Stockyards - and the stacker/reclaimer - have a central function in moving coal, serve as a holding area between processing and transhipment and enable both buyer and seller to balance out fluctuations in supply.
The stacker is well-known for its ability to deposit coal in pre-set patterns and a wide variety of configurations and throughputs. Increasingly, the extent of automatic control has grown. For a power plant or a transhipment terminal, the cost-efficiency of a stacker’s operations determines the smooth functioning of its coal transport system. The need to move considerable tonnages in a short time - at least to avoid vessel demurrage - is to achieve fast reclaiming of the varied coal types carried. As reclaiming and stockpiling must very often be carried out simultaneously, the bucket wheel reclaimer has been selected as it operates in combination with the stacker or stacking out bridge. For this type of stockyard, a two-way conveyor flow system - for the stacker and the bucket wheel reclaimer - two longitudinal stockyard conveyor lines are necessary. stockyard capacities need bigger cross sections, but still have a place handling compacted or frozen coal. A further milestone in stockpile technology was development of the strata stacking method, which could blend and homogenise coal of various types and origins. Here, the pile is built up in inclined layers with a travelling and slewing stacker. A good blending effect is achieved with this stacking method when reclaiming, as the scrapers cut into each of the many layers. In 1973, Schade developed and patented the combined stacker/reclaimer for a coke plant in Germany. It was realised that reclaiming and stockpiling did not need to be carried out simultaneously; both functions could be combined in one compact unit in a portal structure, travelling on rails. One side accommodates the scraper boom as well as the stacking unit, a design that minimises the overall structure weight. The first portal scraper reclaimer in 1978 with a span of 50m to reclaim 2100tph, which at the time was the world’s largest. By the late 1980s, a versatile design was introduced, the portal bridge reclaimer. This had the benefit of reclaiming and blending several stockpiles inline. There was a need for systems that took up less space, the circular stacker reclaimer. Schade proved in a Taiwan power plant installation that a diameter of only 90m could stack, store and reclaim a total of 90,000m3 . Since 1988, a total of 11 circular stockyards have been installed,

with Schade’s biggest being a 120m dia stockyard with 4000tph stack and 2000tph reclaim. Since joining the Aumund group, it has operated as Schade Lagertechnik. Geographical order spread includes a limestone bridge-type reclaimer for Rumania’s Alesd Cement and a circular stacker reclaimer for coal from Asia Cement, Korea.

PHB Weserhutte, based in Gijon, Spain, owns it name to its former parent company in Germany, which O&K took over. Although O&K acquired the PWH group and most of its overseas affiliates, the Spanish offshoot (then called PWH Espafia) stayed independent and retained the initials. It now is part of TSK, which proves some useful inter-group collaboration, such as when TSK Electronica y Electricidad enabled it to offer sophisticated electrical control systems and components integrated into materials handling systems. PHB sees Latin America, particularly Mexico (where it has opened an office), Peru and Chile as its main markets outside

Looking at individual suppliers, much of the early initiative in this handling equipment sector has come from Germany’s Schade. In the early 1950s, Schade pioneered design of storage and blending operations as these were relocated to open-air stockpiles to enable continuous supply to function. Its first scraper reclaimer to blend and reclaim coal installed at the VKR power station in Scholven - complete with an automated stockpile system, was a cantilever scraper reclaimer type. Today, cantilever reclaimers are thought inadequate as larger

