Two TAKRAF high-capacity bucket-wheel reclaimers have been successfully commissioned at a privately operated port in India, where they are being deployed to significantly increase cargo handling capacity. Amongst the largest of such machines operating in India, considering boom length and reclaiming capacity, the reclaimers are designed with a number of innovative features for handling various material types and for operation on the same tracks as two existing machines.
TAKRAF India was awarded the contract in November 2018 with the project scope covering design, engineering, supply, site erection, commissioning and performance testing of the two reclaimers for handling imported cargo, as well as the re-export to a nearby port for feeding the client’s steel plant.
The machines reclaim iron ore, coking coal, limestone and dolomite, with the following specifications:
- Reclaiming capacity (design): Iron ore = 6,000 t/h / coking coal = 4,800 t/h
- Boom reach: 54.2 m
- Track gauge: 10 m
Since the machines handle different materials with a wide range in density, the following design features were provided:
- Hydraulic drive on the bucket-wheel for varying the bucket-wheel speed.
- Variable speed drive on the boom conveyor to enable it to accommodate variations in the capacity and the material handled, thus optimizing the life of components and minimizing power consumption.
- Central chute with air blasters to avoid material build up while handling sticky material.
In addition to being installed on the same tracks as the existing machines, the reclaimers are required to work inside a covered shed for a portion of the stockpiling, presenting both design and site erection challenges. With four machines operating on two adjacent tracks, it was important to consider clearances for machines working close together. As a result, an operating and control philosophy for safe combination of machine positions was also developed. In order to establish a robust communication system between the existing and new machines, an anti-collision system was provided to permit safe operation zones for the machines.
With the new reclaimers being installed on the same rails and yard conveyors, meticulous planning of the site erection methodology was required to prevent any disturbance to the operation of the existing stacker reclaimers (supplied by others). All safety standards and client safety norms were successfully met, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
GOPAL Kalyanakrishnan, Managing Director: TAKRAF India, had this to say upon successful commissioning, “TAKRAF is proud of our long standing business relationship with our client and we look forward to these colossal machines delivering upon their design promise. Our engineering and constructions teams must be specifically commended on their superb effort since the machines were required within a very tight time frame, made even more challenging by the pandemic. Successful commissioning of this project only entrenches TAKRAF’s ability to deliver, from concept to commissioning! Innovation out of tradition – It pays to talk to a specialist!”