AeroConveyor

moving it better...

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The system has made consequential inroads in the sugar mills all around the country. Significant strides in this market place have taken place in the actual sugar plants as well as sugar mill related products. At Transvaal Sugar an aeroconveyor was completed for the transport of sugar-cane byproducts for animal feed producer, Molatek. The conveyor is used for the handling of bagasse which is ultimately used in the production of animal feed.

A water-pipe is fitted all along the length of the conveyor above the belt, and the nozzles can be activated every 6m in the event of a fire breaking out. These aeroconveyors are fitted with covers so that no spillage is created even when the nozzles are activated.

At Transvaal Sugar a coal project was recently completed where this coal is burnt in order to generate electricity for the mill. In the conveyor a concave and convex curve is incorporated within the same conveyor. It configures into the concave curve immediately from the tail pulley. Opting for this system depended entirely on the ability to configure into convex and concave curves and this capability secured the contract in question.

At the neighbouring mill of Komati, a project embracing the design, manufacturing, erection and commissioning of four 2.1m-wide belt conveyors was completed. As far as is known, globally these are the widest air-cushion conveyors yet manufactured. Cut cane stalks are usually moved by chain slat carriers so the air-supported conveyor option was considered a challenge by the company''s design team. This works continuously and no breaks or interruptions of the plant are required for the servicing of the conveyors.

Ship off-loading facilities are other areas where the aeroconveyors feature prominently. The company completed a R2.7million system for a Durban company in April 1997 which involved carrying agricultural products from ships to the silo complex where it is stored. The equipment consisted of a horizontal wharf aeroconveyor and other inclined aeroconveyors.

A feature of these installations is its specially designed swivel self-contained dustfree gimbals. These were provided so that the off-loading of agribulk could take place anywhere along the length of the horizontal wharf conveyor without the necessity of a doghouse to contain the dust. The gimbals proved to be a success, facilitating the ebb and flow of currents and therefore the off-loading points.

The clients also wished to separate the dust from the agriculteral product and, because of the high speed of the conveyor, the product tended to be propelled to points further away from the conveyor''s exit point than the dust owing to a difference in weight of the particles. This conveyor travels at about 3m a second and handles material at 600tons an hour. Since its installation in 1997, the system has off-loaded 2 million tons of agribulk making this a great improvement on the previous multi-system, utilised which included conventional portable conveyors and impacted upon the space and speed of the operation.