The France-based company RBL-REI is renowned and respected for the design, manufacture and construction of bulk handling systems including overland belt conveyors with technical complexities. The company continues to prove its skills, capabilities and sense of innovation for such challenging works. RBL-REI has recently commissioned two bulk handling systems which includes the same technology innovation on long-distance belt conveyors: a belt deviation system allowing the same belt to change direction without motorization.
A mining company in Poland has entrusted to RBL-REI the design and construction of a 3.5km overland belt conveyor including this specific innovative solution. Originally, due to the narrow corridor available between the quarry and the plant, RBL-REI had to engineer a system including a transfer point, therefore two separate overland belt conveyors, between the origin and the destination of the mineral. However in order to optimize the CAPEX and the co-ordination of stopping time between the two overland belt conveyors, RBL-REI designed a single flight system, meaning the same belt is working upstream and downstream the transfer point.
A belt deviation system without motorization was specially developed for this project in order to unify the two sections. The following benefits are achieved on this specific system: no chute clogging — material highly sticky — as no stopping time difference between the two sections, and CAPEX optimization by elimination of drives and sub-station at the intermediate transfer point.
This solution has since been applied to a Metro construction project in Milan, Italy. Because of the combination of limited space and time to perform such works in saturated cities, it was decided to use two successive belt deviation systems in order to leave space and therefore anticipate the tunnel arrangement works after the boring phase itself. Indeed two parallel tunnels (A) and (B) had to be bored with two successive phases: the first phase with a 6m-diameter shaft and then a second phase with a 9m-diameter shaft. In order to leave space for the 9m TBM (tunnel boring machine) installation at the future metro station located between the two phases, and at the same time allow the arrangement of one of the two 6m tunnel sections (arrangement of tunnel A) already bored, two belt deviation systems have been installed into this station. This makes it possible to deviate the belt conveyor coming from the 9m tunnel section (A) to the 6m tunnel section (B). Thanks to the use of this innovative solution, the arrangement works of the 6m-diameter section (A) has been anticipated, so the global construction time has been significantly reduced.
This specific innovation is applicable everywhere long-distance conveying is required, and where saving the cost of construction of an intermediate electrical sub-station is relevant, or in the case of tunnel construction works, anticipate partially tunnel arrangement works.