Uncontrolled discharge of large volume granular solids by way of conventional transfer chutes has a history of escalated maintenance and replacement costs, through excessive wear and tear and other related problems.
M&J Engineering, owner of the award-winning patented WEBA chute system, is one of South Africa’s leading innovative suppliers of custom bulk materials handling solutions, in particular transfer chutes for coarse, dry, slightly wet or sticky materials.
M&J Engineering’s patented WEBA transfer chute systems offer numerous benefits and market acceptance. There are currently more than 3,000 transfer chutes doing duty in the bulk material handling industry worldwide. Although the technology is common throughout WEBA transfer chute systems, each system is uniquely tailored to the client’s requirements.
Transfer chute system for bulk materials handling
There is little doubt that the transfer chute is one of the most overlooked components in any bulk materials handing installation. However, this relatively low cost item can be the source of major problems. Whilst chute technology is as old as the basic conveying technology itself, it is only in recent times that proper scientific effort has been put into the efficient design of such systems.
Armed with both the information gathered from the flow studies, onsite investigations and extensive operational experience, the M&J Engineering team set about designing a transfer chute which would eliminate the problems associated with conventional types of transfer chutes – hence the birth of the WEBA transfer chute system.
Custom chute design for hard rock and coal transportation systems
Research has shown that in hard rock and coal transportation systems the biggest problems facing the integrity of the total handling system lay in the operation of the transfer chutes. In most cases it was found that it was the inadequacy of design that led to problems.
The WEBA system is an engineered, streamlined, scientific approach to the dynamics of bulk materials handling of transfer points.
Custom designed, each WEBA transfer chute incorporates the specifications and data of the product as well as the plant layout, including the position of belt scrapers and dust suppression / extracting systems.
The WEBA super flow effect design principles overcome most of the disadvantages of traditional transfer chute designs, such as the generation of unwanted fines, excessive wear and tear, noise and dust pollution, spillage, excessive impact and subsequent belt damage to name but a few.
Retrofit advantages of the WEBA system
Transfer systems can benefit from integration with the WEBA system in many ways, including:
- Decrease in the percentage of degradation (mainly coal) by up to 80%
- Reduction of up to 80% in wear and tear
- Greatly reduced levels of dust
- Reduction in noise level
- No skirting required
- Greatly reduced spillage
- No impact idlers
- No uneven belt loading
- No replaceable liners required (high cost factor)
- Up to 80% maintenance free
- Up to 80% reduction in belt damage to outgoing belt
- Reduced production loss due to fewer blockages
- Supervision free transfer points
- Easy access to transfer chute (inspection and maintenance doors)
- Belt overrun storage facility
- Greatly improved levels of safety
New project advantages for material transfer
Benefits to new projects built with the WEBA chute system include:
- Ultimate design configuration
- Best belt cleaning arrangement
- Ideal material flow
- Selection of optimum belt type
- No spillage
- No start-up period problems
- No bulky design
It has been proven that by incorporating our designs during the planning stage of a new project, we are able to achieve the best and shortest route for the successful and trouble-free transfer of conveyed material.
Weba chutes, incorporating the ‘supertube’ approach, were developed in response to persistent problems experienced with conventional steel chutes. The operation of Weba Chutes is described, with particular emphasis on the design philosophy, and operational characteristics.
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate aim of any business. Listening to and acting on the demands of the market top the list of actions required to gain and retain customer loyalty.
Optimised plant design should consider each element within the process flow. Global best practice emphasises the incorporation of transfer chutes that have been designed and engineered to suit the specific application.
Lonmin has ordered eight Weba Chutes Systems to replace existing conventional chutes which have not been performing to the standard required. The eight coarse ore silo discharge chutes will feed onto a vibrating feeder at Lonmin's Eastern Platinum (EPL) concentrator that conveys UG2 ore with 25% chrome content.
Weba Chute Systems has installed more than 300 transfer points at various sections of Assmang's Khumani Iron Ore Mine in the Northern Cape and the most recent 19 chutes are poised for hot commissioning as part of the Whims Expansion Project by the end of February 2013.
M&J Engineering is supplying the first Weba Chute Systems in a shiploading application for installation on Portnet's Shiploaders 1 and 2 at the Port of Saldanha. This follows the successful installation of Weba Chutes at Portnet's iron ore handling plant some time ago.
M&J Engineering is close to completing an order for the supply and installation of 29 of its innovative Weba Chute Systems at Assmang Manganese’s Black Rock Mine Operations, about 80 kilometres north-west of Kuruman in the Northern Cape.
Although transfer points potentially contribute to some of the highest maintenance costs on a mine, engineers seldom view transfer systems as a critical element of the minerals processing system.