Page 1

 Peer reviewed paper: Reducing wear of

a coal reclaimer belt feeder through DEM analysis

 Joseph Dos Santos on high angle conveying

as the missing link to IPCC systems

 Laing O’Rourke delivers FMG’s Solomon


 Q&A with Tenova’s mining supremo,

Walter Küng Volume 18 No 4

July/August 2013

 Australian Bulk Handling Awards,

7th November 2013, Sydney


on show at AIMEX

You can Save on spiralling pit CoStS!

Install a DSI Snake Sandwich High Angle Conveyor See page 44-53 for a Cost Saving Solution.

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EDITOR Charles Macdonald Tel: +61 2 9080 4443 Email: REPORTER Mike Foley Tel: +61 2 9080 4407 Email: ADVERTISING SALES Peter Delbridge Level 2, 120 Sussex St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Tel: +61 2 9080 4478 Fax: +61 2 9299 4622 Email: PEER REVIEW Ronda McCallum Tel: +61 2 9080 4354 Email: PRODUCTION MANAGER/GRAPHIC DESIGNER Magazines byDesign - Linda Gunek Tel: +61 2 8883 5890 Email: FOR SPONSORSHIP & EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITIES Peter Delbridge Tel: +61 2 9080 4478 Fax: +61 2 9299 4622 Email: PLEASE SEND ADVERTISING MATERIAL TO Ronda McCallum Email: Tel: +61 2 9080 4354 PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Peter Attwater SUBSCRIPTIONS Natalie Gardner – Tel: +61 2 9080 4447

ABN 66 086 268 33

AUSTRALIAN BULK HANDLING REVIEW (ABHR) is published 7 times a year by Informa Australia Level 2, 120 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia PO Box Q1439, Queen Victoria Building Post Office, NSW 1230 Tel: +61 2 9080 4480 Fax: +61 2 9299 4622



6 Mobile harbour crane for Qube at Geraldton; Greystone’s sand classifying systems 8 Minetek dust suppression misting units; Uni of WA’s wear resistant super ceramic 10 Schenck’s blow through rotary valves 12 Daxner’s mixing system for dry mortar additives 14 German quarry installs CDE’s mobile washing plant 16 US spray dryer opts for Kason vibratory screener 18 ABB hoisting system for Jansen Potash; Ausenco uses Rylson to target optimisation 20 PEER REVIEWED PAPER Reducing wear of a coal reclaimer belt feeder through DEM analysis This paper has been peer reviewed by at least two independent referees.

26 CAPS Australia’s Ingersoll Rand compressor; Teco iPad/iPhone slide guide 28 Freight forwarder Peter Townley’s inside secrets 30 MAR’s robotic idler change-out 32 TR spacer to prevent conveyor breakdown 34 Camfill’s 10 tips for safer dust collectors 36 ICBMH Awards 2013 37 Kockums distributing Solimar fluidisers 38 Information technology: the aid for optimising bulk terminal logistics, by TBA and DBIS 44 High angle conveying the vital (missing) link to IPCC systems, by Joseph Dos Santos 54 4B introduces 56 Engenium’s scalable logistics solutions

58 Laing O’Rourke delivers FMG’s Solomon stockyard using early contractor involvement EPC model 64 Orekinetics selects SEW-Eurodrive gearmotors GRAIN HANDLING 66 Ahren’s Bunbury grain export facility for Bunge 68 Dust suppression at port with PR Power 69 Henrob’s self-piercing rivets for silos 70 ADM under the pump at grain handling inquiry 75 Schenk’s shipping container loading system 76 Allied Grain’s silo contract for Barrett Burston 77 Kinder polyurethane for grain handling AIMEX 80 International presence expands at AIMEX 2013 83 Schade wagon tipplers; Semco crushing and screening 84 Q&A with Tenova’s mining supremo, Walter Küng WEIGHING & LEVEL MEASUREMENT 87 Silveranne, PLCD partner for dynamic weighing technology 88 Control Systems’ Mass and Volume Information System (MaVIS) 89 Heat & Control’s weigh conveyor; National Weighing & Instruments’ weighing solutions 90 Doppelmayr’s RopeCon conveyor for Sudan cement plant 94 Munson ribbon blender, rotary batch mixer for bulk powder

ISSN 1444-6308 Circulaton: 5,748

(audit period ending March 2013) Member Circulation Audit Bureau (Australia)

 Peer reviewed paper: Reducing wear of

a coal reclaimer belt feeder through DEM analysis

 Joseph Dos Santos on high angle conveying

as the missing link to IPCC systems

 Laing O’Rourke delivers FMG’s Solomon

Copyright © 2010 Informa Australia Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the editorial or pictorial content by any manner without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. While contributed articles to ABHR are welcome, return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings and photographs if they are to be returned and no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. All rights in letters submitted will be treated as unconditionally assigned for the publication. All products listed in this magazine are subject to manufacturer’s change without notice and the publisher assumes no responsibility for such changes. The publisher’s advertising terms and conditions are set out in the current Advertising Rate Card, which is available to read before placing any advertisements.


 Q&A with Tenova’s mining supremo,

Walter Küng Volume 18 No 4

July/August 2013

 Australian Bulk Handling Awards,

7th November 2013, Sydney


on show at AIMEX

sew abhr 7-8.13 front cover X series.indd 1

10/07/13 4:30 PM

ABOUT THE COVER SEW-Eurodrive at AIMEX Following the opening of its Melbourne-based Heavy Industrial Solutions division, SEW-Eurodrive says it plans to make a big impression at AIMEX from 20 – 23 August at Sydney Showgrounds in Olympic Park, Homebush. The company will exhibit elements from its range of gear units, geared motors and complete drive assemblies, which are designed for heavy duty applications with high transmitted loads, making them suitable for mining, mineral processing and quarrying. SEW will also display units from its standalone gear range, including the X series gear unit, as well as its segmented girth gear solution for transmitting energy in large rotating systems. For more details of SEW at AIMEX, see page 80. ABHR also presents a case study of electrostatic separation technology company, OreKinetics’ embrace of SEW-Eurodrive gearmotors. See page 64. Contact:

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Blowing our own trumpet


hile my eyes are normally focussed outwards on the great industry of bulk handling, this edition I can’t help but look inwards and simultaneously sound a little toot on the trumpet of self-promotion. In early July in Newcastle, Australian Bulk Handling Review was recognised at what is probably the world’s leading bulk solids conference – the International ConBy Charles Macdonald ference on Bulk Materials Storage, HanEditor – ABHR dling and Transportation (ICBMH). At the event’s gala dinner, ABHR received the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies’ outstanding achievement award for ‘a significant contribution to the field of bulk solids technology.’ This was an unforeseen and treasured honour. Following the start of our publication of peer reviewed papers in late 2012, it shows strong momentum for ABHR in what is a challenging publishing environment.

In this issue


hifting our gaze industry-wards, this edition is packed with top quality technical articles. On page 20, Tim Donohue and colleagues from TUNRA Bulk solids have penned a fascinating paper, which has been peer reviewed, on reducing wear in a coal-reclaimer belt feeder through discrete element method (DEM) analysis. With wear through impact and abrasion a massive cost for the mining industry, the use of DEM to help modify and redesign equipment – and so reduce wear – has promising implications. On page 44, the grandfather of the sandwich belt high angle conveyor, Joseph Dos Santos, describes the genesis of the technology

and posits that it could be the missing link for modern in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC)) systems. With the Majdanpek copper mine in Serbia successfully using a high angle conveying system – with belts 2,000mm wide operating at 4,000t/h – from 1984 to 2001, the precedent is there. On page 58, Brad Lawson of Laing O’Rourke Australia looks at his firm’s delivery of Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon stockyard and train loading facility through an early contractor involvement EPC style contract. By getting Lain O’Rourke involved from the start, FMG enjoyed accelerated delivery of the project, reduced site manning through offsite pre-assembly, and reduced operating costs. In these tougher times, the early contractor involvement (ECI) model is an option well worth investigating by miners and project developers.

Time to nominate for an Award


ith the Australian Bulk Handling Awards being held on November 7th and nominations closing on October 4th, it’s time for companies large and small to turn their minds to nominating for one or more of the 10 categories. For more details, see:

Editorial Advisory Panel Peter Arnold: Emeritus Professor, Key Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies, Faculty of Engineering; Consultant, Bulk Materials Engineering Australia, University of Wollongong. Alan Roberts AM: Consultant, Key Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies, and TUNRA Bulk Solids Handling Research Associates. Peter Wypych: Director, Key Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies, Faculty of Engineering, and Bulk Materials Engineering Australia, University of Wollongong. Gary James: Bulk Materials Handling Specialist Calibre Global Pty Ltd. Mark Jones: Professor, Director Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies, University of Newcastle. Stephen Davis, Technical Director Materials Handling, WorleyParsons Canada

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Sand classifying systems and controllers GreyStone, a US-based manufacturer of sand washing, classifying and dewatering solutions, makes the Aggre-Spec range of sand classifying systems, which can produce up to three products from natural or manufactured sand blends, including two spec products.

Aggre-Spec controllers.


ggre-Spec classifying systems allow producers to scalp excess water, reject excess material, separate and size sand particles and re-blend up to two industry-standard spec products simultaneously. Urethane discharge valves and seats are self-aligning to keep valves centred for maximum flow and long life. Discharge boots are also urethane, with the optimum angle for maximum flow and reduced wear of the flume’s abrasion-resistant lined floor. GreyStone offers a full line of Aggre-Spec classifying systems, as well as controls, including: Stationary Aggre-Spec tanks, with 10 classifier models, ranging in size from 8ft x 20ft to 12ft x 48ft. Stationary structures offer from six to 11 classifying stations with three cells, capable of producing up to three products at one time. Semi-portable Aggre-Spec classifying systems, featuring a modular, low-profile construction and stack-up design for quick installation. This line includes 18 classifier models, ranging in size from 8ft x 24ft to 12ft by 48ft. Semi-portable structures offer

Above: GreyStone portable classifying. Right: GreyStone stationary classifying.

from seven to 11 classifying stations and produce up to 820tph. Portable Aggre-Spec classifying systems, feature a low-profile design for quick transport and installation. This line includes eight classifier models, ranging in size from 8ft x 24ft to 10ft x 40ft. Portable structures offer from seven to 11 classifying stations and produce up to 350tph.

GreyStone’s dealer in Australia is Jim Hankins of Rivergum Industries. Contacts: r


Mobile harbour crane for Qube Bulk at Geraldton Qube Bulk has a new mobile harbour crane for operation at its Port of Geraldton operations. The company says the shore-based crane will increase operational efficiency generally and bolster container tippling operations in particular. Todd Emert (left) and Mitchell Auker.


ube purchased a Liebherr LHM 280 mobile harbour crane, which it says will provide faster loading and discharging of cargo with faster slew, hoist and luffing speeds. Todd Emmert, Qube Bulk director, said he expects the new crane to boost operational efficiency by 37%, which will


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

increase available port capacity, reduce supply chain costs and bolster Qube’s Rotabox container tippling operations. Qube plans to install a solar power system to facilitate a sustainable energy supply for its Rotabox operations, which currently service concentrate exporters. Operations manager for Qube at

Geraldton, Mitchell Auker, said the initiative “goes hand in hand with our time proven environmentally-friendly Rotabox technology, which was developed to provide effective control of dust emissions from handling bulk materials.” Contact:

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Dust suppression solutions for mines and quarries Aussie dust control company, Minetek provides standalone or mobile dust suppression misting units to mine sites and quarries.


inetek dust suppression units (DSU) have output power that can project water at a distance up to 250m and are available in pole-mounted, fixed position unit and also mobile trailermounted versions. Options include a multifunction portable radio-control handpiece, electronic water valves, automated rotation and elevation, a fluid dosing system to introduce additives for dust suppression or odour control, generators, water tanks, hoses and pipework. The system works because the size of the water molecules created by the DSU matches the size of the powder/dust it is treating. Various versions are available with protection rating to IP 66, a 340° range of rotation and an elevation ranging from -20° to +45°. Water consumption ranges between 15 – 70 litres per minute. According to Minetek, its units can handle even the very finest dust particles using a combination of different sized droplets. They have low noise levels and high power output, with a wide

Minetek’s DSU.

DSU suppresses dust around stockpiles of cement.

range of angle and elevation while being easy to use. DSUs are suitable for the suppression of both dust and odours and are portable and adaptable to differing working environments. Contact:

The DSU in action.


Wear resistant ‘super ceramic’ for mining equipment A new super-strong ceramic that resists wear under high temperatures has been developed by researchers at The University of Western Australia.


ccording to the research team, the new ceramic composite may prolong the life of mining equipment and enable power plant operators to save money on delays and costly repairs. The new composite is an iron-sialon ceramic matrix made from very common and cheap ferro-silicon alloy and commercial-grade industrial alumina powders. Research associate in UWA’s School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Dr Jingzhou Yang, said “Most thermal power plants use circulating fluid 8

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

bed boilers which require high-temperature wear-resistant linings. “In China, Australia and other countries, power supply relies mainly on coal firing. This requires high-temperature, wear-resistant linings and components. “The alumina-based ceramic linings currently in use are fairly cheap but their resistance to wear, fracture and thermal shock isn’t good enough. “Because of this, power plants need to be stopped for long periods to repair worn equipment, which reduces the reliability of the power supply.

“We undertook research to develop a new, more wear-resistant ceramic matrix composite.” The development of the new composite involved sintering – or heating industrial alumina and ferro-silicon alloy powders at a temperature below their melting point – at up to 1700° C in nitrogen for several hours. The alumina then transforms to the more wear-resistant ceramic, sialon. Contact: D  r Jingzhou Yang, UWA School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, tel 08 6488 4781

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Blow through rotary valves for alternative fuels Schenck Process, producer of applied measurement and process technologies, has released the IDMS 120 – an injection blow-through rotary valve for alternative fuels.

The IDMS 120.


he IDMS 120 (the 120 refers to the diameter of the rotary valve in centimetres) provides high availability and low wear, according to Schenck. It can be used, amongst other applications, for rotary kilns in the cement industry or fluidised bed furnaces in the power generation sector. The IDMS 120 was developed to meet the pneumatic requirements created by the use of alternative fuels (RDF) – including fibres, wood chippings and shredded plastics – to generate energy. A conveying blower uses air pressure to move fuel through a pipeline into the furnace. The basic requirement is to safely feed the material into

the pipeline, which is under pressure. The IDMS can feed fuel into a pipeline at pressures of up to 35kPa. Schenck Process head of application development unit for alternative fuels, Harald Faber, said “The extension of our IDMS range offered by the IDMS 120 allows us to address the market trend towards ever-increasing feed performance. “It is possible to double the feed capacity of an existing plant by equipping it with the new valve, without the need for costly pipeline or furnace upgrades.” Faber said the flexibility of pneumatic feeders also allows clients in the furnace technology industry to test the valve in different positions in order to determine the optimum feed point for a furnace and thereby decide on the best position in their existing systems. The IDMS 120 also features a unique wear-reduction concept, Faber said. “The blow-through rotary valve has a modular

construction. All the essential housing components can be replaced. “The wear strips at the edge of the rotary valve can be changed on location using simple tools, without the need for readjustment. Thanks to the hard seal gap between the rotary valve and its casing, the rate of wear is slow and steady. “That makes it easier to control and precludes dramatic increases in air pressure loss due to leaks and the accompanying decrease in pneumatic performance.” Schenck Process guarantees the safe functioning of the IDMS and high availability for one furnace campaign, a period of one year, assuming that the alternative fuel meets the specified requirements. Faber said thanks to the TorqLoc shaft-hub connection, the new drive system is protected from overloads: If the IDMS is blocked by contaminants or foreign bodies, the drive train will not be permanently damaged. Contact:


SKM scores Collahuasi construction contract SKM has been appointed to manage construction and transfer of the semi-mobile crusher at the Rosario deposit at the Collahuasi copper project in Chile.


The Rosario pit at Collahuasi copper mine.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

ollahuasi is a joint venture, dubbed Compania Minera Dona Ines de Collahuasi, comprised of three partners: Xstrata (44%), Anglo American (44%), and a group of Japanese companies headed by Mitsui & Co. Ltd (12%). The construction work will require preparation of a final platform for the Rosario crusher and discharge silo, dismantling the crushing system, moving them to their permanent foundations, demolition of the abandoned foundations, clearing the area and facilitating

storage of surplus equipment. Transfer of the semi-mobile crusher is expected to take about 11 months. SKM’s work in South America to date includes projects at: El Teniente and Andina for Codelco in Chile; at Los Bronces in Chile and Antamina in Peru for AngloAmerican; and at Cerrejon for BHP Billiton, Xstrata and AngloAmerican in Colombia. Contact: M  aria Rampa

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Daxner’s integrated mixing system for dry mortar additives Daxner recently installed a greenfield mixing system for Berolan, a supplier of special additives and agents for ready-made plasters and mortars, located in Arbing, Austria. Daxner designed and installed a plant that combines a collection of individual manufacturing procedures into an integrated system.


erolan manufactures special additives and agents which are used to increase the frost-resistance of plasters and mortars, facilitate efficient processing and prevent cracking. The Daxner system was for a Berolan greenfield facility and the design and installation took 10 months, from the beginning of the planning stage. Berolan’s additives and agents are effective even in small doses: 10 to 200 grams per kilo of dry mixture is enough to create a very fine, stable system of small air holes. Precision and accuracy are important in manufacture of the additives and agents. The white-grey powder mixtures consist only partially of a few critical, large components, such as rock meal and various additives. These are added to products of extreme fineness, such as aluminium stearate, and those with a very low bulk density, such as silicic acid at only 50 grams per litre.

Solutions experience important

The mixer enables a quick and consistent distribution of the components.

Daxner’s owner, Johann Daxner, said they delivered a concept that integrated storage, dosing, weighing and mixing of large, medium, small and micro components into a single harmonious production process. “We were incredibly lucky that we got the chance to incorporate our expertise into the planning process of the building construction. That let us implement the project in a 15m high mixing tower that enables a gravimetric free-fall production process from top to bottom.” Daxner said a 3D CAD visualization of the plant design allowed the finished system to be viewed from any perspective before the first shovel hit the dirt. 10 months after planning, the system was ready to run. It is based around a mixing tower in which a stainless steel system ranges over three levels. He explained that the planning focus was on producing special additives and

agents for ready- made plasters and mortars, but the system adds value in another significant way. “That is the flexibility to produce outside mixing orders.” Due to the original challenge, extremely fine product characteristics were considered, but also products with poor flow characteristics, such as micro silica, can also be dosed well. Added to this was a very high throughput at low energy cost and the fact that mixing external products requires that all containers and conveying lines must be almost residue-free, especially the critical medium and small components. Berolan’s chief executive, Roman Engelbrechtsmüller said “During our initial years, 2001 to 2007, we were bound to the capabilities of outside mixing orders, nowadays we can produce mixtures that solely consist of organic additives.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Therewith the system has significantly contributed to the company’s success in recent years.”

The mixer as the centrepiece All components run together to a central point of the system, where they are fed to a fast operating mixer. Despite varying bulk density, granulation and fineness of the substance, this fluidized bed mixer achieves high mixing precision within short mixing times. One batch consists of up to 1,400 litres of product additives. The product can immediately be emptied from the mixer into a post-bin, so the mixer is available for the next batch right away.

High-precision dosing and weighing The basis for a consistent, high-quality product is laid before the mixing process


high level of automation. Thanks to that, Daxner says two operators are sufficient to run Berolan’s system. By using a fully automated Concetti packaging system with palletisers, the finished products can be filled into bags that have been weighed by means of a big-bag filling station. Cleanliness is an important goal in every plant and quick, easy cleaning is a necessity. Daxner planned cleaning lids with easy access in the machines and made sure there were no hidden corners. A central extraction system with a large jet filter ensures a dust- free environment.

A proven control design

Designing a system with 3D CAD makes planning more secure by offering a flexible view of the system from many perspectives.

In regards to controls, Daxner relies on its long-time partner ESA. It features an integrated Siemens-based design. The ESA control system is designed to deliver precise traceability of every batch back to the raw material supplier. Operator-controlled manual dosing stations with touch terminals and scanning systems for checking components and containers ensure product safety and process documentation.

Prospects for the future Engelbrechtsmüller said “We have been able to extend our scope of supply considerably. Moreover, the achieved dosing accuracy enables our additive mixtures to be certified according to the European standards for concrete additives. We can certainly say that our expert partner Daxner has implemented our ideas successfully.” Contact:

The feeding station for bags and big-bags is at the highest level of the mixing tower.

ever begins: the precise dosing and weighing of raw materials, which take place both inside and outside the Berolan building. In three external storage silos – each with 60m³ capacity – large components like rock meal and various additives are stored. They are first conveyed into a dosing screw and then directly to a hopper scale. Afterwards a bucket conveyor transports the large components to the batch mixer. Daxner said the conveyor solution is efficient, low in residue and energy efficient. The production process indoors is even more meticulous, because here the critical medium and small components are handled, of which no residue is tolerated. A hoist transports the raw materials in bags and big-bags to the highest level of the mixing tower, where precise dosing and weighing takes place. Particularly small quantities are added manually using a table scale.

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Kieswerk Kohler solves fines problem with M2500 from CDE Kieswerk Kohler recently installed CDE’s M2500 E4 mobile washing plant at its quarry in Engen/Welschingen, to solve problems of excess fines content in the feed material. The quarry reports the new washing plant has also enabled production of an additional sand product.


DE bills its M2500 as the world’s first fully integrated mobile washing plant, offering feeding, screening, sand washing and stockpiling on a compact, portable chassis. The raw material being processed by Kieswerk Kohler at the site contains a large proportion of material smaller than 250 microns. With the crushing and screening processes previously employed on the material, the sand was an incorrect specification for use in concrete. Kieswerk Kohler’s owner, Thomas Kohler said “This was causing a problem as local concrete manufacturers are my main customers. I had been working to develop a system which would allow production of concrete aggregates, especially sand, so that it would meet the requirements of the European standards. “The solution offered by CDE has also enabled the production of an additional saleable sand product which I can now offer customers.” In seeking to address the issues raised by the large proportion of minus 250 micron material in the sand and gravel feed,

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Kieswerk Kohler investigated washing the material after the initial dry screening process. “We were thinking about several different options and ways in which we could correct the gradation curve of the sand in order that it met the required concrete specification,” Kohler said. “When we explained the issue to CDE, they came up with a solution very quickly and ever since it has been introduced, the plant is doing exactly what I wanted it to.” In addition to the problems caused by the excess fines content in the feed material Kieswerk Kohler was also faced with clays and silts which the dry processing system was not able to effectively remove. To remedy this, the processing system introduced by CDE Deutschland also includes the company’s AggMax 83 portable logwasher. Consultation between Thomas Kohler and CDE Deutschland’s director, Stefan Kolsch, revealed that by introducing the AggMax, the quality of aggregates produced would also be improved. Kolsch said this solution helps to maximise sand production from the washing plant. “The attrition process within the AggMax plant’s logwasher liberates a lot of valuable fines that would previously have been destined for the aggregate fraction. “By aggressively scrubbing the material and returning the liberated fines to the sand washing plant, we are ensuring that Kieswerk Kohler recover the maximum amount of sand from the material while also enhancing the quality of the washed aggregate products by removing these fines,” Kolsch said. The sand and gravel feed is delivered to the M2500 washing plant by loading shovel and operates at 100tph. The plant accepts 0-100mm material with a grid on the feed hopper rejecting any oversize. The feed material is then delivered to the M2500

Victoria – Head Office:

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20-22 Macquarie Drive Thomastown Vic. 3074 Australia

Victoria Office Tel: 61 3 9465 8777 Fax: 61 3Head 9465 8788 20-22 Macquarie Drive Thomastown Vic. 3074 Australia N.S.W. Telephone: Office: 61 3 9463 0888 Facsimile: 61 3 9465 8788 Tel: 61 2 9844 5495E-mail: Fax: 61 2 9844 5478 FreeCall 1800 334 005 FreeCall 1800 334 005 Web Site: Web: E-mail: CDE’s M2500 E4 mobile washing plant at the German quarry.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


CDE’s M2500 E4 mobile washing plant at the German quarry.

aggregate screening phase which is achieved using the integrated Prograde P2-75 rinsing screen. The top deck of this screen separates at +32mm and this material is sent to stockpile via one of the integrated wing conveyors. The bottom deck separates at 4-32mm and this material is then sent to the AggMax for scrubbing via the integrated Rotomax RX80 logwasher.

Once material has been processed by the Rotomax it is discharged onto a triple deck horizontal sizing screen that classifies the aggregates into 4-8mm, 8-16mm and 16-32mm. The 0-4mm material collects in the Prograde screen sump and is pumped to the integrated Evowash sand washing plant. The Evowash screen is split to allow the production of two sand grades – 0-4mm concrete sand and another 0-2mm product. “The creation of the additional 0-2mm sand product was required as there was too much of this material in the 0-4mm range. The sand washing phase is configured to remove up to 25% of the 0-2mm material from the 0-4mm product to allow for the production of concrete sand,” Kolsch said. Kohler said an additional benefit for the company has been the creation of this 0-2mm sand product, which they have now found a market for. “We are able to sell the 0-2mm product as cable sand. This is a bonus for us as our initial focus was very much about getting the concrete sand right. “Having a new sand product as a result of the investment is final confirmation that we made the right decision in purchasing the new CDE plant.” Kieswerk Kohler’s final washed products is sold to local concrete manufacturers and also exported across the nearby Swiss border. CDE recently established a German business division, trading as CDE Deutschland, which was formed from a previous local distributorship.


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Spray drying and screening of foods, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals Summit Custom Spray Drying produces spray dried flavours, fragrances, cosmetics, nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical grade materials. At its New Jersey facility, the company – a wholly owned subsidiary of antiperspirant manufacturer SummitReheis – produces powdered solid particles from solutions, slurries and emulsions.


ummit employs a Kason vibratory screener to ensure that particle sizes meet tight tolerances. “When fully operational, three spray dryers will produce several hundred different spray dried powders for diverse customers,” says Summit’s director of process technologies, Kevin Kimmick. “Runs can be small as pilot studies, to as large as 68,100kg at the production level for a major firm. Our expertise in spray drying and equipment selection, as well as the specialised knowledge of our experienced staff, qualifies us to serve these sensitive industries,” he says. “To eliminate any possibility of contamination, we will not accept hazardous or toxic materials such as herbicides or pesticides. And we have specifically designed our equipment to be easily and thoroughly cleaned.”

Testing determines process conditions Kimmick has 23 years of experience and is highly skilled in spray drying. He explains that “although spray drying is based on scientific principles, our test procedures enable us to determine and control optimum conditions according to numerous variables.” Before accepting an order for a new material, the company performs laboratory and pilot plant testing using raw materials and formulae supplied by the customer. “This allows us to determine whether or not we can effectively spray dry the material,” he explains. “It also helps us to develop a cost estimate for the process. If the results of the tests are favourable, we then transition directly into production.”

