NUREMBERG, Germany (Jan. 11, 2013) – The Siemens Drive Technologies Division has received an order from ThyssenKrupp Robins (Greenwood Village, Colo.) to supply the gearless drive system for the overland conveyor system in the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru. The owner of the mine is Xstrata Copper (Brisbane, Australia). Las Bambas will be the second Xstrata Copper mine in Peru to use gearless drives from Siemens on its overland conveyors. The first Peruvian copper mine that is utilizing Gearless Drives is the Antapaccay Mine, which began commercial operations at the beginning of November 2012. When compared to conventional drive systems, gearless drives not only have higher efficiency, availability, and reliability, but also lower maintenance requirements. Start-up of the new conveyor system at Las Bambas is scheduled for 2014.

The overland conveyors at Xstrata's Las Bambas copper mine are being designed and supplied by ThyssenKrupp. Each of the two overland conveyors is approximately 2.5 kilometers long and will transport ore from the mine to the processing plant. The belts will be 1,830 millimeters wide, travel at 6.5 meters per second, and are designed to transport approximately 9,400 tons of material per hour.

The Siemens drive systems for each of the two overland conveyors comprise two low-speed synchronous motors – each with a total power of 4,400 kilowatts – and the associated Sinamics SL150 cycloconverters. This gearless drive solution has a number of advantages over the combination of high speed motor and gearbox drives usually used on conveyor systems. The size of the motor is not limited by the size of gearbox available, thus eliminating the necessity to install multi-motor drives. The power required to drive a belt can be provided by just one drive per belt pulley. This enables the size of the electrical room to be reduced, thus saving space and weight. The elimination of a whole series of mechanical and electrical components increases the reliability and efficiency of the overall system by between three and four percent. Using gearless drives instead of standard motor reducer packages will eliminate approximately 40 bearings and eight couplings per conveyor. The maintenance requirements of the drive system are also substantially lower. Gearbox maintenance work alone can amount to up to five percent of the original annual investment cost for each year. Lubrication and gearbox cooling systems, together with their maintenance, are also obsolete for this solution.

The first conveyor system to run with gearless drives was installed in 1986 by Siemens and ThyssenKrupp (formerly O&K) in the Prosper-Haniel Mine belonging to Deutsche Steinkohle AG.

Part of Xstrata plc, Xstrata Copper is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, and runs mines and production plants in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada and Peru. The company is the fourth largest copper producer in the world. The Las Bambas copper mine in the south of Peru is under full construction and is scheduled to produce some 400,000 tons of copper in concentrate per annum from 2015.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen) is a supplier of innovative and environmentally-friendly products and solutions for industrial customers. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the industry sector comprises the Divisions Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services as well as the Business Unit Metals Technologies.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division (Nuremberg) is a supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability.