Leading drive and automation specialist SEW-EURODRIVE has supplied a comprehensive drive package to a major greenfield copper-mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The package comprised nine drives in total. The five main 500 kW drives each weighed 12 t. The other four included two 90 kW drives for the decline sacrificial conveyor, and two 30 kW drives for the tip-truck sacrificial conveyor.

Working through a local project house with which it has a longstanding relationship, SEW-EURODRIVE received the initial inquiry in August 2018. The final units were delivered to site in September 2019, with installation and commissioning following that, says Project Sales Representative Thato MR Sookane.

sew eurodrive pty ltd supplied a nine drive package to a greenfield copper mine drc

SEW-EURODRIVE recently supplied nine drives, including five 500 kW drives each weighing 12 tons, to a new copper mine near Kolwezi in the DRC.

Due to the hot and humid conditions near Kolwezi, the drives had to be installed with thermal sensors to monitor the input and output bearing temperature, and the oil sump temperature. This is to ensure optimal performance at all times. Positioning sensors were also installed, in addition to cooling units due to the size of the drives, and sun covers to protect the surface of the drives from the worst of the harsh sunlight.

As this is an underground copper mine, the decline conveyors are integral to removing the ore. SEW-EURODRIVE worked with the project house from the start of the project to ensure that all its specific requirements for this application were met and incorporated in the final design.

“The fact that this is a new mine means there is significant scope for our further involvement down the line,” Sookane adds.

SEW-EURODRIVE collaborates with project houses to secure long-term work across Africa and has the support of its own project and exports departments. “The project house assists the client by providing a specific solution and then approaches the OEM, like SEW-EURODRIVE, to assist in turning its designs into a practical reality,” says Sookane.

SEW-EURODRIVE has gained significant experience in the copper-mining industry, having also supplied a 110 kW variable speed drive (VSD) for a slurry application at a Zambian copper mine last year. This was one of the largest VSDs supplied by the company to date.

Commenting on the state of the mining industry currently, Sookane notes that there are definite green shoots in Africa. He adds that while mining is an important driver for the company in terms of growth and profitability, it has also diversified into other sectors such as the food and beverage industry, pulp and paper, sugar, and the automotive industry.

For more information contact SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd. Visit: https://www.sew-eurodrive.co.za/home.html

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