Tag Archives: Siemens

Mining demand sees Flender set up shop in Western Australia

Flender, a global supplier of mechanical drives and a subsidiary of Siemens, has announced plans for an expansion into Western Australia.

Its new state-of-the-art facility in Tonkin Highway Industrial Estate, in Bayswater, will allow the company to grow in the region, helping it meet increasing customer demand especially in the wind energy and mining sectors, Flender said.

The investment will include a new purpose-built 3,500 sq.m facility set for completion in September. When complete, the new premises will be the only OEM facility on the West Coast with a 1.5 MW test bench capable of testing complete drive systems up to a voltage of 6.6 kV, it said.

Kareem Emara, CEO and Managing Director of Flender Australia, said relocating to Tonkin Highway Industrial Estate will allow Flender to centralise operations and get closer to customers in Western Australia.

“Flender has been renowned for high performance, innovation, quality and reliability of mechanical components for over 120 years,” he said. “We have been growing exponentially the last few years and now have the biggest installed base in mining and wind turbine gearboxes compared to any other OEM in Australia.”

He added: “Regardless of where we are, being close to our customers is the cornerstone of our business model. Western Australia has been an excellent market for us in the recent years. It’s only natural for us to reinvest in this key market and be where our customers are to offer them the combined brains trust of over 50 facilities worldwide through this new state-of-the-art centre.”

Flender says it has the largest installed base of industrial drives in Western Australia. Some installations have been in operation since the 1970s and are still in service today in mine and port locations across the Pilbara and other regions of Western Australia.

The facility will also be designed to cater for projected growth in ‘geared’ wind turbines over the next couple of decades, enabling Flender to combine sales, project delivery, engineering and training in one location, it said.

Emara concluded: “Whilst COVID-19 has presented challenges to Australian economy, we take a long-term view and are confident in our expansion plans to help set up the right support structure for the nation’s critical energy infrastructure and industry.

“We are supporting critical industries such as mining now and are preparing for future growth in other industries.”

This announcement follows the $5 million investment into Rockhampton service centre, in Queensland, in 2017.

Siemens and juwi push forward with microgrids for mining systems

Siemens and renewable energy developer juwi have joined forces to enter into a strategic technology partnership to focus on microgrids for the mining industry.

An agreement, signed this week, will see the two companies aim to roll-out and continually develop the advanced microgrid control system that enables the seamless integration of power from renewable energy to a mine’s off-grid power supply, they said.

The Siemens Sicam based microgrid control platform, a proven and tested technology Siemens says, is the basis for juwi´s Hybrid IQ microgrid controller. juwi, meanwhile, brings industry-specific domain knowhow and a track record of planning and executing renewable energy projects at mine sites.

Juwi says: “The solution adapts to changing orebodies, processing and power requirements whilst providing detailed reporting and analysis to operations teams and management. Together, the strategic partners create a unique, standardised solution for the mining market.”

This will simplify the use of renewable energy for mines and help provide a cost-effective and reliable power supply, especially for mine sites that operate off the grid, according to the companies.

Robert Klaffus (left), CEO Digital Grid at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, said: “Microgrids can bring high levels of reliability and improved energy quality to energy-intensive industries such as mining; and are an attractive alternative when autonomous power supply is needed.

“We are looking forward to the technology cooperation with juwi on microgrids and believe it will boost the commercial appeal of renewable energy to the mining industry.”

Stephan Hansen (right), a Board Member and COO of the juwi Group, added: “Renewable energy will not only future-proof mining operations, but reduce cash operating costs today. The centrepiece to this is the juwi Hybrid IQ system. It enables us to provide hybrid power that goes far beyond what has been industry practice until now.”

The co-operation between juwi and Siemens has already resulted in the successful delivery of the solar power plant at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Australia, the companies said. A renewable and low-carbon energy project at the mine is being developed by global energy group EDL. juwi is working with EDL to deliver 4 MW Single Axis Tracking PV installation together with cloud forecasting and an advanced microgrid control system to enable integration with the mine off-grid network at Agnew.

