Tag Archives: Kinder Australia

Kinder Australia takes a liking to AirScrape non-contact conveyor skirting solution

Australia-based conveyor component developer and supplier, Kinder Australia Pty Ltd, has added the AirScrape® non-contact conveyor skirting solution to its range.

From July 2021, the AirScrape has been included in the product range of Kinder Australia following an agreement between Kinder Australia and ScrapeTec Trading.

The AirScrape, as a side seal, and the TailScrape®, as a back seal of the transfer point, complement Kinder’s range of conveyor components and seals, according to ScrapeTec Trading, the company behind AirScrape.

AirScrape founder and mining engineer, Wilfried Dünnwald, came up with this contact-free side seal for conveyor transfer points after trying to reduce dust build-up during mining, a particular problem in underground applications.

After an initial positive response in Germany, the innovation has gained international recognition with miners in Africa and America now using the device. The agreement with Kinder is looking to expand the product’s reach to the Asia Pacific region.

“In contrast to many side sealing solutions, the AirScrape works completely contact-free at transfers,” ScrapeTec says.

“This eliminates frictional losses due to belt abrasion and extreme belt wear, because the AirScrape is mounted at a distance of 1-2 mm from the belt. In addition, there are the specially arranged blades in this innovative conveyor seal. They create the so-called ‘Venturi effect’. This is the air suction that is created by the movement of the belt and suction of air in from outside. This prevents dust or fine material from escaping through the gap between the belt and the seal.

“In addition, thanks to their arrangement, the lamellas convey coarse material that is pushing outwards back to the centre of the belt. These effects have also piqued Kinder’s interest in Australia.”

Kinder Australia Pty Ltd has been operating in the field of conveyor technology for the mining and bulk materials handling industries since 1985.

Kinder Australia keeps conveyors on track with K-Commander

Kinder Australia believes its K-Commander® series can alleviate many of the issues that come with conveyor belt misalignment, keeping operations on track while minimising downtime.

As the company explains, a poorly tracked conveyor belt can lead to a number of productivity and safety issues.

Damage to the conveyor belt itself as well as the conveyor structure is a major problem. As the belt misaligns, the edge of the conveyor belt is at risk of becoming torn. The conveyor structural damage is also highly likely, which is a significant safety risk. Replacement of both is extremely costly and will require interruption in production and added labour, Kinder says.

Another issue that can come as a result of belt misalignment is material spillage. As well as the cost of product wastage, excess material can increase the risk of personnel slipping, tripping, falling over and becoming entangled. Material spillage can also damage idlers and cause conveyor rollers to seize.

The ideal scenario whereby a conveyor belt tracks ‘true’ in the centre, involves idlers and pulleys being aligned, levelled and square to centre line prior to loading the belt, Kinder explains. “It should be pivoting and rotating freely when the belt experiences any mis-tracking behaviour.” Other options include fixed tracking solutions without a rotating structure.

In order to install any one of the K-Commander series, the belt needs to be monitored to identify problem areas that cannot be solved by making adjustments.

A poorly tracked conveyor belt can lead to a number of productivity and safety issues, according to Kinder Australia

The K-Commander Exceed Series is an all-direction belt tracking solution featuring flexible 360° rotational capability, with its separate axial and rotational function allowing for the double axis pivot bush, the company says.

The K-Commander Exceed Series P has been designed with two key stages:

  • The first focuses on the inner shell which contains the shaft and an engineered pivoting bush allowing the axial movement of the tracker. The inner shell is protected by a flexible EPDM rubber boot; and
  • The second stage focuses on the roller bearings, which allows the rotational movement of the tracker. The roller bearings connect the inner shell and the outer shell, and are protected by a labyrinth seal.

“The installation of the K-Commander Control Series is only for the return side, being the most critical surface of the belt in order to maintain belt alignment,” Kinder says. “The unique engineered action of the central ball and socket link is encased in a rubber covered steel tube. This protects the internal mechanics and ensures that the belt runs true.”

