The ever increasing technical demands in the bulk materials industry are reflected in the particular expectations of the user. Manufacturers who not only supply everything from one source but also undertake the complete project to the point of turnkey handover are in demand. The Beckum-based BEUMER Group with affiliations around the globe develops customised system solutions for conveying and loading, palletising and packaging, and 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,” says Dr. Gerd Oberheuser, Head of System Technology at the BEUMER Group, regarding the increased market requirements. “Engineering, Procurement and Construction”, EPC, or EPCM – “Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management” – for short, are the buzzwords here. 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,” explains Dr. Oberheuser.
Comprehensive portfolio for the bulk materials industry
With the acquisition of Enexco Teknologies India Limited in 2011, the BEUMER Group has expanded its business activities in India and in doing so has strengthened its presence, particularly in the cement industry, in one of the world’s most important growth markets. For example, the portfolio includes horizontal and vertical belt conveyor systems, belt bucket elevators, heavy-duty bucket elevators for particularly large delivery rates and heights, and steel cell conveyors fitted with chains or belts for clinker. The intralogistics specialist also provides grinding mills, silos and systems for filling, palletizing, packaging and loading.
As well as the cement and mining industry, BEUMER system solutions, such as belt conveyors, are also in increasing demand in the coal industry. The conveyor solutions are also used in the firing of power stations. These are also more and more frequently heated with environmentally compatible fuels such as wood pellets, shredded tires and waste. BEUMER supplies suitable systems for transporting the fuels to the boiler, for example.
“For a quotation to be accepted, contracts are often only placed on an EPC basis,” remarks Dr. Oberheuser. This means that, as well as supplying the equipment, BEUMER is responsible for the whole process. This includes the design of the entire system, the installation, the commissioning and the instruction of subcontractors. Not only does a high availability of machines and systems play a decisive role, but also optimum support. For this reason, BEUMER has set up competence centers in the Czech Republic, in Austria, at its headquarters in Beckum, and in North America. These take care of research and development, sales, project management and purchasing.
With its solutions, the BEUMER Group helps users to work more cost effectively and in a more environmentally friendly manner. BEUMER belt conveyors enable companies to transport large quantities of bulk material from the quarry or mine to the factory or port as cost effectively and as quickly as possible. Trucks have considerable disadvantages in this regard.
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. 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. 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.
Cost-effective and environmentally friendly conveying
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 analyzed 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.
In addition, 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. 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,” explains Dr. Oberheuser. 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% 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. 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 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.