A wide range of purpose-built adaptable drive solutions to best suit the specific needs of equipment operating on African mines, is claimed to be available at the shortest lead times on the African continent. “We supply innovative, high quality and premium efficiency drive products from our significantly larger local stockholding and expanded local assembly facility,” says Jonathan McKey, SEW-Eurodrive’s national sales and marketing manager. 

“Also, most of the accessories that are needed for these drive solutions, such as brakes, oil pumps and encoders, are also supplied by us, many of which are not add-on components from sub-suppliers.”

Mine conveyors or mill drives

Citing some key examples, Jonathan begins with SEW-Eurodrive’s flagship New Generation X.e Series industrial gearboxes (IGs). “X.e Series IGs offer robust, reliable, efficient and easy-to-maintain modular solutions that are ideal for the harsh environments on African mines,” he says. The stockholding of possible torque/speed combinations and fine-size graduations has been significantly increased to make the X.e Series easy to customise to precisely meet the needs of applications such as mine conveyors or mill drives.

Additional modular features and options, such as motor adapters, backstops, various sealing and shaft systems and many more, also add to their ease of use and reliability. “For mill drives, the use of the new X.e Industrial Gear range has become part of the SEW-Eurodrive global standard where drive reliability and flexibility with respect to speed and control are critical to ensure maximum uptime and optimum grinding efficiencies, particularly when coupled to one of our segmented girth gears.” 

Girth gears

The company’s large open segmented girth gears comprise precision-manufactured cast ductile individual segments that simplify handling, transportation and onsite assembly, as well as strength and hardness for longer lasting reliability. This allows complete drive systems to be easily shipped to site in standard containers, while also simplifying onsite assembly, which can be done far more quickly and with lighter lifting equipment. 

While girth gears are the core component of mill drives and rotary scrubbers, SEW-Eurodrive supplies total mill drive solutions and power packs, which typically include a large electric motor and industrial gears to turn the external pinion that drives the girth gear. “We will engineer and assemble the entire drive train to best suit the milling application in question, along with assisting with commissioning of the lubrication, cooling, braking and low speed maintenance gearboxes typically incorporated on modern mill drive solutions,” Jonathan explains.

Performance changes

“In support of the reliability of mine equipment, we can also install our DriveRadar predictive maintenance management solution whichautomatically records and analyses operational data from our industrial gear units and uses it to track equipment condition in real time and predict performance changes.

“DriveRadaris a fully-functional industrial solution that is designed as a comprehensive condition monitoring systems for critical drive train systems. The system can be retrofitted, making it ideal for improving the reliability of existing mining plant. DriveRadardevices can be connected to any software or control environment with Ethernet-based fieldbus systems via WiFi, cable or through existing network channels,” he notes.

Bulk materials handling systems

Describing the company’s offering for high torque mining applications such as bulk materials handling systems and apron feeder drives on conveying systems, Jonathan notes that SEW-Eurodrive’s planetary P-series series industrial gears  are coupled with primary gear units to offer compact and cost-effective solutions with high thermal ratings. “Due to simple installation and alignment, the combination of P-X series planetary units with proven X and X.e series industrial gear units can deliver high operational torque requirements and reliability, while maintenance costs and total costs of ownership can be significantly reduced, offering extraordinary economic advantages,” he remarks.

In addition, for many variable torque processing plant drive applications such as conveyors, pumps, extractor fans, bucket and chain elevators, hoists and lifting systems, travel drives and mixers, the company’s comprehensive range of gear motors and large industrial gear solutions are available in numerous sizes and ratios. 

R200-million investment

Leaning towards electronics, SEW-Eurodrive’s Movimot and MoviC solutions deliver gearmotors with integrated frequency inverters for applications that require an easily implementable variable speed and special automated functionality.

Concluding, Jonathan says that the company is currently delivering on a R200-million investment in the expanded South African facility, which will enable them to look after another 24 facilities in different African countries. “This new facility in Aeroton, Johannesburg, will massively reduce lead times for South and Southern African clients, for replacement units, spares availability and complete drive power packs.

“Whichever of our products the African continent needs, our intent is to localise product assembly and support – at large scale and volume – to ensure that our customers have the shortest possible lead times that the industry can offer and the highest quality after-sales support services,” Jonathan concludes.


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