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“A well-designed chute ensures that a crusher receives the right material at the correct angle for example,” says Baller. “By the same token, it will load a screen optimally, and will facilitate the correct feed rates into a mill, for best performance and economical power consumption.”

Weba Chute International Mining TechnologyBaller argues that most plant operations are recognising that chutes are not just basic plate-work, rather, that they need to embody a high level of technical design that creates a fit-for-purpose solution for the particular commodity and application.

“More and more plant managers recognise that no two chute applications are the same. We have seen many plant shutdowns caused by incorrect chute design where the damage includes anything from holes in screen decks to damaged conveyor belts.

“Weba Chute Systems combines a scientific approach; including finite element analysis and the latest design technology, with its extensive experience in the field to create a customised solution that controls the flow of material – taking into account its physical properties and the surrounding conditions,” he adds.

On the other side of the coin, the savings achieved through good chute design – leading to more efficient plant operation and fewer stoppages – means that most of Weba Chute Systems’ installations can pay for themselves in less than 12 months.

Founder and chairman receives international recognition

The company’s founder and chairman, Werner Baller was recently inducted into the International Mining’s Technology Hall of Fame for 2018, a true testament to the global success of Web Chutes.

The accolade marks a major achievement for Baller and the company he has developed since 1983.

With 45 years’ experience in mining and engineering – and 27 of those in transfer chute systems – he has developed nine patented products.

“It is humbling to be awarded a place in the Technology Hall of Fame,” he says. “More importantly, it is a recognition that there are innovators and quality OEMS in South Africa that are able to compete on the world stage.”

The company is now a global producer of customised bulk material transfer chutes and has supplied over 4 300 chutes into the global market over the decades.

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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.