Daniel Rose, Komatsu’s Product Manager, Conveyors, looks at applications and opportunities available through Komatsu’s advanced and innovative conveyor offerings.
Komatsu conveyor systems offer an economical and productive solution, particularly for deep pit, confined space or environmentally sensitive quarrying and processing applications.
Following Komatsu’s acquisition of Joy Mining in 2017 to form Komatsu Mining Corporation, the company significantly expanded its product line to include a range of conveying, crushing and processing products.
Drawing on a heritage of more than 100 years of conveyor systems development, Komatsu now has the expertise to provide materials handling solutions suitable for a wide range of quarrying, mining and civil construction applications.
Komatsu Conveyors are derived from a product line that Joy Global acquired from the Continental Conveyor Corporation in 2007.
More than 1000 conveyor systems have been supplied worldwide to multiple industry sectors.
Two solutions ideal for mining, quarrying and selected construction applications are High Angle Conveyors (HACs) and Curved Overland Conveyors.
High Angle Conveyors (HACs)
Since the early 1980s, HAC systems have proven to be a versatile and economical option for elevating or lowering materials from one level to another at extremely steep angles.
Applications can include deep-pit mining or quarry operations, and also deep excavations, such as for high-rise building foundations.
HAC systems use standard conveyor belting, idlers, drums, so replacement of components is quick and easy. HAC systems in place around the world have demonstrated high availability and low maintenance costs.
Each HAC system is purpose-designed to suit each application.
Belt widths typically range from 600 mm to 3000mm, and conveying angles can be anything from -35° (downhill) to 90° (vertical).
A prime example of a successful HAC installation was a limestone quarry in the USA, that was facing closure due to increasingly steep truck haulage out of the pit, making operations uneconomical.
Komatsu's Joy HAC installation has ensured the trucks could remain in-pit and has extended the quarry life by more than 30 years.
In Australia, a HAC has recently been successfully installed at a sand and gypsum processing plant in Australia, as a solution to issues with sticky materials that could not be resolved using other vertical lift systems.
Curved Overland Conveyors
Curved overland conveyors are an ideal solution to mining, quarrying and processing applications where materials have to be transported through environmentally sensitive or built-up urban areas, including around natural landscape features or existing infrastructure.
Recently, Komatsu has designed and is now commissioning long and complex turnkey curved overland conveyor systems for major quarries in Thailand and the UK.
These projects required in-depth consultation with quarry operators, local authorities and other stakeholders, resulting in successful solutions to difficult challenges.
For a major installation in the UK, Komatsu provided a feasibility evaluation study into a curved overland conveyor system, and continued providing technical support throughout the entire project.
This has successfully overcome a number of challenges, including environmentally sensitive flora and fauna, as well as aesthetic considerations such as height restrictions to make the new operation almost invisible from surrounding urban areas.