Spray dryer separates solids from liquids A typical order begins with delivery of bulk quantities of raw materials by the customer. “Solids are stored in a warehouse in the original containers in which they were delivered. Liquids are stored in either drums, totes, or in separate holding tanks before being introduced into a mixing tank,” Kimmick says. 16

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Downstream of the spray dryer, a Kason screener removes oversize particles. Because of the company’s expertise in spray drying, “overs” (spout at right) comprise a small percentage of the total batch.

A Kason vibratory screener with circular 80 mesh (178µm) screen is inspected between production batches of fragrance powders.

“If the mixture needs to be emulsified, it will either be pumped through a highpressure homogeniser (up to 35kg sq c), or transferred to a homogeniser tank that has a fixed rotor-stator. “The completed emulsion, solution or slurry is then transferred to a holding tank with continuous mixing. From there, a feed

pump meters the solution or emulsion into the spray drying chamber, where the solids and liquids are separated. All the action happens in the vicinity of the atomiser, whether it is a centrifugal wheel or a nozzle,” Kimmick continues. “Selecting the proper equipment and determining the optimum settings and


In the mixing room, an operator empties ingredients into the batching tank according to the customer’s recipe.

Bags of dried, screened powders are ready to be shipped to customers.

adjustments are the keys to successful spray drying. For example, various sizes and configurations of the spray nozzle can be selected to control particle size and density. “When choosing process temperatures, you need to strike a fine balance between overheating the spray particles and having them stick on the wall of the dryer.”

Circular vibratory screener removes oversize particles Once the materials have been separated and dried in the spray dryer, they are conveyed to a rotary airlock. The particles pass through a rare earth magnet and are then fed into a Kason

Slurry from the batching tank (R) is pumped to the feed tank (L) where it is metered into the spray dryer.

Vibroscreen circular vibratory screener to remove agglomerates, flakes, lumps and any sheets or layers that may have formed on the side walls of the spray dryer. The screening chamber is suspended on rugged springs that allow it to vibrate freely while minimising power consumption and preventing transmission of vibration to the floor. One imbalanced-weight gyratory motor creates multi-plane inertial vibration to the screen deck, controlling the flow path of material on the screen surface and maximising the rate at which material passes through the screen. The on-size material exits through a discharge spout located at the screen’s periphery. Particles smaller than the screen apertures pass through and exit through a lower discharge spout that feeds the packaging machinery. The screener’s 76.2cm diameter screens are interchangeable, and range from 20 mesh (864µm) to 60 mesh (234µm). “We’re currently testing an application that would require use of a 200 mesh (74µm) screen, and Kason is helping us explore several techniques for prevention of screen blinding,” Kimmick says. “Oversize materials removed by the

screener usually amount to a few kilograms, accounting for a relatively insignificant percentage of the total batch weight. This is evidence of our skill and expertise in optimising the spray drying process,” says Kimmick. On-size material is packaged in a variety of containers ranging from 11.3kg to 90.7kg boxes, bags or fibreboard drums, or bulk bags weighing as much as 907kg.

Processes meet sanitary standards Summit’s campaigns can be as short as one shift or as long as one week. Between campaigns, operators clean all the spray drying equipment, including the screeners, with hot water, followed by a cleaning agent, and then a sanitising agent. As a result, the screeners routinely pass Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) inspection. Kimmick anticipates adding more spray dryers and screeners as demand for its services grows. “We currently serve dozens of customers and anticipate a customer base of over a hundred,” he says. Contact: m, tel – 02 6043 1560

Repose piles show cranberry powder, copper solution for vitamins and chlorophyll powder – several of the powders produced by Summit.

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



ABB supplying world’s largest hoisting systems for Jansen Potash ABB has been contracted by BHP Billiton to design and deliver mine hoisting systems for the latter’s Jansen Potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada.


he contract includes the overall design, manufacturing, supply and installation of four complete mine hoist systems to be delivered over a period between 2015 and 2018. ABB’s scope of work includes mechanical components, electrical systems including ACS6000 AC drive systems and the high-power, low-speed synchronous motors. The 6m diameter friction hoists to be supplied for the production shaft will be the largest mine hoists ever designed and manufactured, each with a total connected motor power of close to 14,000kW. The service shaft hoists are electrically identical to the production hoists but will carry smaller payloads.

ABB mine hoist.

ABB said the complexity and ultrahigh performance requirements of the brake systems on these massive hoisting systems requires the development of new mine hoist brake system technology. Once the four hoisting systems at the BHP Billiton Jansen mine are installed, ABB will have an installed base of eleven

complete friction hoisting systems in the Province of Saskatchewan. ABB has supplied over 700 mine hoist and automation projects for underground mining and over 100 stand-alone hoist brake system projects globally. Contact:

Ausenco uses Rylson to target optimisation Ausenco says it is preparing for the downhill run from the peak of the resources boom by intensifying its focus on optimisation services and de-bottlenecking.


resident of Ausenco APAC/Africa, Simon Cmrlec, said over the past 12 months the resources sector had shifted its focus from capital-intensive greenfield projects to asset optimisation services. “Continuous improvement practices, which identify ways to ‘sweat’ assets and increase productivity with minimal capital outlay, can generate substantial returns for companies particularly in the resources and energy sector – it’s not unusual to achieve more than 10% savings against operating budgets. “While continuous improvement is not a new concept, we are seeing strong growth throughout the industry and a number of major, globally diversified mining groups have said their current strategies involve an increased focus on asset optimisation to unlock capacity within existing operations. “To maximise the opportunities in this area of our business, we recently acquired an Australian-based, global provider of asset management and business improvement services, The Rylson Group, to further strengthen our offering.” In August 2012 Ausenco bought a 75% stake in Rylson Group for $4.2m. The company plans to purchase the remaining 25% in the next two years. 18

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Isaac Plains coal project.

“Ausenco Rylson delivers industry-leading proprietary software and expands our offering in providing reliability engineering solutions right across the project lifecycle, from initial design through to operation and maintenance, to achieve optimal performance of assets within the shortest timeframe possible,” Cmrlec said. “Continuous improvement solutions are wide-ranging and can be applied to all bulk commodities. They generally include both debottlenecking and process optimisation, as well as reliability engineering to optimise maintenance strategies and sustaining capital programs.” Contact:

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Reducing wear of a coal reclaimer belt feeder through DEM analysis T.J. Donohue, B. Chen, A.W. Roberts TUNRA Bulk Solids, University of Newcastle, Newcastle 2308, Australia

Abstract Wear is a critical issue for bulk solids handling equipment. Typically, wear in bulk handling equipment results from a combination of both impact and abrasion. It is essential to ensure that the wear of bulk solids handling equipment is minimized so that a long service life with minimal maintenance can be achieved. In this paper, an application of the Discrete Element Method (DEM) combined with a wear model is applied for the analysis and reduction of the wear of a feeder belt in a coal reclaimer. The throughput of the reclaimer is 9300 t/h, with a velocity of the feeder belt of 1.3 m/s and feeder width of 3000 mm. In this study, the DEM model not only provides a qualitative description of the bulk solid flow through the reclaimer but also gives detailed information concerning the interactions of particles in contact with the feeder belt. In addition, site validation of the DEM modelling was achieved in defining the flow profile. Results of the flow review for the reclaimer and the redesign option to reduce belt wear are presented. An option to retrofit the reclaimer to reduce both belt feeder wear and improve flow through the trouser leg was investigated. The comparison was performed by analysing a range of parameters in DEM including the normal force on the feeder belt and the frictional energy loss due to the particles in contact with the feeder belt. DEM results showed that the feeder belt wear could be significantly reduced after the modification of the reclaimer, and these results were confirmed by site data once the design modification was installed on site. These techniques and findings are intrinsic in establishing methodologies for improvement in the design of bulk solids handling equipment.

1 Introduction The entire spectrum of bulk materials handling and storage applications include the receiving, unloading, stocking, handling and supply of the raw materials. In this materials handling chain, wear is a critical issue for bulk solids handling equipment. It is essential to ensure that wear in bulk solids handling equipment is minimized so that a long service life with minimal maintenance can be achieved. Belt feeders have become one of the preferred 20

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

methods of feeding for bulk solids since they were first introduced. Belts are exposed to various types of damage during their operation, with wear being one of the key reasons for belt failure. A number of studies on belts subjected to sliding and abrasive wear has indicated that the wear resistance depends on the detailed properties of the material as well as the external wear conditions, such as applied pressure. A particular area of interest for this study is the analysis of the wear of feeder belts in a reclaimer. In the past, classical analysis methods based on the analysis of material flow in bins and hoppers has been the sole design tool available. While this method has proven extremely useful in the past and has been shown to deliver excellent results [1], it is not without its limitations. In recent times, DEM is becoming more prevalent in its application to solve industrial problems. DEM is described as a numerical method that can be used to simulate the flow of granular bulk solids, with the basic principle being to model each individual particle as a separate entity that can undergo a range of forces as observed in reality. These forces typically include gravity and contact forces with other particles and walls, as well as cohesive and adhesive forces if the bulk solid is cohesive in nature. Calculations for the forces, and resulting displacements, are made for every particle at very small time steps throughout the simulation. As a result, DEM simulations are often computationally intensive. The reader is directed to Katterfeld and Groger [2] for more fundamental information about DEM and its application in bulk solids handling. The focus of this paper is an industrial case study focussed on the reduction of wear of feeder belts in a coal handling reclaimer. In the current reclaimer, the life expectancy of the feeder belts, due to the belts wearing out, is approximately 12 months. The aim of this study is to modify the reclaimer design in order to minimize feeder belt wear and to ensure maximum life expectancy. In this paper, only two designs will be presented; the original design and the final modified design. Through the course of the project a number of redesign options were investigated, however the final design presented in this paper is a compromise between the

optimal solution and what was possible to retrofit on site. A number of DEM analysis techniques are presented in this study to compare the two designs, and to conclude the paper wear readings from site for the feeder belt before and after the modification are presented.

2 Continuum Wear Model Wear in materials handling equipment may result from impact wear, abrasive wear, or most commonly a combination of the two. The factors that may influence wear are the properties of the material being handled, the properties of the material being worn, and the loading conditions. The topic of wear is certainly a complex one, with the work of Cenna [3] giving a brief insight into the discussion. In this study, we have focused on the loading conditions and make use of a simple wear model in order to seek an improvement in the reclaimer design. The simple wear model used is based on a traditional continuum method as presented in Roberts [4]. The relative wear parameter, Wa, is reproduced in this paper and presented below: (1) In equation (1), Âľb is the coefficient between the bulk solid and the feeder belt, is the bulk density of the bulk solid, Vx is the component of velocity of the bulk solid parallel to the feeder belt, Vb is the velocity of the feeder belt and Vy is the component of velocity of the bulk solid perpendicular to the feeder belt. In this equation, the Vx2 term represents the impact pressure of the bulk solid on the feeder belt while the (Vb -Vy) term is the relative rubbing velocity. As this equation shows, the wear of the feeder belt can be reduced by either reducing the normal pressure on the belt, or by reducing the differential velocity between the feeder belt and the bulk solid. This will be the focus of the DEM modelling.

3 DEM Model The DEM software used for the modelling presented in this paper is Rocky, developed by Granular Dynamics International. This software uses a hysteresis linear spring model for the normal force interactions and an elastic-frictional force model in the tangential direction. Rolling resistance is implemented according to the type


C model described in Ai et al. [5], while adhesive forces between particles and walls and cohesive forces between particles and particles are included through a simple constant force model. Calibration of DEM parameters is a widely published area, with the work of Coetzee and Lombard [6] and Wensrich and Katterfeld [7] being recent examples. The correct calibration and selection of DEM parameters is one of the most important steps in discrete element modelling, and in the field of bulk solids handling there are a number of commonly used tests. While bench top testing is widely used, the alternative is to use full scale validation of the DEM model. This is typically achieved by comparing the DEM model to data taken from site in the form of photos, videos and throughput analysis. For this particular study, the reclaimer was handling a wide variety of coals and so a detailed calibration procedure was not possible. As this was the case, the DEM parameters were selected based on past experience of TUNRA Bulk Solids which has been gained over a wide variety of projects using DEM in which the bulk solid being handled was coal. As discussed previously, two designs were included in this study, with the first design being the existing configuration as-is on site, and the second design being the final option selected for retrofitting on site. It was necessary in this project to investigate a solution that could be fitted to the existing configuration to minimise capital costs. For the simulations, the transfer chute trouser legs were prefilled to the same level for both simulations, with this operating level being determined from site data. The belt feeder was then switched on to a speed of 1.3m/s until steady state operation was reached, at which point an analysis was undertaken. Steady state operation was defined by the throughput being constant and the forces acting on the feeder belt also remaining constant. Simulations for the two configurations were undertaken using spherical particles with a diameter of 50 mm using the parameters as described previously. For these simulations, computational limitations restricted the use of the full particle size distribution (PSD), as using the full PSD would have meant a simulation time of months. This approach is typical for industrial problems and is accounted for by a correct calibration and selection of DEM parameters, as discussed previously. During the steady state period of the simulation there were approximately 1 million particles in the simulation at any one point.

3 Problem Set-up and Redesign Concept The existing configuration of the reclaimer is shown in Figure 1, with a single incoming conveyor belt being used to fill the two trouser legs of the transfer chute. The velocity bar shown in the figure represents the colour scale used to colour the particle in the simulation according to their absolute velocity, with the dark blue indicating zero to low velocity and red indicating velocities of 8.0 m/s and higher. The operating parameters of the reclaimer used in the DEM simulations can be seen in Table 1. Throughput

9,300 tph

Incoming belt velocity

4.8 m/s

Inclination + transition angle


Head pulley diameter

1.2 m

Incoming belt width

2.5 m

Outgoing belt velocity

5 m/s

Outgoing belt inclination


Outgoing belt width

2.5 m

Feeder velocity


Feeder width


Slewing angle


Table 1: Operating Parameters.


Figure 1: Isometric view of the flow through the reclaimer using DEM modelling.

Figure 2: Image showing the placement of the inserts into each of the trouser legs.

The final design solution that was selected was to install flow inserts into the bottom of each of the trouser legs, as seen in Figure 2. This modification consisted of 4 inserts being placed in each trouser leg of the chute. Two inserts were placed perpendicular to the direction of the feeder in each trouser leg, with the other two inserts being placed parallel to the direction of the feeder. The concept behind this design was that it would reduce the vertical pressure in the bulk solid. In both the case of the initial design as well as the design with inserts, the stress field in the bulk solid would be active. However, with no inserts the vertical pressure is distributed over a much larger area, the pressure being higher in the central region than at the chute boundaries, although there would be some asymmetry due to the trouser legs. The higher pressure regions would lead to higher localised wear. The theory behind this concept is that the use of the inserts allows the vertical pressures to have a reduced magnitude due to the fact that the average pressure is roughly proportional to the widths of the apertures between the insert plates rather than being proportional to the width of the trouser leg opening when there are no inserts. 22

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

two designs analysed are the normal force acting on the belt, the frictional energy loss due to the interaction of the particles and the feeder belt, and lastly the average relative velocity of particles in contact with the feeder belt. These set of results have been selected as they are similar to the wear model presented previously in equation (1), and a reduction in these values will lead to a reduction in the wear of the feeder belt. In addition to the above numerical outputs from the simulations, it is also possible to visually compare results by way of surface contours. Surface contours have been compared below in Figure 3 for the original design and the redesign, with these surface contours representing shear intensity and impact intensity. These contours are calculated discretely for each element in the surface boundary via the dot product of force multiplied by velocity in the normal and tangential directions, with the results shown in the figure an average in the steady state flow period. The surface contours shown for each of the designs have used the same scale, with this colour showing red for the high intensity regions and blue for the low intensity regions. The results show the reduction in the shear and impact intensity for the redesign which occurs through the inclusion of the flow inserts. Also visible is the asymmetric wear of the feeder belts in the existing design most likely being caused by the non-central loading of the feeder belt from the trouser legs. The inclusion of the flow inserts assists in alleviating this

Figure 3: Impact and Shear intensity contours for each feeder belt under the trouser legs of the transfer chute for the original design and the redesign.

The more uniform and somewhat lower magnitude pressure distribution provided by the inserts would lead to more uniform wear of reduced magnitude.

4 DEM Results and Discussion From the DEM simulations, it is possible to extract a wide variety of results post simulation. For this particular work, the main points of comparison between the

non-central loading profile. In addition to the above surface contours, data can be plotted to compare the two designs in a more numerical manner. This data can be seen in Figure 4, where the normal force on the feeder belt and the frictional energy loss between the particles and the feeder belt have been plotted over time (the results shown in the figure are per feeder belt). The simulation was set-up


Figure 4: DEM simulation data for normal force on feeder belt (left) and frictional energy loss between particles and feeder belt (right).

in such a way that for the first 22.5 seconds the feeder belts were stationary while the material fills the trouser legs of the chute to the nominated level, after which time the belts were switched on and flow through the transfer commenced. This is reflected in the data shown in Figure 4. Extracting quantitative data from the simulations such as this should be done with caution, as without a detailed understanding of the range of DEM parameters and their effect on the flow mode being modelled it is possible that they are not comparable to reality. However, for the purposes of this design study only relative comparisons were made. If an average is taken for the two outputs shown in Figure 4 in the steady state period of 30 – 40 seconds, the

results show a 25% reduction in the normal force on the feeder belt and a reduction of 40% for the frictional energy loss between the particles and feeder belt. In addition to the previous analysis, data was also compared for the relative velocities of the particles and feeder belt (only those particles in contact with the feeder belt). The relative velocity of each of the particles in contact with the feeder belt (Vrel) was calculated using the following equation; (2) Where VP is the velocity vector of the particle, P is the rotational velocity vector of the particle, rc is the coordinate vector

between the particle and the feeder belt, and VB is the velocity vector of the feeder belt. This calculation was made for all particles in contact with the feeder belt in the steady state time period of 30 – 40 seconds, and the results were averaged along the length of the feeder belt. The results for the existing reclaimer design and the redesign with the inserts can be seen in Figure 5 where only the relative velocity in the direction of the feeder belt has been plotted. As can be seen, there is a reduction in the relative particle velocities along the length of the belt for the redesign with the inserts. The combined effect of a lower normal force coupled with lower relative velocities of particles in contact with the belt will certainly act to reduce abrasive wear.

5 Site Results The recommended flow inserts have been installed into the trouser legs of the reclaimer and wear data of the feeder belts has been collected. At this stage it is also worth mentioning that the two inserts perpendicular to the flow did not extend all the way across the opening of the trouser leg, and the reason for this is so the inserts could be preassembled off site and installed in one piece. Photos of the inserts in their preassembled state as well as

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Figure 5: Comparison of relative velocities of particles in contact with the feeder belt over the length of the belt (averaged over the steady state time period of 30 – 40 seconds).

installed into the trouser legs of the chute can be seen in Figure 6. Data collected from site, for the original design, indicated that for one feeder belt the top cover of the feeder belt wore a total of 5.3 mm for a total of 3.2 million tonnes of handled coal. In comparison to this, once the flow inserts were installed into the reclaimer, the new wear data showed only a 1.0 mm wear of the top cover for 3.0 million tonnes of coal. The details of the feeder belt (rubber compound, strength rating) remained exactly the same before and after the installation of the inserts. A comparison of the wear rate shows that the wear rate was approximately 1.65 x 10 -6 mm per million tonnes for the original design, and after the installation of the inserts it is 0.33 x 10 -6 mm per million tonnes. These figures indicate a wear reduction of approximately 80%. In comparison with the DEM results, the actual wear experienced on site is arguably greater than that predicted from the modelling. However, it is realized that there is no direct quantitative measure of the wear




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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 6: Flow Insert preassembled before installation (left) and installed into the trouser legs of the transfer chute (right).

from the DEM modelling. The main reason for this is that while the modelling can predict the interactions of the particles with the feeder belt, it cannot predict the response of the feeder belt to the interactions of the particles and belt. Added to this is the nonlinear behaviour of the wear mechanism. More research needs to be conducted to further improve DEM wear models so that they can predict the response of a conveyor belt (or chute liner) from the interactions between the particles and surfaces.

5 Conclusions An application of the Discrete Element Method (DEM) combined with a wear model has been applied for the analysis of a feeder belt in a coal reclaimer. Using the DEM analysis technique a range of possible solutions were considered for this project, with the redesign option presented in this paper being the preferred option. A number of flow inserts were used in each trouser leg directly above the feeder belts, with the idea behind these inserts being to reduce the vertical pressure in the bulk solid as well as creating a more uniform wear profile. Data from the DEM simulations showed that for the redesign option the normal force on the feeder belt was reduced, the frictional energy loss due to interactions between the particles and belt was reduced, and the relative translational velocity of the particles in contact with the belt was also reduced. The combination of all these results leads to a total effect of wear reduction on the feeder belt. The redesign option from the modelling was carried through to installation on site, and the wear readings from site agreed with the wear reduction predicted from the DEM modelling. In terms of magnitude of the wear, the site data for the wear readings registered a larger reduction in wear than compared to the modelling, with this result indicating more research should be conducted in an effort to include the response of the wear surface to the interactions predicted in the modelling.

5 References [1] Roberts A W. An Overview of Feeder Design Focusing on Belt and Apron Feeders, Bulk Solids Handling, 2001, 21, pp13-25. [2] Katterfeld A, Gröger T, and Minkin A. Discrete Element Simulation of Transfer Stations and their Verification, Bulk Solids & Powder Science Technology, 2007, 2. [3] Cenna, A A, Allen, S, Page, N W, Dastoor, P, 2001. A polyethylene-reinforced polymer composite abraded by bulk solids, Wear, 249, pp 663-671. [4] Roberts, A W. Chute Performance and Design for Rapid Flow Conditions, Chemical Engineering Technology, 2003, 26(2), pp 163-170. [5] Ai J, Chen J, Rotter M, and Ooi J Y., Assessment of rolling resistance models in discrete element simulations, Powder Technology, 2011, 206, pp 269-282. [6] Coetzee C J, and Lombard S G. Discrete Element method modelling of a centrifugal fertiliser spreader, Biosystems Engineering, 2011, 109, pp 308-325. [7] Wensrich, C.M., Katterfeld, A., Rolling friction as a technique for modelling particle shape in DEM, Powder Technology, 2012, 217, pp 409-417.

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The latest Ingersoll Rand Nirvana variable speed drive R-Series compressor supplied by CAPS Australia.

Ingersoll Rand, a global leader in compressed air technology, has expanded its contact-cooled rotary screw air compressor line with the R-Series 55-75 kW / 75-100 hp range.


he new range is available with either fixed speed or Nirvana variable speed drives at capacities up to 3.23-13.56 m3/min . Ingersoll Rand compressor products are exclusively distributed in Australia by Compressed Air and Power Solutions Australia (CAPS) – the largest independently-owned compressed air company in the country. According to Dino Alessio, national sales manager for CAPS, “The 55-75 kW range of R-Series compressors has new features and options that will deliver increased reliability, efficiency and productivity for customers, while providing the same industryleading benefits offered by the larger R-Series compressors.” The new machines are equipped with the Xe-Series controller, which features a high resolution LCD colour display. The monitor provides immediate and intuitive access to all vital compressor data and settings. The controller also permits remote control of the compressor from any PC, tablet or smartphone via the Internet and can send automatic email notifications of trips and warnings to designated personnel. The integrated Total Air System (TAS) dryer and filtration option provides clean, dry air in a single package, reducing installation costs while allowing single-point maintenance and monitoring for the whole system. The Total Air System option comes with refrigerated dryer technology and a high efficiency coalescing filter to deliver ISO Class 1-4-2 quality air. The TAS option utilises a patented 3-in-1 heat exchanger, which improves energy efficiency and lowers operating cost when compared to traditional stand-alone dryers. Contact: :


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


eco Australia’s Slide Guide allows users to browse the performance data and dimensions of the company’s MAX-E3-H66 range of TEFC High Efficiency low voltage electric motors over the range frame sizes D80~ D315M. “We have created this application so users can get one touch access to critical features to enable them to find alternatives for other motor brands, for checking power consumption and other useful facts,” said David Kinsey, product manager at Teco Australia. “This is available as a free download from the iTunes store with an Android version following soon.” Contact: and

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A freight forwarder’s inside secrets In this article, Peter Townley, managing director of Townley Group International, explains how companies in mining and bulk handling can save time and money and minimise downtime for their project with professional freight forwarding.


hoosing the wrong freight forwarder or choosing a freight forwarder based on the lowest price for your mine or project could end up costing you the earth, according to logistics specialist Peter Townley. As managing director of Townley Group International, a company specialising in freight forwarding and project cargo services for the resources sector, and with more than 25 years’ experience, Peter has seen it all. “Perhaps the most costly mistake that procurement personnel could make is selecting a freight forwarder on price alone,” says Peter. “In my experience a lot of forwarders are chosen on price and the person selecting doesn’t really look deep into what the forwarder can achieve. While price is an important consideration, it often runs second to on-time delivery.

“If a project is delayed by a day, a week or a month due to the forwarder giving a low price and choosing non-performing carriers or airlines, then the actual cost to the project could be astronomical in terms of shutdown or delays at site.” With so many links in the supply chain, says Peter, it is important to look beyond price and seek the services of a logistics specialist with an intimate knowledge and understanding of the various transit options, availability and timings, from start to finish. Project managers need to consider that ships and aircraft are not always available on the time frame they want, Peter advises. “Careful forward planning is required when it comes to execution of projects and the project forwarder is a critical part of the supply chain,” he said. “The forwarder is able to construct long range scheduling based on the build

Peter Townley: “Quality service is remembered long after price is forgotten.”

and ready dates of major mine assets. This allows for better flexibility with vessel owners and aircraft operators.” When engaging a freight forwarder, seek a credible, experienced and reliable provider with a ‘hands on’ capacity at the load and discharge areas and all areas in between. “Regrettably this doesn’t always happen in large companies, as the work is often passed to someone in the organisation who may not have the depth of experience that a more senior or experienced person has in cargo management,” he said. “Sometimes, bigger is not always better. “The forwarder should be very handson. Taking care of the cargo, making sure it is loaded and, that the client is getting constant updates from start to finish.” The biggest pitfall in selecting a freight forwarder with the lowest price, says

Two x 90 tonne dragline MG sets ready for the long haul to BMA Coal Blackwater. Careful forward planning is required when it comes to execution of projects and the project forwarder is a critical part of the supply chain.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


“Making the freight forwarder part of the decision making process will save you time and money and help you avoid hassles. “An excellent project forwarder can save the projects millions if they are involved from the outset and have all the relevant information. “The forwarder can work with Australian Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAFF) to mitigate many hard to pass areas, as well as looking for the tariff concessions for the project. “A good forwarder does this daily and is up to date on current issues with ships, planes, customs and the relevant authorities, as well as the local issues with trucking and cranes.”

Better tracking

One of two 14 tonne belt reels headed for Ok Tedi flown from Greece to Port Moresby for breakdown. The freight forwarder should be an integral part of a project or operation.