into account. . These include an installation of a complete redundant power plant coal system of 2 x 2000tph capacity with plow feeders at a RWE Energie lignite’s 950MW power plant. Ballantyne gave it as “mixing of different grades of the material within one stockpile in order to provide a defined product with uniform physical and/or chemical properties”. In addition. For Spain’s Urbaser.for example. Weser’s managing director. the company is presently commissioning a blending bed for a cement plant extension of a major Far East combine. a precise stockpiling approach is needed for a certain volume in a particular method. the past year has been successful. Weser is undertaking a turnkey project covering mechanical. April saw the first of the three tipplers for northern China’s Huanghua Port taken into commercial operation. operating times and maintenance needs . However. both with new contracts and the completion of several Chinese orders. IngbertRohrbach. In addition. However. where the company is currently tendering. to dust suppression equipment becoming standard. A second shiploader for the Port of Tianjin being commissioned. A stacker reclaimer at work from Germany’s Weser Engineering Weser Engineering Another stockyard equipment supplier with German-Spanish links is Weser Engineering. building variations of types of stacker reclaimers. For them. This will lead.ensure that the coal is well blended. the degree of blending necessary today usually determines that the selection of a blending bed would be more appropriate.the degree of automation.the term ‘blending’ is often quoted with the assumption that blending bunkers are to be provided. The supply and erection supervision includes two stackers for limestone at 1500tph and siltstone at 450tph.HANDLING Asked for a precise definition of blending. such as noise reduction and air pollution. a bridge type reclaimer at 1500tph and two side reclaimers. it is upgrading of a lignite conveyor system at another German power plant. Weser finds that at the top of the enduser’s shopping list is coping with environmental issues. Put another way. Two more units will be commissioned and performance-tested later this year. Up in the Arabian Gulf. two 500tph scraper systems for Mexico’s terminal maritima Altamira and a 95m-dia circular stockyard to Peru’s Cementos Lima. processing new orders”. Last year. When invitation to tender arrive . located in Bad Oeynhausen. As well as handling know-how in its own right. Weser was founded by a group of engineers from Germany’s PHB Weserhutte. remains among the handling equipment leaders. it is rehabilitating a stacker and reclaimer for a coal stockyard at a cement plant. Karl-Heinz Fiegenbaum. Spain. with subsequent reclaiming from the front or side. Weser sales director David Ballantyne explained the company’s philsophy of encouraging innovative ideas into its product design whenever customised handling and blending structures enhance individual requirements. which started 14 years ago and is now a member of Spain’s IZAR engineering group. the bulk materials handling business unit of Krupp Fördertechnik. the company has automated and upgraded a number of existing stockyards. based in Germany’s St. electrical and control equipment for a bio-compost plant for commissioning later this year. It also has a diverse line-up of orders for modernisation in both the ports and mining sectors in Germany and overseas as well as handling equipment orders in the energy and mining sectors. Ballantyne says that the focus is on reducing operating costs but at the same time taking specific conditions . including two stack-turning machines. it has just initiated an administrative centre in the US’s Washington DC. In Romania. March/April 2002 | COALTRANS INTERNATIONAL 31 . it has capability to call upon the expertise of TSK’s electrical control technology.combined with different types of stacking . Krupp Meanwhile. reports that the company is currently “comfortably busy. Consideration is also being given to creating a branch in India. PHB supplied a new 2000tph scraper reclaimer for the Aceralia steel plant. from a power station . they say. which . It has installed many longitudinal and circular stockyards with a wide range of reclaimers.

Pennsylvania. The Australian subsidiary. one by-passing to the bunkers and another diverted to the stockyard. These include a 48m-boom stacker for handling coal at 7000tph and a 60m-boom bucket wheel stacker reclaimer. we are being transformed from machine supplier to a networked ‘future care’ operation”. is in final stages of installing a rail car dumper for BHP. stacking at 4800tph and reclaiming at 6200tph. This has two 900MW units. The reclaiming rate is limited to a maximum of 1500tph under different density and moisture to avoid overfill of the downstream conveyors. One of the most recent orders has been from Australia with the provision of two stockyard machines for the Hay Point export terminal. which also operates through Bristol. provides terminal operators with the ability for complete materials management from one control room. best known for crushing machines. So it’s now ‘Metso Minerals. and none more so than the UK’s Strachan & Henshaw (S&H) in Bristol. who joined forces with S&H under Svedala. An adjustable shutter above the feed on the unit’s boom ensures that within a close tolerance this volume is returned to the storage yard belt via the central chute. Within bulk materials handling. and then underwent another metamorphosis when Finland’s Metso Minerals. This technology has now been successfully realised on several Krupp-built coal handling systems. Back to Rickard: “the change of ownership has provided a welcome expansion to our business position. Metso Many of the international handling companies have undergone significant change in ownership and structure in recent years. An earlier Metso stacker reclaimer at Richards Bay Coal Terminal. The S&H joint venture arrangement in India has been disbanded in favour of the local Svedala office (now Metso Minerals).HANDLING Last September. This. The UK’s product and design office now reports to the former McNally Wellman operation in the US. It was significant in as much as being the first project to allow bids from overseas companies. South Africa. bulk materials handling’. A belt weigher in the feeding table on the stockyard conveyor checks this volume and if necessary resets the shutter adjustment on the machine. These are coMarch/April 2002 | COALTRANS INTERNATIONAL 33 . still working through the Bristol office. coupled with the use of automation. is hoping to win stacker reclaimer orders for the expansion at Richards Bay Coal Terminal. Metso The former S&H Company in South Africa. A defined tonnage of coal bypasses the yard from pre-selected between 0-1200tph. minerals processing business line. The drawing board has long been abandoned in favour of computer-aided design (CAD). In recent years. among the country’s most modern. the company won an order for three high throughput stacker reclaimers for Portnet at Saldangha Bay. Aprt from the product side. slew speed and conveyor. with stack and reclaim rates of 8000tph. who have designed and built many stacker reclaimers. The machines are fitted with an optional extra that splits the coal flow in stacking mode into two. Krupp received a further contract from Shanghai to supply the key coal-handling facility to service Phase 2 of the Waigaoqiao power station. which works for both UK and US operations. An interesting feature of these machines is the use of stockpile scanning to create a 3D model of the pile. both automated and stacking at 3500tph and reclaiming at 1200tph. We have an improved product range and close co-operation with our colleagues in other bulk handling units worldwide”. with electric motors and hydraulic actuators receiving power and instructions from dedicated drive controllers. Metso Minerals US maintains its tradition of annual bulk materials handling seminars that to examine case histories updating existing materials handling equipment. They see the stacker reclaimer as giant robots. plus 3-D modelling to assess all possible stockyard equipment fatigue life and make extensive use of finite element modelling (FEA). This is achieved by the combined control system of BW drive. The contract includes two bucket wheel stacker reclaimers. He added: “Metso are a leading knowledge-based company. located in Pittsburgh. More recently. these have always emphasised increased automation. The company’s bulk materials handling division was acquired in 2000 by Svedala Industri. brought out Svedala last year. It was in India where the group won a £10mill contract for the supply of two pairs of stackers and bucket-wheel reclaimers for the new export terminal at the Port of Paradip.