The partnership has also provided hybrid power to Australia’s largest and oldest marine research station on the Great Barrier Reef of Queensland. Heron Island now uses juwi Hybrid IQ to combine solar with a redox flow battery to replace diesel fuel.

“Both projects showcase the next generation of hybrid systems and enable mine sites to significantly lower their carbon footprint and their cash operating costs,” they said.

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.

The Electric Mine charges on to Sweden

Following the success of the inaugural Electric Mine event in Toronto, Canada, in April, International Mining Events has wasted no time in confirming the 2020 follow up; this time in Stockholm, Sweden.

Taking place at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel on March 19-20, 2020, The Electric Mine 2020 will be even bigger, featuring new case studies from miners implementing electrification projects and presentations from the key OEMs and service suppliers shaping these solutions.

A leading hub in Europe for mining equipment and innovation, Sweden was the obvious choice for the 2020 edition of the event. Miners including Boliden and LKAB have already made electric moves above and below ground, and the north of the country is set to host Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory, the Northvolt Ett lithium-ion battery cell facility.

Sweden and Finland also play host to Europe’s major mining OEMs such as Epiroc, Sandvik, Metso and Outotec (soon to possibly be Metso Outotec Corp), and the Nordic region has a rich mining innovation legacy.

Capacity crowd

The announcement of the 2020 Electric Mine edition comes hot on the heels of a hugely successful debut in Toronto.

With the Radisson Admiral, on Toronto Harbourfront, filled out to capacity, the circa-150 attendees were treated to more than 20 world-class papers from miners Vale, Goldcorp (now Newmont Goldcorp), Kirkland Lake Gold, Boliden and Nouveau Monde Graphite; OEMs Epiroc, Sandvik, Caterpillar, Volvo CE and BELAZ; and equipment and service specialists Siemens, ABB, GE Transportation (a Wabtec company). Presentations from Doug Morrison (CEMI), Marcus Thomson (Norcat), David Sanguinetti (Global Mining Guidelines Group), Erik Isokangas (Mining3) and Ali Madiseh (University of British Columbia), meanwhile, provided the R&D angle delegates were after.

The event was a truly global affair, attracting delegates and exhibitors from Africa, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, all eager to hear about developments across the sector.

Bigger and better

International Mining Events is upping the ante for 2020, increasing the event capacity to 200 delegates and making plans for a possible site visit to witness electric equipment in action.

Talks from several miners, as well as global international companies, will again underpin the 1.5-day conference program, which will also expand to cover the use of renewable/alternative energy within the field.

There will, again, be opportunities for sponsorship and exhibiting, with several companies already in discussions about booking the prime opportunities for the event.

If you would like to know more about The Electric Mine 2020, please feel free to contact Editorial Director, Paul Moore ([email protected]) or Editor, Dan Gleeson ([email protected]).

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in Stockholm!

Siemens setting the safety standard in mine winders

The most recent update to Siemens mine winder portfolio will see this infrastructure equipment benefit from not only the latest digitalisation tools, but also the highest safety standards, Roland Gebhard says.

This update, on the one hand, brings its Winder Technological Controller (WTC) fully in line with the latest digitalisation standards using the Simatic S7-1500 digitalisation platform. On the other hand, it ensures the solution adheres to safety integrity level (SIL) 3, Gebhard, the company’s Product Manager for mine winders, said in the company’s Minerals Focus publication.

Gebhard said Siemens is the first company worldwide to integrate this safety standard in a mine hoist. “The new controllers are compliant with most international safety standards, including the German TAS and the Chinese MA,” he said. “The safety system is used primarily for speed and position monitoring, depending on the operating mode and conveyance position in the shaft.”

Additional functions of the WTC include the continuous acquisition and collection of motor, converter, brake system and mine winder data. This accumulated data is downloaded to one of the Siemens Winder Competence Centers and analysed as the basis for recommended preventive maintenance.

Among the first installations to benefit from the new WTC is the Woodsmith polyhalite mine in the UK (pictured, credit: Sirius Minerals), owned by Sirius Minerals.

