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Simply Overcoming Obstacles

Simply Overcoming Obstacles
23 Mar 2020  |
In the mining industry, modern technologies require systems capable of transporting bulk materials efficiently from the quarry to their destination, through rough terrain and populated areas.

BEUMER Group supplies customized systems such as open troughed belt conveyors and closed Pipe Conveyors.

“With our belt conveying systems, we design comprehensive system solutions for the mining and cement industries world-wide”, says Dr. Andreas Echelmeyer. The head of the Conveying & Loading Systems sector at BEUMER Group, located in Beckum – Germany, mentions an example: The cement plant of the manufacturer Sichuan Yadong Cement Co., Ltd. is located in the Chinese province of Sichuan, near Pengzhou, some 8,000 kilometres from the BEUMER headquarters. Since 2009, the company uses a 12.7 kilometre-long BEUMER Group overland conveyor, to transport limestone from the quarry to the intermediate bin. The troughed belt conveyor runs through hilly terrain and over rivers and unstable ground. In 2016, in a second project, the system provider installed two more overland conveyors, this time with an overall length of 13.7 kilometres. These overland conveyors transport the limestone to the cement plant. “Unlike with the first order, our task now was to build the conveyor through a populated area”, explains the division manager. “No material should be lost during the process and in addition, no dust was allowed to escape; the prescribed level for noise emissions was not to be exceeded.”

Reduction of noise emission

The requirements could not have been more different, even for one and the same customer. However, the system provider can optimally adapt the closed Pipe Conveyors and the open troughed belt conveyors to the respective situation. In order to reduce the noise emissions, as required at Sichuan Yadong Cement, we’re installing special idlers and low-noise bearings, and select the correct conveying speed for the application”, describes Dr. Echelmeyer.

An essential feature of the technology is that it enables horizontal and vertical curves. Angles of inclination of up to 15 degrees are possible, depending on the characteristics of the material to be transported and the topography, with lengths of more than twelve kilometers. Due to the ability to navigate curves, considerably fewer and in some cases no transfer towers are required. This results in substantial cost savings for the customer and the system continuously transports the material even over challenging ascending and descending sections. The open troughed belt conveyors are particularly suitable for high throughputs. Conveying capacities of up to 10,000 tons/hour are usual.

Using BEUMER calculation programs, a team of experts precisely calculates the static and dynamic tractive forces of the belt during the development phase of the system. This is the prerequisite for the safe dimensioning of the curves. BEUMER engineers select the type of drive technology and conveyor belts needed on the basis of these calculations. This ensures the longevity of the entire system.

BEUMER Group has also installed a Pipe Conveyor in the Belgian town of Flémalle. It transports large quantities of fly ash from a former coal-fired power plant to the Maas river, about two kilometres away, for shipment. “We have not only adapted the conveyor to the sections of very steep mountains, but just like Sichuan Yadong Cement, the route runs over public motorways, railways and residential areas,” describes Dr. Echelmeyer. “In order for the construction of the plant to be approved at all, we had to ensure that the closed transport would protect the environment from the dry and dusty material. “The fly ash had to be prevented from exiting or falling on the ground, even the smallest quantities.” The noise emission played an important role too. In order to minimise the noise to an extremely low level, the experts developed special sound-absorbing elements and used them for example to encase the bridges of the Pipe Conveyor. In addition, special idlers and low-noise bearings were installed.

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