Higher energy efficiency with gearless drives

Gearless drives for high capacity belt conveyors in mass mining applications

In the mining industry today there is a growing trend and requirement to convey higher capacities of material at tens of thousands of tonnes per hour over longer distances; this tendency demands higher drive power of several Megawatts per drive. The issue however is finding motors and gearboxes that have power levels higher than 2 MW that can meet this demand.

Striving to meet market demands, Sandvik Mining Systems is in the design phase to develop belt conveyor systems with gearless drives for belt conveyors. In place of the gearbox you are presented with an electric induction motor that couples with the drive pulley directly, this set up enables the conveyor to operate both efficiently and effectively. The objective is to offer higher power levels for single drives and provide significant savings in operational costs of mines, and in addition, just as importantly, to provide a solution that is more environmentally sustainable.

Belt conveyors in mining, if running continuously, can potentially operate for more than 8,000 hours per year.

Cost and energy savings

Constant supply of power for conveyor system = energy consumption

With the gearless drive conveyor system energy efficiency can be increased for normal and regenerative operation in downhill applications, which if converted to monetary terms could result in a substantial financial saving.

Gearless drive belt conveyor system feature Potential benefit
No gearbox No losses due to mechanical gears, less maintenance
Induction motor delivers high torque at low speeds High efficiency
Less mechanical parts Higher plant availability
Larger drives = potential to design and offer longer parts of the conveyor system and also reduce the number of transfer stations with chutes More environmentally sustainable – less dust emission, less noise, less material loss due to potential chute blocking
No hydraulic elements No oil changes required = no oil leakages (potential ground contamination)

If you are interested in finding out more about our gearless drive offering, then please get in touch at: makeitcount@sandvik.com