Cable belt drive system upgraded

October 1st, 2018, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Vector

In December 2017, Siemens, in partnership with engineering solutions company Tech Edge, was awarded the upgrade of a manganese cable belt at South32’s Wessels Mine.

The cable belt currently hoists rock up a 14,5°, 1675 m long incline divided into two sections. Both driving ropes are 45 mm in diameter and, with the upgraded system, will run at a maximum speed of 3,3 m/s with a belt load of 84,2 kg/m. This results in a peak rope pull of 30 tonnes per rope.

The complete electromechanical system is being replaced with modernised components and electronics. The new components comprise two 3,5 m diameter independently powered drives wheels; hydraulic power pack; disc brakes; a Flender P2LV25 Planurex II planetary gearbox; Flender Rupex RBS 400 brake disc; A Ø710 input coupling; Flender Zapex ZWN 690 output gear coupling and a 785 kW motor driving each wheel. The new control system consists of variable speed drives, a motor control center, drive transformers and a PLC.

A 37 kW, 1 m diameter snatch was designed to enable pulling the drive ropes for rope replacement and maintenance. The snatch winch is positioned in the middle of the two drive wheels facing the incline shaft.

Siemens proposed an integrated solution based on its electrical and mechanical drive train competence. The company co-operated with Wessels Mine and Aurecon, and an evaluation of technical solutions for the upgrade was done to address the mine’s ageing conveyor drive system. This project was undertaken in collaboration with local partner TechEdge.

The complete drive system is currently assembled at Tech Edge’s facility and ready for customer factory acceptance testing. Onsite installation will start in February 2019, with commissioning due in April 2019.

Contact Jennifer Naidoo, Siemens, Tel 011 652-2795,



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