The pilot project established the feasibility of installing GCDs on mobile mining machines and shows the suitability of permanent magnet torque motors to drive conveyors. The results reveal that on both productivity and energy efficiency metrics, GCDs are viable alternatives to conventional geared drives. The potential for energy savings, reduction of failure rate and maintenance have also been demonstrated. The gearless solution has performed better in regard to dynamic accuracy and overall efficiency than the existing traditional solution.
Leadership at Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG (LEAG), owner of the Jänschwalde mine, which staged the project, lauded the solution. “The interest of LEAG in this pilot project mainly lies in the expectations related to higher efficiency, lower wear and hence less expenses for repairs and maintenance,” Peter Scholze, head of services, open pit mines, LEAG, said. “Since commissioning has taken place, the drive has been running smoothly.”
Further, Jänschwalde’s operations and maintenance team found the new system to be easy to learn, understand, and use, without any major difference in operation or handling when compared with the existing systems.
The proof, according to Ulf Richter, product manager, GCD, mining, ABB Process Industries, is in the numbers. “So far, during the one year of operation, we measured 6% energy saving and 100% availability of the drive with just two hours inspection,” he said.