Upgrading of Tippler project for Saldanha Iron Ore with total drive solution from Bauer

Upgrading of Tippler project for Saldanha Iron Ore.

BAUER Geared Motors, a business division of Hudaco Trading (Pty) Ltd. is soon to deliver five 750kW industrial gearboxes and two 185kW units for the Tippler upgrade project at the Saldanha Iron Ore Export Plant.

Weighing up to 15 tons each, the 750kW gearboxes are the largest machines ever supplied by Bauer to date. The company have previously supplied Saldanha with slew and bucket wheel drives which the company upgraded after ten years of operation and in 2020 supplied a third slew drive with planetary gearboxes, and an overland conveyor.

The full scope of Bauer supply contract includes industrial gearboxes, medium voltage electric motors, drive base plates, high and low speed couplings, brakes, actuators, parts and spares as well as condition monitoring. “We will also be responsible for torque arm and complete drive assembly,” said Derek Gilmore, Bauer’s Managing Director.

“Our industrial gearboxes are manufactured by India-based OEM, Elecon Engineering Company Ltd., one of the largest manufacturers of industrial gear units in Asia,” continues Derek. These rugged and reliable gearboxes boast a service factor >2 and have 100 000 hours design life.

The 750kW gearboxes, two parallel drive systems and three parallel and tandem drives, will be installed on a sacrificial conveyor and a 283m long overland conveyor respectively. The 185kW units will drive an adjustable shuttle conveyor.

Compliant with necessary and important thermal criteria, the 750kW gearboxes are equipped with a cooling and forced lubrication system with dual oil pumps, one serving as a backup unit. Derek explains that in addition to machine longevity, this system is also a safety feature, keeping the drive temperature to below a safe-touch of 70°C.

Bauer received the order for the complete drive solution for the Tippler upgrade project in early May 2020 when the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was sweeping over the Northern Hemisphere. “This set us some tough challenges, forcing us to come up with innovative solutions,” states Derek. “It was most fortunate that Elecon was able to continue operating although output was understandably affected, with subsequent delays.”

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