Process Optimisation & Conversions

Optimisation of process steps and technical upgrades offer cost-effective alternatives to new equipment

Exchanging and replacing existing conveying equipment with equivalent products from AUMUND in order to modernise and optimise a process can be a technological and cost-effective alternative to capital investment in new machinery. If it fits into the current plant layout, conveying equipment constructed in a similar way can be exchanged like for like. In other cases, an upgrade to the latest technical standards is the preferred solution.

In optimising a process, different conveying principles could be applied. It is therefore necessary to make an exact analysis of the current situation and the desired future outcome. AUMUND has many years of international experience in the optimisation of operations and will work out a tailor-made solution for the stage of production to be upgraded.

In designing the most suitable conversion concept the aim is to conserve as much as possible of the existing equipment in order to achieve the most cost-effective upgrade.

To support the conversion AUMUND Group Field Service offers its expertise in industrial installation to all member companies of the AUMUND Group, including AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH, SCHADE Lagertechnik GmbH and SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd. In addition, AUMUND Group Field Service also operates as a provider to companies outside the AUMUND Group.

More than 2,000 Machines Converted in 20 Years

AUMUND Conversions Expertise Centre 

To do justice to the already high and ever-increasing demand for conversions of machines, AUMUND Fördertechnik has created an Expertise Centre for Conversions. The Expertise Centre has team members from all international AUMUND subsidiaries and forms a technological communication platform which brings together AUMUND conversion references from all over the world. These can easily be consulted and compared with similar requests for conversion quotations. A uniform technology standard is offered, so that from Europe to Africa and from South America to Asia customers receive the same quality and reliability and can expect the same innovative solutions.

The AUMUND Expertise Centre keeps close contact with the AUMUND design department to make sure the conversion projects can be achieved. Especially when upgrading older machinery, it is difficult to obtain installation drawings, statics or other documentation. In such cases the comprehensive technical site survey carried out by AUMUND is doubly important. Another module completing the performance package is the support given by supervisors from AUMUND Group Field Service, who are also available all around the world and therefore never far from the customer.

The conversion of existing conveying equipment is often an attractive alternative to new capital investment, both from a technological and a financial point of view. This is underlined by conversions in excess of 2,000 projects, which the AUMUND Group of Companies has implemented over the past 20 years all over the world, in particular in the cement industry. Many of these have been carried out on equipment made by other manufacturers. The experts from AUMUND Fördertechnik are focussed not only on belt and chain bucket elevators and other conveying equipment, but specifically on highly specialised technical conversions, tailored to customer requirements, on all designs of pan conveyors.

There are several good reasons to convert conveying technology equipment:

  • The original supplier of the machinery no longer exists and spare parts cannot be procured
  • A production process has changed so equipment must be adapted to new operating requirements
  • The machine is not safe to operate, breaks down and is often out of order, causing considerable costs in terms of loss of production
  • The performance of the equipment needs to be improved

When developing a conversion concept, the first priority of the AUMUND specialists is to conserve as much of the existing equipment as possible, starting with the steel structure, so that cost-effectiveness is optimised. This will work best if the existing machine is of the same or a similar construction as an AUMUND machine, and if not, standardised AUMUND adapter components can be used.

A particularly important element in conversions of pan conveyors is to carry out a detailed study of the places where components from the existing machinery meet new components. The reason for this is the complexity and variety of designs of metallic conveyors, which can be put into three different categories, as follows:

  • Light design as pan conveyors for long-distance transportation (further than 200m)
  • Medium-weight design for dosing beneath funnels, hoppers and silos
  • Heavy-duty design as crusher feeder or for use in quarries to transport large blocks of material with lump sizes up to 2,000mm (also suitable for operation in the minerals industries)

Thanks to product-specific professional expertise and years of international experience, AUMUND has also carried out numerous conversions of metallic conveyors which are not constructed in the same way as the AUMUND system. The challenge in these cases is to integrate the new components into the existing conveyor cross section or to modify it as little as possible, taking into consideration the material guides and the entry and exit points.

Hard Coal Fired Power Plant upgraded to State of the Art with new process and control electronics

The new central control system is the centrepiece of the modernisation at a hard coal fired power plant in Germany, where SCHADE has upgraded two Bridge-Type Reclaimers and a Stacker to the latest technological standards. This conversion significantly increases the operational flexibility of the power plant.

SCHADE Lagertechnik was responsible for the modernisation concept, integrating into the existing installation new equipment components such as control consoles with operator panels installed inside the cabins, and the entire control electronics including process control and cable with integrated fibre glass. The resulting increase in the degree of automation offers much greater flexibility in management of supply, demand and stock in operating the power plant.

SCHADE engineers and mechanics had to complete the assembly work during normal operation of the power plant, in only 30 days per machine. The modular construction and pre-fabrication of the control boxes were decisive factors in being able to keep to the project deadline, but the groundwork had already been laid during thorough preliminary inspections on site, and by working closely with the customer to define the required functionalities after visiting a SCHADE reference installation. Again, SCHADE Lagertechnik’s know-how, coming from decades of experience was invaluable for the success of this project.

SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd offers conversions and upgrades to a wide range of their own products, such as Shiploaders, STORMAJORS®and Samson® Material Feeders, as well as third party equipment. SAMSON’s focus is mainly within the ports and terminals sector. Its aim is to improve operations and processes for customers importing and exporting bulk materials. SAMSON looks to limit the need for high capital investment, to establish an environmentally friendly and cost effective solution in upgrading/converting existing equipment, whilst reducing the customer’s OPEX costs and considering their operations.

For example, SAMSON was selected to review an installation initially supplied and commissioned, jointly with AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH, in the Middle East. The upgrade started within the storage area, where SAMSON reduced to a minimum the static material remaining within the covered storage, and increased the extraction rate to improve performance. With these modifications, and an upgrade of the original SAMSON Mobile Shiploader to accept larger vessels, the customer’s utilisation has increased and downtime reduced, leading to improved efficiency. With the ability to use larger vessels, greater export volumes will be achieved, ultimately resulting in further investment to expand the port operations with equipment supplied by SAMSON Materials Handling.

SAMSON Materials Handling’s professional approach to its customers is enhanced by the expertise and experience within the AUMUND Group of Companies. Beginning with an initial study of what is required, and with a focus on the customer’s aims and objectives, SAMSON is dedicated to establishing the possibilities available to upgrade or convert a client’s current equipment, and what SAMSON can add to the process, whilst ensuring that the solutions offered are of the highest quality and efficiency, and are always environmentally friendly.