Equipment & Technology

One night in Vegas leads to Minprovise innovation

Minprovise backed a winner after a business meeting in Las Vegas. ABHR learns more about the surprise solution the company found and how it’s being used in Australia.

In 2016, Minprovise founder and executive director Graham Townsend headed to MINExpo International in Las Vegas – the world’s largest mining equipment, products, and services exhibition. 

Townsend and Tony Sutton, the company’s general manager, were on the lookout for innovative solutions to solve some issues they had flagged in the Australian mining industry, specifically faster, stronger, and easier conveyor belt repair.

Mining conveyor belt damage is caused by numerous and varied issues that have cumulative impacts. A hole or damaged splice, for example, that is not dealt with quickly grows into bigger problems. 

These wear-and-tear issues are often left unaddressed in a bid to avoid stopping production for hours, if not days, for a seemingly ‘minor’ repair. 

Related stories:

But this is a gamble that seldom pays off. It usually leads to a chain of events that can be avoided through understanding the importance of conveyor belt shore hardness. 

While in Vegas, Townsend and Sutton hit the jackpot when they discovered the Luwirep belt repair product range from Lutze Group. 

The Lutze Group specialises in conveyor and plastics technologies. Its Luwirep 70 is named after the shore hardness factor of rubber (the average conveyor belt hardness ranges between 55–75 shore A).

When a hole, fraying or splice tear is ignored, scrapers are adjusted to accommodate. This means they stop working efficiently, causing increased carry back and significant spillage under the conveyor – possibly damaging the rollers. The belt stops running evenly over the rollers and starts cutting into the conveyor structure, splices become tears, skirts get damaged, spillage increases. 

When the belt repair company is finally called in, production stops – possibly for only a few hours, but most likely for days.

Traditional fixes use staples, patches, and hot vulcanising methods, all with the potential of increased cover thickness, raised points and shore hardness above the actual belt level.

Luwirep 70 so impressed Townsend and Sutton that Minprovise became Australian distribution partners with Lutze. 

Luwirep 70 enables anybody on-site to fix a hole, damaged splice, or tear as soon as it is discovered. It turns maintenance personnel already working on the conveyor system into repair specialists, removing the need to call in an off-site entity. 

Sutton explains that nothing more is required than a few products easily kept on hand, plus a brief training session.

“Production is stopped for just one hour before resuming with a fully functional and repaired belt of the same shore hardness, as good as new,” he said.

“No scraper, cleaner, roller, carry back or spillage issues. No patches. No more small repairs growing into huge ones. 

“It’s all about ongoing and on time maintenance. An innovative solution.”

Luwirep 70 comes in three sizes, but the process remains the same. 

Luwirep 70–50ml is a pocket-size pouch requiring a small dispensing gun and specialised nozzle, while Luwirep 70–400ml is a larger cartridge used for significant repairs, and the 70–1500ml drum, like the 70–400ml cartridge, requires a hydraulic dispensing gun to ensure correct viscosity pressure when pushed through the specialised mixing nozzle. Sutton described the method of applying Luwirep 70 as a simple process. 

“First, you clean the area with CF4 cleaning fluid and grind if needed, then you apply a thin layer of Luwirep rubber primer,” he said.

“You fill the damaged area in one smooth squeeze then, after curing and grinding, the belt is ready to resume with shore hardness 70A in just one hour.”

Sutton said when it comes to conveyor belt repair, matching the belt’s shore hardness in any repair affected is playing the trump card.

“We knew in 2016 that we needed to bring this market-leading product to Australia,” he said. “Having a belt repair solution that is convenient, accessible and effective, with the same integrity and flexibility as the actual belt, is the safest bet when it comes to keeping conveyor production flowing at an optimal rate.”

Minprovise’s sales team offers detailed product information and can provide demonstrations or training sessions. 

Send this to a friend