The K-Commander Direct Series is a pivoting base style, available in both trough and return applications that automatically provide belt centring. The outboard servo rollers cause the idler frame to pivot as they contact the belt edge and this swivel action causes the belt to realign automatically, the company explains.

To further aid belt tracking, Kinder Australia offer rubber lagged rollers (trough and return) as an option. The results are better tracking performance (especially in heavy-duty applications), increased roller durability against the constant scuffing nature that roller shells in trackers experience and increased belt training response, the company says.

“Made of highly wear-resistant polyurethane, the K-Commander Tracking Discs fit both flat and vee return rollers as well as selected troughing rollers,” Kinder says. “Ideally, they are located in pairs prior to the tail pulley to help align the conveyor belt, so eliminating spillage from mis-tracked belts. They can also be installed after the feed area on troughing sets to help keep the belt aligned. They are easy to install with a split on one side to slip over the roller – no need to remove the roller.”

Finally, the K-Commander Guide Series INV is an all-purpose conveyor belt alignment idler suited to short centred or reversing conveyor applications. The two inverted vee rollers put pressure onto the belt, promoting centralised belt training. The universal frame adjusts to all types of mounting structures and is installed just after the head pulley, or prior to the tail pulley, Kinder explains. They are suitable for reversing belts and are available for all belt widths, according to the company.

Kinder engineers a case for high performance plant, equipment in bulk handling ops

As mining companies continue to search for cost efficiencies at their operations against a backdrop of subdued metal prices and uncertainty related to the onset of COVID-19, bulk materials handling equipment provider, Kinder Australia, is warning them to focus on sourcing engineered and high-performance components that have been optimised for the application at hand.

Today’s global economy means when sourcing bulk handling equipment, operators are spoilt for choice with the vast selection of conveyor component suppliers and access to highly engineered and innovative solutions to advance their end to end handling processes, Kinder Australia says.

“For most operators, price alone is often the motivator for purchase,” it said. “However, buyer beware, lower price products are more often ‘copycat’ and ‘knockoffs’ offering on-par standards and functionality benefits to the original product.

“The reality of inferior, lower price copycats is the untold costly, irreversible damage these products can have to the conveyor structure, conveyor belts itself and the unscheduled maintenance and productivity downtime to replace these inferior products…only to be discovered shortly after the installation hurdle.”

When considering cost cutting on a corporate level, many plant and equipment suppliers are also challenged by the dilemmas of large corporate purchasing department heads who are ignorant of the engineering differences between genuine and counterfeit products, and quite often make their purchasing decisions based solely on price, often at the expense of quality, Kinder Australia says.

Trusted quality

In the case of lower cost polyurethane skirting and anti-wear lining products, on the surface, they look and feel the same as the genuine engineered polyurethane skirting.

“However, conduct a quick internet search and you’ll soon realise the countless suppliers using sub-standard/cheaper manufacturing practices to design, manufacture and market far inferior polyurethane products and conveyor components and pass them off as high-quality engineered equivalents,” the company said.

The use of non-genuine engineered conveyor components can lead to frequent production stoppages, belt wear damage, other unpleasant material spillage and safety hazards, according to the company.

Neil Kinder, Kinder Australia CEO, says: “The mark of quality in our industry is ISO 9001 certification. These international standards provide assurance and commitment to our diverse customer base that Kinder provides highly customer-focused bulk materials handling products and solutions that are safe, reliable and of high-quality standards.”

He added: “Kinder Australia partners with an independent laboratory to facilitate and conduct ASTM D 4060 quality testing and certification of competitive lower cost conveyor components”.

The “Taber Test” carried out by independent testing laboratory Excel Plas, showed Kinder Australia’s K-Superskirt® Engineered Polyurethane abrades less by comparison with the competitor’s polyurethane and is therefore four times more durable than the competitor’s polyurethane tested, according to the company.

This polyurethane has been successfully and effectively installed in a multitude of applications, including the harshest mining environments, delivering significant cost and labour savings to operators globally, Kinder Australia said.

