Increasing efficiency in ship loading #Manufacturing #Electric #Drive #Package

~ Electric drive package enables 1,200 tons per hour loading ~

Global sea freight is increasing rapidly. In 2020, the industry broke records having transported 1.85 billion metric tons of cargo, compared to just 0.1 billion in 1980. As seaborne trade continues to grow, the world’s ship loading industry is under increasing pressure to improve throughput and efficiency. Here’s how systems integrator, Technidrive, specified an electric drive package for a ship loading system from bulk handling expert, Telestack.

Ship loading and unloading plays a necessary role in the transportation of goods. However, the industry is facing several challenges including the rising cost of fuel, increasing competition and the need for faster and more efficient loading systems. Telestack, a world leader in mobile bulk handling systems, understands this pressure better than most.

Telestack was commissioned to provider two ship loaders for a major port in the Middle East. The objective was to achieve ultra efficiency. The ship loaders needed to be mobile and compact so that they could move along the quayside, while also being powerful enough to meet throughput objectives. Crucially, the loaders needed to be fast. The goal was to enable the loader to take continuous loads of aggregates from dumping lorries, allowing a total loading throughput of 1,200 tons per hour per machine.

This particular project was for the loading of aggregates such as sand, gravel or crushed stone. With dry bulk like this, achieving such high volumes of loading requires a conveyor operating at high torque. Telestack approached Technidrive, a systems integrator with specialist knowledge of industrial drive packages and automation, to specify the power system.

“A major challenge of this project was striking a balance between providing enough power to transport such a high volume of material, while also creating a system that was compact and mobile,” explained David Strain, technical director at Technidrive. “For this reason, we were meticulously detailed when making mechanical selections for the motors, gearboxes and variable speed drives (VSDs).”

A technical proposal was drafted to include VSDs and electric motors from WEG, plus planetary and bevel helical gear units from Bonfiglioli. Technidrive is a WEG Premier Distributor and a Bonfiglioli BEST Partner.

Technidrive’s engineers specified motors from the W22 line, a range of high efficiency three-phase motors from WEG. The W22 line is designed specifically for increased energy efficiency, reduced thermal footprint and boasts a flexible and modular design. The motor was paired with WEG CFW11 frequency inverters and onboard programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to enable smart features for control.

Gear units from Bonfiglioli were on par for quality. Opting for modular planetary gearboxes from the 300M series, winch drives form the 800 series and bevel helical gear motors from the A series.

A crucial element of the drive package was an automated VSD program that could adjust the speed of the conveyor with minimal operator input. To achieve the 1,200 tons per hour target, trucks needed to be able to reverse up to the loader, unload their material and immediately drive away for another truck to take its place. This meant that full truckloads of aggregate would be deposited onto the loader at once, requiring higher torque to keep the belt moving.

“We used planetary technology and specific gearing selection to produce a very high torque whenever a full truck load was tipped in,” continued Strain. “Once that load started to decrease, our dedicated VSD program would automatically increase the speed of the motor to maximize the throughput for the power and torque available.”

Another critical consideration was the environment in which the ship loader would operate. Destined for operation in the Middle East, the equipment needed to be able to withstand high levels of humidity and exposure to dust and seawater. Technidrive specified motors and gear units with an ingress protection (IP) rating IP66, a level that can protect against powerful water jets at a volume of 100 litres per hour.

“Following the technical specification and supply of 3D models, we also delivered the wiring schematics for the VSD control, and the pre-programmed PLC for the drives. Having watched this project come to fruition from Telestack’s initial enquiry, we are satisfied that our electric drive package met the customer’s power needs,” concluded Strain.

As the global shipping trade continues to grow, ship loading will continue to demand high speed, throughput and efficiency. As Telestack’s project demonstrates, ship loading equipment is continually advancing to meet these needs — and expertly specified drive packages can play a vital role.

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