ABB announced that its innovative gearless conveyor drive is available for use on a wider range of conveyor systems. Already proven on larger motors, the newest drive is designed for medium power range motors (1 to 3 mw per motor) to make this technology economically feasible for a broader range of conveyor systems, including the use on mobile equipment in mining operations. The new solution can be applied for both greenfield and brownfield systems, and significantly decreases the cost threshold for gearless conveyor technology.
Fewer parts and new motor technology increase the reliability and efficiency of the overall conveyor system. A permanent magnet motor specifically designed for mining applications is a core element of this system that contributes to its reliability and ability to perform in the most challenging environments.
The gearless conveyor drive system eliminates the gearbox from the drive. This reduces the number of main wear parts, so less maintenance is needed, and lengthens the lifespan of the equipment. The expected lifespan for the drive train increases by more than 10 years when compared to traditional geared systems, to a projected in service life of 25 years, noted the manufacturer.
Other advantages include a considerable reduction in the drive system’s footprint, so it can be installed in smaller spaces, less weight and a reduction in the instrumentation required to operate the system. The gearless drive design is also more energy efficient, requiring less power, and operates more quietly, thus reducing noise emissions.
The operational data from a pilot project in Germany demonstrates the advantages of the gearless solution with less components. A gearless solution is more reliable (with a 50 percent lower failure rate) and requires less maintenance. It is meeting eco design and energy performance requirements according to international standards to support mine site’s environmental approvals or certification. The new drive also consumes 5 percent less energy than the other installed drive.
The onsite team was impressed with ABB’s quick and flawless project commissioning. The operations and maintenance team also found the new system to be easy to learn, understand and use, without any major difference in operation or handling when compared with the existing systems/technology.