Tippers assist materials transport

28th May 2021 By: Khutso Maphatsoe - journalist

Niche container products supplier Specialised Container Agencies (SCA) designs and manufactures a range of containerised bulk materials handling equipment that ensures safe and efficient offloading from rail wagons and road trucks.

Key advantages of this equipment include improved productivity, product protection and lower operating costs in container handling.

The SCA portfolio includes the locally manufactured SCA container tippers, launched in June 2019.

SCA director Ken Mouritzen explains that the tipplers are cost effective, as they are a comparatively low investment compared with other tippers available on the market. Further, the tippers can be relocated to various locations.

The range includes the intermodal side tipper bins to offload materials quickly from rail wagons and road trucks, and side-tip reception feeders that receive bulk materials directly from tipping trucks and loading shovels.

“SCA specialises in the design of containerised bulk materials handling products for high-speed, heavy-haul and intermodal functions for road and rail infrastructure. “Although the company supports the global initiative to move freight transport from road to rail, we believe in a combination of the benefits of rail and road transport.”

Mouritzen adds that key advantages of rail infrastructure include less long-haul bulk traffic on national roads, resulting in less congestion and wear of road surfaces; improved safety for drivers and cargo; fewer emissions because of road-related freight; and reduced insurance premiums throughout the logistics chain.

Further, the SCA container tipper has an advanced system which allows for fast and efficient engagement, as well as unloading.

Once the container is safely engaged, the control system takes over full functionality to lift, unload and reposition the empty container, without the need for operator intervention.

“It was critical that the tipper could safely lift the container, rotate it and unload the material at a predetermined position. The system also had to be able to engage, lift, unload and reposition either half-height or full-height containers at a rate comparable to that of dedicated bulk materials handling systems, such as wagon tipplers or bottom dumpers.

He adds that the system used to transport the bulk materials ensures ease of loading, handling and transport by either road or rail, enabling traditionally locked-in markets – including the mining sector – to deliver material batches to terminals for export.

The basic concept of the SCA container tipper system is based on advanced technologies, where the container tipper grab is aligned relative to the container twist-lock pockets, which are unloaded with a mechanical grab assembly to clear the adjacent containers.

This design allows for there to be enough room between closely spaced containers on road or rail wagons.

In addition, the SCA container tippler lifts full containers using counterweight-assisted pivot-drive assemblies while keeping the container orientation horizontal using dual-tip cylinder arrangement.

Once fully retracted, the tip cylinder is locked in position, which enables the container to start the tip process while being supported on grab support beams, Mouritzen notes.

Owing to the container being in a 90º position, the material can flow from the container into the chute assembly, which guides it into the receiving bin. To complete the tip process, tip cylinders are extended and pulsed to finalise the emptying of all stored materials from the container into the receiving bin.

Further, on completion of the unloading process, the tip cylinders and pivot-drive assemblies orientate and return the empty container to its original lift position.

SCA plans to launch a new, fully mechanised tippler system with automatic container position detection, engagement, unloading and repositioning soon, Mouritzen concludes.