Tech Edge

The Tech Edge Group, which includes Winches and Winders, has through the use of innovative design and strategic partnerships further strengthened the group’s reputation as a leading manufacturer and supplier of winding solutions for the mining sector.

“Our ability to deliver a quality product tailored to customer requirements has most certainly kept our order books burgeoning through, 2019,” says Tech Edge Group MD, Bannister Erasmus.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 12, 2019

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“A coup for the company was the recent installation of Southern Africa’s first locally designed and manufactured mobile rope handling system at platinum developer Wesizwe’s Bakubung mine near Rustenburg. We have fully commissioned the rope handling system and have successfully roped up all the required winders on site.”

Read more about mining in southern Africa

High-end projects

Tech Edge is presently manufacturing for two South African gold mining clients 2 x 2.5m diameter, state-of-the-art Double Drum Winders with 500kW electric control and hydraulic systems.

Installation and commissioning of all equipment including ancilliaries and headgear modifications, will be provided by the company.

Another project benefiting from Tech Edge’s expertise is TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mine’s Kipushi mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the company was involved in winder upgrades and replacement. Ivanhoe Mines recently completed the de-watering project at Kipushi.

Read more about mining in central Africa

Tech Edge installed an ESCORT brake system on the P5 service winder as part of the overall winder upgrade, which was commissioned in January 2019.

The company also installed and commissioned the P2 shaft winder which is a complete 1.8 m diameter, 425 kW winder replacement and forms part of Phase 1 of the Cascade Winder System upgrade project.

The P15 shaft winder is identical to P2, allowing large savings on spares holdings

Another winder being manufactured for Kipushi by Tech Edge is a 3m diameter, 450Kw Koepe winder scheduled for installation in April 2020.

Winches and Winders has also supplied, installed and commissioned a turnkey solution for a mine in East Asia.

The scope included a complete winder house and headgear as well as a 1.8 m diameter single drum service winder and 1 m diameter stage winders with full electrical control systems, all of which were fully compliant with stringent Australian mining standards.

All ropes and roping up equipment required for the service and stage winders and conveyances and shaft steelwork were included in the scope.

Winches and Winders was the sole custodian for the supply, installation and commissioning of the full equipment for the shaft project.

Strategic collaboration

“We believe in strategic partnerships when specific challenges require it,” adds Erasmus.

Recently, we partnered with Siemens for the supply of mechanical components for the upgrade of a manganese cable belt conveyor at a mine in Hotazel.

This collaboration enables us to replace a complete electro-mechanical system with modernised components and electronics,” he outlines.

The new mechanical components comprise of two independently powered drive wheels 3.5 m in diameter, hydraulic power pack, disc brakes, with a planetary gearbox and 785 kW motor driving each wheel.

The new control system consists of variable speed drives, MCC panels, drive transformers and a PLC.

The cable belt currently hoists rock up a 14.5˚incline, 1 675 m long, divided into two sections.

Both driving ropes are 45 mm in diameter, and with the upgraded system, will be able to run at a maximum speed of 3.3 m/s with a belt load of 84.2 kg/m. A peak rope pull of 40 t per rope will be achievable.

 “Our engineering teams consider safety, cost-effectiveness and best engineering practice an essential ingredient of our project analysis. Our role is to make sure that all possible challenges are identified and overcome. That way, we will always design and manufacture winding solutions to the highest of standards, that are cost efficient and that meet the needs of our clients fully.

“We are also installing full Solar Generated Power for all our manufacturing and office functions. This sizeable investment in green energy underpins our commitment to a clean environment, providing full business continuity in the event of power cuts by existing suppliers. ” Erasmus concludes.