A flexible feeding solution

Depending on the application, multiple units of the HAB feeder can be set up as a series.

FLSmidth’s Hybrid Apron Belt (HAB) is a plug-and-play feeder that combines both belt and apron feeder technologies. Australian Mining writes.

For mines dealing with hard rock, highly abrasive or corrosive material, FLSmidth’s Hybrid Apron Belt (HAB) feeder provides an affordable solution for adjustable-rate feeding.

FLSmidth global product line manager for feeders and feeder breakers, Leon Kemp, says the HAB feeder was introduced to the market in late 2019 to address the need for a flexible feeding solution for materials such as iron ore and magnesium.

As a leading brand in the global market for material handling, FLSmidth has a range of feeders in its product portfolio, including chain reclaim feeders, reclaim feeder breakers, apron feeders, belt feeders and reclaim dozer trap feeders. What sets this new product apart, according to Kemp, is its flexible and modular design.

“In designing the HAB feeder, we have eliminated the static deck and chain arrangement used in chain feeders and replaced this with a solid deck, on top of which the conveyor belt is bolted. This flexible arrangement makes it easy to adapt the conveyor belt for different types of material and different applications to achieve maximum feeder durability,” Kemp tells Australian Mining.

“A key feature of the HAB feeder is the low-profile horizontal loading deck, which makes it easy to load material into the feeder through either direct truck tipping, side tipping, front-end loading, dozing or run of mine (ROM) bypass tips. The modular decks are pre-manufactured and can be assembled on site to offer the client an array of deck lengths and discharge heights by simply adding neck modules.”

Ease of installation is another major benefit with the HAB feeder, Kemp explains.

“The HAB feeder can be installed anywhere close to a stockpile, with minimal site preparation required. Doing civil construction works to install feeders can be very costly and time-consuming,” Kemp says.

“The HAB feeder is very mobile and it can be simply bolted to a flat concrete slab or even just a compacted area of the stockyard. You can also add wheels to the modular segments and use the standard stockyard equipment to drag and reposition the feeder on the site.”

For mines looking for additional loading capacity to maintain a constant feed rate, Kemp says FLSmidth offers customised loading configurations for the HAB feeder with the addition of a hopper or even a hopper grizzly combination.

“The flat deck is just one of the many possible configurations. We can add a hop instead of the deck to increase the feeder’s capacity,” Kemp says.

“The HAB feeder is suitable for any application from 300 tonnes an hour to 3000 tonnes an hour, so the tonnage is quite versatile. Depending on your application, you can also install multiple units of the HAB feeder in a series for larger operations.”

What sets the HAB feeder apart from other feeders is its flexible and modular design.

 

The engineering design behind the HAB feeder affirms FLSmidth’s reputation for safety and efficiency, as Kemp elaborates.

“The apron flights in the HAB feeder are bolted to an outer roller chain using double mounting flanges for effective load distribution over each chain link,” Kemp says.

“The combination of the roller chain assembly and the belt sealing arrangement ensures that the feed material remains isolated from the rest of the assembly. The hybrid belt and apron design make the HAB feeder very power-efficient.

“The HAB feeder is also designed as a direct drive unit, which means the gearbox and the motors are directly connected to the drive shafts, without any chain drives in between. We have also introduced shearing couplings so that if anything gets stuck, it shears off the shearing pins and therefore the drive remains protected.”

Feeders are often standalone equipment on a mine site. Kemp says the HAB feeder can also be equipped with a range of customisable auxiliary equipment to assist the maintenance personnel.

“We can incorporate area illumination on the machine, as well as a stepdown transformer so that if your plant has a high voltage coming in, the transformer can step it down to operational voltage.

“While the feeder is equipped with all conventional power sockets, we have also added welding plugs to enable easy servicing of the machine during maintenance work.”

Kemp, who oversees FLSmidth’s global market for feeders, says the HAB feeder has already received interest from major mines in Australia.

“Since we launched the HAB feeder in late 2019, miners, particularly in the iron ore sector, realised the benefits of the feeder for their operations and the orders started coming in almost immediately. This is because the market has never had access to such a flexible feeding solution that is so easy to set up and operate,” he adds.

“The entire feeder can be fitted into a single container and shipped to the site, where the FLSmidth service team can assemble and set it up for the client. If requested by the client, we can also provide a full range of critical spares for the feeder. Our service team can also take care of the monthly machine services and reporting.”

Kemp says the HAB feeder, like many other FLSmidth products, is fitted with the ‘Blue Box’ control system – a universal telemetric system adopted by the company to help monitor the health of the equipment.

“Using the ‘Blue Box’ system, the FLSmidth service team can monitor any abnormal behaviour of the machine, such as excessive bearing heat or vibration, and inform the client to replace the parts before any major failure occurs,” Kemp says.

“Using the existing FLSmidth aftermarket capabilities and infrastructure, the trained FLSmidth service team can support customers with any servicing requirements.

“For any additional information requirements, we recommend contacting the technical support team at FLSmidth Australia.”

This article also appears in the October issue of Australian Mining.

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