Conveyor belts are the venous system
In the Spence Mine itself, belts span several kilometres and are accordingly equipped with proportionally large drives. In the mine owned by BHP Billiton Limited alone, four industrial gear units move an 1,800 metre-long conveyor belt at 22 kilometres an hour. This enables the world's third-largest raw material producer to transport 5,300 tons of tailings an hour.
Current transport volumes exceed the originally envisaged conveyor system output and have required corresponding drive upgrades with retrofit coolers. These are needed due to the particularly demanding thermal conditions at an altitude of 3,000 metres where the thin Atacama air, compared to that at sea level, causes a 15 percent performance loss to the fan and pump motors.
Type OPC 2 oil/air coolers now ensure that the gear oil does not overheat and lubrication cease due to the increased performance. With their adapted motors, the units are designed as ready-to-fit modules and can easily be retrofitted into existing systems. Ultimately the belts have to roll - and that at heights where conventional technology tends to run short of breath!
PMC Harvesters Ltd has been developing, manufacturing and selling such equipment in Fakenham, East England for almost half a century – since 1970 – including self-propelled harvesters to gather potatoes, peas, field beans, soya and green beans. Their latest model, the ‘Pea and Broad Bean Harvester 1189’, is suitable for gathering green peas as well as borlotti, flageolet and broad beans.
The 1189 features four-wheel steering enabling easier manoeuvrability and gentle cultivation, a threshing system with five rotors and a comfortable CLAAS cabin VISTA CAB. A harvest yield that will roughly fill 8.5 million packets full of peas over a six-week period.
A KTR curved-tooth gear coupling type BoWex-ELASTIC HE installed between a Scania six-cylinder DC13 diesel engine with a power of 330 kilowatt and the transfer case. So as to make the harvester as multifaceted as possible, the transmission operates hydraulic pumps for the hydrostatic drives which give the PMC 1189 its variable speed versatility. The highly flexible flange coupling is precisely designed for the harvester’s most diverse operating conditions while transmitting rated torques of up to 4,000 Nm, compensating for misalignment in the drive system and protecting against vibrations.
The BoWex is not choosy which legumes come its way. Its key priority is to transfer power and by doing so, contribute towards a safe and speedy journey that the bean or pea needs to make from the fields to the kitchens of the world – and hence contribute towards a bigger boom.
Switzerland’s biggest membrane bioreactor
Well hidden inside the mountain at the end of the village Zermatt, the wastewater treatment plant treats any wastewater of the famous mountain village. In 2013 the original sludge plant was converted into a membrane bioreactor. The new technology is characterized by the excellent quality of the treated wastewater which no longer includes any solid substances.
In membrane filtration a Börger permeate feed pump type Classic EL 1150 features filtration of the water and cleaning of membranes. The rotary pump is installed in an air-conditioned mountain tunnel at a height of 1,800 metres above sea level. Subject to the air pressure generated by the altitude and the resulting early cavitation, a large pump with low speeds was selected for this application. The pump is driven by a spur gear motor with an output of 22 kW. Motor and pump are connected by a ROTEX coupling with taper clamping bush. The shaft coupling has got small dimensions, low weight and ensures power transmission damping torsional vibrations.
Flying high. Safe descent.
With their 81 metre high City Skyliner, they offer the world’s highest mobile panoramic tower. The slender tourist attraction lifts its 60 people up to 72 metres above the ground.
The City Skyliner’s cabin, which can rotate 360°, is powerfully yet gently drawn upwards by a winch at a speed of 1.5 metres per second. It is here that the REVOLEX® KX-D 190, a torsionally flexible pin & bush coupling, ensures safe torque transmission from the planetary drive to the winch. Shaft misalignment, vibrations and all kinds of drive shocks are smoothly compensated for. The coupling consists of two identical hubs with pins and pocket holes on the outer hub circle. The torque is transmitted via steel pins with tapered elastomer rings.
The winch itself is held by two KTR-STOP® S-80-F A-30 passive hydraulic brakes. Thanks to its floating caliper design, the brake disk remains free of axial forces. As a consequence damage to the drive train which may result, for example, from misadjustments or inaccuracy at the assembly stage is prevented from the outset. And thanks to the complete encapsulation of the brakes and their integrated wipers, neither dirt, rain nor other bad weather conditions can affect or harm their operation, even in the most demanding environmental situations. Together with the large pad surfaces that result in low wear and can be fully worn down. For City Skyliner visitors it also means safe braking whatever the weather. And it also pays off for the showman who benefits from long intervals between maintenance as well as low operating costs.
As of 21 December 2017 the new Zugspitze Cable Car commenced operation to Germany’s highest peak and picking up three world records.
Two large-capacity cabins – both with glass floors –transport up to 580 people an hour to the mountain’s summit. Twin cables are used to suspend each cabin of the new Zugspitze cable car. And each of the four cables is 4.6 km long, has a diameter of 72 mm and weighs 153 tons. During the ten-minutes journey the visitors pass a single steel support pylon for the aerial tramway, the world’s tallest at 127 metres, and also experience the largest height difference of 1,945 metres within one section as well as 3,213 metres of unsupported cable – the longest anywhere. Both world firsts.
