BASED on its experience in manufacturing and maintaining transfer points, Weba Chute Systems has developed a reliability model that it says allows customers to improve uptime in their plants.
According to the company’s ISO Systems Manager, Izak Potgieter, the tool can capture, store and calculate vital information about wear rates on different components within each chute.
“The data specifies exactly which chute is being referenced, where it is physically located in the mine or plant, the components it includes and the dimensions of these components,” said Potgieter. “Data is captured over time on the tonnages that pass through the chute, and the wear that occurs on components such as lips, liners and dead boxes.”
When inspections of the chute are conducted, precise measurements are taken of wear levels so that comparisons can be made over time. The tool generates important calculations such as the wear rate per hour or per day, which allows forecasts to be made about key indicators such as mean time between failures (MTBF).
“By applying the concept of exponential distribution to the percentage reliability required by the customer, we can then calculate the number of hours that the chute should be able to operate between maintenance interventions.”
Average tonnages passing through the transfer point is usually gathered from the mine’s SCADA system. Potgieter said that if these tonnages – or the nature of the material – does not change, then the wear life of each chute’s various components can be predicted fairly accurately.
Weba Chute Systems are used for bulk materials transfer in the industrial and mining sectors. With more than 5000 chute systems operating worldwide, the company has offices and representation in South Africa, Africa, Australasia, Russia, North America, South America and Europe.