Troy Resources’ mill shell en route through the Andes from Cobar NSW. Freight forwarders can work with Customs and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to mitigate many hard to pass areas, as well as looking for the tariff concessions for the project.

Peter, is the ‘variation of contract’ where a forwarder can come back at the client and charge a premium based on non-information or a change in the contract. “These areas need to be viewed carefully by the project manager and the procurement teams, as this can often end in litigation or heavy financial losses to the client,” he said. “In some instances cargo can be held up until payments or agreements have been made,” again leading to possible lengthy delays and additional cost. The freight forwarder should be an integral part of a project or operation, says Peter, and while not on site 24/7 they should be constantly monitoring and updating information to the client. “The forwarder must be a part of the

decision making process or contracted as an advisor to the team,” he said. “Every project manager and procurement person knows someone who knows someone who owns or has ships or aircraft, but fundamentally these are relationships that have the potential to turn bad and the consequences can be costly. “Carriers and shipping lines have their own set of rules that are well established in law. Any misunderstanding or misinterpretation of these laws can have serious financial implications.” “As mine operators and project managers face increasing demands in meeting on time performance targets and budgets”, says Peter, “a freight forwarder which can work seamlessly with their operation can deliver huge benefits.

With the mining industry experiencing dramatic growth in recent years, most freight forwarders have not kept pace when applying technology such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) to track and trace cargo in real time, according to Peter. “GPS and RFID allows for better controls on each piece of cargo from origin to destination and we use these systems on all major projects; it allows the customer to access cargo movements in real time while on site, or in a marshaling area,” he said. “This technology can save the end user much time in locating cargo, but it also provides a full inventory of cargo on hand and its location. Our company applied this technology on a job for Troy Resources to mobilise an entire gold processing plant from Cobar in New South Wales to San Juan in Argentina.” Purchase Order (PO) management systems, says Peter, are also being successfully employed in cargo management. “This allows the customer to upload their purchase orders through our system and allows the customer to get on with their job and the forwarder to expedite the cargo,” he said. “The forwarder is then giving the customer real time information through the system via email or via text and this allows the customer to have accurate information based on the update from the supplier via the forwarder. This not only saves time, but also saves considerable money in not employing an expeditor to handle the purchase orders. On some projects there may be as many as five or six expeditors. “The cost to the project is enormous. By giving this to the forwarder the cost is reduced and time is saved.” Contact: P  eter Townley, email:

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Robotic idler change-out technology advances Machinery Automation and Robotics has developed robotic equipment for automated conveyor idler change-outs and conveyor monitoring. The robots carry out their functions while the conveyor belt is running, offering potential optimisation, productivity and efficiency upside. ABHR’s Mike Foley reports. MAR’s Robotic Idler Change-out (RIC) system at Northparkes.


achinery Automation and Robotics’ (MAR) idler change out system has been dubbed the Robotic Idler Changeout (RIC) system. Rio Tinto partnered with MAR on the initial development at the Northparkes mine. As AJM went to press, MAR expected the Northparkes installation to become fully operational by August 2013. In May, the system was highly commended at the NSW Minerals Council Innovation Awards. MAR’s operator controlled robot replaces idlers on working conveyors. It offers obvious productivity advantages over manual systems, which require conveyor

shutdowns for idler change-outs. Northparkes project manager for RIC, Greg Perry, said the robotic change out system “remove[s] our people from hazardous aspects of this task” and that “previously production was affected through failed idlers. “While removing people from the risk we are actually also increasing production levels at the same time.” However, MAR’s initial marketing will promote its monitoring and maintenance systems to the resources sector. A condition monitoring system, dubbed the MAR Robotic Idler Predict, is designed to

inspect idlers on loaded, operational conveyors, providing the capability for predictive maintenance on conveyors without any downtime on operation. The Robotic Idler Predict is mounted on a tracked vehicle and travels up and down alongside a conveyor. It uses thermal imaging to continually monitor the conveyor’s idler rollers to identify signs of impending roller failure. The unit comprises a six axis robot manipulator mounted on a moving track and is equipped with sensors. The robot manipulator automatically positions the sensing arm at the required locations of a conveyor.

Showcase Your Engineering Consultancy! Important annual report on Engineering, Design & Consultancy October 2013 edition. This special report is aimed specifically at assisting companies planning bulk handling projects. It will include a directory of bulk handling engineering firms. The informative report will document engineering firms in Australia offering design, consulting, and EPCM services to the bulk handling sector. It will provide details of: • key staff and their contact details, • areas of specialisation • services • major or marquee projects In addition, the report will include a variety of stories and project reports, for which Editor Charlie Macdonald is seeking topical, new material. Contact him on email - if you think your project might fit the bill or for inclusion in the directory. The October edition provides a favourable editorial environment for promoting engineering prowess and services to the customers who can benefit from using them. We will consider any editorial submissions you might have – interesting installations, technical breakthrough, etc. But you need to be quick and send your stories and pictures now. So... if you’d like to be part of this special Engineering feature, call or email now to discuss how to get your story published - and advertising ideas. Australian Bulk Handling Review can arrange some first class marketing for you.

Act Now! Call Peter Delbridge on 02 9080 4478 Download our media kit for 2013 at Booking deadline for advertising – Wednesday 10th September Editorial copy deadline: Wednesday 10th September Advertising copy deadline: Wednesday 17th September E: Ph: 02 9080 4478 M: 0400 700 765


RIC can carry out its functions while the conveyor belt is running.

Robotic Idler Predict is designed to inspect idlers on loaded, operational conveyors, providing the capability for predictive maintenance on conveyors without any downtime on operation. Analysis of each idler is collected and presented directly to the operating system for analysis. On detection of signs of impending roller failure the system will trigger an alarm. The Robotic Idler Predict system is capable of completing multiple tasks throughout the inspection process, such as underbelt debris removal. MAR’s condition monitoring technology is comparable to existing products in the market in the way it uses thermal, vibration and acoustic monitoring technology to detect idler wear. However, according to MAR’s automation engineer, Mark Lix, mounting the company’s condition monitoring system on a vehicle has advantages. “We don’t need to place vibration devices along the conveyor. If you have a 10km long conveyer, that equates to a lot of devices to monitor along the length. What our machine does is drive along the length of the belt and it can be deployed across a range of conveyors at a plant. “The benefits of robotics are that you can adapt many tools to the robotic manipulator to execute many tasks. “So one moment it could be taking an idler out, the next it could sweep under a conveyor belt and then go to inspect the idlers themselves.”

The Robotic Idler Predict system can perform multiple tasks during the inspection process, such as under-belt debris removal, as shown here.

Lix said “the condition monitoring system is the first step in idler removal. It can be driven a number of ways. There is potential to have it on a GPS unit allowing for autonomous movement up and down the conveyor. “It has acoustic and thermal recognition. It can pick if the bearing on a idler is failing by the pitch of the sound it makes. Once identified, it then would perform an inspection of heat using a couple of technologies.” MAR has also developed the Robotic Conveyor Contaminant Removal system, which is also capable of removing tramp metals from an operating conveyor. Contact:

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Spacer seeks to prevent conveyor breakdown Jammed rollers are a perennial problem in materials handling plants. Small rocks and debris frequently become lodged between the shaft and retaining bracket, preventing the roller from rotating. The result is worn or torn belts. A new product, the TR Spacer, promises a solution.

The TR Spacer, a round rubber spacer, remains stationary.


erry Faulder, a plant maintenance engineer with over 20 years’ experience under his belt, created the TR Spacer. He said his invention was born of necessity and has been proven in the field. The TR Spacer is a round rubber spacer that is the same diameter as the roller. Essentially, it was designed to prevent jammed rollers from creating flat spots on the roller. Flat spots wear a razor edge on the outside wall of the roller. This can catch the join splice or metal clip join of the conveyer belt.

Damage to the belt can be very severe leading up to a major breakdown in the plant for emergency patching, or in worst case scenarios, belt replacement. “There is a hole in the centre of the rubber spacer, the same size as the shaft roller. This has a fine cut on one side, from the centre of the hole to the outside edge,” Faulder explained. “The spacer is placed at both ends of the roller, between the roller and the retaining bracket. The cut allows easy fitting over the shaft without having to remove the roller.

“The spacer takes up the void, which is usually 10mm between the roller and the bracket. “The roller will still spin and rocks will be deflected by the rubber spacer. The shaft does not spin, only the roller. The spacer remains stationary. “I have trialled this method using the FRAS rubber (fire resistant anti-static) spacer in a Sydney concrete crushing plant over a period of twelve months without any unforeseen problems.” Contact: t: 0417 343 700

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10 tips for making your dust collector as safe as possible By David Higgins, Camfill Australia general manager.


hough a dust collector is a vital component in the safety of any bulk processing plant, it is usually a reluctant purchase. Few processing professionals get excited about buying a dust collection system and as a result, they will often select the lowestcost equipment available for the job. Sadly, the cheapest solution can prove to be the most costly in terms of worker safety, production downtime, regulatory compliance and other problems that plague companies when dust collectors do not perform properly. While the most basic function of a dust collector is to keep workers and workplaces safer, not all collectors are created equal from a safety standpoint. Consider following all these guidelines if you are selecting new equipment. Even if you are only looking to improve an existing system, many of these tips will still prove useful.

1. Look for a dust collector with a higher pressure rating Whenever a collector is equipped with an explosion venting or suppression system, as is now required in many industries, vessel strength is an important factor in sizing the explosion protection equipment. A heavy-duty collector, constructed of thicker gauge metal and with a higher pressure rating, will stand up better in the event of a combustible dust explosion. It will also enable you to use a simpler and less costly explosion protection system to comply with explosion protection standards.

2. Don’t overlook the ductwork Even if a collector has rugged construction and a properly sized explosion vent, you still need to protect the ductwork that serves the dust collector. Ducting should be equipped with dampers and valves designed to minimise the risk of explosion within these components. This is a task that is overlooked with surprising frequency.

3. Never store dust in the hopper Make sure your dust collector’s hopper is equipped with a device that discharges the dust into a separate drum or storage container after it is pulsed off the filters during the cleaning process. Equally important, this storage container must be emptied regularly, or dust can back up into the hopper. Dust sitting in a hopper creates a potential fire or explosion risk and may also affect performance adversely by clogging up the system and preventing the pulse-cleaning system from doing its job.

4. Don’t use a programmable logic controller (PLC) to control pulse-cleaning of filters Though PLCs are popular for use with a variety of processes, they are not well-suited to controlling pulse-cleaning of dust collector filter cartridges. Pulse-cleaning relies on very brief (i.e. 34

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

This cartridge dust collector has many features that enhance safety: heavy-duty construction, easy filter change-out without entry into the collector, extended-life filters for longer intervals between service, and a safety platform for access to the system.

150-millisecond), high-energy bursts of compressed air to blow dirt off the filter surfaces. With a PLC, the valve typically opens too slowly for proper pulsing to occur. To optimise cleaning and ensure reliable dust collector operation, use a timer board designed specifically for filter pulsing. The timer board can be used independently or tied into your PLC.

5. Don’t rely on filter percentage efficiencies or MERV ratings to predict compliance Bulk processors today must deal with an increasingly complex alphabet soup of regulations as air quality requirements are tightened. How do you know if your dust collector complies with emission thresholds? Sometimes equipment suppliers talk about ‘removing 99.9% of contaminants’ of a certain particle size, or they state filter efficiency as a MERV rating. Percentage efficiency claims don’t really mean much: What’s important is to ensure that emissions will be at or below required thresholds. Ask the filtration manufacturer for a written guarantee of emissions performance stated as grams per cubic metre.

6. Consider ease and safety of filter change-out The first goal should be no confined space entry, ie. workers should ideally never have to enter the dust collector to change the filters. Many cartridge-style dust collectors offer this feature, but the giant old-style baghouses still require entry during service, putting workers at risk and requiring companies to file confined space entry permits and monitor for gas. Ease of filter change-out should be explored. Are the filters positioned for ease of access? Do they slide in and out of the housing readily? Pulling out a dirty overhead filter that weighs 100 pounds can result in neck, back and foot injuries.


The secondary filter bank at the top of the collector prevents collected dust from re-entering the workspace if there should be a leak in the cartridge filtration system.

Example of a long-life dust collector filter. The open-pleat design of the filter causes dust to release more readily during pulse cleaning, extending filter life and reducing energy costs.

Threaded connections on the filter access doors or hoppers are also to be avoided, because dust tends to build up in the threads and cause connections to stick. Camlock-style devices are not subject to this problem and make for easier service.

7. Reduce change-out frequency with long-life filters No matter how maintenance-friendly a collector may be, the less service needed, the better – especially in hazardous dust applications. Extended-life cartridge filters available in today’s market can reduce replacement frequency, minimizing worker exposure to dust, saving on maintenance and disposal costs, and reducing landfill impact. Some filter suppliers even offer written guarantees on filter life.

8. Optimise fire prevention For spark-generating applications, a range of features and technologies are available, from flame-retardant filter media to spark arrestors in the form of drop-out boxes, perforated screens or cyclone device installed at the collector inlet. Fire sprinkler

systems may also be required with some installations. Dust collectors that use vertically-mounted cartridges also reduce fire and explosion risks. With horizontally-mounted systems, dust becomes entrained at the top of the filters and there is no pre-separation of heavy or abrasive particles from the air stream. This situation can shorten filter life and provide a dusty surface for sparks to ignite. Vertical mounting reduces the load on the filters and helps eliminate these problems.

9. Evaluate needs for additional safety accessories Railed safety platforms and caged ladders can prevent slips and falls when workers access the collector for service. Lock-out/tagout doors prevent injury caused by inadvertent opening of doors during a pulsing cycle and/or exposure to hazardous dust. Where highly toxic dust is being handled, a bag-in/bag-out (BIBO) containment system may be required to isolate workers from used filters during change-out.

10. Consider a safety monitoring filter You might also want to equip your collector with a safety monitoring filter. This is a secondary bank of high efficiency air filters that prevent collected dust from re-entering the workspace if there should be a leak in the dust collector’s primary filtering system. A safety monitoring filter is a required component in a recirculating dust collection system that recycles air downstream of the collector. By recirculating heated or cooled air back through the plant, the cost to replace that conditioned air is eliminated, with rapid paybacks in energy savings. Contact:

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ICBMH Awards 2013 The 11th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation (ICBMH) was held in Newcastle from July 2 to 4. This was the 30th year of the conference series.


CBMH is the world’s pre-eminent international conference for bulk solids academics. July’s Australian event was organised by the University of Newcastle, with TUNRA Bulk Solids and the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technology playing leading roles. At the event, researchers and industry practitioners came together to share the very latest in bulk solids science and technology over three days of presentations, discussion and networking. The frenetic activity of the conference, where a raft of high profile presentations was well received, was bookended by the ICBMH Awards presentation, where the industry gathered to wind down and take stock of the year that was. The night offered a welcome chance to recognise the industry’s high flyers, its best young engineers – via the the A.W Roberts Award – and to reward lifetime contribution to the industry with the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling Award.

L to R 1. Professor Mark Jones, director of TUNRA, University of Newcastle. 2. Associate Professor Peter Wypych, general manager Bulk Materials Engineering Australia, University of Wollongong. 3. Peter Delbridge, national sales manager, Australian Bulk Handling Review. 4. Emeritus Professor Alan Roberts. 5. Gary James, Calibre Minerva, received the Centre for Bulk Solids Particulate Technologies Award.

The award winners on the night were: • Jacob Power of SKM received the A.W. Roberts Award • Eric Lau of AMEC received the A.W. Roberts Award • Ian Burrell of Control Systems Technology received the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling Award • Lawrence Nordell of Conveyor Dynamics received the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies Award

• Professor Alex Harrison of Conveyor Technologies received The Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies Award • Gary James of Calibre Minerva received The Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies Award • Last but not least – Australian Bulk Handling Review received The Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies Award


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Removing powder from silos with Solimar fluidisers

Solimar fluidiser fast-fit kit.

Powders pack down in a hopper or silo and the finer the powder, the more difficult it is to remove. Kockums Bulk Systems distributes Solimar’s fluidisers in Australia, which it says offer an easy and cost effective solution to this problem.


luidisers are found in hundreds of applications including difficult to handle products like cement, talcum powder, gypsum, flyash, titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, carbon black, sugar and flours. In most cases they are relatively easy to install and the problem is overcome in a couple of hours. Kockums says the latest release from Solimar makes the mounting even easier. The fluidiser is installed totally externally, from the underside of the cone. A 50mm hole is cut in the hopper and the fluidiser is able to be shaped to pass through the hole, with the use

of a trailing lead to keep the fluidiser captive. Silo fluidisers promote the discharge of dry products from storage silos, dust collectors, weigh bins and IBC’s. Solimar fluidisers enable a uniform flow of most dry bulk materials through aeration and slight hopper wall vibration that help prevent the common problems of bridging, rat holing and compacting. A good installation will ensure a regular feed of powder for process work, particularly where a constant flow pattern is desired.

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Kockums says it is able to advise typical location patterns for the Solimars, related to the vessel dimensions and the characteristics of the powders. Contact Kockums: tel - 03 9457 8200

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Information technology: the aid for optimising bulk terminal logistics David Trueman1, Dr. Mi-Rong Wu2, Mahim Khanna3 1 DBIS Ltd, 9 Station Road, Adwick-le-Stree, Doncaster DN6 7BB, United Kingdom 2 TBA B.V., Karrepad 2a , 2623 AP Delft, the Netherlands, 3 TBA B.V., 57 Fiddens Wharf Road, Killara, NSW, Australia

Abstract Information technology (IT) is a useful tool for improving the handling efficiency of bulk terminals and consequently reducing costs. To achieve this objective it is essential that the IT system is embedded into process flow and integrated into the operation system and considered as a part of the whole system, rather than treated merely as a tool for financial and administrative purposes. This paper explains why an optimal IT architecture ought to be selected, and how it is built and integrated into the terminal operation system at bulk terminals. Together with other significant aspects such as process flow mapping, real time data obtained through interfaces to other systems (e.g. automation, weighing) this optimal IT architecture shows improvements in handling efficiency and cost saving. In addition, three case studies that show the successful examples in real practice are presented. These case studies demonstrate how various operational issues can be solved by well-considered and well-implemented information technology systems.

responsible for handling of the cargoes, yet does not have the ownership of the cargoes. • The cargo owners don’t own the dry bulk terminal. • Neither the dry bulk terminal operator nor the cargo owners have the possession for the vessels, trains and trucks that provide transportation services. • The transportation service involved with dry bulk terminals is rather price driven, because it is perceived by the cargo sellers and cargo buyers as a necessary evil. Furthermore, within the dry bulk terminal itself the communication is often double handled, late, and inconsistent. The systems used by the operations, maintenance, administration, quality and financial departments are not integrated and each department manages information separately. The information is often managed through spreadsheet and is not shared.

2. CommTrac and the optimal system architecture To encourage buy in to the improvement and to have a better understanding for the

1. Introduction Dry bulk terminals are essential links in the commodity supply chain where numerous parties are involved in various activities. These parties can be actual cargo owners, cargo traders, cargo buyers, shipping companies, dry bulk terminal operators, logistic service providers, and so on. To have an optimal performance of a dry bulk terminal, it is vital to establish clear and accurate lines of communications between the relevant parties. In this context, naturally the accuracy and the consistency of information are of high importance. However, it is rather often that a dry bulk terminal and the various parties that rely on the service it provides are “disconnected” because of the following reasons: • The dry bulk terminal operator is 38

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 1 Basic overview of an optimal system for a bulk terminal.

benefits, as well as to avoid problematic transition, a team that consists of workforce and management is created. This team works together with business analysts to perform a flow mapping exercise. The flow mapping includes all the processes involved in the operation, and is necessary to understand where improvements can be made in the process and what kind of changes need to be introduced. Typically the flow mapping starts with the material flows through the dry bulk terminal, and the workflows from operation, administration and finance are overlaid. Once the flow mapping is complete improvements are identified and the optimal system can be introduced. A terminal management system named CommTrac is a system which uses optimal system architecture and is used by various bulk terminals (see Figure 1 for the structure overview). It shows that all the departments are integrated with other and they are provided with correct tools to manage their daily tasks; data entered in one product is available for all parties in the entire system without manual duplication.


General Tasks

Estimated Time Using CommTrac (hr)

Estimated Time Using Paper or Spreadsheets (hr)

Frequency per Annum

Total Time CommTrac (hr)

Total Time Manual (hr)

Total Hours Saving (hr)

Record Vessel Information per Ship and Cargo







Record Vessel Information Repeat Visit







Create Daily Statement of Facts and Distribute







Create Daily Loading Report and Distribute







Create Final Statement of Facts and Distribute







Create Final Loading Report and Distribute







Calculate Demurrage Inc Trains







Accumulate Customer Charges







Generate Invoice







Enter Invoice Data to SAP







Produce Train Schedule from Next Weeks Business







Update Daily Work Schedule







Record Received Stock from Each Rail Wagon







Update Overall Stock Report







Email Daily Flash Report to Each Customer







Create Stockpile Temperature Report







Create Daily Flash Report







Create Daily Tip Report










If Working Week is 40 Hours


The Number of Working Weeks Saved


Over a course of a year Table 1 Time duration comparison between CommTrac system and Spreadsheets.

The optimal system architecture limits the opportunities for manual manipulation of the data, which ensures the integrity of the information. This is of importance especially in the agribulk sector because of regulations such as The European Food Safety Directive (EU178-2002) [1], The European Genetically Modified Origin Traceability and Labeling Direction (EU1830-2003) [2], and US Federal Bioterrorism Response Act [3]; they all require at various levels product traceability and surety. For commercial reasons the system integrity is equally important since the system also reduces the risk of verbal interaction errors and the administration costs. Table 1 shows an example of how CommTrac reduces the administrative workload (taken from a study performed for a major coal terminal). The incident of a fault can be used as a simple example that demonstrates the benefit of CommTrac. Supposing that a fault occurs on a conveyor during vessel

discharging, it is displayed automatically on the SCADA system and the rectification process begins. The information passes to CommTrac (terminal management system) and to the various connected modules. Consequently the timeline in the planning and scheduling module is pushed out, and the impact on the overall operational schedule is provided in a real time view. An event of fault is created in the stoppage log and a statement of fact is created and is then used in the Laytime module that calculates demurrage cost (if any). The overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) module records the stoppage and uses the downtime data for calculating the availability. The financial impact of the event is reflected in the ERP system on the completion of the vessel, and the information is automatically transferred to the maintenance system for recording. This example shows the gain of CommTrac that connects all the systems and interfaces together.

3. Case studies of CommTrac at bulk terminals The following case studies show various examples in practice of how CommTrac is used at bulk terminals and makes the operation more efficient and improves customer service levels.

A. Peel Ports, Merlin Animal Feed Store, Liverpool, UK The Merlin Animal Feed Store opened in Port of Liverpool in 2003. It is designed to receive Panamax vessels that deliver animal feed, and the product is delivered inland by trucks. An optimized process is required to maximize operation efficiency and reduce the risk of wrong product delivery because of the high truck arrivals (can be as many as 175 trucks per day). Prior to the construction, the workflow together with the terminal layout are included in the flow mapping process so they could be considered in the optimization process. Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Figure 2 Weighing systems interfaces.

The product storage shed is longitudinally laid out with a central roadway (one way system) for trucks to go through. The vehicle flow is controlled using traffic lights and barriers, and both incoming and outgoing weighbridges are unmanned. When a truck arrives it reports to the entrance office, the driver is issued with a swipe card if the order detail is correct; the truck then continues through the whole weighing and loading process without human intervention (see Figure 2). Once the truck arrives at the load point, a work order pertaining only to the truck is sent to the payloader drivers via an in cab display (see Figure 3). The registration is confirmed via the keypad and with transducers on the payloader bucket the weight is totalized. The location of each truck in the terminal and each step is time and date stamped and displayed in the office; and the throughput time of each truck and the dwell time at each point are shown by the reports. The stock inventory is updated automatically as each truck leaves the terminal, and at close of play each customer receives reports concerning their current stock and daily transactions by emails. For each type of product the inventory is updated automatically based on the data from incoming hopper scale delivered in real time. CommTrac interfaces

Figure 4 Google Earth display location of incoming train to HIT.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

to the automation systems ensure the incoming product is loaded into the correct storage location, which is based on process rules that include customer allocations and available clean space, apart from truck flows management. Furthermore, cross contamination with other commodities in the storage is prevented since CommTrac defines the start position of the loading conveyor based on the angle of repose.

B. Associated British Ports, Humber International Terminal, Immingham, UK Supplying coal to some of the major coal fired power stations, Humber International Terminal (HIT) is the largest coal terminal in the UK with a capability of handling 12 million tons of coal per annum. To satisfy customer demand HIT needs to have the capability of potentially loading 24 trains per day. Two bunkers, which when full are capable of loading a complete train, feed a rapid loader that is used to load trains. However, until the terminal can be absolutely certain of the identity of the next train arriving at the siding, the bunkers can’t be filled. Even though the rail timetable is uploaded to existing terminal management system automatically and is updated on a frequent basis, the schedule is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate and trains can still arrive in the incorrect sequence. On the other hand, filling the bunkers only after the train arrives at the terminal is out of the question since it is then impossible to meet the required throughput. A successful IT solution based on the optimal system architecture is implemented that improves

the efficiency and the detailed interaction between the rail companies and the terminal. GPS devices are mounted on the locomotives, they enable the rail companies to provide data and make it possible to plot the locations of the trains, display them to the terminal Operations team on Google Earth (see Figure 4). The critical point at which the train passed the last junction on its way to the terminal is included in the image display on Google Earth. In this way the bunkers are guaranteed to be correctly loaded at the optimal time, erroneous loading is eradicated and the turnaround time of the train is minimized.

C. Grindrod Freight Services African Terminals As a part of Grindrod Ltd., Grindrod Freight is a global shipping and logistics company based in Durban, South Africa. Two bulk terminals, a multi-purpose multi-commodity terminal in Richards Bay, South Africa, and a coal export terminal in Maputo, Mozambique are purchased because of the strategy to develop in the landside supply chain. With the aim of operating at world class standard, a considerable sum is invested in new infrastructure for both terminals; and as a part of the strategy common management structures and operational procedures are implemented at both terminals. In this way there is a consistency and benchmarking against each other is allowed. An IT system in line with the optimal system design presented above is put in place (see Figure 5), including: • Operators’ access to their specific requirements is controlled by carefully established password levels. • Common processes in all aspects of the operation. • KPIs are established to benchmark both terminals, including overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) Both terminals work consistently in the same way with the same KPIs measured by the same systems, the process of continuous improvement has been accelerated. The administrative workload of customers using both terminals has been reduced because of the same transactional processes and information formats, and thus the customer service has also been improved.

