Tag Archives: Andrea Prevedello

BEUMER Group develops hybrid conveyor technology for ports

BEUMER Group has responded to the changing demands of dry bulk customers with two new products that leverage its existing expertise in pipe and troughed belt conveying technology.

Speaking at a recent virtual media event, Andrea Prevedello, CEO of BEUMER Group Austria, announced the new additions under the U-Shape conveyor family.

Leveraging the advantages of pipe conveyors and troughed overland belt conveyors, the U-Shape conveyor enables an environmentally friendly and efficient operation in port terminals, BEUMER Group said. The design allows the implementation of more narrow curve radii than a troughed belt conveyor with higher mass flows than a pipe conveyor, all with dust-free transport, the company says.

The company explained the hybridisation of the two: “The troughed belt conveyors allow high mass flows even in case of heavy and robust materials. Their open design makes them suitable for coarse materials and very large volumes.

“The pipe conveyors, on the contrary, present other specific advantages. The idlers form the belt to a closed tube protecting the material transported against external influences and the environment from emissions such as material loss, dust or odours. Partition plates with hexagonal cuts and idlers in a staggered arrangement keep the tube shape closed. The pipe conveyors allow the implementation of more narrow curve radii and larger angles of inclination than open troughed belt conveyors.”

With requirements changing – the quantities of bulk materials growing, the routing becoming increasingly complex and environmental considerations rising – BEUMER Group found the need to develop the U-Shape conveyor.

“In this solution, a special idler configuration brings the belt in a u-shape,” it said. “Thus, the bulk material reaches the discharge station. An idler configuration similar to that for the troughed belt conveyor is used for opening the belt.”

Bringing together the advantages of open troughed belt conveyors and closed pipe conveyors, conveyed material is protected against external influences such as wind, rain or snow; and the environment against possible material loss and dust.

Within the family are two products that offer higher curve flexibility, higher capacity, bigger lump size allowance, no spillage and reduced power consumption, according to Prevedello.

The T-U-Shape conveyor is a U-shape conveyor designed like a normal troughed belt conveyor, but comes with a 30% reduction in width, allowing the ability to take on tighter curves, Prevedello says. This looks to have many applications in tunnelling applications.

The P-U-Shape conveyor, as the name would infer, is derived from the pipe conveyor, but offers 70% higher capacity with the same width and 50% higher lump size allowance, Prevedello says, explaining that it could allow BEUMER Group to consider the use of pipe conveyors in space-constrained environments.

New installations will obviously be targeted as part of this new product launch, but Prevedello says there are both greenfield and brownfield application possibilities with these new conveyors.

The T-U-Shape conveyor had more ‘new’ installation opportunities in tunnelling applications, he said, with the tight turning radii benefits allowing for small installations in tunnels.

With many ports shifting focus away from coal and handling different materials, the P-U Shape conveyor’s increased capacity and higher lump size flexibility could be of benefit in brownfield applications, he added.

“The ports are facing the challenges of dealing with new materials, so adapting what they have is important here,” he said.

BEUMER Group helps coal miners with environmental impact, optimal stockpiling

The combination of BEUMER Group’s sophisticated modelling techniques and use of drones has enabled Knight Hawk Coal’s Prairie Eagle mine, in the Illinois Basin of USA, to reduce its long-term environmental impact.

Drone technology is being used more frequently during project planning, implementation and documentation to optimise the design phase, according to BEUMER. The recorded aerial photos are reconciled with regards to their perspective and evaluated photogrammetrically.

The software calculates a point cloud in order to generate 3D models from the 2D views, ie digital terrain models, allowing stockpile designs to be generated for both greenfield and brownfield developments.

Opened in 2005 as a surface mine, Prairie Eagle was expanded over time to include two underground mines, Knight Hawk’s main coal preparation plant and multiple truck load-out facilities. Now one of the most efficient underground mining plants in the US, according to BEUMER, it produces around 5 Mt/y of coal, of which more than 80% is processed and delivered to the Prairie Eagle preparation plant.

Management was looking for a more sustainable operating solution that reduced its reliance on truck transportation, according to Andrea Prevedello, System Technology Global Sales Director, BEUMER Group, Germany.

“We provided an overland conveyor that transports the coal from the mine to the main processing plant,” he said. “Our conveyor helps the company to considerably reduce its ecological footprint. With this technology, Knight Hawk can significantly reduce its long-term environmental impact compared to using truck transportation.”

BEUMER’s solution at the mine features a single-flight curved conveying system that eliminates the cost of tower steel, and greatly reduces the quantity of components and necessary spare parts, according to the company. It reduces the dust, noise, maintenance and operating costs associated with the transfer points, BEUMER said.

BEUMER not only supplied the conveying solution to Knight Hawk. As a system supplier, the company also supported the mining group in building a stockpile for hard coal.

“The requirements for storing coal are obviously very different from other materials,” Prevedello said. Some of the requirements change if the stockpile is covered and if explosion-proof equipment is needed. Hard coal is very susceptible to spontaneous combustion, which is why the height of the stockpile must, in certain cases, be limited.

