Belt conveyors 'better than trucks'

BEUMER Group conveyors offer a more cost effective way to transport large quantities of bulk material from the quarry or mine to the factory or port

Belt conveyors 'better than trucks'
Belt conveyors "better than trucks"

July 30, 2013

Belt conveyors conveyors offer a more cost effective way to transport large quantities of bulk material from the quarry or mine to the factory or port.

That's according to the BEUMER Group, which develops customised bulk materials handling systems for manufacturers.

The Beckum, Germany-based intralogistics specialist argues its belt conveyor solutions are also better than trucks for transporting bulk materials quickly.

"Trucks have considerable disadvantages in this regard," says BEUMER Group Head of System Technology Dr Gerd Oberheuser.

"Road building is expensive, and the more raw materials have to be transported from the excavation point to the factory, the more journeys have to be made," Dr Oberheuser says.

Added to this are the operating costs and emissions caused by trucks – both with regard to fuel consumption and personnel costs as well as noise and dust.

"As a result of the direct route, the material is transported much faster than by truck," Oberheuser says.

"In addition, belt conveyors can be operated with significantly fewer personnel. Another aspect compared with trucks is the lower energy consumption, which at the same time reduces CO2 emissions.

"Depending on the project, belt conveying systems need up to 90 percent less primary energy than comparable truck transportation."

Dr Oberheuser also says belt conveyors can overcome long distances, steep gradients and tight curves, and can be individually matched to the particular task and topography.

Use is made of durable, tension-resistant conveyor belts. In doing so BEUMER uses various calculation programs to determine the optimum belt design.

These enable tensile forces to be analysed and also forces which occur due to acceleration and deceleration – always taking into account the intrinsic weight of the belt and the transported material.

They are also used to determine possible curve radii. BEUMER also provides advance feasibility studies.

The belt position is calculated in advance with the appropriate curve radius for the empty and loaded states.

"With their slender lines, belt conveyors overcome broken terrain and other obstacles such as rivers, roads, buildings or rail tracks," Oberheuser says.

"Horizontal and vertical curves in the routing can also be overlapped.

"Depending on the requirement, BEUMER offers open troughed belt conveyors for higher throughputs and larger mass flows as well as larger curve radii, and enclosed pipe conveyors for products which need to be protected against the effects of the environment."

At the port of Callao in Peru, BEUMER will be installing pipe conveyors with a length of around three kilometers for transporting copper, lead and zinc concentrates for completion in 2014.

"Depending on the landscape and environmental conditions, we can install overland conveyors with horizontal curves with lengths of up to 20 kilometers," Dr Oberheuser says.

Gradients of up to 15 degrees can be realized depending on the characteristics of the materials to be conveyed.

After planning, installation and commissioning, maintenance and service are no more laborious than with a straight conveyor.

On average, the annual maintenance costs are only around 2 percent of the investment sum.

In Canada, BEUMER is currently installing a conveyor with a length of 3.48 kilometers for a large mining concern.

"This will convey up to 6,000 tonnes of iron ore per hour." Oberheuser says.

"This large-area conveyor system must withstand extreme temperatures of down to -40 degrees and heavy snowfalls. BEUMER has designed all mechanical and structural elements for the extremely low temperatures.

"For example, the system is fitted with a feed conveyor and an unloading system with tripper car.

As main contractor, BEUMER is also equipping a new distribution center off the shore of Malaysia with 17 trough belt conveyors with a total length of twelve kilometers for a large iron ore exporter.

The conveyors will ensure swift transport of iron ore from super-size freighters to the mainland. BEUMER will deliver and install the conveyors, put them into operation and take full charge of engineering, all according to a strict timetable.

The BEUMER Group undertakes projects to the point of turnkey handover.

With affiliations around the globe for conveying, loading, palletising, sortation and distribution systems,
BEUMER also acts as the main contractor on behalf of its customers.

"A significant trend is that more and more clients want to commission their systems in a turnkey state," Dr Oberheuser says.

"Engineering, procurement and construction management (EPC or EPCM) are the buzzwords here," he says. "EPCM is an enhanced form of project management.

"This trend can be seen in many parts of the bulk materials industry, for example in cement and opencast mining," Oberheuser says.

Oberheuser says BEUMER Group aims to
help users work more cost effectively and in a more environmentally friendly manner.

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