4. Conclusions Information technology is often seen and criticized as increasing the burden on operational teams while it benefits only the senior management and finance departments, who add further criticism if the information is not timely or incorrect. Therefore, it is essential that system


Figure 3 In cab display for payloader drivers.

selection is based on all users’ requirements; this can only be realized by careful mapping of business, operational, and administrative processes. With the objective of single data entry point, interfaces to electronic data sources are essential to have real time and accurate information. The presented case studies show that well-considered and well-implemented IT systems can help to achieve real and measurable improvements for the chosen supply chain sub-systems. Logistics is essentially an integrated approach and by embedding IT system along longer lengths of the supply chain further optimization is feasible. This is a means of making operations more efficient by improving decision making, improving productivity and capacity utilization while reducing administration costs. Furthermore, IT can enhance the ease and quality of reporting available. Accurate, reliable and timely KPIs and reports can facilitate benchmarking and striving for continuous improvements.

Figure 5 Snapshot of the IT system installed at Grindrod Freight Service African Terminals.

5. References [1]  The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, Laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, Brussels, 28 January 2002. [2]  The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, Concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms and amending Directive 2001/18/, Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003, Brussels, 22 September 2003. [3] U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act), 12 June 2002. Contact:, tel 0468 719 077

Liverpool grain terminal and operator. Screens on left with graphs are SCADA (terminal equipment), graphs represent each job operating at the terminal, on the right are CommTrac system screens. The whole system is fully integrated with jobs planned in CommTrac, executed in SCADA, which in turn updates CommTrac with real time feedback.

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


The Australian Bulk Handling Awards


elebrating Achievement in the Bulk Handling Industry

The eighth annual Australian Bulk Handling Awards will be held on Thursday 7th November 2013 at Doltone House in Sydney.

How to nominate There is no set application form or template for nominations. Instead, nominations, which can be of any length, should be in the nominator’s own words and should include any photographs, diagrams or illustrations that might aid the judges’ understanding.

The Australian Bulk Handling Awards were first held in 2006 in Melbourne. The event gathers an audience of bulk handling engineers and technicians together to celebrate outstanding performance and high achievement across various facets of their industry.

The judges are not concerned with literary merit and encourage all sections of the bulk handling community to “have a go”. Nominations close October 4th, 2013 should be emailed to Charles Macdonald

At the 2013 event, which will be held at Doltone House’s Darling Island Wharf (opposite Star City), there will be awards for: the bulk handling facility of the year, innovative technology, dust control, supplier of the year, environment, WH&S, excellence in transport and/or conveying, excellence in the application of gears, motors and drives, and an exciting new category for excellence in engineering photography.

and at -

Or posted to: Charles Macdonald, Editor, Australian Bulk Handling Review (ABHR) PO Box Q1439, Sydney QVB, NSW 1230

Questions? Unsure how to proceed?

The 2012 Awards were sponsored by Integrated Bulk Systems, Tenova TAKRAF, Laing O’Rourke, Bonfiglioli, Aerobelt, QUBE Bulk, Pilz, Flexco, and the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling. Details of the 2013 event such as judging panel and categories are on the Awards website.

Call Charles Macdonald on 02 9080 4443 to discuss a potential nomination.

Nomination Process Who can nominate...


Individuals can nominate themselves, their company, or their project Suppliers can nominate customers Customers can nominate suppliers Unsuccessful nominations from previous years can be re-entered


You can nominate yourself or a colleague for an Award!

Share the Kudos – Sponsor an Award The Australian Bulk Handling Awards offer a number of sponsorship opportunities to companies keen to associate themselves with the premier event in the bulk handling calendar. Sponsors’ names and logos will be extensively advertised in the months leading up to the Awards, and for several months afterwards. At the gala dinner, sponsors will introduce the winners and present trophies, while enjoying extensive signage and branding rights. For more information contact Peter Delbridge on 02 9080 4478 or email

Thursday 7th November, Doltone House, Darling Harbour Wharf, Sydney

Award Categories Bulk Handling Facility of the Year (Resources and Infrastructure)

Excellence in the Application of Gears, Motors or Drives

An award for a bulk handling facility servicing the resources sector (mining, grains, commodities), ports and terminals.

An award for the application of gears, motors or drive technology in an Australian bulk handling facility.

Bulk Handling Facility of the Year (Manufacturing and Processing)

Supplier of the Year

An award for a bulk handling facility servicing the manufacturing and processing industries encompassing, food, pharmaceuticals, stockfeed, chemicals, plastics, resins, and building products.

An award recognising exemplary service, performance and customer commitment by a supplier to the Australian bulk handling sector.

Excellence in Engineering Photography

Innovative Technology An award for the introduction of new technology or improvement to established technology in the bulk handling industry.

Environmental Project of the Year An award for a project or technology displaying environmental sensitivity and innovation in waste management, site or facility rehabilitation, recycling or energy/water conservation.

Dust Control Technology, Application or Practice

An award for onsite photography of a bulk handling plant or facility, machinery, or engineers at work. The subject is not specific, but may include photos of conveyors, shiploaders or stacker reclaimers. Subjects may include resources and non-resources industries as well as rail and port bulk handling infrastructure. The judges welcome nominations from both professional and non-professional photographers and may, depending on the quality of nominations, choose to recognise each group separately. Nominations from professional photographers will be judged on a portfolio of 10 photos.

An award for best practice in dust and fume suppression, management or control; or for innovation in dust control technology, equipment or application.

Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling Award

Best Practice in WH&S

PLEASE NOTE: Nominations for this award are welcome but this category will be judged only by the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling. Nominations, including a full CV, should be sent direct to Society chair Peter Wypych on by August 16th.

An award recognising the implementation of WH&S, ergonomic or risk management practices, policies or technologies to enhance the safety and health of employees and/or the general public.

Excellence in Transport and/or Conveying An award for new or improved technology affecting conveying and/ or transport systems with positive impact on performance, reliability, efficiency and the environment.

Recognising an outstanding contribution to the field of bulk solids handling.

The A.W. Roberts Award An award presented to a young engineer (aged 35 or under) who has made a significant contribution to bulk solids handling in the areas of research, design and/or practice. PLEASE NOTE: Nominations for this award are welcome but this category will be judged only by the Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling. Nominations, including a full CV, should be sent direct to Society chair Peter Wypych on by August 16th.

Judging Panel Moderator:


Editor, Australian Bulk Handling Review

2012 - 2013



School of Mechanical Materials & Mechatronic Engineering University of Wollongong


Director, Centre for Bulk Solids & Particulate Technologies, University of Newcastle

MIKE ANDERSON Managing Director Nu-Con Australia

OTTO CHAN Bulk Materials Handling Consultant


High angle conveying the vital (missing) link to IPCC systems By Joseph A. Dos Santos

This article is based on a presentation by the author at the In–Pit Crushing and Conveying (IPCC) 2012 Conference, held in Bali, Indonesia in October 2012.

Abstract Dramatic reduction in energy use and environmental impact can be achieved with sandwich belt high angle conveyors that serve as the vital link in any IPCC system. These high angle conveyors are not new at all but have not found wide use in IPCC systems where they can realise the greatest advantage. Reduced energy consumption and environmental impact, with IPCC systems, was already realised in the 1970’s. With the bulk material haulage limited to conventional open trough conveyors the most direct path out of the open pit was precluded, requiring low angle spiral ramps and/or deep slots and/or tunnels through the high wall of the open pit. These excavations, to accommodate the low angle limitations, represented undesirable impact on cost and on the environment. Against this backdrop a major study in 1979 sought to develop high angle conveying systems that could continuously haul the mined bulk material directly out of the pit, along the high wall – the shortest distance between the two end points. Between 1979 and 1982 that study developed sandwich belt high angle conveying systems that utilised all conventional conveyor equipment including smooth surfaced rubber belts that could be continuously scraped clean. These systems had all of the positive features of conventional conveyors but overcame the angle limitation. By hugging the bulk material between two belts, the material’s internal friction could be developed to facilitate conveying at any high angle up to 90° (vertical). After an intense testing period (about one year) on the first large scale prototype system, commercialisation began in 1983 with the installation of a 60° incline system at a western US coal mine, elevating 2,000t/h of coal to a train load out system. It did not take a long period of scrutiny and acceptance before this high angle conveyor found use in the most rugged requirements of an IPCC system. This was only the second commercial sale, and after more than 150 commercial installations, it remains arguably the most significant high angle conveying system. 44

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 1: Sandwich belt high angle conveyor development timeline 1950–1983.

In 1984 the Majdanpek copper mine in Serbia, already using pit perimeter crushing and conveying, decided to move their primary crusher deep into the pit and to use a sandwich belt high angle conveying system to elevate the ore continuously, directly out of the pit, along the high wall to the pit perimeter where it then transferred to a conventional conveyor for the remaining haul to the plant. The system had significant features including 2,000mm wide belts that elevated 250mm coarse ore, at 4,000 t/h, over six 15m high benches for a total 90ms of net lift. The system was able to reduce the truck haulage fleet by 10 x 200 ton trucks realising great cost savings, zero emissions to the air, and greatly reduced traffic congestion in the pit. The system operated successfully until 2001 when the mine shut down. Many successful sandwich belt high angle conveyors followed with the current count of commercial installations at more than 150. Despite the great success in the Majdanpek system its use has not been repeated as part of an IPCC system. The high angle conveyor offers the link

to optimisation of any IPCC system, yet that industry continues to struggle with the use of conventional conveyors and haul trucks to achieve the high angle function. The results are sluggish low angle conveyor systems of limited flexibility requiring excessive manoeuvring time, excessive excavation, fill and re-handling in order to accommodate the low angle limitations. The current alternative to conveyors is the fall back position of using 300 ton haul trucks at great operating and environmental cost. Recent studies have represented resurgence in interest in high angle conveying and have demonstrated the technical and economic advantages along with the reduced environmental footprint. Though the primary purpose is to demonstrate suitability for open pit mining applications this writing will first recap the early development of the latest sandwich belt high angle conveyors and their commercialisation over the last 30 years. Particular emphasis will be paid to who did what, and when, giving due credit. Finally we ask the question, why is this gift so often treated with such suspicion and then declined?


Figure 2: Sandwich belt high angle conveyor development timeline 1983 – 2013.

Introduction This article deals predominantly with the Dos Santos Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyors, a technology that is more than 30 years old. To clarify; by Dos Santos Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyors I am referring to the work of J. A. Dos Santos since 1979 while in the employ of the various companies: While at Dravo Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA USA: • Development work of 1979 – 1981, under a US Bureau of Mines study. It was here that I developed the sandwich belt high angle conveyor technology, rationalised in the conventional conveyor technology. This also produced the landmark publication “Evolution of Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyors”, a writing that is complete in defining the theory and design rules and in the conceptualisation of the designs that went on to commercialisation. While at Continental Conveyor and Equipment Company, Winfield, AL, USA: • The HAC Systems from 1982 – 1997 Since the founding of Dos Santos international: • The DSI Snake Sandwich High Angle Conveyors from 1997 until the present. The study and research work began in 1979. Commercialisation began with the first sale in 1983. The first sale as part of an IPCC system occurred in 1984, only the second commercial sale. That system began operation in 1991 and operated successfully until the mine shut down in 2002. Arguably the most significant Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyor to date it is the only IPCC application. Of late there has been great interest in IPCC systems, particularly in Australia. Innovative mining companies are focusing on high angle conveyors as the vital link to any IPCC system. This has led to some significant mine planning studies that are on track for future implementation. The interest has not focused on the traditional IPCC systems, viewing them as old, rigid technology that does not fit their operations; rather they are developing their own mobile IPCC systems with the Sandwich Belt High Angle conveyors as the vital link to their multi-level operations; from the pit to the surface, between benches, to spoil dumps, both on the surface and in back fill of mined out pits. Linked by the most direct path of the high angle conveyor the system is compact and versatile. It is worth noting that, since the 1970s, very little progress has occurred in the second C of the IPCC systems. Aside from high angle conveyors, which have been largely ignored by the IPCC manufacturers, the conveying highlights have included: conventional troughed conveyors that strain, at great risk of slide back, to achieve 18° of incline angle; high powered conveyors with gearless drives; low angle bench conveyors. These are hardly earth shattering innovations.


Figure 4: Sandwich belt model #1.

Figure 5: Basics of the Loop Belt.

of cover belts were developed and many of these were awarded patents. None of these inventions were a lasting success and by the end of that decade all were abandoned.

Loop Belts of the 1970s

Figure 3: Conveyor with cover belt.

Cover belts of the 1950s The first introduction of the sandwich belt concept was in 1951, in Germany, in the form of “Conveyor with Cover Belt”. A cover belt was installed at the boom belt of a bucket wheel excavator in order to increase the conveying angle without the occurrence of material slide-back. This was to increase the cutting height of the excavator without increasing the boom length. This first sandwich belt is shown in Figure 3. Rubber-tyred wheels pressed onto the cover belt, imparting a hugging pressure onto the material, to develop the material’s internal friction facilitating high angle conveying. A sandwich belt model, shown in Figure 4, was developed in order to calculate the hugging pressure required to develop the friction that would resist the gravitational slide back forces. Clearly this system was not well executed. The widely spaced pressing tires did not impart a continuous pressure without lapse over the material. The analysis model would be a reasonable basis for calculation if it were accurate. The model depicts a material load that fills to the edges having no allowance for belt misalignment. Sadly, Figure 4 indicates that the designer believed that such an ambitious material load was possible. Figure 3 clearly shows that it was not. Throughout the 1950s, many variations 46

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

The next development, arguably the most significant, was the Loop Belt of the 1970s. The Loop Belt system was developed by Stephens Adamson of Canada as the vital elevating component of a complete conveyor based self-unloading ship system. Since the 1970s, these have been used extensively on the Great Lakes of North America. In the 1980s and 1990s they found worldwide use, including long haul shipments between North America and Europe and between North and South America. Figure 5 illustrates the basics of the Loop Belt. Having a C-profile, an inner belt is supported along the carrying-elevating path by closely spaced troughing idlers along the convex curved path until discharging over the inner belt’s head pulley. The outer belt is loaded like any conventional conveyor and carried on troughing idlers up to the start of the sandwich. At the start of the sandwich and through the C profile, the outer belt radially urges itself and the bulk material against the supported inner belt. In this manner, it imparts a radial hugging pressure onto the bulk material that develops its internal friction – the friction that resists the gravitational slide back forces. The outer belt may tangent off of the carrying path to its head pulley or it may continue over the inner belt’s head pulley in the case of a high angle discharge. Typical Loop Belt arrangements included a long approach of the bottom belt that ran the full length of the ship as the main collector conveyor. The C-profiled elevating portion could follow a tight path through the engine room thus making no imposition on the ship’s cargo carrying capacity. Many Loop Belts were built throughout the 1970s and continue today including

several systems by the writer. These demonstrated very high tonnage rates exceeding 10,000t/h utilising belt widths up to 3048 mm (120”) running at speeds to 6m/s. The Loop Belt was first to introduce the concept of radial hugging pressure derived from the belt tension and the curved profile. Though they did not publish it, this is according to the relationship and equation of Figure 6.

Dos Santos Sandwich Belts of the 1980s The Loop Belts were the inspiration for the Dos Santos Developments of the early 1980s. They featured all of the positive characteristics of conventional troughed belt conveyors. They were well suited for the self-unloading ship systems but the C profile did not provide the most direct high angle path along a general, straight high incline. In open pit mining this would be the typical path from the pit to the surface along the mine high wall. In 1979 the USA Bureau of Mines awarded to Dravo Corporation a study entitled High Angle Conveyor Study. J. A. Dos Santos was a key member of the study group. The focus was to develop high angle conveying systems for open pit mines; to provide a most direct haulage path from the pit to the surface and to displace mine haul trucks in that duty. The materials to be handled would be coarse, primary crushed ores and waste rock. Haulage rates would be high at thousands of tons per hour. That study considered the state of the art in high angle conveying including bucket elevators, pocket belts, fin belts, sandwich belts and other specialty systems. Though the least understood from a theoretical and design standpoint, for the reasons previously mentioned, the sandwich belts, particularly in the form of the Loop Belt, appeared to offer the best characteristics for the requirements if the profile limitations could be overcome. It was during this study that the writer began the in-depth investigation that resulted in


formulation of the theory and standards of sandwich belt high angle conveying, rationalised in the conventional conveyor technology. The guiding principle of the development became ‘the prophecy’: A sandwich belt high angle conveyor, rationalised in the conFigure 6: Radial load due to belt tension. ventional conveyor technology, will have the operating characteristics of a conventional conveyor; high reliability and availability, low operating and maintenance costs. The complete rationalisation is beyond the scope of this writing and can be found in reference 2. A very important element of the rationalisation is worth illustrating here. It was necessary to develop a more realistic sandwich belt model to replace the 1950s model of Figure 4. Such a model is depicted in Figure 7. It accurately depicts the reasonable cross-sectional filling with enough material free edge distance to allow for the normal misalignment of the belts while running. This means that, compared to the open troughed conveyor, for the same material, rate and speed a sandwich belt conveyor requires wider belts. This does not limit the possible conveying rate as very wide belts and components are available. The Dos Santos sandwich belt development began timidly, extrapolating the Loop Belt into a double-loop S-shape. Figure 8 shows the concept. By introducing a point of curvature reversal along the profile, above that point the approaching outer belt can become the idler supported inner belt while the approaching inner belt can become the outer belt, imparting the radial hugging load that develops the bulk material’s internal friction, to facilitate high angle conveying. Extrapolating the Loop Belt principle further, introducing a multitude of curvature reversals along the profile produced the Snake Sandwich High Angle Conveyor, illustrated in Figure 9 as it was first disclosed and submitted to the USA Patent Office in 1980. Figure 10 shows the realisation of the Snake Conveyor, years later, by Dos Santos International. The USA Bureau of Mines (BOM) study determined that the Snake Sandwich High Angle conveyor was the best solution for the high tonnage requirements of the open pit mining applications. It thus recommended that the system be developed to commercialisation. Other variations of sandwich belt high angle conveyors were developed by the writer during the BOM Study. These too were pursuant to the guiding principle of the ‘prophecy’. The Mechanically Pressed Sandwich conveyor, depicted in Figure 11, as first disclosed, utilises equalized pressing rolls on the top

t us a See EX AIM 916 d6 Stan

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For the distributor nearest you, contact us at: Figure 7: Sandwich belt model #2.

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Stop going in circles


The shortest distance between two points is a DSI Snake Sandwich High Angle Conveyor System


STIll goINg IN cIrclES?

Your mining operation is wasting valuable time, money and resources going in circles. The solution is the DSI Snake Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyor. With over 30 years of proven performance in a variety of applications, the sandwich belt high angle conveyor is the most efficient means of elevating or lowering material in your pit operation. Smooth surfaced belts and all conventional conveyor components move your material directly out of the pit and into processing faster. The shorter path also means less energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint for your operation. The DSI High Angle Conveying System is equally at home in processing plants, ship loaders and the broader bulk handling industries. Featuring virtually unlimited capacity DSI Snakes can move the highest tonnages along the steepest slopes, achieving the highest lifts. This has inspired the popular DSI slogan:

The Greater the Load, The Higher the Lift, The Better We Look. 531 Roselane Street NW, Suite 810 Marietta, Georgia 30060 USA T: +1 770 423 9895 F: +1 866 473 2252 E: Australia: Cortex Engineering Resources T: 03 9543 5225


Figure 8: S-Shape sandwich conveyor –schematic.

Figure 9: Snake Sandwich conveyor schematic.

belt to apply a hugging pressure onto the conveyed bulk material. Unlike the naturally conforming radial pressure of the Snake conveyor, the mechanically pressed system requires very close attention to equalization and spacing of the pressing rolls, in order to ensure a uniform pressure onto to the bulk material, without lapse. Figure 12 shows the realisation of the Mechanically Pressed Sandwich conveyor, years later, in the Continental HAC. From the extensive work of the BOM study, J. A. Dos Santos wrote and published the landmark article “Evolution of Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyors”. That writing, now 33 years old, articulated the complete theory of sandwich belt high angle conveyors, rationalised in the conventional conveyor technology. It established the standards of design that continue to this date. In 1980, at the end of the High Angle Conveyor Study, the USA Bureau of Mines funding was dramatically cut and the Bureau was reorganised and reduced to collecting data and publishing trends. BOM 50

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 10: DSI Snake Sandwich high angle conveyor.

funded studies of this type came to an end. It was left to Dravo Corporation to carry on the work to commercialisation with its own funds. Subject to the same US economic conditions, after a modest effort of short duration, Dravo management chose not to pursue the technology any further. Continental Conveyor on the other hand, had been recently purchased by the B F Goodrich Company, a large, well-funded US company with a mission to become a major player in the mining industry. They determined that a successful high angle conveyor development would give them an advantage. The writer was approached by Continental Conveyor and offered “a chance to put my foot in my mouth”. I accepted the offer and joined Continental Conveyor in May of 1982. With the most important research and development work already done, the

Continental Conveyor management was anxious to build a full scale prototype of the Snake Sandwich High Angle conveyor, and after a satisfactory testing period, move forward to the commercialisation phase. There was an obstacle to this. The Snake Sandwich conveyor, the preferred system, was patent pending at the USA patent office. Though J. A. Dos Santos was the inventor, Dravo Corporation owned the rights to the pending patent. After further consideration and the realisation that the obstacle could not be removed, Continental decided to pass up the preferred system. Development of the Mechanically Pressed Sandwich conveyor proceeded instead. In August of 1982 the decision was made to proceed. By July of 1983 the large scale prototype and demonstration system was ready to begin operation. Success was immediate. On day one the system ran with Alabama coal at 30°. The following day the high angle conveyor was first raised to 45° incline and later to a 60° incline. The coal was conveyed successfully in both cases. In 1983 the HAC patent application, with J. A. Dos Santos as the inventor, was submitted to the USA patent office and select foreign patent offices. The patent was awarded in all cases. From there, a year-long testing program revealed the characteristics and limits of the system. The results exceeded our expectations. We did not originally envision running this system above 60°. Extrapolating the test results clearly showed the system would be successful all the way to 90°. Indeed, some years later, the first commercial installation at 90° incline went into successful operation and many more followed. The first commercial sale came in 1983 after that client observed their material, coal, running in the prototype system at up to 2000t/h. Delivered to Triton Coal’s Buckskin mine, in Gillette, Wyoming, the HAC began operation in 1984 delivering coal to train loading silos. The second commercial sale was a significant leap and the first true IPCC application. The 2,000mm belt width system was designed to elevate 250mm minus primary crushed ore at 4,000t/h from within the pit to the surface. At 93.5ms of lift the conveyor drives were 3x450 = 1350kW. The system operated successfully, at Majdanpek mine, from 1991 until the mine shut down in 2002. Reference 3 describes the project at the time of installation while reference 4 documents the performance after five years of operation. Many HACs were designed and supplied by the writer. By 1997 at the time of my departure from Continental Conveyor the count of HAC units reached 82. At the 1997 founding of Dos Santos International the writer returned to the


Designing & constructing world class materials handling systems

Figure 11: Mechanically pressed sandwich conveyor schematic.

Figure 12: Continental HAC.

Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyor – the vital link for IPCC systems Suitability for IPCC systems has been demonstrated at all Dos Santos sandwich belt high angle conveyors with a number of units handling very large ore and rock at very high rates. We will approach the suitability issue methodically and then demonstrate the suitability of actual installations. The most common concerns regarding sandwich belt high angle conveyor suitability for IPCC applications: 1. Can they handle very high tonnage rates? 2. Are they suitable for continuous operation 24/7? 3. Can they handle large, heavy, primary crushed ore and waste rock?

S TO AN ing osS onvey -D le C tex Cor h-Ang Hig

preferred system, at last commercialising the Snake Sandwich conveyor. DSI Snakes are now in wide use throughout the world. Figure 13 shows a particularly interesting DSI Snake at the Port of Adelaide in Australia, a high angle mobile ship loader. Despite the undeniable success, Dos Santos sandwich belt high angle conveyors did not find repeat applications in IPCC systems.

The various installations answer these concerns. Of these the most important concern is third on the list. The answer is that large

Figure 13: DSI Snake mobile shiploader at Port Adelaide.

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belts can handle large lumps, small belts can handle small lumps. Figure 14 shows a comparison of sandwich belt cross-sections for widely varying belt widths. Clearly “large” lump size is relative. 350mm lumps are too large to handle at a sandwich belt of 1,000mm width but not at a sandwich belt of 2,600mm width. Indeed, to have compatibility of belt width and material size we limit the material size with regard to the trough depth. For predominantly lumpy material we limit the lump size to the depth of the trough. For occasionally lumpy material, less than 10% large lumps, we increase the size criteria to 125% of the trough depth. This is to limit the separation of the belts, preserving a good covering and sealing of the bulk material in the sandwich. Table 1 lists select sandwich belt high angle conveyor installations, along with the lump size handled, against the Dos Santos lump size criteria. A severity light provides a relative measure of the lump size for the belt width. A green light indicates that the lump size does not exceed the depth of the trough. A yellow light indicates that the lumps handled exceed the trough depth but not by more than 25%. A red light indicates that the lumps handled are in violation of the lump size criteria even for occasionally lumpy material. Nevertheless, the units of Table 1 operated successfully even with the large violating lumps. In such cases, the design, belt speed, components, belt construction and covers were selected to handle the coarse material. Along the convex curves, rubber disc centre rolls are typically used to soften the ride when handling large lump materials. Due to radius of curvature constraints, closely spaced 20° troughing idlers are typical along the sandwich carrying curves. Thus the trough depth that serves as the lump size criteria is that of a 20° trough. It is interesting to compare this with the similar criteria for the conventional conveyors at the same site, subject to the same duties. Generally, for conventional troughed belt conveyors, the maximum lump size criteria are related to the belt width. For predominantly lumpy material, the maximum lump size is BW/5 while for occasionally lumpy material, less than 10% lumps, maximum lump size is BW/3. This compares with the corresponding sandwich belt criteria, of BW/9 and BW/7, listed on Table 1. Recognizing that the sandwich belt high angle conveyor at the same site, subject to the same duty, will always use wider belts than the conventional conveyor, lump size criteria tends to be close to compatible. It is worthwhile to highlight some of the installations. DS 001 is the original 52

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 14: To scale: Sandwich belt cross-sections of various belt widths.

large scale prototype and demonstration unit. Here we were able to probe the limits of the system. It was easy to purposely run very large material to see the consequence. It was from this testing, and the later running of the commercial units, that we formed our criteria. Sandwich belt high angle conveyors can and have conveyed very large oversize

material from the sandwich entrance to the discharge. At DS 037 a 150 HP TBM cutter motor was unintentionally but successfully conveyed from the loading point to the discharge. There was some very minor damage but the system continued to operate until a scheduled down time to make the minor repairs. It is not a question of what is the largest

Table 1: Various sandwich belt high angle conveyor installations with design lump size against the lump size criteria.


