Electric drive eases load for Nickelhütte

By Steve Ducker31 August 2016

Sennebogen has recently delivered an electric-drive 825 M model material handler to the Nickelhütte large indoor facility in Germany, which recycles and remarkets a wide range of non-ferrous metals.

The 825 performs loading tasks throughout the 480 ft (146 m) long structure. Thanks to an overhead power solution, its mobility is completely unrestricted.

A ceiling-mounted trolley crane delivers power to the material handler, keeping electrical cables out of the way of floor operations. A rotary feedthrough on the upper carriage ensures that the cable is securely connected with the machine.

The supply cable is guided along with each movement of the machine via a ceiling crane, automatically tracking the deflection of the cable to move anywhere it’s needed.

Nickelhütte exports chemicals, metallic salts, non-ferrous scrap metals, copper-alloy blocks, and concentrates, shipping to 45 countries worldwide. Its electric-drive material handler sorts, loads, and moves many types of metal scrap through its storage halls.

The company estimates that it achieves a 50% saving in energy and operating costs when compared to diesel machines. Indoors, the electric equipment has the added advantage of working quietly and trouble-free in a high dust environment with no filter changing needed and no exhaust gases to overcome.

The setup is extremely simple and could easily be retrofitted into existing structures. The ceiling crane is controlled by sensing the deflection of the cable.

Regardless of the direction in which the machine moves, or how the carriage is slewed, the deflection of the cable directs the crane bridge and crane trolley to follow, while the operator remains focused on the loading work.

“Electric drives are the future for us,” said Henry Sobieraj, managing director of the Nickelhütte site.

“Not least because we generate electricity ourselves and energy efficiency is an important issue for us. I am very happy that we have found a genuine alternative to diesel drives for flexible indoor use.”

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