Stefanie Reis details how an aerial conveying system used to backfill a valley was adapted to achieve an even more flexible discharge point
Since the year 2005, an aerial conveying system has been transporting inert material along a long-stretched valley at the Tüfentobel landfill site, which will eventually be backfilled. The belt is being extended in several stages. It discharges the material onto a stockpile directly where it is to be used. Finally, in March 2016, a novel concept was implemented that has further increased the flexibility of the transport system.
Relocating the discharge point of the RopeCon system in various stages was part of the overall project plan from the very beginning. The idea was to discharge the material at all times as close as possible to the location where it was to be used. The discharge point has been relocated several times already since the installation went into operation, to keep transport routes as short as possible for both the trucks supplying the material and the bulldozers spreading it from the discharge point. In March 2016 a second RopeCon was finally installed directly into the rope support structure of the original system, which now discharges the material onto the new conveyor at a height of approximately 20m. The new system can operate in both directions. This allows for two different discharge points that can be fed alternately. The second system requires no support structure of its own but rather uses the track ropes of the original system. The running wheels of the second installation return onto the track ropes on a set of rails. An important advantage of the extension concept was that even during the assembly work the original system could be kept in operation to the greatest extent possible. Long shut-down periods were thus avoided.
Backfilling benefits of RopeCon
Using one continuous RopeCon support structure, but two or more separate belt loops, Doppelmayr’s backfilling concept allows for several discharge points. A two-way chute at the transfer point makes it possible to switch between the discharge point and the transfer to the subsequent conveyor system. Discharge of the material is, therefore, always close to the point, where it is needed. This saves truck journeys to the bottom of the pit to discharge material there.
An innovative concept also allows for adjustment of the discharge height in various phases: after phase 1 has been backfilled completely, the discharge height is adjusted and backfilling of the next layer starts. Depending on the requirements of the project, this step can be repeated as required. Keeping the discharge height small helps to reduce dust emissions at the discharge point.
Stefanie Reis is with Doppelmayr