Iconic engineering brand David Brown’s history of engineering high-integrity gearing systems and significant field service expertise led to the company’s successful development of CX drives – next-generation conveyor technology for the mining industry.
The mission of the engineering team was to apply the design, manufacturing and testing technology of the Benoni-based facility to deliver new levels of reliability and performance to customers in Africa and worldwide.
“The team first analysed power, torque and speed ratios from data worldwide to find a configuration most suited for a typical mine conveyor to improve the reliability of a standard gearbox,” explains David Brown engineering manager Henk du Preez.
Advanced computer modelling optimised gear tooth profiles under varying load conditions to improve torque and reduce noise, further refined through noise, vibration and harshness testing. The team achieved thermal ratings and performance using computational fluid dynamics to identify optimum fan performance and cooling fan design.
The efficient running and cooling capabilities also improved safety in hazardous operating atmospheres. Finite element analysis of housing rigidity improved power-to-weight ratios and noise damping, and three-dimensional modelling and prototype testing of lubrication design enabled efficient operation across a range of temperatures, gearbox orientations and running speeds.
CX matches bearing life in excess of 60 000 (L10 basic) hours for optimal availability and lower maintenance costs.
On the back of the successful launch of the CX and other engineering innovations, Benoni has become the centre of excellence for mining within the global David Brown Group, exporting CX drives, MDX mill drives and girth gears worldwide.
A Level 4 BBBEE contribution and a local high-skilled workforce are proudly behind the success of this facility, and the innovation continues with a hot forming technique of fabricated girth gears to provide speedier production and superior quality over traditional methods.
David Brown is well placed to continue innovating with engineering and service support that will keep South Africa’s industries competitive on a world stage.