The conveyor system at the LKAB mine


Showcasing a project where a mine invested in smart drive technology to boost production deep down

s the LKAB Malmberget mine in Sweden reaches depths below 1,250m, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an effi cient

fl ow of ore and high availability. T ere is simply no room for breakdowns. “We know that we have to maintain

cost-eff ectiveness at depth. T is is something we are continually working to improve,” says maintenance engineer Pär Sundqvist. LKAB Malmberget is an impressive

iron ore mine in more ways than one. First, it is a high-tech facility that houses an entire underground community – including roads, mining operations, offi ces and canteens. And second, the mine has several ore bodies that are spread across the site. It is a full 8km from one end of

the mine to the other, which naturally places big demands on logistics and cost- eff ectiveness. T e fact that the mine is doing well, despite tough competition from open-cast mines around the world, is attributed to the high level of effi ciency together with a high-quality product, good environmental awareness and highly skilled personnel. One essential improvement in

availability involved a 338m-long conveyor belt. T is was not living up to its task as the “main line” for carrying 80% of all the ore from the mine. A new drive was installed during a scheduled shutdown in May 2016, with Sundqvist as project manager. By that time LKAB Malmberget had been looking at alternatives for a couple of years.

PLENTY OF CHALLENGES Sundqvist and his colleagues looked at everything from the latest electric drives without gearboxes to hydraulic drives, at other plants where these were in use. T e only thing they knew for sure was that they did not want any gearboxes. T is was partly for reasons of space, and partly to reduce the risk of breakdown. “We already had some dual gearboxes and it was diffi cult to fi nd spares for them. T e old conveyor belt was like a patchwork quilt after all the hard starts and stops, and after a small fi re. On average we had one breakdown each year that led to an unscheduled shutdown of three to fi ve days. T is usually happened in the week after New Year, when it is coldest of all,” says Håkan Hansson, who is a fi eld mechanic. 39

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56