it has been heavily involved in China with 34 COALTRANS INTERNATIONAL | March/April 2002 .and the equipment to be used for coal storage and terminal operations . which receives input from an array of field devices and a operator control panel or human-machine interface (HMI). For instance. Voest At Voest Alpine Materials Handling (VAMH). with great attention needed for a detailed analysis of requirements. giving good environmental protection. The composing function of the bed blending system consists of integration of a number of raw materials with different chemical and/or physical characteristics in such weight proportions that a completed pile represents the requisite composition. TIT has led the way with the trend into increasing automation. By this action. The buffering function of bed blending of providing sufficient reserve of blended raw materials to guarantee continuous operation of the processing plant. ❑ Techint Italy’s Techint Compagnia Tecnica Internazionale (TIT) produces a wide range of sophisticated bulk handling systems. at Nantong and Shang-An power stations. Currently under construction is a stacker/reclaimer of 12. composing and homogenising. The homogenising function is the spreading of this material in layers over the pile length. Recently. clearly a increasing requirement to handling coal refurbishment in the future. In petcoke.000t-114.was vital. the Italian group has installed stacking and reclaiming systems. together with a 300tph grab bridge reclaimer for Petrobras Porto Alegre Refinery. Metso’s aftersales manager. there is a plethora of information onboard the stacker relclaimer: information that can be used to improve operations. “let’s bring that off the machine and put it to use”. there has been a 300tph portal scraper reclaimer capacity for Petrobras Porto Alegre Refinery. reminds seminar delegates. Croatia and storage increased from 32. Brazil. As Keith Ference. Brazil. This means that work-breaks can. VAMH supplied a new stacker/reclaimer with a stacking capacity of 1200tph and a 2000m long conveying system. There has also been an installation of a 2070tph radial stacker for coal at Bethlehem Steel.000tph iron ore for CVRD Carajas mines. Among TIT contracts completed within last 12 months has been a coal stacker/reclaimer for Vietnam’s Pha Lai power plant. Here. Two new coal-fired units were added to an existing coal-fired power plant in Plomin. Walter Libfahrt told COALTRANS that selecting layout for a stockpile . Also two 600tph stacker reclaimers for coal at Turkey’s Çan power plant under a contract awarded by Alstom Power.HANDLING ordinated by a laptop computer (PLC). to a certain extent can be permitted preceding the blending system without delaying the shipping plan. The same plant also received two boom stackers of 1600tph coal capacity. He said that the three main functions of a stockpile are buffering. several complete coal handling systems. including stacker reclaimers for many prestigious coal and coal blending installations in the past 50 years. deviations from the average of a chemical or physical material property in successive crosssections of the pile are decreased compared with the deviations from the average of the property in the input of the pile. Brazil. This means that the lower frequencies in the input fluctuations are eliminated. as well as an economic and ecological evaluation. A pipe conveyor of 1700m long was used.000t because the plant could no longer rely on domestic supplies alone. After all. much importance given over to the provision of adequate environmental protection measures and process control.

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