Conveyors, Heavy industry

Telestack technology creates smarter material handling

A new, semi-portable side tip feeder could be a game changer for reducing costs across several bulk handling industries.

A new, semi-portable side tip feeder could be a game changer for reducing costs across several bulk handling industries.

Traditional technology within the bulk handling sector has led to restricted choices for unloading site tipper trailers. However, OPS in collaboration with Telestack look to offer a new technology to give more options to material handlers. 

Telestrack’s Side Tipper Unloader promises to offer an alternative solution allowing side tippers to discharge directly into conveying systems.

ABHR spoke to OPS’ capital sales manager Gerry McGuigan, to take an in-depth look at the wide-ranging benefits of the Telestack Bulk Material’s Titan side tipper. 

OPS, the Australian dealer of Telestack’s products, has supplied Telestack equipment to meet the needs of the bulk handling industry. The pair collaborated to produce the HF24T, a relocatable reclaim feeder that could handle up to 3000TPH (tonnes per hour) and CAT 992 or larger loaders. 

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“Our goal is to remove inefficiencies in bulk material handling processes. We see opportunities anywhere where we can eliminate loaders or haul trucks, reduce labour requirements, or save fuel,” he said. 

“Given the increased number of side tipper road trains in our operation and feedback from haulage providers, it was quite a natural material handling challenge for us to approach next.” 

OPS Group identified a need to eliminate excess handling as more material from mines was moved by roads. With its unique side tipping set-up, the Side Tipper Unloader proved an ideal fit.

The Side Tipper Unloader is a surface feeder that accepts material from side-tipping trucks or road trains. 

However, the versatility of the design means it can also be fed by wheel loaders, grab cranes and excavators to transfer material and reclaim to other conveyors if needed.

At the heart of this versatility is the surface feeder design. While traditionally, the mining industry has favoured deep pits or underground tipping hoppers; these present several immediate headaches. 

Companies must invest in high up-front costs and civil works to install, which are unmovable if the operation expands. 

The Side Tipper Unloader is designed to be a semi-permanent installation that provides the best of both worlds. It can be fixed during operation and then moved to suit the needs of an expanding operation. 

McGuigan said a primary consideration with the Side Tipper Unloader’s design was the low discharge height of material from the side tipper trailer. 

“We aim to offer a modular solution requiring minimal civil works and infrastructure to support its operation. Existing solutions, such as those used at the Utah Point port facility, require very significant structures and earthworks,” McGuigan said. 

“The Telestack truck unloader can be quickly assembled and will have multiple height options so we can run lower profiles and minimise ramps heights where required or higher volume tip area where possible. 

“It is also designed so we can add additional sections to extend the length of the tip area if required. OPS will always aim to have a unit in stock or manufacture so that lead times will be significantly better than our competitors.”

The heavy-duty apron chain belt feeder is integral to the design. It offers the benefits of an apron feeder having a chain and sprocket drive with steel beams secured to the chains. A rubber belt is then fastened to these beams and joined with a splice. The heavy-duty and positive drive benefits from the sprocket and chain arrangement and the sealing properties of a belt and skirt arrangement in the same unit.  

The design ensures that the Side Tipper Unloader has widely applicable across several bulk-handling applications.

McGuigan believes the Side Tipper Unloader could benefit most bulk handling operations. 

“The key applications and target markets will typically be at the destinations where material is moved by side tippers,” he said.

“These destinations are typically associated with smaller or more remote mine sites where rail is not available, including commodities such as iron ore, manganese ore, chromite ore and spodumene (lithium).

 “It could be a stockyard on site, a storage shed at a port or on a wharf direct loading ships. Other applications could include introducing material from trucks directly onto conveyors within larger mining operations.”

A PWC report titled ‘Productivity and cost management in the mining industry’ highlighted Australian mining as a critical sector that would need to innovate to keep its profit margins in the face of surging costs. 

One of the 2012 report’s key areas to save costs was eliminating excess handling and processing steps.

McGuigan said the Side Tipper Unloader could alleviate some of these concerns by streamlining the handling process. 

“With the increasing number of smaller and more remote mining operations coming online and more material being moved by road from mine to ports, we see this as a real opportunity to remove some costs and complexity from that process,” he said. 

“It could be as simple as having an unloading system in a port stockyard so the road train can tip into the side tipper unloader and directly build a stockpile to direct loading onto ship loading infrastructure from road trains. 

“Every time you handle the material, it adds additional cost from the equipment, labour and fuel used. Our aim is to remove some of these rehandling processes and, therefore, the associated financial and environmental costs.” 

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