are often legislated, TLT-Turbo identified the need and opportunity for more efficient mining fans compared to what is currently in use.”

The range’s unique stator design and aerodynamic fairings, manufactured from wear-resistant composite materials, result in improved efficiencies and reduced noise levels. The modularity of the fan casings enables quick and simple assembly with interchangeable ancillary fan parts.

The motor mounting, in coherence with a machined impeller track, ensures low and controllable blade tip clearances for improved performance and efficiencies, while the pad mount motors help significantly reduce vibration levels in the axial direction of the motor, which leads to longer motor bearing life and lower maintenance requirements.

Minges says that all possible measures are taken to ensure the highest quality and best possible performance of every fan supplied by TLT-Turbo.

“All fans are ISO 5801 tested, unless the client agrees to type testing on higher volume orders. We ensure the client quoted performance is met before the fans leave the factory. Test certificates on both raw data and calculated performance can be provided on request.”

He adds that fan efficiency is determined through performance testing and that clients are regularly invited to witness the performance tests to enhance credibility.

“The fans also come with pressure ports that can be hooked up to a calibrated handheld measuring device to measure performance on site.”

Ease of maintenance was also a major consideration in developing the new range, Minges notes, adding that the modularity of the product design and the interchangeable standardised parts allow for quick turnaround time on parts supply.

“We only have two blade types for the full product range and generally only one motor barrel per fan size, accommodating various motor sizes and types. Standardisation on the product is the key to successfully managing maintenance and repair as it allows ample supply of spares for companies certified to do the repair work.”

He comments that the design’s track record has indicated a longer mean time between failure than previous products.

The fan range is being rolled out in phases. The preliminary testing at sites located in sub-Saharan Africa has been launched successfully. The next phase is to roll out the new range in the US, Canada, Europe, Russia and Australia. Following this, product supply and support will be extended to TLT-Turbo offices in South America and India. In the interim though, Minges says that these fans can be supplied to clients worldwide from TLT-Turbo Africa.

TLT-Turbo has received a number of orders for these fans since the end of 2017, including South African clients seeking a solution for deepening a gold mine, and for the Kamoa Copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The feedback that we have received thus far has been that the fans are meeting our and client expectations. I am proud to say that one engineering, procurement and construction consultant used the phrase ‘super fan’ to describe the new range and indicated that he has not heard a fan of this size so quiet before,” boasts Minges.

The Auxiliary and Booster fan range was developed to enhance TLT-Turbo’s mining ventilation product portfolio and is based on historic innovative designs by the TLT-Turbo Africa research and development team.

“Continual product development and keeping up to date with the latest technologies is ingrained within the engineering teams of TLT-Turbo. Ensuring that innovations are market and client driven with the end result benefiting the industry, puts us at the forefront of advancement in ventilation solutions,” Minges concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor


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