Innovation the key for new conveyors and stackers
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe & International
ContiTech delivered a steel cable conveyor that is resistant to abrasion, weather and corrosion (Photo: ContiTech/Techmi)
The latest conveyors and stackers are proving popular in Europe, while one North American firm has put innovation at the heart of its new stacker models. Guy Woodford reports.
The longest conveyor belt in Europe has gone into operation at a cement factory in the small town of Montalieu on the banks of the River Rhône, in eastern France. The conveyor moves limestone to the Vicat cement plant, between Lyon and Geneva, from the quarry 6.2km away.
Vicat required a cost-effective solution and launched a project to realise its transport needs by conveyor belt, engaging Techmi, the French expert in bulk handling, to build up the entire conveyor system.
Techmi compiled a quotation including specific requirements concerning the belt. In 2013, ContiTech beat a large number of other bidders to the contract and so became Techmi’s strategic partner. “Requirements for this conveyor belt are tough, especially for the return solution,” said Stefan Hoheisel, segment leader for industry at the conveyor belt group. The endless belt is about 13km long and does a twist and turn on the head and tail of the system to run parallel to the loaded belt on the return.
“For Vicat and Techmi the classic return solution wasn’t really an option on this occasion. The innovative turn solution means we now have a base construction which is not higher than 80cm,” said Nicolas Raphaël, team leader of the French conveyor belt team.
Another advantage of the ContiTech conveyor belt system is that limestone residues remain on the returning belt rather than falling underneath it, making the system considerably easier to clean.
The Pipe Conveyor for German firm Schwenk Zement is customised to fit perfectly into the local features of the environment
The system, which blends into its surroundings, is based on a patent of Techmi’s, and the concrete walls and a cover that encase the conveyor belt allow people, animals and vehicles to cross over the construction without any problems.
The belt and steel cords for the carcass were produced by ContiTech Imas in Volos, Greece. “It’s basically a Stahlcord ST1000-5+5 X - a steel cable conveyor that’s resistant to abrasion, weather and corrosion. It’s also thermally stable, highly durable and low maintenance,” said Raphaël.
ContiTech produced and delivered the belt in five weeks. The 250tonne conveyor belt is now in operation, powered by three electric motors delivering 250kW each. In normal conditions, the belt can transport up to 700tonnes of limestone/hour, although at maximum capacity it can shift as much as 1,000tonnes/hour.
Schwenk Zement has replaced its old drag chain conveyor line with a modern pipe conveyor from Beumer.
Requiring a solution that would transport alternative fuels such as crushed plastic material, textiles and paper from the warehouse to the feeding system of the oven in their cement plant in Bernburg, central Germany, Beumer says its fully closed conveying system supplied to Schwenk Zement makes transporting bulk material more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Maintenance costs are also considerably lower and the system can be optimally adapted to the ambient conditions.
Durable conveyor belts guaranteeing tensile strength are used in the Schwenk Zement solution. “To find the ideal belt version for Schwenk, we calculated the tractive forces as well as the forces that occur during acceleration and deceleration – always considering the net weight of the belt and the transported item”, said Michal Mikulec, managing director at Beumer Group Czech Republic and supervisor for the Schwenk Zement project.
Smiley Monroe's new global distribution hub will make the Northern Ireland conveyor belt and screening media product manufacturer more efficient and competitive by reducing material handling costs
The engineers also pre-calculated the belt positions in different curve radii for the empty and loaded belt. Another system advantage is the reduced noise emission of the Pipe Conveyors.
Beumer was able to optimally customise the routing of the conveyor to the plant. The installed system has no supports underneath the Pipe Conveyor that would otherwise obstruct vehicles, after technicians mounted the first support directly to the storehouse. The conveyor take-up system was designed by Beumer as a take-up tower. It is located right next to the feeding station.
It took only eight months from the time the contract was awarded until commissioning of the new system.
Smiley Monroe’s new state-of-the-art global distribution hub includes eye-catching innovations such as loading bays and Just-In-Time (JIT) delivery, set to transform the logistics and raw material handling side of the conveyor belt specialist firm’s business.
Occupied since December 2014 and due to be officially opened this summer, the Northern Ireland-based company’s impressive new €3.17 million (£2.5 million) 18,580m² site is close to its UK head office and production facility in Lisburn. It will enable them to expand their customised chevron conveyor belts and CNC cut rubber parts manufacturing for the mobile crushing, screening and recycling sector. The new distribution hub has received strong backing from Invest NI, which contributed €418,730 (£330,000) towards its construction.
