Innovative solution fulfils eco-design requirements, improves reliability, saves energy costs and reduces overall maintenance costs for mining and cement operators.
With this thought in mind ABB recently announced that its innovative gearless conveyor drive is now available for use on a wider range of conveyor systems. Already proven on larger motors, the newest drive is designed for medium power range motors (1 to 3MW per motor) to make this technology economically feasible for a broader range of conveyor systems, including the use on mobile equipment in mining operations.
The new solution can be applied for both greenfield and brownfield systems, and significantly decreases the cost threshold for gearless conveyor technology. Fewer parts and new motor technology increase reliability and efficiency, with a permanent magnet motor specifically designed for mining.
The gearless system eliminates the gearbox from the drive, which reduces the number of main wear parts, so less maintenance is needed. The expected lifespan for the drive train increases by more than 10 years to 25 years, compared with traditional geared systems.
Other advantages include a considerable reduction in the drive system’s footprint so it can be installed in smaller spaces, less weight, and a reduction in the instrumentation required to operate the system. It’s also more energy efficient, requiring less power, and operates more quietly, thus reducing noise emissions.
In 2017, the pilot project of this solution was installed in collaboration with Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG (LEAG) in an open-pit lignite mine Jänschwalde, located close to Cottbus, Germany. It performed better in regard to dynamic accuracy and overall efficiency than the existing traditional solution.
The operational data demonstrated that a gearless solution is more reliable (with a 50% lower failure rate) and requires less maintenance. It is meeting eco design and energy performance requirements according to international standards to support mine site’s environmental approvals or certification. The new drive also consumes 5% less energy than the other installed drive.
“These results were verified from measurements and analytics taken during operations,” says Peter Scholze, Head of Service Open Pit Mines, LEAG. “The project enforces our interest in a future-oriented and innovative technical approach.”
The operations and maintenance team also found the new system easy to learn, understand, and use, without any major difference in operation or handling when compared with the existing systems/ technology.