In response to low commodity prices and a worldwide need for improvement in operational efficiencies within the mining sector, FLSmidth has launched a new Buffalo high capacity feeder breaker product range.
In conjunction with a longer machine life and reduced cost of ownership, the new feeder breaker is aimed, primarily, at optimising bord and pillar operations.
“In essence, it will assist the underground mining sector increase and streamline productivity while reducing operational costs,” says P.C. Kruger, capital sales manager responsible for the Buffalo product line at FLSmidth in South Africa. The manufacturing facility for Buffalo feeder breakers is situated in eMalahleni, in South Africa’s coal fields.
“The new Buffalo high capacity feeder breaker model was designed in partnership with various customers following an intensive analysis of underground mining operations and their key performance indicators,” Kruger says. “After four months of intensive detailed design and testing, we commissioned and officially launched the first prototype in May 2015.”
In parallel with this, product optimisation has been completely rolled out across the FLSmidth underground feeder breaker product line. Efficiency enhancement forms part of FLSmidth’s global strategy.
The months which followed the launch have already revealed the new product’s success. Between June and September 2015, FLSmidth successfully delivered seven Buffalo high capacity feeder breakers to various mines around the Witbank coal fields. “Our customers are satisfied the equipment meets and exceeds operational and safety requirements,” Kruger states.
Subsequently, FLSmidth is negotiating with various customers to supply and deliver another six units before the end of December 2015. “We are looking forward to building on this success further throughout 2016.”
Kruger explains that Buffalo has maintained a robust design philosophy throughout its manufacturing decades. Buffalo feeders have always been recognised for their ability to operate within the harshest South African mining environments and have become synonymous with reliability and performance.
“With the latest design technology at our disposal and through FLSmidth expertise, the company adopted a weight optimisation modular design for its new range of Buffalo feeder breakers – without sacrificing on health, safety or quality. This philosophy not only achieves a safer manufacturing environment but also decreases delivery lead times significantly,” Kruger outlines.
Additional benefits for the new underground modular, semi-mobile feeder breaker product range, incorporating tried and tested Buffalo parts, are widespread. Close proximity detection systems ensure customer satisfaction upon delivery. By utilising variable speed technology and on-board PLC control, a 20 t shuttle car can offload in just 40 seconds. Spillage at transfer points is also minimised thanks to the mainframe’s design which is fit-for-purpose among different shuttle car suppliers.
Kruger notes that fire suppression systems can be incorporated and fitted at a customer’s request. The feeder breaker can also be converted or upgraded into a feeder breaker/sizer combination if an in-section sizing solution is required.
“The FLSmidth team involved in this latest Buffalo innovation is very excited about the new product line and believes this is the beginning of a new era for the brand. With a wide range of products being built at our facility in eMalahleni and continuous design improvements, in combination with other FLSmidth products, we are able to assist customers in increasing the lifetime of equipment, and deliver on our ‘one source’ business philosophy,” Kruger highlights.
“We aim to further penetrate the global market by utilising the FLSmidth global footprint and the favourable exchange rates in the current depressed economic environment,” Kruger concludes.
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