Conveying from the coalface – Gujarat gears up

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Gujarat NRE Coking Coal has resurrected a disused NSW coalmine, with the aid of state-of-the-art conveyor systems from Ellton Conveyors, and heavy duty gear-unit solutions from SEW-Eurodrive.

Technological advances
At their Russell Vale coal mine site, Gujarat NRE’s intention was to leverage the latest advances in longwall mining technology and operations to transform the previously uneconomic mine into a modern, thriving enterprise. Not only would this allow the mine’s remaining coal deposits to be extracted cost-effectively, but it would also provide a welcome boost to the local community and economy. Integral to the success of this venture was the conveyor design. Ellton Conveyors was tasked to design, supply, and install four conveyor systems for the mine. The company turned to long-standing drives solutions partner, SEW-Eurodrive, to supply and build the conveyor drive-unit assemblies.

According to Mark Elliott, Managing Director of the Ellton Group, the mine required four new conveyor systems, each of which needed to be powered by two drive-units. “To get the mine back into efficient production, it was necessary to install a comprehensive set of modern material transfer and handling equipment,” he says. “The four conveyor systems will carry the mined coal from the coalface right the way to the mine portal access at ground level.”

Thinking big
SEW-Eurodrive supplied a total of eight drive assemblies, each comprising of a motor, gear-unit, fluid coupling and a drive-base. Imperative to these packages were its renowned X-Series foot-mounted bevel-helical gear-units, rated at 156kNm, while the company also purpose-designed the drive-bases on which to mount each complete drive assembly.

Ellton selected SEW-Eurodrive as drives partner for the project, due to the reliability of its solutions in demanding conditions, and because of the excellent levels of service the company had previously delivered. “Ellton has worked with SEW for a decade now, and I have been using its drive solutions for 25 years in total,” says Elliott. “In all those years, SEW has continued to deliver quality drive systems, ideally suited to the harsh nature of the mining industry. Moreover, I was confident that we would receive a level of service and support—both technically and commercially—that is unrivalled in the drives industry today.”

Driving ahead
SEW-Eurodrive Industrial Gears NSW Product Manager, Kris Jaryn, explains that the SEW-Eurodrive drive packages have proved an ideal solution for this conveyor application. “The X-Series gear units boast the finest torque-graduation on the market. Where other providers often resort to the common practice of specifying an oversized gear-unit, SEW is able to closely match an X-Series gear-unit to the end-user’s application,” he said. “This project highlights the fact that SEW can supply well-matched gear-units for a wide range of applications in the mining industry—right up to these very large-sized units.”

Elliott agrees. “A major factor in Ellton choosing SEW is the fact that the company can provide a complete engineered drive package solution, regardless of the size of the gear-units required,” he says. “For this project we needed a solutions provider that could supply suitably sized drive-units to operate the large conveyors needed to meet Gujarat’s requirements. These are seriously large drives for an underground application; there can’t be too many 700kW drive modules operating underground in Australia today!

“We have worked hard to design and install conveyor systems that can meet all anticipated mine production requirements,” says Elliott. “The successful partnership between Ellton Conveyors and SEW-Eurodrive will enable the conveyors at the Gujarat’s No.1 Mine to reliably keep pace with production for a long time into the future.”

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