Big gains for bucket wheel reclaimers

Friday, 09 August, 2019 | Supplied by: Bosch Rexroth Pty Ltd

There are benefits to be made by matching the right drive system to a machine and application. In the case of bucket wheel reclaimers, Bosch Rexroth’s Hägglunds drive systems are said to be particularly advantageous.

Hägglunds hydraulic direct drive systems are useful in industries like mining and material handling; for example, they’ll often be found on feeders and conveyors, whose uptime is critical to the business. They are rugged enough to handle dust, grime and heat, as well as shock loads that would bring other drive systems to a halt.

It’s not just the fact that they’re rough and tough, however, as Hägglunds drive systems can be an elegant solution to very specific needs. That’s why they’ll soon be installed on what is believed to be the world’s largest-ever bucket wheel reclaimer.

The larger Hägglunds motors and direct drive systems are often used in bucket wheel reclaimers. Their rotating bucket wheel sits at the end of a long boom, which makes balance and counterweight important to consider for the whole machine. Yet they also need high torque for digging into and reclaiming the heavy materials.

Hägglunds drive systems have high torque capacity, which they deliver with low weight and a high degree of flexibility. On a bucket wheel reclaimer, only the lightweight hydraulic motor gets mounted on the boom to drive the wheel shaft. The drive unit, which contains the electric motors and pumps, can be situated in a more central position on the machine. In many cases this means the equipment manufacturer can eliminate steel bulk and counterweight, which should result in a leaner, more agile and more fuel-efficient bucket wheel reclaimer.

For the businesses that use bucket wheel reclaimers, Hägglunds drive systems have operating advantages too. As hydraulic systems with no gears, they offer precise speed control through variation of the oil flow; and just like on feeders and conveyors, they provide built-in torque limitation in overload conditions. These features support safe and efficient material handling, for example by offering exact setting of the speed to suit the environmental circumstances and the specific materials being handled.

Because Hägglunds solutions are modular, they’re easy to upgrade as technology develops. For example, Bosch Rexroth is currently offering a plug-and-play bucket wheel drive upgrade from Hägglunds MB (Marathon) motors to the latest generation Hägglunds CA, CB and CBm motors, which have an even higher torque-to-weight ratio. It’s some of these next-generation motors that will soon be part of a record-breaking machine.

The Hägglunds CBm 8000, described as the largest hydraulic motor ever built, will drive the bucket wheel of what is said to be the world’s largest bucket wheel reclaimer. In addition, four Hägglunds CB motors will power its slewing.

Featuring an ore-moving capacity of 20,000 t/h, the bucket wheel reclaimer will be designed and constructed by thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions Australia for the BHP South Flank iron ore mine. At an expected output of roughly 80 million tonnes per year, this is believed to be one of the biggest iron ore operations in the world.

It will, however, be just one of many mining and material handling operations using Hägglunds solutions worldwide. With their high power density and flexible layout, Hägglunds drive systems are suitable for both bucket wheel reclaimers and the businesses they serve.

Bosch Rexroth will soon be exhibiting at mining technology show AIMEX, to be held at Sydney Showground from 27–29 August. You can visit the company at Stand F111 on the exhibition floor or read all about it on the AIMEX website.

Phone: 02 9831 7788
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