Easy transportability, greater capacity and quick set-up time are among the key attributes of Trackstack's 6542TPS tracked mobile picking station
“The distribution hub will make us more efficient and competitive by reducing material handling costs. We will be able to have more available stock which can be more visibly managed, and save money spent currently on keeping equipment at the docks,” said Tim Monroe, senior marketing manager at Smiley Monroe. “Our exports are growing and the new hub will make this whole side of our business much slicker. This project is also about combining many qualities in one building and investing in sustainable growth,” he added.
The new TF80 and WF80 feeder stackers from Canadian firm McCloskey International have an innovative new feature to enhance and streamline the process of materials handling and stockpiling.
In response to customer feedback, the feeder stackers can now operate flat at 0°, for lower stockpiles, while providing controlled flow of material output without blockages, bottlenecking or bridging. Capable of over 1,000tonnes/hour, they are said by McCloskey to be ideal for applications like ship loading where there is a need for flat conveyor handling of material as well as stockpiling up to 29°. The wheeled version – WF80 – has a radial axle, and a pivot point that allows the hopper to remain stationary while in operation.
Powered by a 75kW engine, the TF80’s Track Mobility offers superb manoeuvrability on-site and features hydraulic folding for easy transport, resulting in fast on-site setup time – as quick as five minutes. With large hydraulic and fuel tanks standard to McCloskey equipment, less time is spent refuelling, and more on production.
An innovative new feature to improve the process of materials handling and stockpiling can be seen on McCloskey International's new TF80 (pictured) and WF80 feeder stackers
In addition to the 17.3m³ maximum capacity feed hopper, the new models feature a 120cm wide heavy duty conveyer and a 120cm wide heavy duty feeder. As with all McCloskey equipment, both machines have simple access for maintenance with open access engine bays, saving time and reducing costs. With additional options like an Aggregate Hopper, Shredder, Tipping Grid or Live Head as well as its high-level standard safety features, the TF80 and WF80 are the natural choice for stockpiling materials, like wood waste, bark, compost and top soil, all of which are directly fed into the hopper with large loaders and excavators.
Meanwhile, Trackstack, part of the Tesab Group, has recently installed one of its 6542TPS tracked mobile picking stations for a customer in Bordeaux, France. The upgraded model is now less than 3.4m in height, making it ideal for recycling operators needing mobility between various sites.
Based on the design of the proven 6542TPS, the new generation 6542TPS with 95.6kW Caterpillar engine has a cast iron pump and internal drive gearbox at the conveyor head, said to provide 3.5 times more torque than standard setups.
The cutting-edge tracked mobile picking station is also said to offer greater capacity, lower operating costs and quicker setup time. This includes a long conveyor giving good stockpile volume and a direct large capacity feed hopper that can be fed by wheeled loader or excavator.
The covered four-person picking bay and variable speed belt on the 6542TPS enables operators to work in safe and clean environment.
Cutting EDGE Open Day
EDGE Innovate recently staged its Global Dealer Open Day at the firm’s state-of-the-art HQ in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. More than 80 guests from over 20 countries attended the day-long programme, which included a factory tour along the production facilities and a walk around tour of the machines given by sales and technical personnel.
A selection of EDGE Innovate’s large portfolio of product launches over recent years was also present at the Open Day, including the RTS/ Radial Track Stockpiler Series. The RTS Radial Track Stockpiler is an innovative concept. Essentially it is a Radial Wheeled Stockpiler and Tracked Stockpiler in one. The remote control track system is used to move the machine around site including rough terrain. It is also of benefit when relocating the machine to a different site as it can easily be tracked onto a low loader or Low-Boy. When the machine has been positioned for work using the Tracks, the EDGE Radial Tracked Stacker can produce a 360° stockpile. The LTS Low-Level Track Stockpiler Series, also represented at the Open Day, introduces operators to a solution for the stockpiling and transferring of hard rock and ore for the mining and quarrying industry. The LTS is a long-life, low maintenance Apron Feeder Stockpiler. It is designed to allow for low level loading of material from the largest wheeled loaders. The huge hopper capacity and heavy duty apron pads mean the LTS can easily cope with the extreme demands of any quarrying or mining application. The EDGE Open Day also consisted of a site visit to the nearby skip hire company McKinstry Skip Hire. Guests were keen to see the EDGE machines working in real recycling applications for which they were designed. McKinstry’s machinery line-up included the Tracked Stockpiller TS65.
During an evening dinner to round off the Open Day, EDGE Managing Director Darragh Cullen said: “From a standing start we have developed into a business with a £15 million (€19.9 million) turnover.”