July 23, 2017

FLSmidth introduces smart control for conveyor systems

A typical conveyor transfer point.

Conveyors are the arteries of any bulk materials handling system. Irrespective of whether undertaking new conveyor construction or an upgrade, it is not only necessary to have access to in-depth engineering and design knowledge, it is critical to be able to execute a project no matter how remote the location.

With its customer centric approach, FLSmidth Roymec has a strong background in structural engineering, fabrication and successful project implementation for conveyor systems. The company’s major differentiator is its use of a sophisticated proprietary software programme which facilitates absolute control of all elements of the conveyor build and this innovative approach to managing project logistics has realised significant savings which is an important factor in all construction activities.

 Patrick Smith, manager for scoping and business improvements at FLSmidth’s South African operation, says that while many companies have the capability to fabricate conveyor structures and supply ancillary components for conveyor systems, none has access to this type of sophisticated process control.

 “Being fully aware of the need to optimise project schedules, and still retain absolute control of all aspects of a project, FLSmidth made a significant investment in developing this resource,” Smith says.

 “It allows us to partner effectively with customers from concept to completion, and access information whenever needed allowing an active responsive interface with all throughout the entire process. This allows significant productivity increases with associated cost reductions.”

 The FLSmidth smart numbering system uses the source information from the initial design through to the end of the project. Smith explains that it is a seamless process with integral capability to handle revisions. There is no manual input required and tracking continues through design, in-house detailing, fabrication, galvanising, painting, trial assemblies, where relevant, through all logistics functions to final on-site installation.

 “Each project is controlled from the design phase where the smart number is conceived and this makes it easier to control the flow of materials to site,” Smith says.

 Jaco van der Westhuizen, senior developer, at FLSmidth’s South African operation has overseen the software design and implementation of the FLSmidth expedite system using an API interface to the Tekla drawing data. This allows the information to be made visible to all and facilitates the tracking process.

 “The software stores all the information from the Tekla models in one single database allowing easy access at any stage. This is an important advantage as it allows everyone involved on the project to access the information, and mine the information using the API interface,” van der Westhuizen says.

 The FLSmidth smart numbering system is always the same. It is a hard stamp number that is simple to read. Its numeric hierarchical structure can be easily understood by FLSmidth’s people and this facilitates tracking of all elements of the project as well as easy location of different fabricated members on site and erection thereof.

 Significantly, it eliminates double handling and the site teams have been trained to recognise the number. This enables the FLSmidth teams to deliver a quality product on time and in sequence at the lowest cost.

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