Tag Archives: gearboxes

Bauer drives Tippler upgrade project at Saldanha iron ore terminal

Bauer Geared Motors, a business division of Hudaco Trading Ltd, has been awarded a contract to deliver a total drive solution that includes five large sized 750 kW industrial gearboxes and two 185 kW units for the Tippler upgrade project at the Saldanha Iron Ore export terminal in South Africa.

Weighing up to 15 t each, the 750 kW gearboxes are the largest machines ever supplied by Bauer.

Bauer says it has been a market leader in electric drives since 1984, initially specialising in geared motors. The Hudaco power transmission division later diversified, expanding its portfolio to include industrial gearboxes and transmission solutions.

It joined the Hudaco group in 2002 and, in the same year, became a supplier to Saldanha providing slew and bucketwheel drives. Bauer upgraded these drives after 10 years of operation and, in 2020, supplied a third slew drive with planetary gearboxes, and an overland conveyor.

When Derek Gilmore joined Bauer as Managing Director – Drives and Motors, in June 2019, the Tippler upgrade project for Saldanha Iron Ore port fell under his auspices. He explained that the company responsible for overseeing the project favoured a total solutions supply chain through a single sourced provider.

“The fact that Hudaco is a listed supplier to the Saldanha Port operation paved the way for Bauer, as part of the Hudaco group, to put in a bid on the drive requirements for this project,” he said.

Bauer proved compliance on design and all critical criteria as specified by the main consulting house.

The full scope of supply from Bauer includes industrial gearboxes, medium-voltage electric motors, drive base plates, high- and low-speed couplings, brakes, actuators, parts and spares as well as condition monitoring.

“We will also be responsible for torque arm and complete drive assembly,” Gilmore added.

“Our industrial gearboxes are manufactured by India-based OEM, Elecon Engineering Company Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of industrial gear units in Asia,” he said. These gearboxes boast a service factor of more than two and 100,000 hours design life, according to the company.

The 750 kW gearboxes, two parallel drive systems and three parallel and tandem drives, will be installed on a sacrificial conveyor and a 283 m long overland conveyor, respectively. The 185 kW units will drive an adjustable shuttle conveyor.

Compliant with necessary and important thermal criteria, the 750 kW gearboxes are equipped with a cooling and forced lubrication system with dual oil pumps, one serving as a backup unit. Gilmore explains that, in addition to machine longevity, this system is also a safety feature, keeping the drive temperature to below a safe-touch of 70°C.

Bauer will also be responsible for providing the condition monitoring sensors to facilitate remote monitoring of the gearboxes, including motor speed and motor windings temperatures, brake wear and temperatures, oil levels and flow pressures, as well as bearing wear and vibrations.

“Early detection allows for a planned shutdown to do the necessary maintenance, thereby avoiding critical failure and costly downtime,” Gilmore noted.

He said Bauer is also supplying large 710 mm diameter hydraulic disk brakes for the sacrificial and shuttle conveyors in collaboration with supply partner, Magnet Service Binder.

Dana helps drive MMD Atlas Transporter at Mae Moh coal mine

Dana has played a role in MMD’s latest 500 t Atlas Transporter, delivered to the Mae Moh coal mine in Lampang, Thailand, further expanding its Brevini Motion Systems division’s reach in the mobile market.

Mining Machinery Developments (MMD) approached Dana SAC UK to supply critical parts for its Atlas Transporter, the latest technology from MMD to enable heavy semi-mobile structures to be relocated in a safe and controlled manner.

Transporters using Brevini Motion Systems components have now been delivered to Mae Moh, a crucial asset feeding the neighbouring Mae Moh Power Station.

MMD semi-mobile sizing stations are fed by a small fleet of trucks that transport material short distances from the mine face to the sizer unit which, in turn, reduces material in preparation for efficient conveyor haulage out of the mine.

As the mine face progresses, the sizer units are relocated occasionally to minimise the truck haulage distance. For this project in Thailand, which now totals eight sizer stations and two Atlas Transporters, the transporters are key to the relocation of the sizers and thus to the efficient and safe development of the mine, according to Dana.

Each Atlas Transporter incorporates Dana Brevini Motion Systems’ gearbox technology. The track drives are driven by two right angled planetary gearboxes from the Brevini Motions Systems S Series and are installed complete with Hydac airblast cooler. The planetary option specified for MMD offers substantial space and weight advantages and the S Series is Dana’s suite of gearbox solutions for applications requiring high torque with minimum dimensions, designed with fixed industrial equipment and self-propelled machines in mind. These were key factors in the selection of Dana products, as the transporter’s design is optimised to fit within compact dimensions and low height, to provide the ideal foundation for lifting large, heavy structures, according to Dana.

