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Solutions for the Mining and Aggregate Industries

Jun 27, 2008
The Mining and Aggregate industries face tough challenges every single day. The harsh environments are dirty, dusty, moist, and can be very cold or very hot. Further, the stop and start of much of the heavy machinery causes extreme stress on motors, drives, belts, and bearings. Maintenance is often difficult to manage, and often results in machine downtime. Downtime to switch out parts is frequent, and expensive.

Today, there are a wealth of new products on the market that aid the Mining and Aggregate industries through longer life and durability, and less maintenance requirements. From electric motors to bearings, optical encoders to belts, these products are available now.

Poly chain carbon belt drive systems can replace the old chain and sprocket. In heavy use environments chains and sprockets often break down after only a few months in service. Replacing chains and sprockets can take several hours, and result in thousands of dollars lost on downtime and man hours. Poly chain carbon toothed belts have a polyurethane body for abrasion resistance, and reinforcement that resists stretching, especially in shock loads.

The service life of a poly chain carbon belt system is typically double that of the chain drive. Parts replacement is less than half the chain and sprocket costs. All this minimizes downtime, makes your machinery more productive, and saves your company money.

TEFC electric motors keep contamination out. Several companies offer totally enclosed fan cooled, electric motors that are designed to protect the internal components of the motor, even in the most severe environments. The motor's cast iron frame, fan cover guide, and conduit box protect the internal components against rock damage. Zinc coated hardware, stainless steel nameplate, and chemical resistant paint combine to help resist rust in moist conditions. V-ring shafts with umbrella seals protect the inside of the motor in heavy dust environments.

many motors now run longer and cooler, even when a variable frequency drive is being used.

New spherical roller bearings are designed to operate even if the shaft and housing are misaligned under load. They even run cooler. The self-aligning spherical roller bearing is a combination radial and thrust bearing. This high-capacity bearing is the favored choice when conditions include heavy loads, difficulties in establishing or maintaining housing alignment, or when shaft deflection is expected. These bearings operate at a lower temperature, extending the life of your machines, which saves you money.

Harsh duty optical encoders eliminate downtime. In the mining industry bulk materials are moved out of the mine on conveyors which which require proper belt tension to ensure consistent speed. By providing reliable feedback to the motor, new generation encoders control the speed of conveyors reducing the possibility of downtime.

The newest harsh duty encoders are built with an unbreakable Mylar plastic or stainless steel code disc rather than a fragile glass disc. They are environmentally sealed at both ends to prevent the penetration of dirt and moisture. These harsh duty encoders are tough enough for any mining application, and reliable enough for consistent speed control.

Bulk material handling conveyors in the Mining and Aggregate industries rely on rugged shaft mounted reducers to drive them. A more compact drive package is sometimes needed, and a right angle drive unit is more suited for the application. Efficiency is critical, and a helical bevel gear drive unit offers efficiencies of up to 95%.

Helical bevel drives units are available in shaft mount or shaft output designs, and shaft or c-face input configurations. Direct coupling the drive motor with a quill (c-face) input can further reduce costs by eliminating hardware items such as sheaves, couplings, motor mounts, belts, and belt guards. With power ratings up to 130HP, and frame sizes ranging from 182TC to 364TC, helical bevel drives offer design flexibility and efficiency.

These new products are just a sampling of all the great products on the market to help Mining and Aggregate companies become more efficient and more profitable. There are a host of great products and solutions out there to help take the Mining and Aggregate industries forward into the 21st century.
About the Author
Ted Hebert is a writer and Maverick Thinker who works with business of all sizes to grow their business. Contact Ted at ted@atunga.com or visit www.Atunga.com. For more info on the products mentioned in this article visit www.KamanDirect.com.
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