Figure 15: UHAC elevating/lowering at a 3-bench operation

material that can be handled. The Dos Santos criteria are to determine the material size that should be handled for reliable trouble free operation with minimal wear and tear. DS 003 is the HAC at Majdanpek Copper Mine in Serbia, the only IPCC application to date. Table 1 shows that the 250mm lumps are easily handled at the 2000 mm wide belts. Reference 4 documents the Majdanpek IPCC System performance five years after start up. The system: • Precluded tripling of the truck fleet, • Precluded the need for 4km of haulage ramps, 3.5km of which would be of constant ascent • Saved US $12m per year Almost an IPCC application, DS 036 elevates coarse (250mm minus) gold ore from the primary jaw crusher to the next crushing stage. It is at the pit perimeter, not in the pit. Definitely an overreach on the lump size handled, this HAC suffered some wear and tear consequences. The vital elevating link of a self-unloading ship system, DS 065 handles a variety of materials including 305 mm minus rock. The HAC lifts the material onto a boom conveyor that discharges the bulk cargo to shore. This system is right at the edge of the maximum lump criteria for occasionally lumpy material < 10% lumps. Design reflected that, the very coarse rock material is one of several commodities transported, and the unloading conveyors don’t operate continuously 24/7, rather there is much none-operating time at sea. This system replaced a massive apron type elevator that suffered very costly wear and tear.

On the last line of Table 1, the UHAC is a prospective application for Western Australia. It is designed as the vital link to salvage an existing IPCC System that has proven sluggish due to its dependency on long low angle conventional conveyors that link the IPCC system to the remote spoiling system. Operation of the present system proved impractical largely due to the extensive planning required, much non-productive movement, excavation and re-handling work required to accommodate the present low angle link. Presently the system sits idle awaiting the vital link that will free the rigid interdependency of the inpit system and the remote spoiling system. The UHAC promises salvation, providing a compact mobile link, capable of elevating or lowering the primary crushed 350mm minus waste rock at 8000t/h. Designed with the emphasis on versatility the UHAC can operate in either direction (elevating or lowering the material) and at any level from tramming on grade (Figure 16) to a 3x12m bench operation (Figure 15). The UHAC offers the vital versatile link for surface spoiling (elevating) or back filling of the mined-out pit (lowering).

Summary and conclusions The two objectives of this writing were: to provide the developmental timeline of the modern sandwich belt high angle conveyors and; to demonstrate their proven suitability to handle the bulk elevating (or lowering) duties of any IPCC system. The latter was the more important objective and it is supported by the former. So, are sandwich belt high angle conveyors suitable for IPCC applications? This writing has demonstrated a resounding yes, when the design is pursuant to the Dos Santos development. The many installations presented demonstrate: • They can handle very high conveying rates • They are suitable for continuous 24/7 operation • High tonnage requirements are handled by wide belts that can easily handle large, primary crushed material • Conscientious design, by DSI, will ensure long life with minimal maintenance required

The system is proven commercially now over nearly 30 years with success in a significant IPCC system more than twenty years ago. End users of IPCC equipment have been disappointed by the large IPCC manufacturers, who have failed to embrace the gift, a compact, versatile, vital link to any IPCC system. Some are taking matters into their own hands and with our help they are developing their own IPCC systems with sandwich belt high angle conveyors as the vital link. The remaining conservatives will soon be able to be “first to be third” as the “first to be second” after Majdanpek, is being designed right now.

References 1. Mevissen, E.A., Siminerio, A.C. and Dos Santos, J.A., High Angle Conveyor Study by Dravo Corporation for Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior under BuMines Contract No. J0295002, 1981, Vol.1,291 pages, Vol. II,276 pages. 2. Dos Santos, J.A. and Frizzell, E.M., Evolution of Sandwich Belt High–Angle Conveyors. CIM Bulletin. Vol.576, Issue 855, July 1983, pp. 51–66. 3. Dos Santos, J.A. and Stanisic, Z. “In– Pit Crushing and High Angle Conveying in Yugoslavian Copper Mine. – Presented at the Mining Latin America, Int. Mining Convention, Nov. 17 – 21, 1986, Santiago, Chile, published in proceedings – Published in International Journal of Surface Mining 1, 1987, pp. 97–104 4. Stanisic, Z and Dos Santos, J.A., In–Pit Crushing and High Angle Conveying at Copper Mine Majdanpek – Performance to Date, Future Expansion. – Presented at Fifth International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection, São Paulo, Brazil, October 22–25, 1996, – Published in proceedings, by A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, 1996, pp. 487–491 – Published in Bulk Solids Handling, Vol. 17 (No. 1), January 1997 (5 pages) 5. Dos Santos, J.A., Sandwich Belt High Angle Conveyors according to The Expanded Conveyor Technology. – Presented at the SME–AIME Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, 1999, published in proceedings – Published in Bulk Solids Handling, Vol. 20 (No. 1), January/March 2000, pp. 27–37 6. Dos Santos, J.A., Dos Santos International –Company Profile. Bulk Solids Handling, Vol. 21 (No. 2), March/April 2001, pp. 216–219 Contact:

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



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t is well known that transporting dry dusty materials can create explosive atmospheres. The most common causes of ignition source have long been identified as over-heated bearing, misaligned belt, slipping belt and misaligned pulley. The industry is saturated with various sensors and controllers that monitor those conditions and stop the machines automatically to prevent explosions. “While these systems work well, there is one big problem with all of them,” explained Paul Dennis, managing director, 4B Australia. “They rely on the installers to firstly wire them in correctly and then on the on-site personnel not to modify that wiring in order to run in bypass mode. “With the ever-growing demands on performance and efficiency it is understandable that a shift manager may make a decision under pressure to keep a leg in operation even after an alarm has been detected. One can appreciate that there still are a number of ways to cheat the safety system and carry on running regardless of the dangers imposed on to people working on the factory as well as the factory itself.” In response, 4B says – a cloud based industrial monitoring solution – offers “seamless integration” with the company’s Hotbus BUS system. “It allows any registered user to login and see their whole site in real-time from anywhere in the world,” said Dennis. “It has the ability to view multiple sites from one system dashboard page. This is unique as the normal procedure is to login to each site’s VPN and then view each SCADA/PLC system one by one. The latter requires long and complicated setup and is not user-friendly.” Contact: Paul Dennis, email:


Scalable logistics solutions for miners A case study by David Sourbutts, project director, Engenium


ost emerging miners in bulk commodities such as iron ore and coal will agree that their projects are predominantly a logistics and infrastructure challenge. Once the miner has passed the first challenge of discovering a significant resource, the next major challenge is getting the ore to their customers. Unlike base metal or precious metal projects in which mineral processing challenges need to be overcome, the bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal and bauxite require the movement of significant tonnages of ore from the mine to the customer. A typical bulk commodity project is made up of four primary components comprising the mine, the processing facility, a logistic channel and an export port facility. Of these components, the logistics channel is the most costly expense for many miners in Australia. From a capital cost perspective, the logistics channel could include new roads and rail infrastructure which generally represent a significant capital investment and creates barriers to entry for many players in the sector. From an operating cost perspective, the logistic channel could represent upwards of 50% of the total operating cost for a project. In the current market where commodity pricing has come down from record levels, reducing operating costs is an important area of focus for long term business stability. Project owners are realising that the logistic channel is an important aspect to focus on. By getting this right during the project development phase significant reductions in operational costs can be realised, more than can be realised through the mine, processing or port component of their project. The major factors influencing the style of the logistic chain most appropriate for a specific project include: • The operating output level of the project (2Mtpa, 5Mtpa, 10Mtpa or greater) • The distance between the mine and the port


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

• Other third party infrastructure available such as public roads, open access railways, third party railways • Nearby port capacity, access and availability • Regulatory requirements and constraints • Community and environmental requirements and constraints These items are all interrelated and there are feedback loops between these factors. For instance, a particular processing plant output level may work best for the mine and processing components, but may not be optimal for the logistic solution or port facility. As with all projects, trade-off studies are undertaken to achieve the overall best outcome for the project. Whilst every project has different distances involved for the logistic solution, most of the recent projects in Western Australia that have moved into production, or are being considered for production, are generally in the 100km to 300km range. To demonstrate some of the influences on the style of logistic solution to be chosen for a project, a typical project that is 200km from the mine to the port will be utilised as an example. Starting with the concept of a new producer looking to bring 2Mtpa worth of new production into operation, what are their logistic choices available?

Public roads The first choice would be to utilise the existing public road networks and commence haulage with road trains that are legal for public roads. Main Roads Western Australia has a classification system for the existing public roads within WA called the RAV Network. This system delineates the type of roads which can be utilised for different levels of road haulage in tonnages. The highest level is the RAV10 Network which allows for 53.5m long triple trailer road trains to operate at either a 147t gross (90t nett) non-concessional, or 170t gross (110 nett) concessional load limit.

The concessional loading permits are issued by Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Operations. There is also a ‘haulage usage charge’ which helps to provide maintenance and upkeep funding to the State’s public roads. For the 2Mtpa project of 200kms, this would mean at a 90t nett load, over 21 triple road trains would be required to undertake and complete the haulage task. Even at this modest and low tonnage operating level, a reasonably significant number of trucks are required. This style of public road haulage is currently being undertaken by Atlas Iron for their Pardoo (90km) and Wodgina (120km) operations in the Pilbara. It is also being undertaken by Crosslands and SMC in the Midwest Region of WA to the Port of Geraldton.

Private roads Should public roads not be available, or a higher output level is required whilst keeping the number of trucks down, then the next choice would be to move to a private haulage road arrangement. By constructing a private haulage road there will be no constraints by Main Roads requirements on the ‘quantity’ of tonnes that can operate on the road as there will be no other users of the road. This also moves into more specialised road haulage vehicle types where there is a prime mover driving the load and also a powered trailer that assists. These vehicles can carry up to 300t in payload which is a significant increase on the public road rated vehicles. However, there are tighter vertical grade constraints, lower top speed levels and more specialised maintenance requirements for these vehicles. An example of this style of haulage is Cliffs Natural Resources operation in the Midwest, and BC Iron’s haulage fleet in the Pilbara. Therefore for a 2Mtpa project with 300t nett and a lower average speed, the required number of trucks drops to about 10 trucks. However a new option presents itself, by sticking to 21 trucks, in the order of 6.5Mtpa could be moved through this logistic solution.


Private railway The next development would be looking at reducing the number of vehicles by moving to a railway solution. Like the private road example, a railway requires a dedicated access corridor for the logistic solution. By placing tighter vertical gradient constraints on the railway embankment, typically in the order of 0.3% loaded direction, it is possible to move the product with a ‘single consist’ (train and wagon configuration) in anything from 10,000t to 30,000t lots. This is dependent upon the number of ore wagons and axle constraints. A typical Pilbara ore wagon has a total mass of approximately 160t and a nett load of approximately 140t, so in essence each wagon does the job of one triple road train. Going back to the 2Mtpa example, by utilising a train consist that carries 16,800t per train, the train will only need to do 2.5 trips per week to complete the haulage task. At 6Mtpa it works out to be around 8 train trips per week or approximately 75% utilisation of a single consist. The capacity of a single train consist at 90% utilisation is around 8Mtpa. By adding a second train consist it is pretty easy to get up to 16Mtpa of throughput onto the railway. This demonstrates the logistic advantage that a railway provides for bulk commodity movement.

Determining the best solution Given the different styles of logistics, how do you make a decision on which option is right for your project? One basis of comparison is to utilise a ‘Life of Project’ cost approach. In applying this approach, the initial capital outlay required for each mode of logistics is added to the appropriate costs over time to see what the total ‘Life of Project’ expenditure is on that logistic solution. Capital Cost (per km)

Operating Cost (per tonne / km)

Public Road



Private Road






Using some industry benchmark costing numbers, as presented in the table, we are able to generate the graph over the hypothetical project’s 10 year life. This graph depicts the ‘Life of Project’ costs against the production output level for each of the logistic modes. The area underneath the graph represents the lowest cost logistic solution for the project. To operate at a 2Mtpa level, with all other factors being equal and possible, a public road solution would be your best choice. In the 2 – 7Mtpa production range, a private haulage road solution would suit best. The rail solution would be the best solution for output levels greater than 7Mtpa.


Bulk commodities are a logistics game. Moving bulk commodities is one of the largest cost drivers within a project and needs to be thought through carefully and strategically. Whilst this case study has discussed some simplistic comparative analysis of three modes of logistics, it is important to look at the complete supply chain taking into account the constraints of the mine, the port, and any capital outlay. It is also important to consider that in using someone else’s infrastructure, road or rail, you should be prepared to pay a fair price. This is not what you would consider to be ‘fair’ but what the owner of the asset considers to be ‘fair’. Contact:

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Delivery of the FMG Solomon Stockyard: ECI EPC design for constructability, operability and maintainability By Brad Lawson, Laing O’Rourke Australia

1. Summary

3. Location

This paper provides an overview of the delivery of the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) Solomon Stockyard and train loading facility under a turn-key engineering, procurement and construction contract from an early design phase through to commissioning using an early contractor involvement (ECI) approach. As an engineering lead contractor, Laing O’Rourke delivered the project under an accelerated ‘early ore’ schedule with minimum site labour through an integrated design and construction approach with a focus on constructability, operability and maintainability. This paper will also examine the application of several technical design features that were integrated into the project.

The FMG Solomon Stockyard project is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia approximately 240km inland from Port Hedland and approximately 1,400km from Perth. Although the location is highly developed with mining infrastructure, the cost of materials and site labour in this region is high, primarily due to its remoteness.

2. Introduction Laing O’Rourke is a privately owned construction company originating from the United Kingdom with 16,500 employees globally and 3,500 employees within the Australian business hub. Laing O’Rourke, with over 35 plus years’ experience in the Australian rail and bulk materials handing sector, emerged through the 2006 acquisition of Barclay Mowlem. The acquisition also included the specialist manufacturing subsidiaries Austrak and Redispan. As a key differentiator, Laing O’Rourke has a multi-disciplinary in-house engineering and design capability. This enables Laing O’Rourke to be an innovative solutions provider not only within bulk materials handling but other sectors including water treatment facilities.

4. Project introduction The Solomon project is a new large mine development for FMG following on from the previous Christmas Creek mine development, also in the Pilbara. The Solomon project is planned to increase FMG’s Iron Ore production capability by 60mtpa overall and includes: • Run of mine front ends, crushing and ore processing facilities at Firetail and Kings hubs • An overland conveyor network 15km in length

FMG Solomon Mine

Figure 1. Project location


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 2. Stockyard flow-sheet.

• Stockyard facility with 2 x 624 kt stockpiles with 2 slewing/luffing rail stackers • A Bucket wheel reclaimer with 11,000 t/ hr nominal capacity (15,300 t/hr peak) • Tertiary sampling system • Volumetric train loading system with 1,400 t surge bin • Rail spur line and balloon rail loop Laing O’Rourke’s involvement within the overall project scope was the stockyard and rail loading facility, excluding the stackers and reclaimer machines, which were supplied by ThyssenKrupp. The stockyard facility has a relatively simple flow sheet with dual incoming streams from Kings and Firetail facilities being stockpiled and subsequently reclaimed by a single bucket wheel reclaimer for train loading. (See Figure 2 & 3)

5. Early contractor involvement (ECI) The FMG Solomon Stockyard project was developed from an early design phase under the ECI process. ECI is a method whereby a project can be developed and delivered, with flexibility, within a relatively shorter duration and lower cost by utilising a construction contractor possessing an integrated design capability. A common issue with conventional EPCM project delivery is in relation to the


Figure 3. Stockyard site layout.

premature tendering and engagement of a construct only contractor prematurely in the detailed design development stage. This can lead to delays and inefficiencies in construction, due to the effect of design changes and mismatched priorities that can ultimately lead to an overall project schedule and cost escalation. (See Figure 4) The ECI EPC approach features collaborative design and construction which facilitates greater efficiencies and control in the project delivery including: • Alignment of design and construction schedules to facilitate overlapping design and construction activities with reduced risk. • Constructability input by the delivery team into the design development including offsite modularisation/pre-assembly and construction aids. With the ECI EPC approach, the delivery can be aligned and staged to correspond with a client’s internal approval mechanism

allowing the work to be gated or even paused as the client’s funds are released. Provision is also incorporated for the client to go to the open market for the detailed design and construct phase if so desired. Progressively through the ECI EPC process, the contractor develops the open book project cost estimate using first principles cost estimating methods. Value engineering is undertaken to ensure the cost benefits of decisions are justified throughout the design development process. This gives the client the ability to independently interrogate and audit the contractors open book estimate to ensure value is being delivered whilst operability is maintained. An additional project cost saving is also realisable through risk sharing between the contractor and client when undertaking the detailed design and construction phase. This is due to the fact that

Figure 4. Conventional project delivery versus ECI EPC delivery.


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a contingency is not required to be included by the contractor under the target cost with a shared pain/gain contract style. Another benefit to the project under an ECI EPC delivery process is the ability for the client to manage the process with a relatively small team. The client’s team interacts directly with the contractor’s designers throughout the design development process, in order to ensure the facility delivers the clients key objectives and preferences. It must be emphasised that the ability for design decisions to influence the project total cost is most pronounced during the early stages of the projects design development. Once the early stages of design development are locked in, it is very difficult to realise value engineering savings without incurring project delays due to rework. The maximum potential schedule and cost savings can be realised by utilising the delivery contractor’s design and constructability experience during the early project development.

the influence of prevailing conditions by shifting work into a controlled workshop environment rather than an often remote worksite. The level and extent of modularisation and pre-assembly must be determined prior to detailed design in order to maximise the benefits and is dependent upon several factors including: • Location of the project site • Quantity of materials involved • Location of the fabrication workshops • Transport methods available • Transport corridor size and tonnage constraints The transport corridor and constraints should be examined and challenged in order to realise the maximum potential of the modularisation strategy. It may be far more cost effective to resolve a local bottleneck than constrain the whole projects modularisation strategy.

Figure 8. TLO Bin and structure road transport in Pilbara.

6. Design for constructability Design for constructability is the integration of the design and the project delivery team focusing on the whole of project costs and delivery rather than design and construction elements separately. In essence, the detailed design incorporates all of the construction methods including: • Modularisation and off site pre-assembly • Designated lifting provisions and methods • Means of access during construction By incorporating constructability into the design, the project is able to realise cost and schedule benefits. Pre- planning of all major construction activities from early on in the detailed design development stage results not only in an increased construction efficiency but a higher level of safety through improved planning and construction aids incorporated into the design. The modularisation and pre-assembly of major components leads to not only a reduction in onsite resources and manning levels but a lower delivery risk through reduced onsite activities under

Figure 5. TLO Bin footings prior to rail embankment formation.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Figure 6. TLO bin at pre-assembly yard in Thailand with trial assembly.

Figure 7. TLO Bin and structure SPMT to Thailand port.

Figure 9. TLO Bin and structure site erection.


Maintenance winch and LCS

Figure 10. Conveyor take-up maintenance winch facility.

It is also possible to pre-assemble structures offsite that have been designed as stick steel without a modularisation strategy in place during the earlier detailed design phase. However, there are significant limitations with this approach as a significant amount of additional structural design is required to analyse the pre-assembled structures for transport by sea and or road, lifting loads and temporary storage loads. This additional design effort not only has cost and schedule implications to the overall delivery, but requires significant amounts of additional temporary steelwork and ultimately diminishes the advantages of offsite pre-assembly. The FMG Solomon Stockyard featured modularisation and pre-assembly integrated into the detailed design phase, thereby maximising the benefits of the approach to the project.

Of particular note was the train loading bin (TLO), which was required to be delivered under an accelerated schedule for delivery of early ore for FMG. The modularisation strategy for the train loading bin area was therefore maximised through: • TLO footing and piers were designed and constructed at existing ground levels and designed to be self-supporting prior to the 6m earthworks rail embankment being constructed • The TLO bin support structure was pre-assembled offsite and transported to site as a single structure including all platforms and hand railing • The TLO bin was fabricated as a single component and internally fitted with all liners prior to transport to site As a result, the TLO bin area was erected in three days using the modularisation and pre-assembly strategy with just two major lifts. In contrast, a conventional site erected and assembled TLO was scheduled to take 60 days. A critical part of the modularisation and pre-assembly strategy is to ensure that all major interfacing components are trial assembled for alignment and fit-up in the fabrication yard prior to shipping to site. If any issues are found they can be rectified in the workshop or yard rather than the remote worksite with order of magnitude higher rectification costs and delays imposed.

7. Design for operability and maintainability The detailed design of the FMG Solomon Stockyard project incorporated facilities for the ongoing operations, inspection and maintenance activities based upon the clients representatives input and Laing O’Rourke experience with operational facilities. It is critical to incorporate these aspects into the detailed design phase as it can fundamentally affect the plant layout and general arrangement.

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Wear liner measurement points

Scaffold tube points

Figure 11. TLO bin access, liner wear measurement and lifting points.

These features have a direct benefit to the ongoing operations of the facility including: • Reduced maintenance down time and increased availability • Safer maintenance practices • Facilitates good housekeeping practices • Reduced operational costs The FMG Solomon Stockyard project included numerous operability and maintainability aspects including: • Conveyor take-up maintenance winches • Rotable hood and loading spoon chute wear components • Conveyor drive stations at ground level • TLO Bin access, liner wear measurement and lifting points • Belt pulling and anchoring facilities Take-up maintenance winches are used to lower the counterweight mass to the ground during maintenance activities in order to eliminate the gravitational potential energy and the elastic energy in the conveyor belt. The take-up maintenance winch does not affect the system take-up tension but only effectively changes the length of rope in the take-up system. (see Figure 10) The train loading bin is fitted with removable bolt-in wear liners. Monitoring of the wear lining remaining thickness is provided via 50mm diameter apertures in the bin shell to give access for a hand held ultrasonic liner thickness tester to be used. Once the wear liners are sufficiently worn and require change-out, access inside the bin is provided by a set of two

manhole access points in the bottom cone of the bin with scaffold tube penetrations into the shell to allow a scaffold platform to be constructed at the entry level. (See figure 11) An internal monorail ring beam for hoisting of liners internally and removable bin roof covers for external mobile craneage access for lifting liner segments in/out of the bin are provided. During belt maintenance and replacement activities, it is also necessary to isolate and clamp the belt to prevent unplanned movements. During some maintenance activities it is necessary to manually pull the belt around the system to reposition or generate belt slack to remove pulleys. Belt pulling and anchor lugs are provided at the head, tail and drive stations on FMG Solomon Stockyard for this purpose. (See Figure 12) The operability and maintainability features that have been incorporated into the detailed design of the facility are documented in a maintenance methodology document, which is intended to be a prime source of information for the development of the client’s site specific procedures and safe work practices. This documentation produced during the design phase is also an important aspect of Safety in Design which is an obligation under the Australian Statutory Work, Health and Safety Act 2011. TLO bin access manholes for liner changes

8. Technical design features The detailed design of the FMG Solomon Stockyard facility also utilised several modern design technologies to provide an optimised design for the project specifically including: • Conveyor dynamic analysis • Use of low rolling resistance conveyor belt rubber compounds • Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) for chute bulk material flow Conveyor dynamic analysis is typically only warranted on a conveyor design when there are high inertias involved and/ or high conveyor power is required. Dynamic analysis is also typically warranted when a conveyor has a complex belt profile which can generate damaging tension waves in the system

Belt anchor and pulling lugs

Fig. 12 – Belt pulling and anchoring facilities (guards omitted for clarity).