The Atlas Transporter’s driven slew canopy enables payloads to be lifted and rotated at any height for optimum travel, a unique capability facilitated by the specification of two Dana Brevini Motion Systems inline slew gearboxes, the company said.

“As with the track drives, weight and size issues were factors in the specification of Brevini Motion Systems’ slew drive gearboxes,” the company said. “Manufactured by Dana, these are an essential component in withstanding very high torque values while maintaining reduced dimensions, reduced weight and high efficiency.”

Dana have, to date, supplied units for three Atlas Transporters and Charles Lambert, Area Sales Manager for Dana SAC UK, said: “We were delighted to work with MMD on this innovative product. We’ve been working with them since 2017 on this ambitious project, which brings together the expertise of companies from around the world. We at Dana SAC UK look forward to continuing our relationship with MMD.”

Radicon’s Bloxwich on gearbox maintenance in mines

As IM goes to press on its first monthly issue of 2020, which includes its annual feature on mine maintenance, Giles Bloxwich, Service Manager at Radicon, has warned miners that they need to prepare for gearbox failures with an effective maintenance program.

He issues this warning knowing full well that these components can take anywhere from 3-14 months to build and some operators have lost as much as £1 million/d ($1.32 million/d) as a result of gearbox failure and subsequent downtime.

As with other gearboxes, industrial gearboxes such as those used in mining, see bearings tire, oil seals break down and oil thin as they get older. All of these issues reduce the amount of protection for the gearbox, with wearing and damage accelerating at a startling pace when you get unprotected metal on metal, according to Radicon.

“Mining is one of the harshest of environments and, over time, gearboxes get a hell of a lot of battering,” Bloxwitch (pictured) said. “Underground conveyors, in particular, operate in the most extreme of conditions. An oil change every 12 months or more frequently is definitely needed.”

When Radicon was working with former coal miner, UK Coal, oil samples would be tested every three months, with the company looking at the viscosity of the oil and contamination levels. If the oil was too thin, or contamination was beginning to reach worrying levels, an oil change would be undertaken.

As well as analysing oil regularly, Radicon also recommends undertaking vibration analysis along with scheduled bearing and seal checks. New bearings and seals should, if they are good quality, last for around five years but this can be a lot less in a mine, according to the company.

“Bearing life is the limiting factor of gearbox life,” Bloxwitch said. “If a bearing collapses, gears will drop out of mesh causing shaft breakage and gear tooth damage. This is expensive to rectify and can lead to weeks of downtime.”

Bearings will also be affected by shock loads and jams, according to Bloxwitch, with Radicon recommending replacing bearings before they fail.

“You cannot see inside a bearing, so it’s impossible to know for sure that a bearing is damaged,” Bloxwitch said. “We always tell our customers to be cautious and, if they do have a jam or a shock load, to consider the bearings damaged and to monitor their gearbox closely.”

One method of monitoring is recording and analysing vibration, as this will identify issues with gear mesh or bearing wear. Radicon believes that vibration testing should be carried out every three months, if not more often.

As well as vibrations and the level of metal content in the oil, noise and heat are two other indicators that a service is needed, Radicon said. “If a gearbox becomes louder and hotter during operation, then it could well be time to undertake routine maintenance as the viscosity of the oil could have reduced to such a level that bearing wear is occurring,” the company explained.

Some bearings now feature a temperature probe and an accelerometer, which allows vibration and heat levels to be recorded. “It’s not commonplace but is worthwhile,” Bloxwitch said. “Adding this functionality to the gearbox means operators will be alerted as soon as something changes and that can save them thousands of pounds, if not tens or hundreds of thousands!”

As well as regular oil changes, vibration analysis and following a maintenance program that replaces consumables regularly, including bearings, breathers and seals, keeping the gearbox as clean as possible is another way of prolonging the unit’s life.

Kumera shifts gears with CuW Keller acquisition

Kumera Corporation has added to its base metals process equipment, metal foundry and mechanical power transmission offering with the acquisition of industrial and marine gearbox manufacturer CuW Keller.

The Germany-based company produces, among other products, conveyor and bucket wheel drives, slewing drives, bucket excavator and crawler drives, and rotary drives for the open-pit mining sector.

As part of the acquisition, the German subsidiary of Kumera, Kumera Getriebe GmbH, will continue the operations of CuW Keller. This will see around 160 employees transferred over.

Kumera, a family-owned organisation established in 1947, consists of three core businesses: process equipment for base metals, metal foundry, and mechanical power transmissions for marine and industrial applications. It employs 650 people at manufacturing locations in Finland, Austria, Norway, China and, now, Germany.

