Jam the brakes on!

Recently, Queensland Sugar had been having trouble with one of their feed conveyor belts running off in reverse once power to the motor had been cut and the brakes engaged on the drive assembly. The IBS Centre of Engineering Innovation was approached to solve the problem by either modification of the   existing setup or the design of a completely new system. The catch, it had to be completed in 1 week with a 3 hour window for the swap-out!

Adam and Eric (IBS’s resident engineers) together with Alex (our Workshop Supervisor) began by gathering as much information about the current system as possible by

Old Design Setup

Old Design Setup

first travelling to the site to measure the original system and look at other similar ones that are also being used. They then used this information to calculate back to the desired braking force for the drum and worked on the specifications of the new system whilst simultaneously organizing; braking material, the air ram which was quickly sourced through SMC Pneumatics and the manufacture of a failsafe custom compression spring.

Once the design specifications were sorted out, our 3D CAD modeling tools were used to create the new design and workshop drawings almost overnight. These were given to Mark, Hugh, Fabian, Rik, Nathan and Gurmail to produce the brake assembly whilst Innisfail Brakes was responsible for the installation of the pads. I’m sure Garry (our Workshop Coordinator) would have been on the phone as frantically as Alex was during the whole ordeal!

New Design Setup
New Design Setup

When the day came to install the new system on the conveyor (in the scheduled 3 hour shutdown) the old brake was removed and the new one setup in its place without any problems, and in just 1.5 hours! With a little bit of tweaking of the pressure Queensland Sugar can now actively control the stopping of their conveyor without it going into reverse and making a big mess at the bottom!

Oh yeah, and all this happened while Bill was away on a cruise ship, probably sipping piña coladas …

Great work Centre of Engineering Innovation!

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