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


Figure 13. Conveyor CV902 belt profile is typically susceptible to dynamic stopping issues.

particularly when stopping. All of the FMG Solomon Stockyard conveyors were therefore dynamically analysed by Laing O’Rourke using Conveyor Dynamics’ Beltflex software in order to: • Quantify peak belt tensions for conveyor pulley and structural design • Select belt rating required to achieve the minimum allowable dynamic safety factor • Mitigate dynamic effects under all operating conditions In particular, conveyor CV902, which feeds the train loading bin, features a gradual decline from the tail end before rising approximately 28m to the top of the bin. Under emergency stop conditions, when the drive power is disconnected, this type of conveyor will generally have a significant low tension issue at the bottom of the incline. Conveyor static design will not predict this problem. However, dynamic conveyor analysis will highlight this issue and allow the designer to mitigate the effects. In this application, the use of a proportional low speed tail brake and closer pitch idlers in the concave curve effectively mitigated this issue to an acceptable level. (See Figure 13) Traditionally, relatively short stockyard belts with a length in the order of 1km generally would not benefit from the use of low rolling resistance (LRR) compounds. During the conveyor design it was determined that the FMG Solomon Stockyard conveyors would benefit from the use of LRR belt rubber compounds due to several factors including: • The project is remote and powered by relatively expensive diesel generation • High installed power for the Stockyard conveyors • Large number of belt / idler interactions due to narrow idler spacing attributable to high material burden loads The application of LRR belt rubber compounds for the FMG Solomon project resulted in approximately 15% lower demand power across the fours stockyard area conveyors when compared to a standard DIN-X compatible belt compound. This in turn will provide the client with a reduction in diesel fuel consumption of 350kL and a saving of $390,000 on an annual basis. Whilst the LRR belt compound was supplied and installed for the project, it is important to consider the future replacement of the conveyor belt and the backward compatibility with a DINX equivalent rubber compound. For that reason, the conveyor equipment including the pulleys, structures, belt strength and installed nameplate power were all selected to accommodate the higher power end belt tension required if a DIN-X replacement belt compound was installed. The rubber rheological analysis featured within the Conveyor Dynamics software enabled our designers to quickly evaluate the impact of multiple belt rubber compounds on the conveyors performance. For this particular project, the use of Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) belt rubber compounds, as would be appropriate for long overland conveyors, was not selected due to an unfavourable cost benefit analysis. (See Figure 14)

9. Conclusion The delivery of the FMG Solomon Stockyard project by Laing O’Rourke under an ECI EPC style contract provided numerous

Figure 14. Conveyor CV801 power versus temperature for DIN-X, LRR and SLRR rubber compounds examined.

benefits to the client, including: • Accelerated delivery of the project from commencement of detailed design to first train within 18 months • Reduced site manning and increased construction safety through modularisation and offsite pre-assembly design • Reduced operating costs and increased safety through design for maintainability and operability • Reduced operating costs through efficient conveyor design


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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



OreKinetics opts for SEWEurodrive gearmotors Smart thinking coupled with innovative technology and reliable equipment are paying dividends for Queensland-based manufacturer OreKinetics.


espite the strong Australian dollar, the electrostatic separation technology company is exporting over 60% of its innovative machines to titanium mining operations all over the world including in China, India, South Africa, US, Canada and Indonesia. Research by Peter Gates, OreKinetics’ founder and managing director, in 1999 led to the development of the company’s UltraStat conductive induction separator, and the CoronaStat ionised field separator the following year. “Our electrostatic mineral separators have been widely accepted as the new benchmark in their field, with installations on four continents testament to their rapid and ongoing acceptance. “Our machines can separate minerals better than any other. That’s the reason for our success: impressive service coupled with innovative IP,” Gates explained. He said the separators have been specifically developed for mining and associated industries and extensive plant exposure has been gained resulting in a robust process technology. “The separators greatly improve process efficiency, reduce plant complexity and allow separation of minerals not previously possible. “Our machines are very robust and capable of processing five to eight tonnes of material an hour on a continuous basis; 8,000 hours a year or more, in hot industrial mining environments, in truly tough conditions, where it is extremely dusty and gritty. “So when it came to choosing the electric motors and the gearboxes to drive our machines we went with SEWEurodrive right from the beginning, and still only use their equipment now 13 years on. “SEW-Eurodrive gives us high-quality, reliable service, plus the quality of the company’s products are excellent. “They are good robust motors and gearboxes that can operate in extremely harsh environments.” Gates says his customers are often not at all interested in what motors are inside. “Our customers just want an efficient, reliable machine. We bought well over 64

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

1000 gearboxes from SEW-Eurodrive last year,” Gates said. “Another key advantage for us is SEW-Eurodrive’s MEPS 3 higher efficiency motors. “With these we can set the machine’s overloads at a normal current setting with the benefit that we get slightly higher output torque giving us the capability to set higher SEW-Eurodrive says its gearmotors keep mining industry equipment brush tensions in our machines if working in tough conditions. required,” Gates added. Working closely with OreKinetics, “These two and three-stage, extraJohn Bellert, technical sales representative slim parallel shaft helical gearmotors are with SEW-Eurodrive, explained that the robust and are designed for heavy duty electrostatic separation technology compaapplications, high torque and 24/7 opny produces a range of machines demanderation. They are a good solution when ing different quantities of gearmotors. space is limited. “For example on one separator there “The many different sizes and designs are eight Spiroplan W Series and six parensure that the gearmotors can be used allel shaft helical F Series gearmotors.” in a wide variety of applications even unBellert said the reason OreKinetics der the most unfavourable conditions.” chooses SEW-Eurodrive gearmotors is Bellert said that SEW-Eurodrive’s mobecause of their reliability and their high tors and gearboxes are manufactured in efficiency compared to other gearmotors Germany, with the gearboxes and motors on the market. hand assembled in Australia. “The Spiroplan gearmotors, for exBellert explained that every SEW-Euample, are economical, robust rightrodrive motor and gearbox has a unique angle gearmotors that feature good reliserial number which allows customers, ability, low operating noise and life-long via a smart phone app, to download a lubrication. wide range of information on the equip“The gearmotors feature steel-onment including type and quantity of oil steel gearing, special tooth meshing rerequired, maintenance procedures, and lationships and an aluminium housing spare parts list. ensuring they are very quiet in operation, “Backed by our two assembly centres wear-free and lightweight,” Bellert said. and four technical sales offices, we offer He explained that the particularly the Australian drive industry’s largest disshort design and the aluminium housing tribution network and round-the-clock make for very compact and lightweight support program. drive solutions. “Plus we hold a huge amount of stock And as the oil fill is independent of in Australia; far more than any of our the mounting position, Bellert said the competitors,” Bellert said. Spiroplan gearmotors can be installed in any mounting position without altering the quantity of oil. Separation technologies “Plus, identical hole spacing in the In the last 12 years OreKinetics has foot and face as well as the equal shaft worked closely with the titanium minerheight to both provides users with dials industry and has supplied its propriverse mounting options.” etary technology to virtually every proBellert said the F Series gearmotors cessing plant in the world. were also popular in the mining industry Gates said the company has develdue their high power density, high peroped unique manufacturing and supply mitted overhung loads and a multi-stage processes to allow rapid and on time degear unit for low output speeds. livery of large orders.


particles as well as apply a holding force to charged non-conducting particles. “Each electrode used in OreKinetics CoronaStat has a unique function which combined overcome the shortcomings of conventional ionised electrostatic separators,” Gates explained. Today, OreKinetics is continuing the development of its machines along with the development of new flowsheet and process control concepts particularly with a focus on reduced capital costs and improved plant control specifically with respect to environmental influences. As well as OreKinetics, Bellert said SEWEurodrive works with many of its customers on their prototypes. “When it comes to designing a new machine, we can work with them regarding recommendations on different motor power needs and speeds. “Many manufacturers come to us for our expert advice on motor and drive The separators greatly improve process efficiency, reduce plant complexity and allow separation of minerals not previously technology. possible. “We work with a wide range of industries including the water treatment, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, mining and waste wa“Our machines performance and our delivery capability has ter industries,” Bellert said. seen us become the preferred supplier worldwide for our mineral separation technology. This year we have sold over 130 machines.” Contact: Gates says the advent of OreKinetics’ CoronaStat has enabled new titanium mineral provinces, particularly where finer minerals are present, to be developed and processed in a viable manner. He explained that the UltraStat separators use a very different mineral charging mechanism to ionised field (Corona) separators. “A strong static electric field is used to selectively induce charge onto the conductive mineral particles (Conductive Induction Charging).” Gates said the mineral passes beneath a charged electrode that induces a polar opposite charge on the conductor particles; as a result these charged particles are electrostatically attracted to the electrode and are drawn away from the grounded surface. “A splitter located further in the separation zone separates the conductor particle and non-conductor particle trajectories dividing the feed into mainly non-conductor and conductor fractions. “The UltraStat separator addresses the major limitations of plate separators with advancements in electrode design, improvements in electrode and plate geometry and the introduction of a patented automatic separation roll surface cleaning system,” he said. Gates explained that the company’s CoronaStat machines utilise ionised field separator technology combined with a unique combination of three electrodes to achieve vast performance improvements over conventional HTR (High-Tension Roll) separators. “Customarily, ionised field separators utilise a grounded roll that transports a feed material through a high voltage ionising field (corona) which charges the mineral particles by ion bombardment. “Conducting particles lose their charge to the earthed roll and are thrown from the roll by centrifugal and gravitational forces. “Non-conducting particles are pinned to the roll surface and are transported further through the separation zone before their charge either dissipates and they are thrown off or they are removed by mechanical means.” Gates said OreKinetics patented induction plate electrodes are designed to concurrently ‘force’ the charge decay of conducting Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Ahrens building $40m grain export facility for Bunge Diagram of Bunge’s completed Bunbury facility.

Ahrens has commenced work on a new grain terminal in Bunbury, Western Australia for multinational agribusiness and commodities trader, Bunge. The new facility will provide the first export alternative to previous monopoly holder, CBH.


unge has engaged Ahrens to deliver design and construction services for the port facility, which will have storage capacity of 50,000t and permits to export up to 500,000t in the first two years Ahrens’ scope of work includes construction of six 7,300t flat bottom silos and four 700t hopper bottom silos, office and road intake building and materials handling infrastructure. Ahrens will also fabricate the structural steel and bases for the hopper bottom silos. The structural, mechanical and electrical works include dual truck receival hoppers transferring grain at 1,000tph via belt conveyors and bucket elevators to the bulk storage silos. Due to the custom designed and engineered conveying system, grain can be delivered to any of the 10 silos before being conveyed to the existing ship loader, which is owned and utilised by the neighboring Western Australian Plantation Resources for loading woodchips. According to Ahrens’ managing director, Stefan Ahrens, “Our expertise in providing cost-effective construction and engineering solutions has been demonstrated through the delivery of major infrastructure projects for the resources sector. “A great deal of our work is done in regional and remote areas and having our own in-house site erection crews and equipment and long-term relationships with sub-contractors gives us a real competitive advantage. “We are very excited to have started work on the bulk grain export facility in Bunbury and to have the opportunity to work for Bunge which is a huge company in the international arena.” Preliminary earthworks and casting of concrete piles is complete, with 66

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

(L to R) Ahrens managing director Stefan Ahrens; Bunge Asia chief executive Chris White; Bunge Australia general manager Chris Aucote; Bunge project manager Mark Antushka; Ahrens construction director Mark Smeaton.

construction of the first flat bottom silo underway. The new facility is expected to be operational by mid-2014. Bunge will utilise on farm storage and road transport to move grain to port. Bunge Australia general manager, Chris Aucote, said the new grain terminal would benefit local growers. “We are pleased to have this week commenced preliminary works at the port. We have been working toward this for some time. “It will provide increased choice and flexibility for WA grain growers in their marketing and provide opportunities to extract price premiums for their product,” Aucote said. The move was welcomed by the state government and a grower’s

representative body. Western Australia Pastoral and Graziers Association chairman, John Snooke, said the association would provide more options for growers which would allow them to keep their costs down. “Competition in grain marketing has provided more improvement in farm gate grain prices and the addition of a new bulk handler is part of that continuing evolution.” Ahrens manufactured its first silos in the 1960s and started fabricating structural steel in the 1970s and then progressed to turnkey design and construct projects for the industrial, commercial and resources sectors. Contact:

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Dust suppression for grain handling at ports Equipment and solutions provider PR Power says its PR50-DF dust suppression misting unit is suited to the varied demands posed by grain handlers at port.

PR Power’s PR-50 in action.


ccording to PR Power, issues impacting grain handling at port are varied and complex. They include strict emissions regulations, the inherently high level of dustiness associated with grain handling and the wide variety of emissions characteristics presented by the array of grain products. A significantly challenging aspect of grain handling is the fact that grain dust particles are not homogenous. Characteristics vary across the spectrum of grain products. Different grain products have divergent dust properties. Some comprise heavy particles, some are light, some are small and some are large, some float and some sink. The EPA is extremely strict on the dust issue and has the power to remove licenses from ports operators if correct measures are not taken, PR Power said. According to PR Power, the PR50-DF Dust Fighter unit puts out a very fine mist up to 50m in radius whilst being able to rotate up to 350° (or smaller if required). It was awarded the European Rental Product of the Year in 2010. However, just supplying a PR50-DF is not enough to solve this problem, with sea winds capable of changing direction quickly and without notice.

A single unit will take a considerable amount of labour to move into position as the wind changes, so workers utilise multiple units on ports to provide dust suppression from any wind direction quickly and without the need to relocate the units. The PR50-DF Dust Fighter requires a 3 phase power supply and a readily available water supply to operate with PR Power supplying the hoses, fittings, cables and cable covers for mechanical protection as part of the package deal. Contact: or

DSH SYSTEMS – WE CARE ABOUT YOUR AIR! Solve the world-wide industrial material handling problem – dust fallout while transferring dry, granular goods. At the loading point, the DSH System concentrates the discharge of dry goods as a solid column through free air into any target repository including trucks, rail wagons, storage containers, bags or stockpiles. The standard DSH Dust Suppression System uses no utilities and has no internal moving parts. PFC (computer controlled) model available. Winner (joint) of the Inaugural Innovative Technology Award at BulkEx 2006. Winner of the Dust Control Technology “Application or Practice” at BulkEx 2007. The DSH System gives you: • • • • • • •

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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

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Stitching the seam with self-piercing rivets Aussie manufacturer, Henrob developed its specialist fastening technology, which is used to join light gauge sheet metal, around 30 years ago.


he joining process utilises a selfpiercing rivet that fastens parts without pre-punched holes and is structural and fluid tight, according to Henrob’s Stuart Blacket. “The technology is now widely used, dancing on the end of robots in car and truck assembly lines around the globe,” he said. “In Australia, bulk container industries for water and grain have adapted the system for use in stitching together sheets to form roofs, wall barrels and base cones.” Henrob’s design office develops solutions for materials handling and automation aimed at improving throughput and efficiency. Blacket explained that “the development of multi-head tools that stitch long

seams is one example. Typically, a seal- A 6m diameter silo base transfer line with four headed riveter in a 1500mm Cframe throat and a 2 headed riveter in a 2400mm Cframe. ant is pre-applied between the sheets to create a gas tight joint line.” The principle advantages are speed of operation and finish. No post finishing operations are required and the riveting tools can be set up either manually by a mobile hand operated tool, semi-automatically in a floor mounted pedestal tool or fully automated on a robot. “Multiple joints can be produced every three seconds at the press of a button with consistent quality time after time,” Blacket said. Contact:

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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Grain handling inquiry highlights fears and opportunities Prompted by Archer Daniel Midland’s $3bn takeover bid for GrainCorp, parliament launched an inquiry into the ownership arrangements of grain handling, under the auspices of the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs. Below, ABHR’s Mike Foley presents an edited transcript of selected excerpts of proceedings.


rcher Daniels Midland’s (ADM) buyout offer has got the go ahead from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, but a final regulatory hurdle is yet to be jumped (as ABHR went to press), with a decision from the Foreign Investment and Review Board pending. ADM’s senior management fronted the inquiry. Group president grains, Ian Pinner and government relations executive, Kit Bethell were questioned by Senators Fiona Nash, Sean Edwards and Bill Heffernan, with the latter chairing the meeting.

Senator Nash: Can I take you to the issue that it is a virtual monopoly. You will have 280 receival sites. You will have all the logistics and handling. You will have virtually all of the ports. Why should grain growers have any confidence that you will place them at the forefront? As you said in your opening statement, it is all about the grain growers. Why should Australian grain growers have any confidence, or believe, that you have got their best interests at heart? Mr Pinner: With regard to your point on the 280 silos, we see it as competition. There is fierce competition in the Australian origination market. Senator Nash: Who is? How? How is there competition? Mr Pinner: It is our understanding that there is about 40 million tonnes of capacity in eastern Australia for grain storage. Chair (Senator Heffernan): What percentage of that is on farm? I have the figure there; I can look it up. Mr Pinner: I will give you my understanding, which is that there is about 11 – 12mt of on-farm storage but there is about 9mt of third-party, competitive and processor storage. From what we have seen, from what we understand and from what farmers that I have met are telling me, it is a competitive market. It is not just competition on the day; growers are also putting storage in. As well as that, we are seeing competitors to GrainCorp increasing their footprint and growing storage. From our point of view, with regard to the upcountry silos, I have assured growers and said, that we will keep access to the GrainCorp sites because it is important 70

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

GrainCorp’s bulk loading facility at Fishermans Island terminal in Brisbane.

that growers have choice and that growers have the ability for price discovery. Senator Nash: Can I just stop you there. Do you mean you are going to keep every receival site, or are you just going to keep sites open for others to store? Mr Pinner: To any grower. To any third party. Senator Nash: Why should there be any comfort at all for Australian grain growers that they would be a priority? If you are looking to go into a market, be it Asia or wherever, and you are operating in 140 countries, why on earth would grain growers in Australia think that they are going to be a priority for you? Mr Pinner: Two things: we have sales in 140 countries so we have a global network and access to the consumer and we can bring that back to the Australian grower; the other thing to remember is that Australian wheat is not the same as wheat around the world. It is hard, white wheat, quality wheat. It has certain functionality and uses. We have customers around the world that ask for it. And

Heffernan, driving force behind the grain handling inquiry.

today we do not have a market share and an asset base in Australia. We think that by bringing the GrainCorp assets, that global market place, working with our end customer, the farmer on one end and at the other end the flour miller and processor, we can bring more value to the grain farmers in Australia. Mr Bethell: The phrase ‘virtual monopoly’ was used. We do not see the evidence that up-country there is a virtual


monopoly in terms of storage facilities. Senator Nash: Seriously? You really believe that? Mr Bethell: There have been no findings as far as we are aware that there is any kind of natural monopoly in the up-country storage system. Senator Nash: I give up. Chair: You have said you do not think there is a monopoly situation and that seven-eighths of the infrastructure on the eastern seaboard represents that. Mr Pinner: The growers that I am meeting are not delivering to GrainCorp in total. They have their own storage. They have alternatives. They are selling to other customers. Also, to the point, with regard to being assets, GrainCorp has got 20mt of storage and there is only a 16mt crop. Our understanding is that GrainCorp really only uses about 10mt of that capacity, so it is handling 50% of

the crop and it is running at 50% utilisation. We believe that in country there is significant competition for the growers’ grain. Chair: The risk for Australia’s wheat growers is you could impose yourselves unfairly on Australia’s growers, and they would be windy to object because they have nowhere else to go. That is the market power you are going to have. You understand you are going to have serious market power. Mr Pinner: I would respond to that, because I think you mentioned the ports there. You know the ports are regulated and you know the booking slots are taken on a first-come firstserved basis. With regard to the GrainCorp ports, there are long-term arrangements which give competitors up to three years’ worth of capacity. Recently that has been traded and sold. In addition to the longterm agreements, 40% of the capacity of the ports is available and the ports are operated under a regulatory system. In addition to that, the ports are operating at about 35% of capacity, so it makes no sense to try to reduce the volumes. That would be commercial suicide. Then there are 11 bulk export ports, including the one that is being built right now in Newcastle, to provide access for competition and for growers. Then we have in addition to that: a container business with over 50 container packers shipping between 2mt and 3mt of grain off the east coast. We believe there is a lot of choice and that there is sufficient competition. GrainCorp has to take its access to the ports the same way as any other competitor. It does not have a right and GrainCorp ports cannot discriminate between GrainCorp and any other competitors. I think the growers should feel comfortable that they have access to the exports out of the east coast.

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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Submissions to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport


epresentative bodies from across the country raised a number of issues relating to the current ownership arrangements of grain handling in Australia, prompted by ADM’s proposed takeover of GrainCorp. Issues raised centred on potential conflicts of interest between serving the needs of shareholders and growers; the potential for Asian demand for grain to boost Australian exports; the role of government regulation in free markets; potential for monopoly control of grain handling operations to arise from the advent of multinational, vertically integrated operators entering the local market; and a lack of transparency of grain stocks information that could harm traders and producers and pose a broader risk to food security. Edited versions of the various bodies’ submission are detailed below:

GrainCorp GrainCorp does not accept the proposition that the interests of its shareholders and those of Australian growers or consumers are somehow mutually exclusive. Regardless of ownership structure, without Australian growers and the grain they produce, and without consumer demand for the products the company handles and processes, GrainCorp’s business would not be able to generate a return for its owners. The company…invests – $40m–60m each year in its assets and another $40m annually in take-or-pay rail capacity. To get an adequate return on these significant investments, GrainCorp must act in a way to maximise the amount of grain passing through the network. GrainCorp’s country storage and


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

receival network competes in an environment where there is substantial excess capacity, enough to hold the average winter harvest (17mt) approximately 2.3 times over. There is also a large amount of excess capacity at GrainCorp’s ports, with 15mt of annual elevation capacity comparing with an average export task of just over 5mt. Over the past 10 years, GrainCorp’s ports have operated at an average 35% capacity. It would make no commercial sense for GrainCorp to reduce the utilisation of its ports further by restricting access to the ports to other grain exporters and third parties.

The Pastoralists and Graziers Association – Western Growers Committee From the terms of reference, the PGA can only conclude there is some doubt over the quality of the decision taken by the board of directors of GrainCorp to accept a takeover offer from Archer Daniels Midland on behalf of its shareholders. The PGA finds it difficult to understand why the Senate would choose to direct the committee to do this when the board of GrainCorp has unanimously recommended the offer to its shareholders. The PGA believes that there is no need for any third party intervention between any buyers and sellers.

Grain Trade Australia In regards to the export markets, have destinations altered? Historically, the Middle East was a major market for Australian wheat, however, this has changed. Up to 2008, Asia took 30% of the

exported wheat from Australia, whereas it now accounts for 70% of our exports. This change reflects our natural freight advantage over our Northern American competition and also the ability and quality of Australian wheat to satisfy the contemporary needs of Asian markets. In the last four years, the Australian wheat industry has seen record production, record shipping programs, record growth in container exports and a swing into new markets, sound evidence of the success of the deregulation process.

Archer Daniels Midland Strong global and regional population growth combined with rising incomes is driving increased consumption of grains and protein. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations projects that world food demand may increase by 70% by 2050, with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences (ABARES) suggesting that the real value of world agrifood demand in 2050 will be 77 per cent higher than in 2007. ABARES projects that most of this rise will occur in Asia, where agrifood demand is projected to double to 2050. ADM’s interest in acquiring GrainCorp is motivated by its view of these positive international market dynamics in agricultural production and the most effective way in which global customer demand will be met. There is a clear worldwide trend towards consolidation in agribusiness, where economies of scale and global market reach are increasingly essential to maintaining competitiveness.

AgForce Queensland The State’s peak rural organisation, representing almost 6,000 of Queensland’s rural producers and agribusinesses. The biggest problem currently facing traders and markets in Queensland is their ability to access and accumulate grain when required. Due to GrainCorp currently having a basic monopoly on up-country storage, traders, marketers and producers are only able to access their grain when it is suitable for GrainCorp. This has proven to be a significant issue and is costing competitors time and money. AgForce believes that it is highly unlikely that there would be a new entry in the supply of port terminal services, for the following reasons: • The ports are already almost at capacity (without significant expansion) due


to the demand of coal, therefore there is no room for a new facility • The capital investment required to build new facilities is significant, which makes it unviable for the majority of business • There is little interest from the port operators in agricultural commodities, due to their seasonality. Coal for example is a 24/7 operation and much more reliable • A foreign company will now have access to the entire Australian east coast crop data, which has not happened before. While we have no specific objections of a foreign entity purchasing GrainCorp it is not clear how or if ADM having this information will affect the Australian market and therefore producers.

Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is one of the largest state farmer organisations in Australia representing over 10,000 members. VFF considers the proposed takeover of GrainCorp ownership arrangements by ADM will exacerbate existing market failures and will not be within the national interest, unless appropriately regulated. The VFF consider that the combined vertically and horizontally integrated assets of ADM and GrainCorp will dominate the prescribed sensitive sectors in relation to bulk food handling, transport, and port infrastructure. ADM will have the monopoly power to impact the efficient operations of a competitive Australian market. VFF are concerned that a combined ADM/GrainCorp will have the scale, capacity, and demonstrated management practice that it may not provide fair and transparent access, and may favour their own entities at the expense of third-party providers and Australian producers and consumers. Third party access to this essential up-country network infrastructure, ports, and network market (stocks)

information can be achieved using existing regulatory instruments. VFF are concerned that ADM’s overseas management practices demonstrate the scale, capacity and willingness to implement ‘closedloop’ management practices. That is, the capacity to limit or deny access to third party buyers at up-country essential network sites; limit access to essential market information; limit access to ports; and essentially export direct to ADM processors off-shore. Some may consider that volume throughput is sufficient economic incentive to ensure that third parties are provided access to upcountry networks. VFF contends however that it is the amalgamation of not just ADM’s domestic interests with those of GrainCorp, but ADM’s global scale of operations and vertically integrated network, that provide ADM the sheer volume capacity to export and process a large proportion of the East Coast crop of their own accord (if ADM so desired). VFF Grains Group supports the need for ongoing market access undertakings

and a mandatory code of conduct to prevent the implementation of ‘closed-loop’ management practices and thereby ensure ongoing competition and market access.

NSW Farmers Association Representing its broad cross section of members across the state, NSW Farmers recommends that care is taken to consider the impact of the interrelated nature of GrainCorp storage and logistics operations with its grain marketing operations on competition for farmers’ grain. Of major concern to the representative body is the ability of GrainCorp to use its dominant market position in the provision of port terminal services and up country storage and handling to the interest of its grain trading entity; and conversely the detriment of other grain marketers and traders. While it is acknowledged that a countervailing incentive to optimise throughput of GrainCorp’s storage and logistics assets exists; this is not exclusive to behaviour that can impede competition for farmers’ grain by increasing


the costs of competitors. As part of a previous inquiry, the Committee has received evidence regarding a range of behaviour that integrated bulk handling companies, such as GrainCorp, may undertake that reduce competition in the market. The undertaking of these types of behaviour would not preclude a bulk handling company from optimising its asset utilisation. Specifically the Committee quoted the following types of behaviour: • Charging a higher fee for deliveries to port from an upcountry storage not belonging to the port storage owner • Charging growers an extra fee for direct delivery to port • Using information systems to the benefit of their trading arm • Locking up rail capacity on over-burdened lines, requiring competitors to use road, usually at a higher cost • Leaning on port authorities to make it hard for competitors to find suitable alternative arrangements. This occurs as a result of the port authority not wanting to upset a major customer, and deals on volume • Reducing competition by keeping up-country fees lower, but then overcharging where they have the monopoly at the port • Offering a rebate of about $2/T to buyers who allow the handler to ship from any site rather than the grain specifically bought by the buyer Booking out sections of the shipping stem: NSW Farmers also believe that the following behaviours are also examples of an exercise of monopoly market power: • Scheduling maintenance and fumigation to suit their sales and marketing requirements • Warehousing contract terms which limit the remedies available to grain farmers under the Personal Property Security Register Much has been made about the

utilisation of closed loop marketing by ADM’s grain origination network globally. This is a practice by which ADM does not allow third parties to post prices and warehouse grain at its receival and storage facilities. ADM has made public the view that it is in its best interests to optimise the throughput of grain in GrainCorp’s upcountry receival and storage network. However, the strong balance sheet position of ADM and the needs of its integrated marketing may lead to circumstances in which profit maximising by ADM may mean that optimising the use of its assets may not be the same as maximising their use. NSW Farmers do not believe that the sale of GrainCorp to ADM is in the national interest, and has called upon the Australian Government not to approve it. If however, the Australian Government was to approve the sale, NSW Farmers believes that specific conditions must be placed on ADM requiring access provisions for up country and port assets, the ongoing disclosure of grain stocks on hand, and a capital expenditure plan. NSW Farmers also believes that the Australian Government should consider requiring the divestment of some of GrainCorp’s port terminal facilities to increase competition across eastern Australia in the provision of these services.

Grain Producers Australia The system in Australia is crippled by a lack of informati on and accurate description of the crop as it is harvested and delivered into the central storage systems. The bulk handling companies effectively operate regional monopolies and restrict and control the intelligence around up country stocks’ quantity and quality. This lack of transparency severely impacts the ability of producers and traders to make informed decisions in delivery and aggregation of cargoes. Transparency of grain stocks

information on an up-country site basis should be mandatory. This information should include total tonnage by grade and total warehoused tonnage by grade, this should be published on a central site (freely available) updated daily during harvest and weekly for the balance of the year. This will help the whole industry understand the market place (markets cannot work if only one party has the information) it also helps the government with food security concerns. With data aggregated by grade by silo there is no way an individual grower could be identified. Exporters have indicated to GPA that publishing stocks both in volume and quality segmentation by up-country site, would support: More efficient execution of export sales, particularly improving scheduling of logistics and port terminal operations More efficient wheat marketing including improved capacity for arbitrage and swaps Exporters more closely meeting customer quality specifications so exporters better service their customers. There is potential for conflict between the responsibility to shareholders and the best interest of Australian producers and consumers. GPA is firmly of the view that the three regional based monopolies (CBH, Glencore and GrainCorp) have a conflict between responsibility to shareholders and the best interest of Australian producers. The storage and handlers have natural monopolies. It is to their benefit to be able to offer grain that is differentiated from that of others. But they are the only ones able to do this, as they are the only ones who have access to all stocks’ information including specifications. They use this information to their own advantage. In this manner no other buyer/exporter is able to make similar offers thus there is no competition, thus the shareholders are advantaged over the grower.

