Going up - Convey vertical

Vertical Conveying

Going up - Convey vertical

Overcoming Limits in Vertical Conveying
Besides the traditional shaft conveying systems like skips and hoisting cages are well developed and proven. Nevertheless, there is another possibility by using continuous systems, one of which is presented in this article.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 16/12/2014)
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The White County Coal (WCC) Mine in Carmi, Illinois, USA, today operates the world’s largest Pocketlift installation. After nine years, the company has replaced the conveyor belt once.

Space-saving, environmentally friend-ly and efficient: This characterizes ContiTech Conveyor Belt Groups Pocketlift. In terms of conveying height and capacity, this conveyor system is supposed to be the most advanced continuous conveying technology for the vertical transportation of bulk materials. With lifting heights of up to 700 meters (2300 feet) and capacities of up to 6000 metric tons per hour, it sets new standards in continuous vertical conveying. As shown at the White County Coal (WCC) mine in Carmi, IL, USA, this system is perfectly fitted for conveying bulk materials in mine shafts, allowing cost-effective and efficient mining operations. 

WCC was the world’s first mining company to use the trend-setting technology for vertical conveying in its own mine. Even today, it still operates the world’s largest Pocketlift installation. The company chose this system because it helped to double the conveying output in the mine without the need to sink a conveyance shaft with standard dimensions. Instead, the new shaft measures nearly 12 feet in diameter. Consequently new coal deposits could be accessed and transported without making large-scale investments or taking up a lot of space.

The company has been using its shaft conveying system for more than a decade now and the technology has proven itself in daily use. Since 2002, the system has transported over 38 million metric tons of coal to the surface and has impressed people with its clear benefits versus a traditional skip hoist system. Whereas such transportation systems are made entirely from steel, this vertical conveyor is much more lightweight, comprising two narrow steel-cord belts connected by rigid triangular cross bars which also have a guiding function. The material is transported in fabric-reinforced rubber pockets bolted to the middle of the cross bars. The pockets can be installed and removed individually. This structure is much more compact than conventional conveyor systems and ideal for handling bulk materials in mining shafts. Thanks to the minimal space required in the vertical section, the system can also be used with very small shaft diameters. “Quite often, even an existing ventilation shaft can be used. This helps to reduce construction costs” says Friedhelm Litz, Innovative Products manager at the Conti­tech Conveyor Belt Group.

Another advantage for system operators: Pocketlift saves energy and, in turn, money too. Compared with conventional conveying systems, it needs a lower driving power. Skip hoist systems need to accelerate the materials to high speeds which result in power peaks and therefore in higher investments for energy supply. whereas the Pocketlift, due to the continuous mass flow, requires less driving energy. The cost per metric ton of bulk material conveyed are well below the average – energy consumption per metric ton and 100 meters (328 feet) of lift height stays below 0.3 kWh allowing mine operators to save on energy supply. Thanks to low noise emissions, the conveyor system has a very small impact on the environment.

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