Conveyors, Transfers, Chutes

Altra Motion brings backstop solutions to Australian mining

When a major mine in regional NSW began installing its new conveyors, the operators needed a load-sharing, releasable backstop solution.

When fully operational, the massive facility produces around 17 million tonnes of coal each year. The mine’s long drift conveyor transports this coal from the longwall system underground to the surface. As part of its design, the conveyor also features an 80-metre lift.

The backstops needed to be installed along this conveyor, with additional backstops required for the mine’s surface ramp conveyor.

Rex Sinclair, National Sales Manager at Altra Motion Australia, says the company approached the Conveyor OEM to introduce its new Stieber Clutch RDBR-E torque-limiting/load-sharing releasable backstop technology.

“Unlike other backstop designs that offer limited reverse rotation after being engaged, the new Stieber design allows for a controlled release under load while providing virtually unlimited backward rotation for maintenance and clearing work,” Sinclair says.

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“The RDBR-E features an internal torque limiter which is specially designed for use on the low-speed shaft of the driving unit in multi-drive systems, such as on large, inclined conveyors, where two or more backstops share the reverse load.

“The Stieber backstops were chosen to meet the tough conveyor application requirements due to their superior release functionality.”

Altra Motion Australia provided twin RDBR 300 models with 70-kilonewton metre torque per unit for the drift conveyor and a pair of RDBR 360 models with 120-kilonewton metre torque per unit for the ramp conveyor.

Stieber roller-type RDBR backstops with a bearing supported multi-disc brake for torque limiting and load sharing functionality. An optional release function allows for a controlled release under load while providing unlimited backward rotation for maintenance and jam clearing.

Altra Motion Australia, the local subsidiary of global company Altra Industrial Motion, has been active in the bulk handling space for more than 85 years. The company has a significant portfolio of high-profile, quality brands that provide mechanical, hydraulic, electromechanical, and pneumatic power transmission and motion control components and systems.

Altra Motion Australia offers the Svendborg Brakes Soft Braking Option (SOBO) IQ system to enhance backstop safety further. Svendborg’s unique SOBO provides a range of safety and durability benefits in heavy industrial applications. Deceleration and the stopping of heavy conveyor loads are critical, and controlled braking is essential for significantly reducing torque peaks, preventing damage to the belt and mechanical components.

The soft braking control benefits and features include controlled braking independent of load and load position, braking on time or distance, adjustable brake ramp/curves, compensating for variable friction factors, controlled start-up, and real-time monitoring of brake sequence time.

Stopping too hard can cause the material to spill or damage the belt itself, often one of the most expensive pieces of equipment. The SOBO avoids potential flow-on effects, such as blocked chute overflows and gives operators greater control over how the equipment will work.

Sinclair says the SOBO has helped Altra win a recent project, as it was the perfect solution for the customer.

“The SOBO is exclusive to Altra Motion; no other competitor offers it or a low-speed torque-limiting releasable backstop.

“Altra Motion is not only able to offer customised engineered product solutions, but we also offer a comprehensive service program to the customer to support the commissioned product on the conveyors.”

The service program includes product training for the customer and staff, 24/7 breakdown callout, planned and preventative maintenance, upgrades and retrofits, correct adjustments to OEM specifications, technical support, and a complete picture of the systems’ performance through documentation and data logging.

Altra Motion Australia is also able to offer real-time Industrial Internet of Things solutions. Sinclair says these solutions optimise uptime and assist with predictive and preventative maintenance. IIOT can be added to SOBO IQ and can also be adapted to any brake system.

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