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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


Shipping container loading system from Schenck Process T

he need to move bulk materials nationally and internationally is increasing as production operations consolidate and rationalise. To reduce shipping costs, logistics companies and manufacturers are making use of lined and unlined 6m and 12m bulk containers for material transport. Schenck Process says its FulFiller bulk material loader has been designed to enable containers to be loaded quickly and easily and is based on over 20 years’ of experience of container loading systems which have been installed by operators worldwide. The FulFiller uses a throwing belt which is supported on two rollers and rotates at high speed. The material being loaded falls onto the belt and is accelerated through 90° and thrown from the loader into the container. According to Schenck,

Falcon Chain Conveying Systems

100mm diameter tube with up to 6m3 / hour delivery rate Available with either Stainless Steel or powder coated components Versatile configurations up to 250m long for 100mm system

the high speed FulFiller allows a 6m container to be loaded in just 10 minutes. “The throwing action minimises material degradation and is therefore ideal for all pellets and granules such as plastic granules, chemical and fertilizer granules, wood pellets, grain, pellet feeds and meals, soya beans, refined sugar and rice,” stated Schenck’s publicity. The FulFiller is available in three standard models of mounting frame: the MFF Mobile Forklift Frame, the CFF Customer Fixed Frame and the DMF Dedicated Mobile Frame. These standard models enable a wide variety of installations to use the machine and provide flexibility of locating the unit next to the loading points from the storage silos. The basic FulFiller thrower and standard control panel are certified for hazardous zone use and are supplied with

From powders to granules & many other products... We can handle your transport requirements

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FulFiller cutaway.

Smaller size systems also available For more details contact: Ph 02-6760 9611 Fax 02-6760 9616 PO Box 4009 Nemingha 2340

FulFiller bulk container filler unit.

a fixed speed drive suitable for either 50 or 60Hz 3 phase power supplies. Variable speed drives are available for certain applications on request. Built into the thrower assembly is a radial fan for inflation of container liners if required.  ontact: Mark Duncan, email: mduncan@ C or ph: 02 9886 6800


Grain Silos & Conveyor Systems FOR GRAIN STORAGE AND CONVEYING ALLIED GRAIN SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN DESIGNING & CONSTRUCTING WORLD CLASS PROJECTS FOR YEARS • Project Design & Construction • MFS Commercial Silo Range • Comprehensive Range of Conveyors including Bucket Elevators, Screws, Drag Chains & Belt Conveyors • Structural Steel Fabrication including Walkways, Towers, In-Ground Hoppers Young NSW Ph: 02 6382 7474 Fax: 02 6382 5149 Email:

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


GRAIN HANDLING Allied Grain’s new silos and related infrastructure at Barrett Burston Malting’s Geelong malt houses.

Silos for Barrett Burston’s Geelong malt houses Allied Grain Systems (AGS) completed construction of two new silos and related infrastructure for Barret Burston Malting in Geelong in August 2012. The plant was designed to better isolate different malt barleys for production.


GS said the project was difficult to engineer as it required integration of new silos, conveyors and structures into an existing 20 year old plant. Engineering the new conveyors to be fed from existing conveyors was a particularly challenging task. AGS also needed to design all structural supports to accommodate and modify existing structures as well as tie-in with the existing walkways to gain access to the new part of the plant. The electrical component of the project was overseen by AGS, which engaged Gordon McKay Electrical from Geelong for this particular part of the contract. The new equipment is electrically interlinked under one PLC and the new plant is fully automated within the existing plant.

Major items supplied by AGS were: • Two silos, with volume of 528m³, capacity of 348t of barley, diameter of 8.23m and overall height of 15.06m. • Two York D20 over silo drag chain conveyors, with capacity of 300tph and nominal lengths of 11m and 15m. • Two York D1275 over silo drag chain conveyors, with capacity of 300tph and nominal lengths of 11m and 14m. • Two York D835 under silo drag chain conveyor, with capacity of 30tph and nominal lengths of 11m and 15m. • Also incorporated in the project were slide gates and two-way valves, a magnet from Serpent and Dove and vent filters from Donaldson Filtration. Contact:

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Polyurethane for grain handling By Neil Kinder, managing director, Kinder & Co

This article outlines the ABCs of engineered polyurethane and provides some tips on selecting the correct polyurethane to suit specific grain handling product needs.


he grain industry represents an evergrowing market for high-performance polyurethanes. But with the proliferation of next-generation polyurethanes, the selection of the best material for a grain handling application can prove challenging.

The alternatives Without too much discussion on the technicalities of the chemistries involved, it is important to acknowledge that the composition of polyurethane is not all the same. For instance, isocyanates form one part of the prepolymer and affect the cure characteristics of the polyurethane. The main alternative high performance polyurethanes are either diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) or toluene diisocyanate (TDI). Then there are two further alternatives â&#x20AC;&#x201C; hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) or isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI). Functionally they have the same performance properties but these latter two exhibit specific characteristics such as inhibition of yellowing in parts that will be exposed to sunlight. Polyols also contribute to the function of polyurethane: in particular polyether polyols produce Shore A and Shore D hardness systems that, depending on additives used, feature high tear strength and superior abrasion resistance. Whereas polyester polyols are combined isocyanates to form Shore A hardness with outstanding elongation characteristics. The formulation and the processing temperature decide the final polyurethane type. Hybrids of these create even further alternatives. Confused? You are not alone.

The benefits The key benefits of many of the new highperformance polyurethanes are property combinations that were previously not available including: high heat, high impact, high modulus products as well as systems that can withstand exposure to gouging, cutting, chemicals, oils and solvents. In addition, for parts that come in

K-Superline lining a chute.

contact with oats, wheat and cereals, some MDI polyurethanes are now FDAapproved for dry food contact. But the real benefits can best be observed when compared to traditional steel lining systems. The first benefit is the simplicity of installing polyurethane. When compared to steel that requires labour intensive construction and welding, a polyurethane lining system is light-weight and can either be glued or bolted on. The benefits over steel also includes significantly lower noise levels, which not only improves employee working conditions but when grain operations are close to residential areas this needs to be a priority consideration.

Your choice It is expected that every grain handling site has its different conditions and so your criteria for choosing a polyurethane lining should be handled in order of priority. If abrasion resistance is the primary requirement, this should be the starting point followed by hardness, elongation, impact strength or ability to handle a load or high temperatures. Determining the best material for a project requires a thorough understanding of flow materials as well as polyurethane properties to get the best and most cost effective result. With the recent advances in chemistries, a next-generation of thermoset polyurethanes now offers new options other than steel for moulding durable flow materials. With unique combinations of performance characteristics, such as outstanding tear strength, high resistance to abrasion, as well as high impact strength,

K-Superline lining a bin.

the switch to polyurethane makes good business sense. We can look to other significant grain producing countries such as the USA and Canada to see the level of uptake of these new materials in the agricultural industry. Australia has a reputation for being an early adopter of new technologies and our environment is very similar to these nations so we should use this opportunity and utilise the benefits of polyurethane to our advantage. The key is knowing which is the best polyurethane for your application. Consider now Kinder & Coâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s K-Superline Polyurethane, a purposely engineered polyurethane to meet the particular demands of grain handling. It is available in six colours depending on its sliding abrasion and level of elasticity, impact angle and resistance, plus suitability for lump size. By correctly matching your requirements against the K-Superline characteristics, an easy and genuine replacement of steel wear liners can be found. Contact: s ales &

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



International flavour for AIMEX 2013 Asia-Pacific International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) 2013 comes at a time of marked gloom for the mining industry and the contrast to the air of optimism surrounding the last event, in 2011, could not be starker. Still, the event’s organisers promise a raft of first time and international exhibitors and themes of cost control and productivity will be to the fore.


he exhibition, like the previous event in 2011, will be held at Sydney Showgrounds in Olympic Park, Homebush, this time running from August 20 – 23. Compared to 2011, commodity prices are down and funding for project development has slowed. Still, the resources industry investment pipeline continues to lure suppliers to our shores. There will be six countries hosting pavilions at AIMEX 2013: China, Germany, USA, Canada, France and Chile. International bulk handlers that will make an appearance include Tenova Takraf, ThyssenKrupp, Magaldi, ASGCO Conveyors, Baumer Group, Conbelts Bytom, Somi Conveyor Beltings and DuPont. AIMEX 2013 will also host 30 international companies from outwith the country pavilions. Reed Mining Events exhibition director, Paul Baker, said “Both established and emerging market regions will have official international pavilions at AIMEX 2013. In total, they will account for over 3,600m² of stand space, nearly 10% more space than international took at AIMEX 2011. The space taken by international exhibitors has more than doubled in the past 10 years.” In total, there will be over 600 exhibitors plying their wares at AIMEX. More than 90 of them will be debutants. “We have more than 70 exhibitors exhibiting for the first time at AIMEX in their own right, with at least another 20 participating in the event through the various international pavilions. “And these new exhibitors represent a wide cross-section of products and services designed specifically for the mining industry. “New products we will have on display include some of the world’s largest mining trucks making their Australian debut, underground coal and hard rock mining systems and conveyor and bulk handling systems for both coal and metalliferous surface mining,” Baker said. Of particular interest will be the international flavour of truck

AIMEX 2011 was also held at Sydney Showgrounds.

manufacturers in tow at AIMEX. Belarusian haul truck giant Belaz will display its large mining trucks and Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Corporation (XEMC) will attend. The latter company recently became the first to supply an Australian mine with a fleet of Chinese-made haul trucks. As the mining boom ebbs, producers are looking to reduce operational expenditure. Optimisation is the name of the game. Innovative products can offer new solutions to miners that are looking to tighten the purse springs. Baker said “In response to this, emphasis among exhibitors and displays will be all about innovation, how the very latest processes, system, services and products can meet miners’ demands for productivity and efficiency gains.” For information on the event or AIMEX exhibitors: Contact:



Some of the most powerful gear drives in Bonfiglioli’s range will be on show at this year’s AIMEX. Bonfiglioli’s modular Trasmital 300 multipurpose planetary drives will be coupled with the latest HDO Bevel Helical units to produce combinations offering up to approximately 1,300,000Nm capacity. Bonfiglioli’s 323 planetary drive of 890,000NM coupled with a HDO heavy duty helical drive, an advanced, low-noise unit, will also be on show. Managing director, Malcolm Lewis, said the HDO helical drives, with torque ranging up to 194,050 Nm, “feature excellent torque

distribution across their entire ratio range, with gear ratios laid out in close progression. “The advantage of the combination drives over traditional gearboxes is most evident in their low weight, higher output and highly competitive price. “Using the new HDO also means we can install much larger electric motors such as those found in applications like chain conveyors, shuttle drives, belt filter presses and apron feeders. “The HDO drives’ versatility in service is enhanced by numerous mounting position options suitable for use in typical applications, such as materials handling (including belt, apron, bucket, screw and chain conveyors), general manufacturing, mining, quarrying, minerals processing, rural and food product processing, paper, pumps, steel, sugar, timber, wrapping and stacking applications, plus water and waste water treatment.” The drives’ multi machined surfaces and symmetrical design allows them to be used in either left or right hand configuration.

Bonfiglioli’s powerful gear drives will be on show.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Lorbrand Composite Roller Belle Banne Conveyor Products introduces Lorbrand Composite Rollers

Lorbrand Composite Rollers are the next generation of troughing and return rolls. Made of lightweight, high strength, corrosion and abrasion resistant composite material, the Lorbrand Composite Roller has the following features:

Easier to handle Safe on Belts Energy Efficient Low noise

40 - 60% lighter than steel without sacrificing performance. Belt friendly construction means that even advanced wear on the shell will not damage the belt. Breakaway mass under 50 grams for 127mm OD; under 80 grams for larger rolls. Running friction at less than 2N for large diameter rolls means less power required at startup and much less power required for continuing operation. Lorbrand Composite Rollers tested at more than 50% less noise than the equivalent steel rolls. â&#x20AC;˘ Available in Nylon and HDPE for different applications. â&#x20AC;˘ Ask us about our 5 year warranty on Lorbrand Composite Rollers when used with the Maptsoft Asset Management Software

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SEW-Eurodrive Following the opening of its Melbourne-based Heavy Industrial Solutions division, SEW-Eurodrive plans to make a big impression at AIMEX in August. The company will exhibit elements from its range of gear units, geared motors and complete drive assemblies, which are designed for heavy duty applications with high transmitted loads, making them ideal, the company says, for the needs of mining, mineral processing and quarrying processes. SEW-Eurodrive national products manager for industrial gears, Ian Tribe, said the modularity and high power-density of the company’s industrial gear unit range make them “an effective and versatile solution for the diverse range of mining applications. “Our heavy industrial solutions range delivers extremely compact and versatile drive options for Australia’s natural resources and heavy engineering industries. “Additionally, their ability to withstand harsh operating environments makes our motor and drive solutions suitable for all of Australia’s bulkhandling and processing operations.” SEW will also display units from its standalone gear range, including the X series gear unit. Tribe claimed the X series “boasts the finest torque gradation on the market, allowing users to closely match an X series gear unit to their application.” SEW-Eurodrive will also show off its segmented girth gear solution, for transmitting energy in large rotating systems. Girth gears are used to drive grinding mills, kilns and rotary dryers. The solution requires a high level of consulting, which SEW-Eurodrive

SEW-Eurodrive gear units.

can provide to its customers. Tribe said the design principles of the segmented girth gear solution simplify transportation, assembly and servicing in these applications. “Our girth gears aren’t just single pieces, but rather made up of multi- SEW-Eurodrive’s segmented gear drives. ple identical segments whose number depends on the overall diameter. Assembling these girth gears using a spring cup or flange is also much easier with this solution.” SEW-Eurodrive currently produces segmented girth gears with a pitch diameter up to 16m and a width up to 600mm. Due to the segmented design principles even larger diameters and widths are possible. The power range reaches up to 2500kW per pinion. SEW-Eurodrive girth gears use special ADI cast material, which the company says enables a smaller tooth width than competing technologies, allowing customers to save on the overall system. Contact:



Perth-headquartered Aerison will bring idler and roller change-out technology which is designed to work on an operating conveyor. A working, full-size conveyor will be central to the company’s display. As well as its idler change-outs, Aerison’s services include: • Noise abatement for gas compression and generation systems • Solutions designed to deal safely with ventilation air methane • Dust control using baghouses, wet scrubbers or cyclones • Commissioning and compliance audits for all pollution control systems Aerison also engineers odour control systems using regenerative thermal oxidisers for volatile organic compound (VOC) odours and chemical-packed towers for soluble-type odorous compounds. Installation and project management services are available as well, along with maintenance and service for all equipment provided by the company. Aerison’s business development director, Brian Hooker, said “Through a process of instilling our core values of commitment, responsibility, excellence and expertise, we have ensured that the end result for the client is always the best result for all involved.”

DuPont will showcase new personal protective equipment (PPE) and dust management innovations. The DuPont PPE range, designed to keep mineworkers safe from on-the-job hazards, also includes Kevlar aramid fibre for cut and abrasion protection, Nomex fibre for flame hazards, Tychem C, Tychem E and Tychem TK coveralls for liquid and gas chemical hazards, and Tyvek garments for dry particulate hazards. DuPont’s PPE is branded as Tyvek Classic Xpert coveralls. National sales manager for DuPont Protection Technologies, Michael Dwyer, said “Our PPE brands represent some of the most trusted personal protection in the industry and the Tyvek coveralls are setting new standards for hazardous fine particulate and nonhazardous liquid protection in a Type 5&6 category.” The company says its latest developments can be attributed to global collaboration and scientific innovation resulting in products, from specialist chemicals and polymers to protective garments and consulting services, specifically for the mining industry. Contact:


NORD Drivesystems The company will show off its range of compact Industrial Gear Units, with output torque ranges of between 25.3kNm and 51.3kNm, at the upcoming exhibition. Craig Robinson, engineering manager,


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

NORD Drivesystems Australia, said a larger NORD Industrial Gear Unit (IGU) mounted on a baseplate would also be on display. “The display assembly includes a NORD SK13407 IGU complete with an integral

backstop, brake disc coupling and caliper hydraulic disc brake assembly and driven by a 400kW electric motor.” Contact:





SOLVE YOUR SOLIDS FLOW PROBLEMS WITH THE UNIQUE Solve solids flow problems Flexco CoreTech Rollers.

The company will showcase a range of new conveyor belt technologies at AIMEX. Flexco’s new product releases will include: • CoreTech heavy-duty nylon conveyor rollers • Australian-made impact and slider beds • A heavy-duty floating blade belt plough • The MHCP heavy-duty cartridge primary cleaner • A pneumatic single rivet driver Flexco’s CoreTech heavy-duty nylon conveyor rollers are made of high-strength, corrosion-resistant, abrasion-resistant composite materials. According to Flexco’s national marketing manager, Mark Colbourn, these fire-resistant anti-static (FRAS) rollers are suitable for use in harsh underground environments, are durable and emit less noise than their steel counterparts. “In addition, as they are up to 60% lighter than equivalent steel rollers, installation is quicker and less costly and the risk of worker injury is reduced,” he said. The company’s Australian-made impact and slider beds are designed to provide containment around load zones and absorb the impact from falling material while minimising drag on the conveyor. The beds can handle 25kg to 100kg, accommodate belt widths from 600mm to 1800mm and can be set at three troughing angles (20°, 35° and 45°) for simpler servicing. The heavy-duty floating blade belt plough features a patent-pending fail-safe fixed frame and what Flexco describes as unique self-adjusting floating blades. “This eliminates the need for manual adjustment as the blades wear and their constant contact with the belt ensures superior cleaning performance throughout the life of the blade,” Colbourn said. Meanwhile, the fail-safe fixed frame never touched the belt as the blades wore, minimising conveyor belt damage, he said. Flexco’s MHCP heavy-duty cartridge primary cleaner was developed for tough mining environments and features FRAS-approved SuperShear self-adjusting blades, quick and simple blade replacement and is available in sizes to take belt widths from 600mm to 2400mm. Its pneumatic single-rivet driver, designed for use with Flexco SR fasteners and installation bases, is said to speed installations by up to 33%. “This driver really takes the guesswork out of rivet driving to give users a uniform, longlasting splice every time,” Colbourn said. Contact:

with the super efficient TM device This patented, electric magnetic hammering MAGHAMMER from Nippon Magnetics, Inc., promotes the flow of powders and dry solids from bins, hoppers,

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Email: Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Fenner Dunlop Australia

Pro Air Solutions

The company’s new 24/7 conveyor diagnostic and alert system will make its debut at AIMEX. The round-the-clock alarm system is designed to alert users the instant any significant steel cord damage or splice damage is detected, with details of the nature of the problem. The diagnostic and alert system incorporates a splice monitoring component, for remote measurement of splice elongation, which is designed to prevent a common form of splice failure in fabric and solid woven belting. Other new Fenner Dunlop products on display at AIMEX will be: • Ultra Tuff belting for high wear applications • High impact utility belting • A mine approved fire-resistant and anti-static (FRAS) heavy duty, lightweight nylon roller • Hi-Integrity Splicing (HIS) technology which Fenner Dunlop has introduced into Australian mining operations for rubber-plied belts In Australia, the Fenner Dunlop Group consists of Fenner Dunlop, Australian Conveyor Engineering (acquired in October 2012), Leading Edge Conveyor Services and Statewide Belting.

Pro Air is set to launch its new V22 hydro jet atomised water cannon at AIMEX. Pro Air Solutions’ managing director, Thomas Peinter, said the V22 is designed to enable mining companies to significantly reduce their impact on the environment by reducing both dust and excess water. “Costing less than comparable equipment, the V series atomised water cannons have been purposely developed for dust suppression, with the V22 also designed to manage excess site water.” The V22 hydro jet cannon creates Proair Solutions’ V22 hydro jet a very fine and efficient water mist that atomised water cannon. can cover a large area without soaking the environment. The cannon, which can be either controlled remotely or fully automated, includes an 18.5kW turbine with a 70m throw, patented nozzle technology to manage droplet size and direct flow more accurately, 360° rotation with 0-43° elevation, plus a range from 200 lit/min to 900 lit/min output from 10-30 bar. “It can capture fine and harmful 2.5µm particles, reduce downtime and maintenance due to dust, manage water volumes onsite, and utilise and manage a wide range of water qualities,” Peintner said.



Conveyor substation starter.


Weir Minerals buys mining supplier Aspir Aspir coarse coal centrifuge.

Mining equipment manufacturer Weir Minerals says the acquisition of centrifuge manufacturer Aspir was made with an eye to beefing up its range of coal processing products.


spir is known in the coal processing industry for products that utilise modern technology in coal preparation and dewatering applications. “We’ve got many, many decades of collective experience in doing things in the coal space,” Wayne Trench, Weir’s business unit manager for Aspir, said. “We offer an innovative, high quality line of supply for coal processing products that we understand and do well.” Weir identified coarse and fine coal centrifuges as key products on Aspir’s line prior to the acquisition. Aspir centrifuges combine high-quality components with advanced drive mechanisms to maximise service life. Aspir’s product range also includes wedge wire screens and flat panels, tile lined dense medium cyclones, sieve bends and underpans, and ceramic repair compounds as well as other complementary wear products. Following the acquisition, Weir Minerals will offer centrifuge spare parts as well as on-site inspections, and servicing along


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Aspir heavy duty basket

with high quality centrifuge rebuilds. The Aspir brand will be retained under the Weir Minerals banner. Contact:


Schade wagon tippler for Russian cement plant Bulk handling equipment manufacturer, Schade will supply a pivot frame wagon tippler for a new cement plant in Russia.


ussian firm Kaluzhsky is building a new $750m cement plant in the Kaluga Oblast region of western Russia, with a design production capacity of 3.5mtpa. Limestone for the cement production will be sourced from local deposits, but other materials such as bauxite, iron ore, gypsum and slag will be transported long-distance to the plant via road and rail. Schade engineers have designed the cement plant’s multipurpose intake facility, and included will be a new Schade pivotframe wagon tippler, which will tip wagons brought into the facility by rail to empty their contents into hoppers. In the past, Schade has worked extensively with standardised O-frame and C-frame wagon tippler designs, but for the Kaluzhsky plant, a pivot-frame system was chosen.

Schade pivot frame tippler.

“For this project, the Schade pivot-frame system was chosen both for its flexibility in plant layout and the ability to combine the tippler with an automated wagon charger to move the wagons into and out from the tippler working zone,” Schade’s Matthew Jones said. The pivot-frame system allows for the hopper to be placed beside the tippler, rather than below it, which gives access for road trucks and rail wagons to discharge into a common feeder. Schade operates under the umbrella of the Aumund Group, a German-based multinational with several other bulk handling equipment manufacturing subsidiaries, including Samson Materials Handling, Aumund Logistic and Aumund Fördertechnik. Contact:

Semco expands into crushing and screening Semco Equipment Sales will distribute Tesab and Trackstack crushing and screening equipment in NSW, South Australia and Victoria. The range includes tracked jaw crushers, impact crushers, conveyors, screens, in-rail boxcar/containers and shiploaders.


raham Murphy, Semco’s director, said the company had a comprehensive offering for its customers, including rental machines that offer customers a choice of rent-to-buy or purchase options. “The ability to hire portable machinery such as Tesab/Trackstack also has the benefit of being able to rapidly deploy services without capital outlay to take advantage of highly profitable market opportunities. “With our rental fleet already in high demand, new equipment is being added progressively. For example, a new trommel that features quick-change screens will be commissioned shortly. “In terms of support, our existing mobile service, workshop facilities and an excellent range of off-the-shelf replacement parts means we can respond quickly to customer callout to minimise downtime due to wear on parts. “To accommodate a range of needs, our rent-to-purchase options mean that prospective buyers are able to hire equipment for a period, do the job and simply hand it back. “They also have the alternative at the end of the hire period, where the equipment potentially can be bought outright at a reduced cost. “We have found that customers like RPO when there is the

Tesab crusher.

potential to roll the machine over onto the next leg of a contract, a new job or they realise there is a sound business case for offering material recycling services into the future.” Contact:

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Q&A with Tenova Mining and Minerals president, Walter Küng ABHR spoke to the top executive of Tenova’s mining division about company strategy, expansion and the benefits of being a privately owned company. Walter Küng

How does private ownership make a difference to the way Tenova operates? We are quite unique, in that we are quick in decision making compared to big conglomerates. Being privately owned means we are flexible in our operation and the company directors have a different horizon for development. We get measured on a three monthly basis, like all companies. But there is a directive to grow and create a legacy for the family owners. Growth is the group’s main target, through research and development, new equipment and acquisitions. Looking at the Tenova side of things, we have grown in a very steep curve over the last 10 years. We have grown mainly through acquisitions. There have been about 25 acquisitions across Tenova.

Boggabri radial stacker

Will you target further growth through acquisition? We are open for business if there are companies that are open to be acquired or merge, we are always on the lookout. The economic climate doesn’t hinder us. I think there are some bargains out there. Much more so than a year ago when we bought the Bateman Group. We bought not at the top of the cycle, but certainly not at the bottom.

You bought Bateman Group over a year ago now. Did its presence in the emerging African market lure you in? Bateman brought with it a bunch of capabilities: EPCM services, coal and iron ore expertise. The company employed about 1,000 people and we are a year down the track of integration. One of the drivers of the acquisition was Africa. Batemans’ presence in Africa is about 800 people. The mining industry in Africa is not in good shape at all, they have labour shortages and union problems and all sorts of stuff going on. But the banking system, telecommunications 84

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Corio Quay shiploader

and infrastructure are functioning. So the acquisition is a springboard into Africa: Batemans has traditionally operated in sub-Saharan Africa and they know how to drive a project in the Congo, Mozambique or Angola for example.

How do you view the current market in Australia? Obviously Australia is the mining culture in the world traditionally. If you look at the capex figures, they are phenomenal.


port facility into various bits and pieces and seek out competitive bids, that generates a number of interfaces between the civil construction work and even rail, various machines, stockpiles, the shiploading facilities. I think some of these interfaces caused a lot of headaches. The more interfaces you have on a project the more problems you create and I think it is time that we realised that.

Can you step-out how this optimised contract model will work? Clermont fully mobile crushing station

Clermont spreader

We want to stay in the country. There are no ifs and buts about it. As everyone knows, there is a bit of a depression on the coal side of things. Maybe it was overcooked years ago. But if you look at the long term predictions, coal is still going to be a long term commodity for China and India. It is probably one of the main capex targets globally besides iron ore and copper. So to me, it is a short to medium term blip here. Talking to various clients, I think many coal mines here in this part of the world were fat and lazy. The operating cost ran away and various other things ran away and I think that is biting now, in terms of production costs of coal visà-vis the market price of coal. What we are finding here is a bit of a shift in terms of contracting execution models where people go back to the basics. They are saying ‘let’s build machines fit for purpose, without the frills and with automation’, for less workers and strict operating costs, which obviously translates into lower production costs.

