Tag Archives: Mark Baller

Weba Chute Systems increases design accuracy with 3D scanning

Weba Chute Systems & Solutions says it has leveraged the latest technology to ensure high-quality results for its global customer base.

Using 3D scanning technology during on-site assessments has enhanced the levels of accuracy which has, in turn, minimised rework costs in design and manufacturing, and significantly reduced downtime during installation, according to Managing Director, Mark Baller.

“Implementing 3D scanning technology to our capabilities two years ago enabled our on-site technical teams to obtain accurate measurements from a safe distance, and allows us to inspect and survey large infrastructure in detail,” Baller said. “The technology allows us to consider all elements in existing infrastructure and this plays an important role when replacing transfer points or chutes as we are able to create an accurate preliminary design and costing in the early feasibility stages of a project.”

Design engineers can use the data from modern laser scanners to superimpose this information on their design intent, according to the South Africa-based manufacturer of custom transfer points and chute systems. “This allows them to pick up any interference, existing defects, redundant elements, structural deformation and undocumented historical alterations made to the site’s infrastructure that may lead to problems during the design and execution phases,” Weba Chute Systems said.

From this data, taken on-site, Weba Chute Systems teams can generate 3D models specific to on-site conditions enabling accurate reverse-engineering to be done. Baller said it is not just the access to accurate measurements provided by the 3D scanning technology that makes this possible, but also the level of in-depth expertise and experience the company has garnered over its more than 35 years in operation.

“Many companies offer 3D scanning, but do not have the in-house ability that Weba Chute Systems does to process and effectively use the data in a mining engineering environment,” Baller said.

“As a market leader, that is one of our strengths; and comes from our continuous investment in upgrading our systems and work flow processes to ensure that we stay abreast of best practice.”

He concluded: “Leveraging this technology allows our engineers to get to the highest probability factor, so the project can be seamlessly executed and time overruns are not incurred during the constrained shutdown periods which are normal on these projects.”

Weba Chute Systems transfers Canada distribution rights to FWS Bulk Material Handling

Weba Chute Systems’ global expansion is continuing with the appointment of FWS Bulk Material Handling as the official distributor of its technology in Canada.

The signing of this latest licence agreement comes only a few months after the chute system specialist signed up Somex as a licensee in Russia.

Mark Baller, Managing Director of Weba Chute Systems, says the synergy between the two companies bodes well for a successful long-term partnership.

“FWS Bulk Material Handling has an equitable track record with its teams spread across western Canada, and the extensive design-build experience within the company as well the knowledge of project execution across a broad range of industries played a major role in our decision to enter into a formal agreement,” Baller says.

Weba has previously supplied its custom engineered chute systems to the North American market where these have been used in the power generation and mining sectors. Baller says, while the company has a sound understanding of the needs of this region, it is also looking forward to working closely with FWS Bulk Material Handling in servicing other sectors including agriculture, bulk storage and export terminals, food processing and railways.

He says: “Our transfer points are definitely not off-the-shelf products and, while anyone can do the basics when it come to the technical side of designing a transfer chute, it is not an exact science and there is simply no single solution for materials transfer.”

Weba Chute Systems has more than 4,500 transfer point systems successfully operating in countries across the world. The company has a comprehensively equipped manufacturing facility at its South African based head office, and this is underpinned by its team of skilled and competent engineers, it says.

Weba Chute Systems looks to Russia with Somex agreement

South Africa-based OEM Weba Chute Systems has further extended its footprint into the northern hemisphere with the recent appointment of Somex as a licensee in Russia.

Managing Director of Weba Chute Systems, Mark Baller said the selection of Somex as its partner in Russia is in line with the company’s long-term goal of a sustainable international business model.

“We have always been very selective about the markets which we enter,” Baller said. “We obviously seek those markets that offer the greatest potential, partnering with companies that have the best possible fit to ensure a sustainable future there.”

This approach has proven successful, with Weba already having extensive representation across the globe with licensees and agents in the US, Canada, South America, Turkey and Australia, as well as throughout Africa. Significantly, Weba Chute Systems has an established reputation with more than 4,500 of its custom-engineered chute systems installed all over the world.

“When we identified Russia as a prospective market for us, Somex was a partner that fulfilled our demanding requirements,” Baller said. “Somex operates 20 offices across the Russian territory and has an extensive range of products and services which have synergy with our custom engineered chute and transfer systems.”

Baller added that Somex also has a solid engineering capability with manufacturing facilities that produce quality products, as well as an extensive sales network across a spectrum of industries where bulk materials need to be transferred.

“Russia is important because it is one of the largest producers of raw materials globally, with a relatively untapped market where Weba Chute Systems would be of immediate benefit to many operations,” he said. “Many of the plants we visited in Russia are state-of-the-art facilities with high-tech equipment and best practice efficiencies. However, on the materials handling side, there is a huge need for improvement and we can bring the skills and technical knowledge to optimise these operations.”

Weather conditions in the northern hemisphere place vastly different demands on materials handling operations, but Baller said this is a learning curve the company has already undergone.

“In Russia, there are extremes in weather conditions from hot, humid summers to freezing winters which means equipment has to accommodate the way this affects the material being handled,” he said. “If moist material freezes in a barge, for instance, the particles being unloaded could become larger chunks of 20 to 30 times the specified lump size.”

He notes a range of other factors must also be considered during the design phase, including the lack of accessibility to many mines during certain times of the year. This requires that maintenance and servicing must be carefully planned in advance of product delivery, to ensure optimal uptime and continuous, cost-effective operation.

“We are excited by the signing of this new licensee agreement with Somex and look forward to adding our expertise in chute systems to assist mines and other materials handling plants in Russia to lower their overall cost of ownership,” Baller concluded.