Replacement drive wheel excavator steel producer


In the industry, in addition to safety, reliability is the top priority. After all, a unnecessary plant shutdown is a major cost item. This certainly applies to the steel plant of one of our clients. Every day we work on improving the reliability of the installations in all kinds of areas.
One of the improvements is that of a giant wheel excavator: a machine that digs ore from the ore field storage area to place it on the conveyor belt to the factory. The challenge here was twofold: on the one hand it required a completely new drivetrain, because the current electric motor is too sensitive to shock, on the other hand the steel construction had to be reinforced in one of the outriggers. At that spot – due to the high loads – a number of parts were bent.


KH Engineering was asked to take care of the basic and detailed engineering for the new drivetrain. The existing electric motor worked with a cardan shaft and a planetary gearbox. A fine drive system, but too sensitive to the rough work that has to be done in the ore field. The drivetrain is subject to shock and impact loads and can therefore be damaged. Now the steel manufacturer has a second one, but in principle the intention is that both wheel excavators can almost always be in operation simultaneously. That is why a new drive system will be introduced, based on a hydraulic motor. This hydraulic motor works on hydraulic pressure and converts hydraulic energy into mechanical energy. The principle is used a lot in cranes and can deliver a lot of power in a robust way.
KH Engineering will also provide improvements to the steel structure. Using strength calculations in among others, Finite Element software, we created in cooperation between the designing engineer and the stress engineer, the perfect steel structure for part of the outrigger, which drops the ore on the conveyor belt. In this way, this part is neither too heavy nor too light, with reinforcements at exactly those places where it is needed.

Advantage for the customer

Greater operational reliability is achieved by a hydraulic drive system, which is more shock-resistant than the original electric motor. In addition, this extends the life span of the entire wheel digger. In addition, safety is increased by reinforcing the steel construction at the points where it is needed.

KH Engineering has been working on this client’s site for decades and therefore has a lot of knowledge of the installations, but also of the client-specific requirements, wishes and regulations.
By calling on KH Engineering, the client has made use of the available knowledge and experience. But, of course, we were mainly asked for our expertise in the field of complex and challenging engineering assignments; where, in addition to flexibility, ingenuity is one of our plus points.

Activities KH Engineering

– Concept engineering
– Basic & Detail engineering
– Strength calculations with among others Finite Element software

Project Manager: Joris Wolthers

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