Australian engineering wins world class customers for Ontrak

Ontraks' Australian designed-and-built feeder breakerAustralian engineering is winning new markets for a local manufacturer despite a high dollar and global economic uncertainties.

Ontrak Engineering, a wholly owned Australian business, was started in 1998 as a service company and has evolved into the manufacturing and overhaul of underground coal mining equipment serving some of the world’s leading resource companies.

Ontrak’s latest success came this year when it teamed with Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd to take out first place in the Australian Bulk Handling Awards in the category of Excellence in the Application of Gears, Motors or Drives. The ward follows the achievement earlier in the year of an Australian Design Award – Good Design (TM), from Good Design Australia.

The entry featured high Australian engineering content, both from Ontrak and from its award entry partner Bonfiglioli Transmission Australia, which provided custom-engineered Alignment-Free Drives and especially adapted A series and HDO series helical bevels and 711 series Mobile Travel Drives for the Ontrak feeder breakers used underground at BHP Billiton’s underground Appin coal mine.

Key factors in winning the Bulk Handling Award from a record field of Bulk Handling Award entries included product quality, versatility, customer responsiveness and engineering innovation from both Ontrak and Bonfiglioli.

“Qualities which make our product better include our strict quality control system and our willingness to listen to our customers and incorporate any changes that they request to help better suit their needs.” says the Managing Director of Ontrak Mr Steve Lewry,

“The track drive system is designed to work on all floor conditions with different track widths for ground pressure issues. The crusher breaker’s entire deck system is lined with chromium laminate wear- resistant material for durability and reliability. It’s also the only Australian designed and built feeder on the market,” said Mr Lewry, whose company’s customer include many world-class resource companies including Rio Tinto, Xstrata Coal, Gujarat NRE, Centennial Coal, Solid Energy NZ and Peabody Coal, among many others.

Ontraks' Australian designed-and-built feeder breakerThe Bonfiglioli drive combinations featured in the successful entry for the Australian Bulk Handling award were chosen by Ontrak for their superior technology, innovative Australian engineering and total reliability in arduous conditions.

Bonfiglioli supplied Ontrak Engineering with conveyor, crusher and travel drives for three feeder breakers working in underground conditions at the Appin mine in New South Wales.

Bonfiglioli’s large and diversified product range provided a one-stop shop for Ontrak, which was able to get three very different kinds of geared motors for use in its Australian designed-and-built feeder breakers.

The machinery’s crusher uses a Bonfiglioli Heavy Duty Bevel Helical HDO gear box in an alignment free (AFD) configuration with a built in slip for coal crushing. The AFD configuration, engineered at Bonfiglioli HQ in Sydney, further extends the versatility of the HD series of advanced heavy duty drives by introducing an alignment-free configuration that cost-effectively integrates motor and gearbox. The AFD design offers an alternative to laser-aligned baseplate types that allow the use of close coupled IEC B5 flange mounted motors up to a G315 frame size

The conveyor also incorporates a smaller Bonfiglioli A90 helical bevel gearbox modified with a hydraulic motor to provide conveyer drive to bring the coal to the crusher. Lastly, the whole feeder breaker is made mobile by track drives running Bonfiglioli’s 711 hubs with a releasable brake system to allow for towing.

“We choose to use Bonfiglioli products because of their excellent support staff, local assembly of their drives and motors, which mean they are painted and ready to fit, as well as their superior quality.” says Mr Lewry. “We’ve used their products for four years and have never had a failure.”

Ontraks' Australian designed-and-built feeder breakerBonfiglioli’s HD AFD design joins Bonfiglioli’s expanding range of Australasian-engineered mounting options for specific applications. The HD AFD combinations – with capacities up to 1722 kW and 150,000 Nm – complement Bonfiglioli’s Hi Torque drives and offer quick, trouble-free assembly and maintenance of high speed components including fans, fluid couplings and brakes.

“HD AFD models can save both time and money in a range of applications because there is no need to laser-align the motor and gearbox shafts,” says the Managing Director of Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd, Mr Malcolm Lewis.

In addition to reduced initial costs compared with traditional baseplate designs, the HD AFD configuration enhances serviceability by permitting high speed components to be removed and replaced without the need for re-alignment.

Applications include conveyor drives, shuttle drives, bucket elevators, inching drives and other materials handling equipment.

Local production, combined with in-depth local engineering expertise, enables Bonfiglioli to custom-engineer specific solutions for industrial equipment and mobile equipment.

Bonfiglioli Transmission Australia’s Drives Service Centre, coupled with local assembly of HD heavy drives, enables Bonfiglioli to respond rapidly to industry’s rapidly developing needs for drives required for prompt delivery to avoid costly delay or downtime in mining and heavy engineering installations.

The DSC also allows Bonfiglioli to promptly and precisely custom engineer drives to optimise performance for particular applications. The unique DSC facility recognises that many non-standard mining applications today require non-standard solutions to achieve best results.

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