Belt Replacement at a Long Distance Pipe Conveyor at the Skyline Mine

Conveyor Maintenance

Belt Replacement at a Long Distance Pipe Conveyor at the Skyline Mine

Belt Design, Installation and Power Measurements
When the Arch Western Coal Skyline Mine decided to replace the old belt of its long distance BC-8 pipe conveyor, a new belt had to be designed to be suitable to the existing routing. In addition, a special installation procedure had to be developed to minimise downtime during the belt installation and commissioning.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 18/10/2014)
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At creep speed and using the installed DC-drives, the old belt was pulled out while the new belt was fed into the return strand of the pipe conveyor structure from the stack of reeved belting. In order to access the head pulley of the conveying system a lift of approx. 12 m (39 ft), consisting of inaccessible terrain, was negotiated from the laydown area to the head end. A temporary conveyor of approx. 52 m (170 ft) in length was installed (Figs. 11, 12 and 13) to reduce friction and to guide the new belt towards the feeding point.

With this setup, the belt was installed quite smoothly within five days. The old belt was spooled on a reel by a powered winder. After the pulling was completed, the belt was closed to form an endless belt with the final splice.

Commissioning of the new Pipe Conveyor Belt

After the installation had been finished, the commissioning of the conveyor system started. The plan of the project team included:

  • commissioning of the unloaded conveyor system,
  • making all necessary adjustments and reassembling all dismantled structures at the head end, and
  • commissioning of the system with progressively increased speed and Flling ratio.

The behaviour of the belt during the pulling procedure was very positive. The overlap was oriented in the 12-o’clock and 6-o’clock position in the carry and return strand, respectively, at almost every position. Consequently, no preparative work was required prior to starting the conveyor. After tensioning and empty operation for several revolutions, the belt ran very stable with the overlap at 6- and 12-o’clock positions at every speed and had a contact to all six idlers present in the panel, as pictured in Figs. 14 and 15. Therefore, the belt made the full cross- section of the system available for coal transport, as intended. In addition, the overlap remained tightly closed between the idler stations. Since the belt approached the pulleys without any problems, no changes to the system, regarding belt tracking, were necessary and the efforts for the commissioning of the conveyor were minimised.


Fig. 14: The new belt contacts all idlers in the carrying strand, as well as...

Fig. 15: ...in the return strand.

During the following step of the commissioning, the belt was loaded at several fill ratios and speeds.

Power Measurements during Comissioning and Break-in

Contitech performed power measurements several times; during the commissioning, after 13 days (during the break-in period), and after the break-in period was over in the summer and winter. The idea was to collect information concerning friction forces in the conveyor system at different times during the operation period. This helps OEMs to design pipe conveyors more efficiently.

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