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Siemens supplies the world’s biggest gearless conveyor drive system

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article image The project team from Siemens and ThyssenKrupp in front of the stator of the largest gearless conveyor motor in the world

Siemens has supplied the world’s biggest gearless conveyor drive system to the Cuajone Mine in Peru. Operated by the Mexican mining company Southern Copper Corporation (SCC), the Cuajone Mine is going through a modernisation project that will involve the installation of a new gyratory crushing and conveyor system by 2016. The belt conveyor will replace a railway system currently used to transport the ore out of the mine to the processing plant.

Siemens will supply the Integrated Drive System (IDS) used to power the world’s highest-powered gearless conveyor system with an output totalling 12,000 kilowatts. Siemens’ gearless drive technology will not only increase efficiency by three percent but also reduce maintenance work and associated costs due to the absence of wearing parts such as couplings, motor bearings and gearboxes.

Siemens was commissioned by ThyssenKrupp to supply the electrical package to the Cuajone Mine in Peru with a contract valued in the double-digit million Euro range. The railway system that previously carried ore from the mine for further processing using a train over a distance of more than six kilometres to the processing plant will be replaced by an efficient conveyor belt system and a gyratory crusher, for which Siemens is providing the automation system, the power distribution equipment, and the drive system.

Alongside conventional drives, Siemens is deploying Integrated Drive Systems (IDS) with gearless drives that ensure a high level of availability by eliminating many of the wear-prone components. Gearless drives also enable the use of a continuous conveyor belt, dispensing with the need for transfer stations and therefore, reducing susceptibility to faults, cutting out the need for high-intensity maintenance and driving down costs.

The conveyor belt system comprises of three individual sections, which are equipped with a total of five Integrated Drive Systems. For the largest of the belt sections, Siemens is supplying two gearless drive systems with an output of 6,000 kilowatts each, comprising of a low speed synchronous motor and a Sinamics SL150 cycloconverter.

The two smaller feed and discharge belts will be driven by two 500 kilowatt low-voltage motors using Sinamics S150 inverters featuring regenerative feedback capability and one 1200-kilowatt medium-voltage motor. The converters and motors as well as the gearboxes and couplings for these drives are all supplied by Siemens. The automation components as well as the drive and power distribution technology are provided in modular electrical rooms (E-houses).

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