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AUMUND India rebuilds the world’s highest

bucket elevator.
Despite years of reliable service this elevator, installed at the Himachal
Pradesh plant of Ambuja Cement, one of the largest and most modern cement
works in India, finally succumb to the stress of continuous operation raising
the raw meal to the pre-heater tower 24/7 at a continuous rate of 650 tons per
hour.

Whilst the machine remained in service a detailed inspection revealed a replacement


belt would soon be required and the company decided to invite bids for the supply
and supervision of installation of the necessary components on a scheduled
preventative maintenance basis. At 170 metres centre distance this is the highest belt
bucket elevator installed in the world today and as such only a very few companies
possessed the knowhow to deliver a competent replacement service.

Originally, the machine was fitted with a steel cord belt of width 1,450 mm and
tension rating of 3500 N/mm. After passing the application data through their
sophisticated computerised selection program AUMUND decided to offer an
alternative based on their own design concept resulting in a belt width of 1050 mm
and with a bucket size of 1000 mm at 430 mm pitch.

The AUMUND belt concept is very different in that continuous close pitch longitudinal
ropes are employed, without rope free bucket mounting spaces, with additional wire
ropes running laterally across the width of the belt adding considerable lateral
stiffness without significantly changing the belt longitudinal flexibility. This cross
stabilised construction gives improved stability to the belt with improved bucket fixing,
the Achilles Heel of every bucket elevator and probably the most common cause of
elevator failure, plus improved directional stability, and better tracking.

Using continuous wire ropes at close pitch both longitudinally and horizontally without
rope free spaces gives maximum strength and stability but does require the bucket
fixing is punched through the belt, steel ropes and all… Of course this is taken into
account with the tension calculation and the ruptured ropes are ignored in the full belt
width tension rating. To make the necessary belt punching AUMUND have developed
a special punching machine design with gives clean fixing holes accurately aligned
relative to the belt edge and at precisely the correct pitch. The belt is held in a
cassette and advanced automatically under the punching frame using a precision
encoder to measure the pitch. The belts are prepared at the AUMUND works in
Germany and shipped to site at the exact required dimensions including a prepared
joint and the required clamping strips.

In addition to the new belt the elevator will be fitted with new drive pulley including
friction linings and rubber bucket mounting strips all to be supplied locally. The
casings, inlet and outlet plus the complete drive unit will remain unchanged.

This is an excellent example of the AUMUND rebuild and refurbishment service


offered across the equipment range including belt and chain elevators, pan and
bucket conveyors plus plate feeders. A refurbished machine can be supplied with all
new moving parts by AUMUND retaining often only the structural elements resulting
in a substantially new machine with typically a 30 per cent cost reduction compared
to outright replacement.

Visit: www.aumund.com