1,800 kW twin drive in the valley station
The cabins in the new valley station are driven via a twin drive having a rated power of 1,800 Nm. The drives are operating simultaneously transmitting each half of the total power required to a double-groove drive pulley which is connected with the cabin via a traction cable. Both drives are constantly engaged in order to ensure a safe mode of operation with defined friction coefficients. With normal operation the traction capacity is ensured via both drive pulleys only. Every drive pulley is provided with a service and safety brake each affecting separated flange-mounted brake disks.
Two concepts for emergency operation
If motor or gearbox fail on one of the two main drives, it is possible to maintain the operation of the cable car with one drive train only with a reduced loading capacity. If none of the drive trains is available, the cars are transported to the stations via electrohydraulic emergency drives. For that purpose the main drives are uncoupled with a shifting coupling first of all. Afterwards the emergency drives positioned on the opposite side of the pulley are engaged taking over the operation. In this case both drives and both pulleys have to be active in order to ensure the required traction capacity. Again there are two concepts for the emergency drives‘ power supply for reason of safety – either via the power supply system or an emergency power system with two power packs.
Selection of couplings
The two spur gears were manufactured by SEW‑EURODRIVE, each having a rated torque of 240,000 Nm. Alfred Imhof AG, SEW’s Swiss subsidiary, was responsible for project planning.
The main drive of the Zugspitze cable car comprises a ROTEX size 160 which is suitable for rated torques up to 19,200 Nm and an operating speed of 1,495 rpm. A flywheel having a diameter of 900 mm and a thickness of 235 mm enhances smooth running in the drive system and correspondingly the travelling convenience from the passenger point of view. In total this coupling has a highly desired weight of 1.3 tons.
The connection between gearbox and pulley is realized by a torsionally flexible failsafe pin & bush coupling of the REVOLEX programme. Taper steel pins with elastomer rings ensure torque transmission between the two hub halves. Here both misalignment is compensated and a smooth start-up of the drive and consequently cabin is achieved. If maintenance is required, the elastomer rings including the pins can be dismounted when installed. The coupling transmits rated torques up to 300,000 Nm with an operating speed of 59.3 rpm and has an outside diameter of 1.20 metres and a weight of 3.6 tons. Since the main drive train is uncoupled with emergency operation and the auxiliary drive is engaged, it has a shiftable design.
The couplings on the opposite side of the pulley which connect the auxiliary drive with the overall drive logically must have a shiftable design as well. These electrohydraulic drives are only engaged when the main drives fail and the cabins have to be run into the stations in control. In contrast to the main drive elasticity is not a feature of convenience with start-up of the drive, especially since the hydraulics provide for elasticity. That is why a double-cardanic all-steel gear coupling type GEARex is installed in this drive train. The hubs having a crowned spline transmit torques up to 300,000 Nm positively while compensating for axial, radial and angular shaft displacements reliably. As measured by its performance data, this coupling type is quite compact and easy to assemble because of its ability for axial plug-in. In the Zugspitze cable car’s auxiliary drive it runs at a lower operating speed of 8.4 rpm at the maximum.
Electrically insulating couplings
One of the special features of the two torsionally flexible couplings in the main drive of the Zugspitze cable car is its electrically insulating design. Special elastomers are used preventing the passage of current. For it cannot be ruled out that leakage currents have a negative effect on the drive components‘ service life. Anyway, with cable car drives there are further reasons for electric insulation. Contactless signals are coupled into the traction cables serving for communication with the cabin. Moreover, the power cable allows for recognizing irregularities in power conduction: As soon as the traction cable is no longer in its designated position, it will inevitably touch grounded components such as the suspension cable of the ground. This can in turn be recorded via measurements. That is why it is necessary for cable and cable sheave to be electrically insulated against the drive train.
An endearing ship-lifting giant
The Falkirk Wheel is the world's only rotating boat lift is as regular as clockwork. Resembling a cross-breed between a Celtic axe and a slender necked waterfowl, the two rotating heads of the 1,800-ton steel beast tower out of the water as they mimic the motion of a giant ship’s propeller. Each of the wheel's two ‘mouths’ contain a massive water-bearing gondola, capable of cradling two full size narrowboats and hoisting them easily and nimbly from the lower waters of the Forth and Clyde Canal up to the Union Canal 33 metres above, enabling an onward journey east to Edinburgh or west towards Glasgow.
When required to flex its lifting ‘muscles’, the leviathan makes use of a simple yet ingenious principle. The opposing gondolas are each filled with 300 tons of water and, as a result, balance each other out. Consequently, the drive does not have to do any lifting but merely overcome friction. Torque is generated by ten hydraulic motors grouped concentrically around the rotational axis located in the reinforced rear concrete pylon. Together with an emergency generator and transformers driving the wheel, the hydraulic pumps that propel the motors are located on three levels underneath the wheel’s bearing. The hydraulic motors work using a 1:100 ratio on the gearing of the rear bearing and simultaneously function as brakes.
ROTEX flexible jaw couplings, bellhousings and damping elements from KTR are installed in the hydraulic units between motors and pumps.
The Royal Commission for Fine Arts ennobled the ship's lift as a “contemporary sculpture”. The captivating ship-lifting giant has not only made it into London's Victoria and Albert Museum in the form of a model, but from 2007, it has also adorned the rear side of Scottish £50 notes (series 2007 – 2011) issued by the Bank of Scotland.
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