Case Study - Ravensworth Overland
When it came to looking at upgrading the old Ravensworth East Overland System that carries product into the Macquarie Generation Power Stations from the Mount Owen side of Hebden Road just outside Singleton in NSW, Hunter Valley Coal Corporation set about looking at their options. The performance of the existing belt was a good start point and upon closer inspection it was realised that the bulk of the 6000m+ of belt on the M6, M7 & M8 systems was an old Apex Ply Belt KN150 (Kuralon Nylon) 4Ply with 3x1.5mm M grade covers and was approaching 20 years operating life. A performance that can only be achieved with quality!! Fortunately quality is still the main driver for the Apex Ply Belt product.
The factory where the original Apex belt was manufactured and were any Apex belt offered again would be made, is still located in West Footscray, Victoria. There have been significant improvements to the site over the years. Recently some $5m was invested. This saw the setting up of a state-of-the-art weaving department, the expansion of the factory to accommodate the introduction of a 6th Rotocure to improve delivery on wider belts and finally the relocation of the quality and testing departments into a world class facility. Such investment we hope will cement our position as a 100% Australian Manufacturer of quality textile reinforced rubber ply belt products.
The supply of the belt was not the only issue like 20 years ago. More and more customers are seeking to simplify their operations by dealing with contractors who can take on more ownership of the products they supply and on this occasion the successful tenderer would supply, install, splice and commission the belting. Here was an area that Fenner Dunlop Engineered Conveyor Solutions could really offer an advantage. Not only are we an actual manufacturer but, with a wholly owned service division, Fenner Dunlop Engineered Conveyor Solutions that has 16 branches nationally, we were able to offer a package that engaged the local Hunter Branch. No other belt manufacturer operates in this way.
Fenner Dunlop Engineered Conveyor Solutions were successful with the bid. On-top of the advantages of dealing exclusively with the one company, we were also able to offer one other main advantage. Roll sizes!! M6 required 1680m of belt and we were able to supply it in 2x840m rolls. Similarly the 1097m required for M7 was supplied in 2 rolls and the 2880m for M8 in 4 rolls. Unless you are manufacturing on Australian shores, such rolls sizes are beyond the cost effective handling capabilities of the importers. This meant a huge reduction in the number of splices that would be required and therefore, less areas for on-going maintenance.
When it came to the installation and splicing some tight schedules applied due to the fact that these belts are some of the main arteries for the power station. Time was well spent on pre-planning and project management utilising the in-house services offered by Fenner Dunlop's Safety, Quality and Training departments in developing specific procedures and equipment to stream line this project. Put this together with well trained people and a wealth of materials handling knowledge, Fenner Dunlop were able to complete all the conveyors before deadlines imposed and more importantly without an injury to anyone. The initial job is now complete and the belts are operating as promised. Fenner Dunlop now assume the periodic maintenance on the systems to ensure that best life is achieved, whilst at the same time looking for the next project where we can be of assistance. Could that be you?
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