A panel discussion at the Joint Forum meeting held recently discussed the ground-breaking work on conveyor belt energy efficiency being done globally and the opportunity this has for the local bulk handling industry. End users are insisting on IRR belts to save on operational costs. Suppliers may claim energy efficient belts, but there is no way of comparing the different products on a level playing field. Then there is the question of when it is necessary to replace an existing energy efficient belt. What is the design criteria?
Hannover and TUNRA are currently the only bodies conducting recognised testing of IRR belting. There is no facility available in South Africa, and it is costly to send samples to Germany or Australia.
A decision is to be made as to which standard for testing IRR should be adopted by South Africa. AS 1334.13 or DIN 22123. It is also proposed to build a local testing rig. Case studies are to be compiled using South African conveyor installations where possible and the data analysed using the scale proposed by Dr Robin Steven, Continental, USA.
We will be reviewing the three presentations from the Joint Forum meeting over the next few months in this BHT Online newsletter, so watch this space for more on this exciting topic.