Ralph Buchholz
Managing Director
Beumer
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Intralogistics Provider Targets Truck Substitution With Conveyors

By Karin Dilge | Fri, 04/22/2022 - 11:45

Q: What are the main challenges the company has faced in the Mexican market?

A: The main challenge has been the new government, which is totally against new investments in the mining sector. They are not granting new concessions, which means there are no new pits or mines. The only option is to continue working in the old mines, looking for ways to increase volume and capacity there.

The COVID-19 pandemic was another challenge in the sense that we were not able to visit the mine sites. Although we were able to conduct virtual meetings, technical visits were not allowed, which slowed down the whole process.

Q: How does BEUMER help mining companies deliver cost-savings?

A: We can help miners create cost-savings by substituting truck transportation at their mine sites, whether open pit or underground, with our conveyor belts. Trucks use much more energy and have a bigger CO2 footprint. Our conveyor belts can help reduce both.

BEUMER is also evaluating the possibility of implementing a bucket elevator for vertical transport versus truck transport, which means also using a ramp inside the mine sites, increasing the life cycle of the equipment.  

Q: How is the company approaching ESG compliance to minimize the impact of conveying infrastructure?

A: Every good mining project starts with a feasibility study. BEUMER is interested in participating in these feasibility studies to demonstrate to clients that despite the higher initial costs, the return on investment within three to five years makes it reasonable to substitute their truck transport with our conveyors. Trucks entail high diesel consumption and maintenance costs versus the reduced energy used for the transport belts.

Regarding ESG compliance, if you have a mine site you also have communities living really close by and truck transport creates dust and noise pollution. Our conveyor belts reduce these environmental impacts because they can be equipped with a special pipe conveyor technology, which minimizes disturbances as the material is enclosed during transport. There is also technology that uses high-end rollers, which avoid noise emissions, minimizing disturbances to the communities.

On the engineering side, BEUMER can also demonstrate to the client the routing of the bands through a 3D simulation that shows where the community is. This allows us to discuss the activity and the route the company has in mind or maybe that the community also has in mind. If they say they need another route, we can change it quickly in our simulation.

Q: What opportunities does BEUMER see in energy recovery and how is the company making these options more attractive to clients? 

A: There are a number of differences related to energy savings overall, but the main factor is between the truck system and the conveyor belt system. For example, if you are transporting the material vertically from an underground mine by 300m, this 300m for vertical transport means 9.2km for truck transport. The truck transport needs to climb up 9.2km and then go backward. That means a truck is running 20km for one load, which illustrates the high energy savings from a vertical transport system.

The client can also control the system with frequency converters that can measure the data in the system to ensure the conveyor system is operating at optimum speed.

Q: What strategies does the company implement to convince clients to invest in its technologies?

A: First, we provide a presentation regarding the installation. We have a center for research and development where they can see the different types of installations we offer.

The company also does case studies to evaluate needs and advantages. For example, BEUMER is looking to introduce a new technology for bucket transport to the market starting this year. In all cases, we start with a feasibility study to see where the client can gain some economic advantages from the product.

Moreover, by working together with the clients’ maintenance directors and group, we can offer certain technologies that will reduce their workload and provide a faster substitution of equipment or components that are failing. 

Q: What differentiates BEUMER from other companies offering the same service?

A: The differentiator right now is that the company is looking for niche projects; not the mega-million-dollar project but smaller projects where we believe we have an advantage regarding engineering.

Q: What are BEUMER’s main objectives for 2022?

A: BEUMER’s main objective is to push its bucket elevator technology for the mining industry, especially for underground mines. We are also looking to introduce a belt station that will reduce the wear and tear on the rollers and the belt to minimize maintenance costs. To this end, we have a number of opportunities to introduce this technology at some smaller mining events in the northern part of Mexico so we can measure the reaction from the mining industry.

 

Photo by:   Beumer
Karin Dilge Karin Dilge Journalist and Industry Analyst