Chute Change Out Scissor Lift

Chute Change Out

Scissor Lift

Train load outs on the iron ore mines in Western Australia are equipped with chutes that have to be removed from time to time for general maintenance and so that the wear package can be replaced. Removing and dropping the chute has, in the past, been a labour intensive manual process using equipment such as chain blocks and ‘come-alongs’.

Designed by CMP Engineers, Loadquip has supplied the Schenck Process ProLift, which is a self propelled, rail mounted, scissor lift. The device engages with the chute, provides support while it is un-bolted, lowers it to ground level and then moves it out of the train load out point, for loading onto a truck. A replacement chute can then be loaded onto the ProLift, transported on the rails, raised and bolted into position. The ProLift lifts a new chute in about 10 minutes, compared to roughly 4 hours using chain blocks.

The ProLift and the integrated chute transport frame have been designed by CMP Engineers, and supplied by Loadquip Pty Ltd.

The ProLift is a unique machine for the removal and installation of train load out chutes on iron ore mines. It has standard 20′ container base dimensions so that it can be transported to sites using a side loading container trailer. It is used in combination with a customised frame, also based on standard container dimensions, that engages with the chute. Apart from the raise/lower and propel functions the upper support platform position is adjustable (left/right shift, yaw, roll and pitch rotation) so that the chute flange can be precisely aligned with the bolt pattern in the train load out structure.

The machine is powered by a diesel engine, with all motions: raise, lower, propel and platform adjustment being hydraulically controlled. The primary means of operation of the machine is via a remote control unit with the controls having two speeds for all motions: creep and normal. In the raised position the control system only allows creep speed.

Loadquip has designed (via CMP Engineers), implemented and installed the complete control system and graphical user interface (GUI) for the ProLift. It is controlled by a PLC and operated using a custom designed fourteen button wireless remote control unit communicating to the PLC via the CAN Open communication protocol. The PLC program provides extensive diagnostic reporting and system integrity checking. It also controls the selection of speed, position and pressure limits, so that when the ProLift is at specific raised heights, the pressure in the hydraulic circuit is limited to avoid excessive upward force on the chute structure.

The ProLift has delivered a significant improvement in the safety of the chute change-out procedure by eliminating most of the manual handling.

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