In 1997, some 30 years after the Southern African Coal Processing Society (SACPS) was formerly established, Vibramech was founded. The company has over four decades unceasingly built its reputation in southern Africa’s mining industry, considered to be among the harshest and most aggressive environments in the world.
Today, the company has become a world leader in the manufacture and supply of high-quality vibrating equipment to the minerals processing industry. The brand is synonymous with quality, reliability, and robust vibrating equipment.
Today, Vibramech is southern Africa’s largest manufacturer of vibrating minerals processing equipment. “We engineer solutions for each client’s unique minerals processing requirements. Our current installed base of over 9 000 pieces of equipment has positioned us as market share leader in our field," says Vibramech CEO, Pieter Bellingan.
"We are proud to be the preferred supplier of vibrating equipment to project houses and mines in southern Africa, and we have earned the reputation of being an OEM that designs and manufactures robust and durable screening equipment."
The company primarily supplies its equipment to mining and minerals processing industries across the globe (Africa, Europe, Asia, Australasia, North and South America), and has extensive experience in gold, diamond, coal, iron ore, manganese, platinum, chrome, nickel, uranium, copper, mineral sands and aggregate operations.
Over its lifespan, Vibramech has developed a comprehensive range of multi-slope (or Banana) screens, horizontal and inclined screens, dewatering screens, grizzly feeders, pan feeders, tubular feeders and grease tables, which are all currently operating in processing plants, ocean vessels and underground mining operations.
“Our success can be largely attributed to our design practice, which makes use of finite element analysis and strain gauge analysis to prove structural integrity, with detailed attention paid to wear protection and commonality of components to minimise spare parts inventories,” explains Vibramech MD David Massey.
The company also understands the harsh operating conditions which vibrating screens, grizzlies and feeders are subjected to in the mining industry. As such, the company is cognisant that its designs need to cater for both abrasive and corrosive environments.
“Our equipment needs to withstand the high wear associated with screening abrasive ores such as chrome, platinum and iron ore. We also have a range of speciality liner materials, paint specifications and wear prevention compounds which are used to combat the effects of corrosion in marine and refinery applications. Vibramech even offers the option to install a screen in stainless steel,” Massey notes.
The Vibramech design makes extensive use of rubber lining to reduce the effect of wear and impact on screen components. A range of steel, ceramic and polyurethane liners are available to protect screen and grizzly side plates, as well as feeder pans. An abrasion resistant / anti-corrosion epoxy resin system is used to minimise wear associated with fines in wet applications.
“It is imperative that stresses induced by welding are minimised to prevent crack formation in vibrating equipment,” Massey says. Vibramech therefore makes use of heat treatment to stress relieve all welded screen components. The overall design philosophy is to minimise welding and maximise the use of swaged fasteners.
As sound dynamic behaviour is essential to ensure vibrating equipment reliability, all equipment is built to perform within strict dynamic parameters. All internal mating surfaces are machined in order to maintain stringent dimensional tolerances.
In addition, the company’s quality assurance programme makes provision for a full 3D vibration analysis to be conducted on all equipment prior to release. This is used as a benchmark for the life of the equipment.
A 200 head-strong staff ensures control all activities, from sales through to engineering and manufacturing. All equipment is designed and manufactured by Vibramech without the use of manufacturing subcontractors. This ensures complete control over quality and scheduling.
Furthermore, its flexible and practical approach to screen design enables the client to optimise the vibrating equipment geometry, resulting in tailor-made equipment.
In addition to on-going new project contracts, Vibramech constantly strives to provide clients with augmentations to their existing vibrating equipment. This enables it to retrofit custom-made design enhancements to improve on the existing mechanical, wear and process related characteristics of any componentry which may need replacement.
Issues such as drive type preference (geared exciters / vibrator motors), increased throughput, improved efficiency, reduced panel pegging and optimised spray configurations are all addressed during the retrofitting process.
In each case, a detailed specification for the retrofit unit is compiled after focused consultations with the client, after which the current installation is geometrically assessed in order to ensure a seamless fit into the existing plant structure. Once the retrofit unit is installed and commissioned, it falls under the watchful eye of the Vibramech servicing infrastructure, providing complete peace of mind for the client.
This article appears in the November 2017 edition of Mining Review Africa, to read further about Vibramech and its role within the SACPS, please visit the website or be sure to get your hands on a printed copy.