PORTS: Smooth Conveying At Saldanha
Recent Western Cape Business News
VOITH Turbo has received an order from Transnet Capital Projects to supply Fill Controlled (TPKL-R) couplings for Saldanha port conveyors. “Our success in securing the order can be attributed to a number of factors including our longstanding relationship with Transnet Capital Projects and the operating unit, Transnet Port Terminals Saldanha, the reliability of Voith’s coupling range as well as the company’s experience at the port,” says Hans Voshol, manager of engineering services at Voith.
“After running successfully for 30 years with Voith 750TV-X fluid couplings, approximately five years ago all port conveyors at Saldanha were upgraded, to use TVVS constant filled couplings. The plant therefore has firsthand knowledge of the quality of Voith turbo couplings and, based on the impressive performance of the TPKL’s elsewhere, certain other conveyors are being changed to use the Voith Fill Controlled couplings,” Voshol says.
Two conveyors at Saldanha have already been converted to use TPKL-R couplings as part of one project while a second project (Project IB), called for the fitment of two new conveyors with TPKL-R couplings, as well as two conveyors with 750TVVS Couplings. An additional 18 TPKL-R couplings with additional two complete spare drives were destined for yet another project (Project 1C).
The application specification for Project 1C demanded some product modifications. Ancillaries had to be top mounted and the pump tube had to be modified to allow bi-directional operation and these modifications will now be a Voith standard.
Voith technicians re-built the drives, utilising the existing gearboxes and motors but, due to the new 650TPKL-R couplings, new base frames were used. HMGJV / Transnet Capital Projects were responsible for PLC control while Voith technicians assisted with commissioning of the project.
The tender called for staggered delivery and the first batch of couplings were delivered in April 2009 and the final batch of couplings were delivered during October 2009. Installation and commissioning of the first two was during June 2009 shutdown, second two were commissioned during August/September 2009 shutdown and the final 14 were changed during the November/December 2009 shutdown. Quick turn-around times were required during each planned shutdown to ensure that the port remained fully operational and that production and planned shiploading were not interrupted.
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