Conveyor planning & engineering design

Conveyor engineering design focuses on providing solutions to customers issues around three key areas: productivity, safety and cost reduction, Kinder Australia says.

Materials handling operators are constantly challenged by increasing production outputs and cost reduction targets. Ensuring the recommended solution is fit for purpose and practical from a cost, installation and maintenance perspective are also key engineering considerations.

Cameron Portelli, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Kinder Australia, says: “The issue of poor belt life is often encountered during on-site evaluation; it’s one of the top conveyor problems seen by our mechanical and field applications engineers.”

Conveyor Belt Support Systems are designed to protect this expensive and important asset, according to the company.

At the critical conveyor transfer points, having the full force of the impact absorbed rather than resisted means the impact load zone belt support system below the belt takes the hit rather than the conveyor belt itself. This effectively improves and extends the wear life of all conveyor components such as the belt, idlers and structure life and makes for a quieter transfer in serious applications.

Kinder’s K-Dynamic Impact Idler/Cradle Systems (pictured) target conveyor transfers as “burden is being accelerated due to fall and changes in direction from one system to the next which prevents steady state flow and requires additional thought into supporting the belt to improve the life of the belt and transfer components”, says Portelli.

“It would be wise to start from the problem at hand and work backwards to isolate the root cause. This may involve chute design improvements before any transfer chute sealing options should be looked at.”

Another regular occurrence encountered on-site are grooves on the top cover created by product getting under hard and soft skirts, particularly at the transfer point.

This problem can often be solved through the installation of a combination of conveyor skirting and sealing & conveyor belt support system, which can also effectively eliminate dust and material spillage and create work environments that are productive, clean and safe, Kinder Australia said.

This is where SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Finite Element Analysis, an upgrade to the basic software licence, can accurately predict and design solutions that mimic real-world applications and scenarios.

“With this powerful information, industry lead mechanical engineers have the necessary tools to analyse results, plan and expertly optimise future designs, geared at maximising productivity improvements and efficiency gains,” the company said.

When planning, designing, and recommending solutions, safety is an integral part in delivering operational productivity and efficiency, with engineers ethically and legally responsible for the solutions they recommend and implement.

“In some cases, if all reasonable risks are not considered, the risk of legal action against the company and the individual could have massive financial ramifications, along with the ongoing damage to the brand and stance in the industry,” Kinder Australia said.

Portelli says all of Kinder Australia’s new and innovative designs are stringently risk assessed for hazards at the critical installation, operational and maintenance stages.

“Through the effective use of SOLIDWORKS, Simulation Finite Element Analysis tools can potentially reduce any ongoing risks by analysing the specific areas where a design can be better improved,” he said.

Portelli elaborated on this: “This software can also assist clients to see the overall bigger picture, as well as take into consideration future installation and maintenance issues.

“Although SOLIDWORKS doesn’t produce all scenarios, it can be a beneficial tool for starting a conversation with clients. This mostly centres around how the solution will function after installation and its serviceability.”

In recent years, materials handling conveyor components supplier Kinder Australia has made significant investments in engineering design through the expansion of its mechanical engineering team to three staff. The engineering team’s capabilities extend to high proficiency in Helix Conveyor Design and AutoCAD, it said.

These tools can help make decisions on the drive power requirements; belt tensions and a suitably specified belt; specifications for suitably sizes idler rolls; take-up dimensions and gravity take up weight requirements; specifications for a suitable gearbox; and the design of pulleys to meet standards AS1403 (shafts) and limit stresses in the shells.

Neil Kinder concluded: “For the past 30 years, the driver for the business has been the resolution and advancement of our customers end-to-end handling processes, harnessing our engineering expertise and keeping abreast of innovative and emerging industry technologies.

“Developing a connection with our diverse customer base who have differing application needs and expectations through on-site visits, our highly technical mechanical engineering and field applications team become better at solving our customers problem and measuring up the solution.”