Successful completion of upgrading and refurbishment work in material
handling systems need effective planning and good engineering practice
Because of its strengths in planning and good engineering
practice, AE AUTOMOTION (AE) has grown rapidly. This, in
turn, has made it a successful material handling company in the
ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region.
The company’s satisfied clients include Lafarge Cement, Nafas
Fertilizers, Asean Bintulu Fertilizer, West Port Malaysia, Balikpapan
Coal Terminal, Wahana coal port, Asam Asam Coal port, Kaltim
Prima Coal (KPC) Indonesia, SIS sugars – Singapore. AE
continues to receive repeat orders from its customers.
In 2005, the shiploading facility was upgraded from 2,500tph
(tonnes per hour) to 4,000tph at Balikapapan Coal Terminal,
Balikpapan, Indonesia.
The upgrade work involved:
  • new drive units for the conveyors in the stockpile area to the shiploading system to take care of added conveyor capacity;
  • strengthening of head frame of conveyors;
  • new chute works to take the additional capacity for free flow;
  • structural strengthening of the transfer stations;
  • inclusion of new sampling system in the system;
  • removal of slinger belt and installation of adjustable flap chute in the shiploader; and
  • work was carried out without affecting the shiploading operation and was completed with minimum down time of 13 days in three phases with span of three to five days.
Recently AE has completed an upgrade project for PT Kaltim
Prima Coal, a coal mining company in Indonesia which is part of
the Bumi Resources group. The scope included upgrading
existing the company’s shiploading facility from the existing
28mtpa (million tonnes per annum) to 48mtpa.
To facilitate increase in shiploading facility, conveyors from
stock pile to shiploading was upgraded by increasing the
conveyor speed. This required them to change the following:
I conveyor upgrade
  •   new higher capacity drives;
  •   new head and tail frames;
  •   new chute works;
  •   structural strengthening of the existing transfer towers;
  •   new sampling system;
  •   new over band magnetic separator;
  •   new VVVF drives;
  •   new MV switch gears;
  •   new transformer;
  •   new LV panel;
  •   new 11 KV power cables;
  •   modifications to plant control system; and
  •   new maintenance hoists.
II shiploader upgrade
  •   new conveyor components — idlers, pulleys, belt;
  •   new drive unit for conveyor;
  •   new winch system for luffing;
  •   new drives for slewing;
  •   new drives for shuttling;
  •   change out of damaged boom section of the shiploaders;
  •   new discharge chutes; and
  •   modification of E house to accommodate new VVVF drive.
PT AE Automotion Indonesia bagged the contract for the
installation work and the work was completed in five months’
time, with about 500,000 man hours with scheduled delivery.
The project was carried out in three major phases:
Phase 1 – upgrade of north shiploader from the existing
4,500tph to 8,000tph, consisting of damaged boom replacement,
replacement of all the conveyor components, winch system along
with rope, suspension rod, operator cabin, power systems and
additional VVVF drives.
Phase 2 – upgrade of south shiploader from the existing
4,500tph to 8,000tph, consisting of replacement of all the
conveyor components idlers, pulleys, drives, belt support
structures, strengthening of the girders, winch system along with
rope, suspension rod, power systems and additional VVVF drives.
Phase 3 – upgrading of all the upstream conveyors from
existing 4,500tph to 9,000tph, consisting of dismantling of all the
existing drive units, structural supports, transfer
chutes and installation and commissioning of new
support structural’s, drive units and transfer
chutes for four conveyors, overhead magnetic
separator, integration of new sampling system,
including plant control modifications, etc., within
a time span of ten days, when the total
shiploading facility was under shutdown.
During phase 1 and phase 2, the shiploading
facility was operating with one of the shiploaders,
while the upgrade was being carried out in the
other shiploader and preparatory works for the
upstream conveyor — such as part of structural
strengthening of transfer towers, installation of
new sampling system, installation of new HT/LT
panels, transformers, VVFD units, laying of 11KV
power cables from the power plant to the two
sub stations — were carried out.
A few of the challenging installations works of this project
  • replacing the boom of one of the shiploaders weighing 30 tonnes; by using a 250-tonne-capacity crane barge;
  • replacement of the winch system, suspension rods and ropes of the shiploaders using 250-tonne crane barge under difficult working conditions of rough wave, wind and rain;
  • replacement of mono rail hoist on the jetty transfer tower, when the system was under operation;
  • erection of over band magnetic separator weighing more than 32 tonnes; and
  • erection of 650 KW drive units weighing more than 12 tonnes each.
All the HT and LT electrical panels, transformers, Sinamic drives
were erected during the pre shut down period and the final field
terminations and commissioning were done in the ten-day
The plant control system modifications were done during the
ten-day total plant shutdown period.
Recently, A Petronas group company, for which AE is one of its
regular, awarded AE a contract to upgrade a 500tph shiploading
facility handing urea, at Asian Bintulu Fertilizers SDN BDH,
Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. The design, engineering and supply has
been completed and the site works are on track and will be
completed in the last quarter of 2010.
Upgrade work covers the following:
I — conveyor upgrade – from stockpile to shiploader
  •   all the conveyors’ belt widths changed from 1,200mm to 1,600mm;
  •   new drive units;
  •   strengthening of structures in the transfer towers;
  •   new tripper for feeding to the shiploader;
  •   replacement of lump breakers with higher capacity; and
  •   new plant control system with S7 Siemens PLC.

II — shiploader upgrade
  •   the existing hydraulic system for shuttling of boom conveyor removed and repaired;
  •   new parallel bar mechanism introduced to keep the discharge chute perpendicular all the time;
  •   the belt widths of both intermediate and boom conveyor increased from 1,200mm to 1,600mm;
  •   new travelling chute mechanism along with slinger belt;
  •   drives for the slewing mechanism; and
  •   new control panel and transformer for the shiploader
Apart from upgrading works, AE’s has successfully executed
many projects in the areas of port handling, wood chip handling,
gypsum handling, etc.
Ae has designed, supplied and installed conveyors for coal
stock piling and barge loading for Bayan Resources Group for
their projects at Balikpapan, Tepian Ulak, Melak, Gunning Sari,
Tabang, Bengalone, Sungai Satvi in Indonesia and for PT Arutmin
at Asam Asam.
AE has also executed conveyor systems for
floating/transshipment barges for Bayan group, Indonesia, KFT
and for Sino Ling floating barges, Singapore.
Bulldog belt alignment and rip detection system
The Bulldog is a new addition to 4B’s range of hazard monitoring components.
A belt alignment and rip detection switch, this electro-mechanical system has been
designed to detect dangerous misalignment of the conveyor and also
detection of belt tear damage.
The switch will detect horizontal misalignment of belts when contact is
made with the roller, the roller arm will be forced to pivot by the belt activating a
switch at 15º to trigger an alarm, and 30º to trigger a shut down procedure of the
conveyor. The sensors are usually installed in pairs on opposite sides of the
A steel flexible wire is set below the running conveyor belt approx 20–30mm
attached by a rare earth magnet at each end. If the belt is ripped or damaged the
wire is pulled away releasing the magnet connection which in
turn will activate a switch.
The system is easy to install and doesn’t require any calibration. Its robust design makes it suitable even for
arduous applications such as quarrying and mining.
The 4B Bulldog is ATEX and IECEx approved.
The Bulldog is compatible with 4B’s CBS2A control unit for misalignment sensors and also with the Watchdog
complete hazard monitoring system.
The 4B group has been serving the bulk materials handling industry for many years.
4B’s electronics division specializes in level controls, intelligent sensors and safety control systems
that prevent costly downtime and minimize the risk of explosion in hazardous areas.