Depending on the customer, stockpile dimensions and design can vary. Two layouts are generally available: circular and longitudinal.

“Their dimensioning and design depend on the purpose of the stockpile,” Prevedello said. Space availability and possible future expansions are also critical factors.

The application must also be considered: does, like Knight Hawk, the customer want to store the bulk material temporarily, then continuously feed it for further processing? “Then longitudinal stockpiles are your best choice,” Prevedello said. These structures can also be extended, if necessary, according to BEUMER. The irregular flow of bulk material arrives at the stockpile and can then be continuously introduced to the process.

Circular stockpiles are frequently used for other bulk materials, eg limestone and clay.

Once the layout of the stockpile has been decided on, the next task is to stack the bulk material efficiently. BEUMER also provided these components, such as the stacker, to Prairie Creek.

“Depending on its mobility, the systems can be categorised into three groups,” Prevedello said. The stacker can be stationary, travel on rails, or be circular with endless movement.

If the machine is circular with endless movement, it is positioned on a column in the centre of the stockpile. Over a conveyor bridge installed above the stockpile, the material is transported directly into the axis of rotation of the stacker, and from there distributed centrally. Depending on the stacking method, the boom conveyor can be fixed, or it can be lifted and tilted.

The stacking method of choice depends on whether the bulk material is only temporarily stored, or if it also needs to be blended.

“For simple stockpiling without blending, we provided the simple ‘cone shell method’,” Prevedello said. The stacker only moves up and down, ie does not slew, and the stacker design can be simplified. This method works for longitudinal as well as circular stockpiles, according to BEUMER.

For blending the bulk material, the ‘Chevron method’ can be used. The boom of the stacker starts in its lowest position; the first row is deposited in the centre of the stockpile and the next rows are layered on it. In longitudinal stockpiles, the stacker usually moves in a tilting and slewing motion; in circular stockpiles, the stacker moves in a circulating and luffing motion.

Prevedello said: “The perfect system solution is always an optimal relation between stacker and reclaimer.” Reclaimers such as side reclaimers or bucketwheel reclaimers remove the material as necessary. The best option for the customer depends, again, on the stockpiling task at the end.

Side reclaimers work for both types of stockpiles – longitudinal or circular – with the bulk material reclaimed from the front or the side. When reclaiming from the side, scraper chains move the material on a belt conveyor. Front reclaiming usually uses a rake that, in small side-to-side movements, pushes the material on a scraper chain to be transported further to the conveyor, BEUMER explained. The advantage is the bulk material is reclaimed from the entire cross-sectional area. Bucketwheel reclaimers are generally used when the bulk material, especially large quantities, needs to be blended.

Each operator has their own specific requirements when it comes to the stockpile and stockyard machines.

This is shown in a project BEUMER engineers are currently implementing for a customer in the energy industry. The order includes the delivery of several conveyors, including pipe conveyors, and a ship loader. The challenge: “On the ground where we will install our solution, there can be violent gusts of wind,” Prevedello said. “That’s why we pay special attention to the dimensioning of the steel structure.”

The system provider will be able to hand over a tailor-made system to the customer, with investment expenditure tailored precisely to them, according to BEUMER, which said the expected commissioning is scheduled for the September quarter of 2020.

BEUMER’s drone and 3D modelling combination speed up conveyor builds

BEUMER Group’s ability to combine high-resolution drone surveys with detailed 3D modelling is reducing the amount of time required to develop and install complex conveyor systems in the mining space, Andrea Prevedello, Global Sales Director CL Systems, told IM on the sidelines of the Bauma fair in Munich, Germany, on Tuesday.

BEUMER has been offering modelling solutions for many years, while it has been working with drones for about the past three years but combining the two for conveyor design is something new.

The first project to involve this combination is a 6.5 km conveyor installation at Knight Hawk Coal’s Prairie Eagle underground coal mine in Illinois, US.

The curved troughed belt conveyor carries coal from Knight Hawk’s new underground mine portal to its main coal preparation plant at Prairie Eagle. It allows Knight Hawk to seal a portion of its underground mine and bring coal to the surface near its current mining activities. Commissioning of the new conveying system was previously scheduled for this month.

BEUMER’s solution at the mine features a single-flight curved conveying system that eliminates the cost of tower steel, and greatly reduces the quantity of components and necessary spare parts, according to the company. It reduces the dust, noise, maintenance and operating costs associated with the transfer points, and offers 98% reliability compared with roughly 92% reliability of four conveyors operating in series, Beumer said.

In addition to this recent drone and modelling development, Prevedello said BEUMER is also now able to provide fully-erect shiploaders to customers. Instead of having to transport individual parts and erect on site, the company can now deliver a complete system that customers can slot in, he said.

For companies looking to replace an old shiploader with a new one, this is very important, Prevedello said, allowing companies to make a quick switch that minimises operational downtime.