From 2021, the Woodsmith mine is expected to become the world’s largest polyhalite producer.

OLKO- Maschinentechnik GmbH, which is supplying two Blair Multi-Rope machines for the mine, has ordered the electrical equipment from Siemens.

One hoist will bring polyhalite from a depth of approximately 1,450 m below sea level to the surface at a speed of 18 m/s; the other, with a capacity of 35 t, is for service.

The scope of delivery comprises a medium-voltage synchronous motor with an output of 9.3 MW and a torque of 1,550 kNm. Both winders are fitted with a COBRA01 multi-channel brake system to provide soft braking.

Gebhard concluded: “Thanks to Siemens, mine hoists like the one at the Woodsmith mine are now more digital and safer than ever.”

Newcrest looks for real-time productivity improvements with Interlate partnership

Interlate has partnered up with Newcrest Mining to provide expert decision support and near real-time productivity improvement services to the mining company’s operations in Australia and Papua New Guinea, the Australia-based service provider said.

The company’s productivity improvement service combines mining expertise, data science and Internet of Things-based technology. Interlate operates from its Operations Intelligence Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

Craig Jetson, Executive General Manager Lihir (PNG) and Cadia (Australia), said: “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Interlate to deliver their near real-time monitoring solution for our operations. Remote support that leverages advanced data analytics is a key part of our operational improvement strategy — Interlate’s SentinelTM service is the solution we were looking for, enabling those improvements to be sustained in the future.”

Jetson explained that the ability to rapidly identify significant value-adding initiatives was one of the reasons it signed an agreement with Interlate. “Given their experience in remote monitoring, their solution provides us a ‘safe on-ramp’ into this space, without closing the door on developing our own capabilities in this area internally in the future.”

David Meldrum, CEO of Interlate, said: “Working together, Newcrest and Interlate have already discovered significant productivity improvement opportunities in Newcrest’s operations, which could contribute millions of dollars in profit each year. This value will steadily increase as Newcrest realises further gains from the real-time productivity improvement services.”

In October, Interlate and Siemens signed a memorandum of understanding to help deliver productivity gains for the mining industry, by better leveraging data across the entire mining value chain.

Interlate says its Sentinel solutions plug into a SCADA system and pulls time-critical data into a Data Assimilation Node (DAN) sitting onsite. This DAN streams the data back to Interlate and its data centre.

In the data centre, Interlate conditions the information, display it so it makes sense and has a productivity supervisor monitor it. This supervisor has audio visual collaboration tools, which are connected to the supervisor on site so that both can communicate in real time about what they are seeing.

The Electric Mine logo

The Electric Mine conference shifts gear

With just under four months to go, The Electric Mine conference is charging up to full capacity.

IM has been able to assemble a world-class speaker line-up covering the entire mine electrification process – from R&D and power infrastructure, to battery charging and electrified equipment.

The conference, to take place on April 4-5, 2019, in Toronto, Canada, will host the great and the good in this fast-evolving sector and hear case studies from real mine trials or applications.

This includes a presentation from Kirkland Lake Gold, which is currently running one of the largest in-production underground battery-electric fleets in the industry at its Macassa gold mine in Canada.

Just last month, IM heard that some 33 units were active underground at the deep and high-grade mine in Ontario and Andrew Schinkel, Senior Electrical Engineer of the Macassa Mine Complex, will most likely be able to add to that number, as well as comment on the fleet’s productivity, come conference time.

The soon-to-be-in-production Borden gold project, also in Ontario, will be under the spotlight at the event, with the involved OEMs and mining company collaborating on stage as they have during mine development.

Maarten van Koppen (pictured, left), Senior Project Engineer at Goldcorp Porcupine Mines, Jeff Anderson, Senior Mechanical Designer, MacLean Engineering, and a Sandvik Mining co-speaker (to be confirmed), will present: ‘The Borden Gold Project – lessons learned from the ‘mine of the future’ and the crucial role of partnerships in building an all-electric underground mine’.