Kumera’s power transmissions come with a wide range of standard and tailormade gearboxes for industrial application in the pulp and paper and metallurgical industries, as well as marine transmissions and propulsion systems for mid-size seagoing vessels. Kumera, therefore, saw the Keller portfolio complementing its existing product line.

Helmut Hochegger, Managing Director of Kumera and the nominee MD of Kumera Getriebe, said: “This is definitely a great opportunity for both companies to strengthen their position on the world market…The Keller high quality products and technical superiority is widely recognised by the loyal clientele and sets a firm foundation for future efforts.”

ExxonMobil launches new synthetic lubricant for mining extremes

ExxonMobil says its new Mobil SHC™ Elite synthetic lubricant can help protect mining equipment operating at extreme hot and cold temperatures, while increasing energy efficiency and extending oil drain intervals.

The breakthrough synthetic lubricant offers class-leading performance benefits to mine operators, according to the company, explaining that extensive testing has shown Mobil SHC Elite can deliver double the oil life of traditional synthetic products and up to 12 times the oil life of mineral products.

The company added: “It can also help protect equipment operating at temperatures up to 150°C in intermittent service, meaning it is ideally suited for use in a range of mining equipment, such as in the gears and bearings of excavators, haul trucks, augers and conveyors.”

The synthetic lubricant is formulated to deliver wear protection and oxidation resistance without any of the compatibility challenges often associated with glycol-based products used in high temperature applications, it said.

In addition, Mobil SHC Elite has also demonstrated an “enhanced torque ratio”, enabling it to deliver a 3.6% energy efficiency improvement when compared with conventional mineral oils, ExxonMobil says.

Emre Noyan, Industrial Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil, said: “Demanding loads and tough conditions mean that every component of mining equipment must be optimised and protected from extreme in-service temperatures.

“Mobil SHC Elite’s extended oil life, wide temperature range performance and energy efficiency improvement can help operators increase uptime and cut costs – giving them a competitive edge.”

Mobil SHC Elite has already received approval for its performance from gearbox manufacturers including Siemens, whose FLENDER gear units depend on effective lubrication to ensure reliability in intense operating environments, the company said.

Kwatani makes manufacturing commitment on comminution equipment

Vibrating screen and feeder original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Kwatani, is promoting the need for high-quality engineering and the strictest tolerances for unbalanced motors and gearboxes to ensure components can run over the long term.

The harsh operating conditions that screens face in mining operations makes having these safeguards in place all the more important, it says.

According to Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, Chief Operating Officer at Kwatani, local design and manufacture to the highest standard is a “non-negotiable”, with the OEM designing its own range of motors, as well as locally manufacturing the gearboxes for its vibrating screens.

“We design our own motors with local conditions in mind, giving the customer a high performance and long lasting product,” Mayhew-Ridgers says.

This includes optimal sealing arrangements for keeping electrical components dry and clean, Kwatani says. Power cables, for instance, must always enter from the underside to prevent water ingress, while the design must consider various orientations of the motor, depending on the angle of installation. Dusty conditions on mines also present a challenge that need to be addressed.

“Dust ingress can compromise the sealing configuration of the lid,” he says. “Our design is therefore like a top-hat, so the O-ring is not on a flat surface but rather on a cylindrical, vertical surface. There is even a double-sealing arrangement for the lid, which includes a gasket.”

Kwatani’s gearboxes are locally manufactured, with only the high quality bearings imported direct from leading global producers, it says. Gearboxes comprise two shafts, each with its own set of unbalanced weights linked to each other by a gear to achieve synchronised motion. Gears and shafts, meanwhile, are locally fabricated by selected suppliers, while the housing is cast by a local foundry and machined to exacting specifications.

“We have spent a great deal of effort on the sealing configuration, to ensure no oil leaks,” he says.

Mayhew-Ridgers says Kwatani is probably the only OEM that services its own gearboxes. This, he says, ensures adherence to strict tolerances, so that units have sustained performance and longevity.

He also highlights the massive centripetal forces exerted on the screening machine by the unbalanced motor and gearbox, which makes it vital to secure them well to the screen.

“To achieve this, we specify our own fabricated bolts, nuts and washers,” he says. “If sub-standard fasteners are used, components can come loose and cause extensive damage.”

Unbalanced motors usually have to be installed at an angle. Taking account of the weight of these components, there are rigging points all around the housing to manipulate the angle of installation. The feet of are normally larger in Kwatani installations than those of competitors, for a better contact surface, the company says.

“If there is the slightest imperfection in the flat surface of the join, this can cause costly damage to the drive and the screen,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “This is why OEMs like Kwatani have such detailed installation procedures on issues like torqueing of bolts. Installers and maintenance teams need to stick closely to these specifications.”