Mining and Heavy Industries

Belle Banne builds brand in WA

Having established a new facility in WA, ABHR speaks with Daniel Weekes and John McKimmie from Belle Banne Conveyor Products to discover more about the business’ westward growth.

Having established a new facility in WA, ABHR speaks with Daniel Weekes and John McKimmie from Belle Banne Conveyor Products to discover more about the business’ westward growth.

Belle Banne products have been successfully used in the Australian materials handling industry since the 1960s. Belle Banne products have proven themselves throughout a diverse range of industries including coal and iron ore mining, power generation, shipping terminals, hard rock and quarry applications. Belle Banne Conveyor Products (BBCP) continues this legacy.

A fully Australian-owned entity, BBCP was established in 2009 to continue the supply of Belle Banne OEM products.  Since this time, BBCP has undergone significant growth, recently opening a new facility in Western Australia.

BBCP’s managing director Daniel Weekes said part of this growth could be attributed to the company’s product design capabilities.

“Our clients are building bigger belts that run at faster speeds and achieving higher product throughput,” he said. “To support that, we continually invest into research and development to create conveyor products that can handle the increasingly demanding requirements.”

“In the same vein, our customers are looking to reduce their maintenance downtime, and for safer products that reduce the risk of injury on-site.”

This feedback has led to the design of several reduced-weight and maintenance friendly products, such as the BBCP Torsion Plough. The plough also uses a two-piece torsion arm that can be unbolted from the pole, significantly reducing the time it takes to replace. In addition, replacing the plough doesn’t require the use of hot works, removing a high-risk activity from routine maintenance.

BBCP’s R&D has resulted in safety improvements for plant maintainers – showcased by BBCP’s new LITE range of belt cleaner poles and components.

Working in conjunction with its research partners, BBCP has developed a proprietary alloy that maintains the strength and durability requirements of components traditionally manufactured from steel. The significant reduction in overall weight, coupled with improved corrosion resistance result in equipment up to 70 per cent lighter than their traditional counterparts.

Another key lightweight product is the BBCP Ultraroll, a composite roller that uses a glass-reinforced high-density polyethylene (HDPE) shell with reinforced, friction-welded composite bearing housings in place.

This design and method of manufacturing ensures there is no risk of housings separating over time from factors such as heavy loading, moisture ingress or thermal expansion. The combination of the bearing housing material and the geometric design ensures that, in the event of shell failure, there is no hard, sharp edge that can “pizza cut” the belt.

BBCP recently won a major supply contract for BHP’s South Flank Plant Conveyor project, due in part to the Ultraroll product.

Weekes said the roller was engineered in Perth and manufactured in a distinctive pink colouring.

“Pink is Belle Banne’s signature colour, as part of our efforts to increase cancer awareness,” he explained.

“Several of our employees have had cancer, and we donate a percentage of the proceeds from each idler to national breast, prostate, and melanoma cancer research foundations.”

Western expansion

Over half of the company’s clients are based in WA, and the costs of travel and freight to the region are considerable. The Perth facility was opened in 2020 as part of a strategic decision to support our existing customers and broaden our conveyor product and engineering service offering.

John McKimmie, BBCP’s general manager of WA operations, said the company wanted to better support the local industry.

“Our equipment can handle the heavy-duty nature of the iron ore industry. It’s a punishing environment, with hard rock and high tonnage throughputs,” McKimmie said.

“There are also the high ambient temperatures and the cyclonic winds and rains that can hit the region.

“We have designed our equipment using quality materials that won’t falter under those conditions.”

The WA branch, which has already expanded its staff in the short time it’s been up and running, can offer expert local engineering, design drafting and technical support.

“As a business, we look forward to expand on delivering our current high level of service and support to the WA materials handling industry” McKimmie said.

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