The major mining representation does not end there.

Samantha Espley, Director of the Technology & Innovation Centre for Mining and Mineral Processing, Vale Base Metals Operations, will chart the mining company’s roadmap to underground electrification in Sudbury during her talk; expect the OEMs in the room to ask questions about the future fleet for the Creighton deep zone!

Caterpillar’s Product Manager for Underground Technology Solutions, Jay Armburger, is also set to take to the stage at the Radisson Admiral. The focus of his talk will be on heat generation, comparing battery and diesel LHDs underground. A few passing references to the proof of concept R1300G LHD trials it ran not all that long ago at an underground mine in Sudbury, Canada (pictured, right), are likely.

We’ll also hear about developments above ground.

A joint presentation from Karl Trudeau (Nouveau Monde Graphite), Michel Serres (ABB Canada) and David Lyon (MEDATECH) will shed some light on what it will take to create an all-electric open-pit mine able to produce 100,000 t of graphite concentrate at NMG’s Matawinie project in Quebec, Canada.

Those three speakers could be in the front row for Per-Erik Lindström’s talk on The Electric Site project in Sweden.

Lindström, Vice President Global Key Account Management for Volvo Construction Equipment, has seen first hand how battery-electric equipment can move the needle in terms of cost and emissions at the Skanska Vikan Cross quarry, just outside of Gothenburg, and there are more than a few miners interested in the prototype machines (pictured, left) the OEM has manufactured for this purpose.

These presentations will be complemented by a talk from Heather Ednie, Managing Director, Global Mining Guidelines Group, on the second edition of the group’s Battery Electric Vehicle guideline; an opening keynote from Ali G. Madiseh, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Mine Energy Systems, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, titled: ‘The Electric Mine: a new norm in mine energy systems’; Erik Isokangas, Program Director, Mining3, discussing the value proposition for autonomous electric haulage; and Doug Morrison, President and CEO, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), looking at electrification to maximise productive capacity.

Meanwhile, Justin Bain, Chief Executive Officer, Energetique (Energy/Mobility), will fly in from Australia to pronounce the death of diesel Down Under – his firm has recently been involved in the conversion of diesel utility vehicles to battery-electric drive.

Along similar lines, Paul Miller, of Miller Technology, will talk about what goes into developing an innovative fully-electric light utility automobile, designed for continuous underground operation.

IM then has two behemoths in the mine power sector, Siemens and Schneider Electric, looking at the all-important infrastructure that goes into electrification.

Dr Bappa Banerjee, General Manager, Mining Equipment, GE Transportation, will look at the electric future for load and haul in his keynote, Mathieu Bouffard, Project Manager, Adria Manufacture, will cover battery charging and power management of battery-electric vehicles, and Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT, will showcase some of the new technologies that have come out of the organisation’s Underground Centre in Sudbury.

This speaker line-up is only set to improve as we move into the New Year, with IM in advanced discussions with more OEMs and miners looking to present.

The first global event on mine electrification continues to charge ahead…

If you’d like to hear more about The Electric Mine conference – including presenting and sponsorship opportunities – please feel free to get in contact with Editorial Director Paul Moore ([email protected]) or Editor Dan Gleeson ([email protected]).

To view the full speaker line-up, venue details and to take advantage of the soon-to-expire Early Bird attendance rate, please visit the event homepage here.

FastCharge car research bodes well for battery-electric mining vehicles

The ‘FastCharge’ research project has demonstrated a three-minute charge on a 450 kW ultra-fast prototype charging station can keep an electric-drive vehicle going for some 100 km.

The demonstration project, run by an industry consortium under the leadership of the BMW Group and including Allego, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility, Porsche and Siemens, showed a full charge (10-80% State of Charge (SOC)) could be achieved with the same prototype in 15 minutes.

This prototype was inaugurated in Jettingen-Scheppach, Bavaria, Germany, recently, and can now be used free of charge, BMW Group said. It is suitable for “electric models of all brands with the Type 2 version of the internationally widespread Combined Charging System (CCS), as is commonly used in Europe”, the auto manufacturer said.

