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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The installation and commissioning of the new pipe conveyor belt was successfully completed within less than 6 weeks, thanks to the excellent and professional cooperation within the project team consisting of Contitech Conveyor Belt Group, Thyssenkrupp Robins, Applied Industrial Technologies and Skyline Mine.

After the commissioning of the pipe conveyor belt in 2006 and until now, despite some challenging circumstances (downhill conveyor, age of the system, condition of idlers, curved routing), the tracking and overall behaviour remains absolutely stable.

For this specific pipe conveyor application, the belt construction is determinative for the safe operation of the conveyor system, as a whole. Even with partially loaded belt sections, no change in the belt’s behaviour was observed. This indicates that the combination of belt design and the excellent performance of all team members during the planning, splicing, belt installation and commissioning resulted in the successful completion of the belt replacement.

The difference in the power consumption between the commissioning time of BC-8 and the period of time after break-in is approx. 30%. The resultant optimal performance is due the reduction of the high transversal rigidity of the pipe belt in combination with the belt adapting to the conveyor system during the first few months of operation.

The temperature has a very strong influence on the power consumption. In winter, the power consumption of a pipe conveyor is more than 20% higher than  during summer. This is because of the increased transversal rigidity of the pipe conveyor belt (rubber becomes stiff when cold) and by increasing of the general friction in the conveyor system (e.g. idlers) at low temperatures.

Consequently, both a pipe conveyor and a pipe conveyor belt should be designed with consideration of higher friction forces during commissioning/break-in period as well as at low temperatures.

At this point authors would like to thank the mine manager Mr. Sorensen and the Skyline Mine employees for their contribution to this project.


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