And how will you grow Tenova in Australia? I think there will be a shift, even by the majors in project execution, in fact we have seen that already. In terms of our portfolio, the Group’s capabilities include processing, EPCM and equipment. That shift will run from the in pit crushers to ship loaders and on the processing side from coal handling plants to train loading and unloading stations. We believe we are reasonably positioned with the constellation of resumes and expertise that we have in the group to fulfil the contracting models that companies are looking for. The Group itself generates about 85% of revenue on equipment, which means lump sum turnkey work. We don’t shy away from turnkey work. We see that kind of model coming to the forefront rather than the open book, go for it and spend as much as you want for as long as you want contracts, which we saw previously in the coal industry. If you step back maybe a year or two, a client’s representative would chop up a

For example, take the build of a whole port facility. We will typically team with an infrastructure marine company who would do the work on a lump-sum hard money contract and we would also build everything above the rail. Not only on the wharf, but the preceding stockpiles, tipplers, train arrivals, stations, all of the good stuff. Clients need to contain costs and stick to schedules, they need to bring a return to the shareholders and not only invest in infrastructure. This probably cost many of the CEOs who lost their jobs in the last 12 months. The return to shareholders wasn’t there, it was all spent on infrastructure. We are becoming a solutions provider. We will build your port facility lock stock and barrel. That is how we will sell ourselves. Tenova Mining and Minerals will build it, manage it, put a timeframe and cost estimate around it and we will give a process guarantee as well, in terms of throughput on the terminal. All three of those elements fell short in the last couple of years; when the commodity prices were up nobody really focused on any one of those three things. I believe this model is what the clients are looking for as well. At the end of the day it is about time, cost and performance.

Performance based contracts obviously pose an element of risk to the supplier. Will it be worth it for Tenova to operate this way at the end of the day? We are quite prepared to put our knowledge where our money is and put a package together. That is what I would look for if I was a client, guaranteed money, a schedule and performance and I would pay for it. If you do that properly from a margin point it is probably going to be more lucrative than building a single machine against eight bidders. At the end of the day the client buys on cost. The cheapest system more often than not will comply with what the client wants. Tenova’s steel division works this way. When it builds a furnace, they have to meet Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Clermont fully mobile spreader

performance, power consumption and output criteria. We have thousands and thousands of machines and plants operating. I think we are fairly close to the money if we have to guarantee power consumption or output and establish the actual operating hours per year. We have actually gone through exercises with clients, working out on a spread sheet what the operating hours will be and then you work back from an annual capacity to an hourly rate. Some of these plans were pipe dreams and were never going to work out.

Do you build your large scale equipment in China? We were connected to other structural mechanical fabricators, but over last the five to eight years most of our machines have largely come out of our workshop in China, and a bit out of Mexico for the North American market. The trick in China is that, firstly, we have our own facility there. We have put a lot of effort into quality control. The worst thing you can do is deliver shabby equipment out of China and fix it at huge cost here in Australia. That defeats the purpose. We all went through a learning curve and we paid a tuition fee, but we know how to do it now.

Can you run through some of the areas of research and development that Tenova has focused on recently? We are focusing on automation and modularisation. We recently got a project in Chile for a big underground copper conveying system eliminating gearboxes on the drives. 86

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

We have a mill concept where you fletch the motor directly onto the drive pulley, without any gearboxes in between. And if you wanted to we could run a mill drive 25MW, although you cannot transmit that on a single conveyor pulley. We are busy building it now and will start installing next year. In terms of underground mining, as soon as you start operating in tunnels, equipment size becomes an issue. If you have huge gearboxes and drives in there, you need huge caverns, around 20m X 30m X 30m. This requires multi-million dollars of excavations and sometimes you can’t even do that if the ground conditions aren’t there. So we are trying to shrink the equipment to incorporate less components with more power. We are doing a lot of work with the belting suppliers, developing systems with the ST10,000 belt class systems.

Tenova has a long history in the development of in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) systems. What are some of the more recent developments? We have developed various models of fully mobile systems. There is a demand out there. I think it will happen more and more in conjunction with autonomous trucks feeding fully mobile systems. We actually developed GPS driven reclaimer stacking systems 15 years ago for the copper leaching systems, lifting off dynamic pads. The machines operate within an accuracy of 1.5cm. A driver couldn’t drive that accurately. It increases efficiency, reduces people and between fully mobile IPCC and

automation systems, this is where we are putting quite a bit of effort. There is clearly demand from clients.

Is automation a major theme for port equipment? Yes, very much so. We have spent a lot of time on reclaim stockyard management, condition management and we also work extensively on stockyards and train unloading systems right down to the port’s dynamic simulation models through to optimisation of the whole facility. We are also using these models to develop algorithms and data collection systems, and there is a lot of ongoing research there.

Is demand for automation coming from developing regions? Yes. If you’re talking about Africa, the drive for automation is not because there is a shortage of operators, but the skill level isn’t there. You want to push the automation in that situation to protect equipment and ensure it operates on an optimal level, rather than having semi-skilled people driving machines, which costs millions and millions of dollars. In America, it is happening anyway, they are always pushing automation. In South America, which is a huge market for us, especially in copper mining, you look at Chile for example. It is a country with 20 million people, with huge capex on mining and the labour shortage of engineers is close to what you experience here in Australia, so the requirements are the same. Contact:


Dynamic weighing: when the track becomes a sensor Silveranne Pty Ltd, based in Brisbane, is collaborating with PLCD, a French company specialising in continuous and batch weighing systems.


LCD has developed, in partnership with CNRS Research Institute, a new In Motion Dynamic Train Weighing System. This system can be fitted on any type of railway, without civil work, load cell and concrete structure. The principle is based on converting a short section of railway (1,200m) into a load cell. When one axle is rolling over this weighing section, it induces a very small deformation of the rail that is taken into account and analysed in a very high-speed conversion electronic system. The system is implemented by: • Taking a section of track (two rails) on site with a length of 1,500 to 2,000 mm and shipping them to PLCD • Temporary reconstruction of the track to allow traffic • Mounting of high performance stress gauges in PLCD’s workshop with sealing of the system • Putting in place electrical connection boxes and load testing • Shipping these two back to the customer site and installing them

PLCD’s new In Motion Dynamic Train Weighing System.

in lieu and place of the temporary track (soldered and connected). The instrument is then ready to be calibrated by comparison with a scale. The weighing is performed dynamically: the train can move on the track during the measurement (at a speed between 5 and 12 km/h maximum). It can be done axle by axle, left/right, bogie by bogie, wagon or train complete. The system is connected to a computer for recording of measurements and can be completed by a RFID tag or Wi-Fi. According to Silvere Compos, proprietor of Silveranne, “the precision is announced with an error of less than 1%. “The system, which is already in service in several plants and railway companies worldwide, is covered by an international patent. Metrology certification is pending for use in commercial transactions.” Contact: Silvere Compos, email:



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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

A U S T R A L I A ' S P R E M I E R I M P A C T W E I G H E R M A N U FA C T U R E R




CST’s Mass and Volume Information System Control Systems Technology (CST) has released an electronic belt weigher. The weigher, combined with a LMS511 bulk density laser scanner from Sick, comprises CST’s Mass and Volume Information System (MaVIS). CST’s managing director and founder, Ian Burrell.


he electronic belt weigher is dubbed the Cargo Superintendent Scale. CST says the scale incorporates five different technologies, which it developed in house. The Cargo Superintendent Scale (CSS) has a graphic display that accepts scanner input. It measures area, volume, freeboard, tracking info and surcharge angle. Used in conjunction with the LMS511, the Mavis system records material volume and computes bulk density in real time and for ship load. The system accumulates total mass and total volume allowing both real time and average bulk density to be produced. The system’s first installation was at the

NCIG terminal in Newcastle. Three others have gone in at Port Kembla coal terminal. The technologies that CST has combined to produce the Cargo Superintendent Scale are: • Belt Image Zero Tracking (BIZT) system – manages belt weight variation and allows zero detection and fine tuning in a fraction of a belt revolution, maximising up-time with correct zero. • Close Space Roller Rack system – provides belt support and a smooth ride for the bulk cargo that eliminates dynamic effects and maximises the precision of weighing on a moving belt. • Built in Calibration masses, working with

BIZT, allows zero and calibration checks in a fraction of a belt revolution in natural breaks in ship loading that eliminates all but regular annual maintenance. • Dual redundant Embedded Tachometer system – continuously auto calibrating providing verifiable belt travel accuracy which eliminates the need for maintenance down time. • Remote monitoring provides real time access to all aspects of the system via a secure portal, allowing a level of care and supervision by CST’s own specialists not normally available on site. Contact:

Hillgrove cans Kanmantoo contractor S

outh Australian copper miner Hillgrove Resources says it terminated its current mining services contractor at Kanmantoo mine because current market conditions have created the opportunity for better deals. Contractor Exact Mining Services is on the way out. Hillgrove’s managing director, Greg Hall, said the company has secured quotes to replace the firm at competitive rates. “Hillgrove views this as a shortterm transition to a stronger, more competitive outcome for the company and

shareholders,” Hall said. Hillgrove reports it has arrangements in place to continue ore feed into its plant from run-of-mine and low grade stockpiled material to maintain mill throughput. It aims to produce copper during this period at 60% -70% of nameplate capacity. “Through this changeover period Kanmantoo copper mine is forecast to remain cash-flow positive,” Hall said. While is seeks a new long-term contractor, Hillgrove will mobilise an alternate mining fleet that will enable it to

resume open pit mining operations. The company anticipates that it will take six weeks to resume ‘normal operations’ once it has sealed a long-term deal with a contractor. Kanmantoo mine, located one hour from Adelaide in South Australia, started production in late 2011. It has a current defined mineral resource of 32mt and produces throughput of 2.4mtpa, producing some 80,000 tonnes of concentrate, containing about 20,000t of copper and 10,000oz of gold over a 6.5 year mine life.




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Heat and Control’s weigh conveyor for fragile products Heat and Control says its new WeighBack conveyor reduces product breakage by as much as 60% and is twice as accurate as comparable vibratory weighing conveyors. WeighBack’s built-in load cell is designed to accurately measure dry, fresh, or frozen products during conveying.


he WeighBack conveyor, developed within Heat and Control’s FastBack range of conveyor systems, is a weigh conveyor designed to handle delicate materials, including food. WeighBack’s built-in load cell is designed to accurately measure dry, fresh,

or frozen products during conveying. The conveyor’s gentle horizontal conveying motion reduces product damage, loss of coatings, and cleaning labour, Heat and Control says. There are no belt tracking or product build-up problems, which are common with traditional

weigh belt systems. Heat and Control says its FastBack conveyor drives do not require preventative maintenance and are covered by a five year warranty. Contact:

IECEX approved high precision hazardous area scales


ational Weighing & Instruments is distributing Sartorius’ new Signum Ex Series, which has received the latest IECEX approval for hazardous area and explosion proof scales. “The Signum Ex combines the high precision and accuracy of a laboratory

balance with the rugged design and longevity of an industrial scale, in a painted or stainless steel finish,” explained Neil Rogers, customer service, National Weighing & Instruments. “The Signum Ex is built to withstand massive overloads – up to 300kg – and

to be resilient to large side shocks and lateral vibration. An internal calibration function ensures its accuracy for a long period.” Contact: N  ational Weighing & Instruments tel 1300 669 162

Modular portable weighbridge National Weighing & Instruments is distributing Italian company Bilanciai’s SPT-28 transportable weighbridge.


he surface mounted version of the patented SPT-28 can be used for weighing road vehicles of up to 80 tons. The system is equipped with hinges for half-panel rotation to allow transport of the weighbridge fully assembled, complete with all of its parts, including load cells. “This solution allows fast installation and easy moving of the weighbridge to another site,” explained Neil Rogers, customer service, National Weighing & Instruments. “Being only 40cm high, this model is the ideal solution for surface mounted installations where ramp space is restricted.” The low profile, modular, fully welded sections comprise longitudinal beams running in the direction of the vehicle traffic, with the beams positioned to allow the truck wheels to always be supported by a beam. The durbar steel deck plate is 9.5mm overall and is fully welded

to the 20mm end profiles, providing a robust one piece structure. “The SPT 28’s strength and resistance to deflection means that weighbridge longevity is extended in comparison to some weighbridge designs with smaller gauge beams by virtue of the fact that there is less stress and failure due to steel fatigue,” said Rogers. The removable load cell cover plates are located at each end of the weighbridge and are secured by recessed corrosion resistant stainless steel bolts and washers. “This means that the bolts can easily be removed at any time and are not worn by truck tyres and the bolt heads do not damage truck tyres; this allows easy access for routine maintenance and cleaning underneath the weighbridge,” concluded Rogers. Contact: National Weighing & Instruments tel 1300 669 162

SPT-28 transportable weighbridge opening.

Construction of SPT-28.

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Doppelmayr’s RopeCon conveyor for Berber Cement in Sudan Doppelmayr constructed a c.3.5km RopeCon rope conveyor in Sudan. It is designed to move 700tphr of limestone for Berber Cement, acting as a feeder to the cement plant. The system has been operating since 2011 as the following case study describes.


oppelmayr Transport Technology designed the RopeCon system for Berber Cement to overcome a range of obstacles: crossing the mighty Nile River; minimising disturbance to fertile farming land; and removing the noise and dust impacts of a truck fleet on the local community. The RopeCon solution was considered when all conventional options to transport material from one side of the Nile to the other proved too difficult. A direct, straight link between the mining area and the processing plant seemed impossible to establish utilising traditional methods. To meet the daily demand of 9,000t of limestone for Berber Cement’s plant, a modern crushing plant was installed 8km away from the processing plant, on the western side of the Nile River. The latter presents a massive obstacle: the Nile, also the world’s longest river, is up to 850m wide in this area. Transport of limestone from west to east could only be done by constructing a

The RopeCon system requires just a few tower structures, meaning there was no division of the valuable farmland along the shores of the river.

bridge across the river, by using small barges or by using a ropeway-type system that crossed the river between two towers. To overcome these difficulties and to find the most economic and reliable solution, a study was commissioned to investigate whether RopeCon could be a suitable alternative. At the time of the plant study, there was no existing bridge in the area, nor were there any plans for constructing a new bridge. Berber Cement’s loading station is located on the western shore of the river, immediately behind the crusher. The material arrives on trucks. The crushed stone is loaded onto RopeCon via a feed conveyor and a chute. RopeCon spans the Nile with a single large rope span between two tower structures positioned on either side of the river. It is not necessary to have a support structure in the river. The total length of the Berber Cement RopeCon is 3,465m

from the loading station to the discharge station. Its transport capacity is 700tph. Due to river navigation, the minimum clearance between the system and the high water level of the Nile must always be 21m. The tallest tower is almost 80m high. Apart from the crossing of the river, other aspects of the transport were also taken into consideration, one of them being the space requirements of ground mounted systems. In Sudan, the shores of the Nile form one narrow corridor of fertile land which is used for farming. A road would cut right through this valuable strip of land. Because RopeCon systems are elevated off the ground, it was able to span this corridor with just a few tower structures and required no division of the valuable farmland along the shores of the river. On the eastern shores of the river, several settlements border the farmland. A transport solution that relies on trucks would expose residents to a considerable amount of noise and dust. With RopeCon, such truck runs can be avoided, and along with them noise and dust pollution. The Berber Cement RopeCon system’s low rolling resistance helps keep operating costs low, whereas the maintenance of an entire fleet of trucks and a

Berber Cement’s RopeCon conveyor specifications Horizontal length: 3,465m Vertical rise: 14m Conveying capacity: 700tph Transported material: Limestone Maximum lump size: 100 Motor rating, cont: 185kW Number of tower structures: 5 Berber Cement’s RopeCon feeds the plant with limestone at 700tphr, delivering 9,000t per day.


Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


Bulk Materials Handling Specialists

Skilled Materials Handling

Virtually all moving parts of RopeCon are mounted on the belt.

road would have resulted in considerable expenses. Virtually all moving parts of RopeCon are mounted on the belt, which means that they keep travelling through the stations where they can be easily maintained. No complicated maintenance lines or platforms are required. Any inspections of the line can be performed with the inspection vehicle. Once the customer had decided in favour of RopeCon, Doppelmayr immediately began planning and production. Right from the start, all calculations considered the situation on site, in particular the local climate with its great variation in temperature. Throughout its work, the assembly team also met with great challenges, among them the heat and several sandstorms. A massive crawler crane was needed for the assembly of the tower structures. At first, several smaller sub-sections of the towers were assembled, which were then fitted together to form the final tower structure. The first auxiliary rope used to pull other, stronger auxiliary ropes and finally also the track ropes, was taken across the wide river in a boat and had to be tensioned immediately to avoid hindering river navigation.

RopeCon System description Long detours may make the transport of raw materials from the mining area to the processing plant considerably more complicated and expensive. In many cases, however, local factors such as mountainous terrain, heavily populated areas or wide rivers interfere with a smooth material flow. RopeCon systems combine traditional ropeway technology with the features of conventional belt conveyors. The continuous conveyor is elevated off the ground, thus reducing space requirements on the ground to a minimum. The RopeCon conveyor can traverse obstacles such as deep valleys, mountainous terrain, rivers, roads or other infrastructure, allowing for a straight route between the loading and the discharge point while avoiding unnecessary detours.

Belt and wheel sets RopeCon consists of a flat belt with corrugated side walls. The belt may be fabric-reinforced or a steel cord belt, depending on the application. The corrugated side walls are cold-bonded or vulcanized onto the belt. The individual belt sections are joined by way of vulcanization to form one continuous belt, just as on conventional belt conveyors. The belt is fixed to steel axles arranged at regular intervals which support the belt. Polyamide running wheels are fitted to either end of the axles. These wheel sets run on track ropes

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RopeCon spans the Nile with a single large rope span between two tower structures positioned on either side of the river.

and provide positive belt guidance while preventing the belt from skewing. The combination of polyamide wheels on steel track ropes minimises rolling resistance and therefore energy requirements.

Support structure The galvanised, fully locked steel track ropes on which the wheel sets run are of the type used for suspension bridges or ropeways. RopeCon uses three pairs of ropes: The bottommost rope pair supports the bottom belt while the rope pair in the middle supports the top belt. The upper-most rope pair gives additional stability to the structure and serves as the travelling rope for the inspection vehicle by means of which each point along the line can be accessed. Track rope frames are fitted to the ropes at regular intervals to maintain the ropes in their relevant position and to distribute the loads. The ropes have fixed anchoring at both ends and are guided over tower structures, similar to passenger ropeways. Depending on the terrain and on the individual requirements of each project, different types of RopeCon tower structures are used.

Drive The belt performs the haulage function, as on conventional belt conveyors. The belt is driven and turned back by a drive drum in the head or tail station. After the material has been discharged, a turning device turns the belt by 180° to bring the soiled side of the belt upwards once more and to prevent residual material from falling off the bottom belt. The belt is turned once more before it runs onto the drum again in the loading station. The drive system is similar to that of a conventional belt conveyor and consists of a gearbox and an electric motor. RopeCon features two independent mechanical braking systems. All braking actions are regulated to ensure constant deceleration and a controlled stop of RopeCon under all circumstances. Doppelmayr Transport Technology is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa group headquartered in Wolfurt, Austria. Doppelmayrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Australian distributor is FeCon Solutions of Balcatta in Perth. Contact: M  ark Edwards, email:

Australian Bulk Handling Awards Thursday 7th November, Doltone House, Sydney

Nominations close 4th October. For more information see: 92

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013


Advertisers Index Advertiser Page

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A&D Australasia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

Beumer Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Kinder & Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Absafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Brolton Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Kockums Bulk Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 67

Acromet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Bulk Handling Australia Group . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Mercer Group Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Aerobelt Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Camfil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

National Weighing & Instruments . . . . . . . . . 88

AF Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Control Technology Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

RCR Tomlinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

AFCOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Cortex Engineering Resources . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Reliable Conveyor Belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Ahrens Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Dos Santos International . . . . . . . (IFC) 2, 48, 49

Rotainer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Allied Grain Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

DRC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

SEW - EURODRIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 (OFC)

Altra Industrial Motion Australia . . . . . . . . . . . 47

DSH Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Skilled Materials Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

AMKCO Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Flexicon Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . 9, (OBC) 96

Southern Engineering Services . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Archimedes Conveyors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Flow Force Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Storsack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Aspec Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

GEA Nu-Con . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

TECO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Australasia Scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Integrated Bulk Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Tenova TAKRAF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Australian Society for Bulk Solids Handling . . . 24

JC Steele & Sons Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Transmin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Belle Banne Conveyor Products . . . . . . . . . . 79

Jacmor Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 63

TUNRA Bulk Solids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

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Concentrate in containe rs at Port Ade Solving belt laide tracking issu es at NCIG Case study of Zibulo over land conveyor Detailed BUL KEX review  Dust control feat ure  Inte lligent dust management Carrington at Coal Terminal  Law son Lug aids handling of bin liners 

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Volume 16 No 7

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November /December 2011


A Revolution

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Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013



Ribbon blender and rotary batch mixer for bulk powders To meet soaring demand for its tablets, capsules and bulk powder products, US contract manufacturer Arizona Nutritional Supplements replaced double-vee-cone blenders and a 3.5m³ capacity ribbon blender with a 14.2m³ capacity ribbon blender and a 8.5m³ capacity rotary batch mixer, both from Munson Machinery.

Munson 8.5m³ capacity rotary batch mixer achieves batch uniformity in 3 - 5 minutes, cleans quickly, and saves energy.


he mixer and blender now turn out Arizona Nutritional Supplements’ (ANS) bulk powder products while the vee-cones and original ribbon blender process powders for tablets and capsules. ANS’ plant located on Chilton Drive in Chandler, Arizona focuses on protein, whey, meal replacement, and other powders packed in plastic jars, plastic stand-up-pouches and stick packs. Another ANS plant on Beck Avenue produces nutritional supplements in the form of tablets and capsules, which are packaged in bottles and blister packs. “Due to high growth in nutritional supplements, our powder business has increased by over 500% in the last few years,” said Jeff Neal, ANS plant manager and director of operations at the Chilton Facility. “That’s indicative of what’s happening worldwide, and why we needed more mixing and blending capacity.” Previously, ANS was blending powders for its tablets, capsules and bulk powder products at the Beck facility using five doublevee-cone blenders and a 3.5 cu m ribbon blender. Because this equipment could not meet recent increases in demand, the company relocated the bulk-products portion of its powder processing to the Chilton plant where it installed a ribbon blender and a rotary batch mixer, both from Munson Machinery. The move also enabled the company to dedicate the original vee-cones and ribbon blender at the Beck facility to the processing of powders for tablet and capsule production.

Bulk ingredients are fed into the mixer’s intake chute through a hopper at mezzanine level as the mixing drum rotates, shortening cycle times.

Capitalising on the differences between stationary and rotary mixers ANS fills custom orders for over 200 customers worldwide and performs numerous product changeovers daily. It was therefore critical for the new mixing and blending equipment to achieve uniform blends comprised of materials having diverse particle sizes and flow characteristics and to do so across a wide range of batch sizes. Equally important was preventing cross contamination and minimising downtime between production runs. 94

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013

Mixing flights are continuously welded to the stainless steel drum’s interior, which is polished to a mirror finish for rapid, thorough sanitising.

To satisfy these and other requirements, ANS installed two types of bulk solids blenders: a 14.2m³ ribbon blender, and a 8.5m³ rotary batch mixer. All product contact surfaces of both machines are stainless steel with large weld radii ground and


Powders are manually added to the 14.2m³ capacity ribbon blender in which ANS mixes whey, soy, protein and greens requiring high shear.

polished to mirror finish. “They’re designed for easy, fast and effective washdowns,” Neal explained. Two machine types were specified because each yields significantly different advantages. The ribbon blender, which consists of a stationary, U-shaped trough and a ribbon-shaped agitator blade that is forced through the material, is “ideally suited to products requiring high-shear such as whey, soy, protein, and greens. High shear also creates friction which causes sugarand fructose-based powders, such as drink mixes, to heat and form clumps. The rotary mixer, on the other hand, can handle both,” Neal said. The mixing vessel of the ribbon blender is larger than that of the rotary batch mixer’s, but its overall output of approximately 22.5t per day is about the same, due to longer mixing and cleaning cycles. In terms of cleanability, the ribbon blender has a shaft penetrating both sidewalls of the mixing chamber through seals which contact material and require cleaning. In addition, at the end of each production run, a “heel” of material remaining at the bottom of the trough must be manually removed before sanitising the machine. However, Neal said “thanks to tight tolerances between ribbon blades and blender trough, product heel is minimal. “One thing I like about the ribbon blender is that it’s less expensive than the rotary mixer, and gives us good return on the batch sizes we run.” The rotary batch mixer cleans faster, operates more quickly, and uses dramatically less energy, according to Neal: 30kW to rotate the drum, versus 74.5kW to drive the blades of the ribbon blender. “Where a ribbon blender may take 20 minutes to achieve batch uniformity, the rotary unit takes only three to five minutes, which is a huge difference,” Neal pointed out. The shorter cycles are the combined effect of four machine characteristics: 1) rapid gravity feeding of ingredients through a hopper into the front of the

machine, 2) gentle but rapid four-way mixing action inside the unit – tumble, turn, cut and fold, 3) the ability of the machine to continuously mix during loading and discharge, and 4) fast and complete discharge after mixing – as little as 20 seconds per 2,000kg batch. As for changeovers, two internal spray jets facilitate cleaning as the drum rotates. Also aiding cleaning, the mixing flights are continuously welded to the drum wall and the interior is surfaced to a mirror finish. Further, each batch discharges completely, meaning no product heel remains, allowing the unit to be immediately washed and sanitised with the required fluids. “In my view, rotary is the way of the future, and why we’re trying to transition more of our customers in that direction. But some still insist on using ribbon blenders for their products, so we offer both,” Neal said.

Powdered raw materials pass quality control lab tests prior to mixing with other ingredients.

Taking a pharmaceutical approach to quality control ANS’s two facilities, which together span 18,580m², have an inventory of some 3,000 raw materials, each of which arrives in 22 - 26kg plastic bags or plasticlined boxes. They pass through the Beck facility first, where the quality control lab tests for potency and purity. Powders are then measured and weighed according to the customer’s recipe, and sent to Chilton for processing and final packaging. The lab also tests samples of finished product before shipping. After discharging from the Munson units, finished powder is fed by a 203mm diameter auger into 600kg bulk bags and transported to the filling area. There, the bags are lifted, and the finished product is gravity fed into other hoppers that supply the various packaging lines, which include one stick line, three pouch lines, and three jar lines, one of which is dedicated to small runs. To help prevent cross contamination and allergen risk between products, the mixing/blending and packaging

The mixing drum rotates continuously during discharge, preventing segregation of the blended batch.

departments are separate from one another, as are the machines they contain. Each individual room maintains a negative air pressure. “We have adopted the same kind of mind set as the pharmaceutical industry,” Neal said. Finished sizes range to 20gm for stick packs, 60 to 100gm for stand-up pouches, and 100gm to 2.2kg for jars. Neal said he has been very pleased with the performance of the rotary batch mixer and ribbon blender since they were installed. He is also pleased that more people are opting for things like healthy protein, whey, soy, vegetable and other shakes for breakfast instead of pancakes or bacon and eggs. “It’s good for them, and for us.” Contact: Munson’s  Australian distributor: iBulk –

Australian Bulk Handling Review: July/August 2013




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ABHR Australian Bulk Handling Review Jul/Aug 2013