This demonstration was clearly for the car market, yet the results of these trials are expected to impact charging times and systems for the current crop of battery-electric vehicles being developed in the mining industry.

The FastCharge project is receiving total funding of €7.8 million ($8.9 million) from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

“Fast and convenient charging will enhance the appeal of electromobility,” BMW says. “The increase in charging capacity up to 450 kW – between three and nine times the capacity available at DC fast-charging stations to date – enables a substantial reduction in charging times.”

The project is now investigating the technical requirements that need to be met in order to be able to tap into these extremely high charging capacities, the company said.

The essence of this system is a high-performance charging infrastructure; the Siemens energy supply system (pictured) being used in the project enables researchers to test the limits of the fast-charging capacity demonstrated by vehicle batteries. It can already handle higher voltages of up to 920 V – the level anticipated in future electrically powered vehicles – and integrates both the high-power electronics for the charging connections as well as the communication interface to the electric vehicles.

“This charge controller ensures the output is automatically adapted so that different electric cars can be charged using a single infrastructure,” the company said.

Thanks to high-current, high-voltage charging, the system is suitable for several applications, including fleet charging solutions and, as in the test case, charging along highways. In order to link the system to the public power grid in Jettingen-Scheppach as part of the project, a charging container was set up with two charging connections: one provides an unprecedented charging capacity of a maximum of 450 kW and the second delivers up to 175 kW. Both charging stations are now available for use free of charge for all vehicles which are CCS-compatible.

The Allego charging station prototypes now presented use the European Type 2 version of the well-established CCS charging connectors. This standard has already proved successful in numerous electrically-powered vehicles and is widely used internationally, BMW Group said.

In order to meet the demands of fast charging at high capacity, cooled high power charging cables made by Phoenix Contact are used, which are fully CCS-compatible. The cooling fluid is an environmentally-friendly mixture of water and glycol, allowing the cooling circuit to be half open. This makes maintenance comparatively straightforward compared with hermetically-sealed systems that use oil, eg in terms of refilling the cooling fluid.

One challenge was ensuring the cooling hoses in the charging line were not squeezed when connected to the charging station, as would happen with a conventional cable gland. This problem was solved by Phoenix Contact with a specially developed wall duct with defined interfaces for power transmission, communication and cooling as well as integrated tension relief.

“Depending on the model, the new ultra-fast charging station can be used for vehicles fitted with both 400 V and 800 V battery systems. Its charging capacity automatically adapts to the maximum permitted charging capacity on the vehicle side,” BMW Group said.

“The time saved as a result of the increased charging capacities is demonstrated in the example of the BMW i3 research vehicle. A single 10-80% SOC charging operation now only takes 15 minutes for the high-voltage battery, which has a net capacity of 57 kWh. This can be achieved on the vehicle side by means of a specially developed high-voltage battery combined with an intelligent charging strategy. The latter includes precise preconditioning of the storage temperature at the start of charging, temperature management during the charging operation itself and a perfectly coordinated charging capacity profile over time,” the company added.

The charging operation is carried out via a multi-voltage network on the vehicle side using a high-voltage DC/DC (HV-DC/DC) converter, transforming the required 800 V input voltage of the charging station to the lower 400 V system voltage of the BMW i3 research vehicle. The HV-DC/DC system also gives the vehicle reverse compatibility, allowing it to be charged at both old and future charging stations.

BMW Group said a key factor in ensuring reliable operation is secure communication between the vehicle and the charging station. For this reason, standardisation issues relating to interoperability are also being investigated and submitted to standardisation bodies.

The Porsche research vehicle, with a net battery capacity of around 90 kWh, achieved a charging capacity of more than 400 kW, thereby allowing charging times of less than three minutes for the first 100 km of range.

IM will be hosting The Electric Mine conference in Toronto, Canada, on April 4-5, 2019, where developments in this fast-evolving sector will be discussed. For more information on the event, click here.