Adaptability is the watchword in FLSmidth’s Buffalo™ range of low-capacity modular reclaim feeders, making it a versatile offering for anything from run-of-mine applications by medium-tier miners to flexible stand-in units for larger operations when stacker-reclaimers require maintenance downtime.

According to PC Kruger, FLSmidth’s account manager for coal in sub-Saharan Africa, the modular format allows different discharge heights and loading decks of various lengths to suit the required application. It also facilitates transportation of these units in standardised containers to remote locations, after being manufactured in a dedicated FLSmidth workshop.

“Our current designs are optimal for soft, non-abrasive material such as coal and salt, as well as potash and gypsum,” says Kruger. “The modularity allows us to tailor the final product to meet customers’ specific requirement and ensure optimal productivity, with easy reclaiming using dozers or front-end loaders.”

Depending on the application and the level of mobility required, the units can be mounted on skids or even wheels to be relocated from one position on site to another. This further enhances their versatility. The motor control centre (MCC) is located onboard the reclaim feeder and only the power supply needs to be isolated before relocating the unit.

“Our reclaim feeders and feeder breakers can be installed as a free-standing unit – with or without civil works – or as a multi-unit construction with hoppers or sizers,” Kruger says. “This presents an ideal backup system for stacker and reclaimer systems, and they can be implemented for side-tipping or back-tipping applications to reduce double handling of material.”

The modularity of the units also makes for easier logistics; rather than demanding the large lifting equipment for the conventional size of composite units, this range requires much lighter lifting capacity of just two to three tonnes. The economy of this design extends to manpower, as fewer artisans are required for assembly and commissioning.

The heavy-duty design features replaceable individual parts throughout the full length of the feeder, which is powered by electromechanical and hydraulic drives. Flow control is achieved through adjustable hydraulics, variable speed drives and gearbox ratios. Pitch chains are available in 4 inch.

“A hydraulic take-up system ensures ideal and consistent chain tensioning on the shaft take-up assembly,” he adds, “with auxiliary components such as wheel assemblies, lights, lubrications systems and safety features offering a true, fit-for-purpose solution.”

The Buffalo™ brand of feeder breakers, introduced in 1975, became part of the FLSmidth group in 1999, changing its name to FLSmidth Buffalo™. The Buffalo™ acquisition has strengthened FLSmidth’s position as a market-leading manufacturer and supplier of feeders, feeder breakers and sizers. Manufactured in South Africa, FLSmidth Buffalo™ equipment is distributed globally.

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