Climate- and Eco-Friendly Transport of Raw Materials

(PresseBox) ( Hannover, )
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- ContiTech conveyor belt systems carry the earth's valuable resources and protects our planet's natural richness
- Active worldwide
- New plant in Brazil
- Optimistic look into the future

The demand for raw materials is growing. Experts estimate that the worldwide requirement is growing at an average rate of four percent a year. As a manufacturer of conveyor technology, ContiTech's Conveyor Belt Group business unit participates in this growth and, accordingly, views the future quite optimistically. At the same time, the products developed by the company are climate- and eco-friendly. "Working with rubber, a material with much promise for the future, we create technological solutions for industry and the environment," explains Hans-Jürgen Duensing, general manager of the ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group. Here energy-optimized conveyor belts, which also reduce CO2 emissions, play just as big a role as does the generation of energy in downhill transport operations. In the case of more comprehensive interconnected systems, ContiTech also cooperates closely with scientific research centers. At ContiTech's booth (A16) in hall 5 at Hannover Messe, the Clausthal University of Technology, for example, is presenting a development for acoustically identifying material. With the enclosed SICON® conveyor belt, Conti-Tech, moreover, is showing how sensitive goods can be protected from moisture and contamination while being conveyed and how spillage and dust emissions can be prevented.

With sales of €469 million, the Conveyor Belt Group is the world's leading conveyor belt manufacturer and the second largest of ContiTech AG's seven business groups. With a current workforce of around 3,000, the company manufactures belts for mining as well as special conveyor belts for the most diverse transport tasks in machine and plant engineering. The product portfolio encompasses several hundred offerings. Aside from its standard range, the company also develops individually customized solutions. It is thus always in a position to supply exactly the right products to satisfy customer requirements.

Active throughout the world - now in Brazil as well

Conveyor Belt Group products are in use all around the globe. Because of the products' enormous volume and weight, transporting conveyor belts to where they are to be used can be a very involved and expensive undertaking. For this reason the Conveyor Belt Group produces in the markets in which its customers work - in Mexico, Chile and China, in India, Greece and Serbia, and in Hungary, Slovakia and Germany.

Before the year is out the Conveyor Belt Group will be stepping up its activities in South America, where a new plant will be opened in Ponta Grossa in southeastern Brazil. At a 5,000 m² facility there, a workforce of ninety will be producing textile and steel cord belts. Brazil is the major South American market for conveyor belt systems, accounting for roughly fifty percent. "Thanks to the new plant and the existing one in Chile, we are well poised to establish a firm foothold on the South American market. We shall greatly expand our market position," explains Hans-Jürgen Duensing the business unit's strategy.

Eco-friendly and energy-efficient raw material extraction

Conveyor belt systems are the energy savers and climate protectors in raw material extraction. This is the conclusion that the "Efficient Conveyor Technology and Climate Protection" study comes to. It will be presented at a panel discussion at the ContiTech AG booth in hall 5 at the Messe. The study was the brainchild of Dr. Hossein Tudeshki, professor at Clausthal University of Technology's Institute of Surface and International Mining. It demonstrates how conveyor belts make much more efficient use of energy and emit considerably less CO2 than the heavy-duty trucks usually used in mining. What is more, conveyor belt units are also capable of generating current. "Wherever raw materials are transported downhill, braking energy can be transformed into electrical energy - as in the case of a streetcar or a hybrid vehicle," explains Hans-Jürgen Duensing.

Energy generation in the case of raw material transport

In Jamaica, for example, a RopeCon® conveyor belt is in operation hauling more than 1,200 tonnes of bauxite an hour over a distance of 3.4 kilometer and an altitude of 470 meters. The transformation of braking force into electric energy yields 1,300 kW. The current is fed into the local power grid. Functioning in much the same way as a ropeway, for which reason it requires only a few tower stations, the RopeCon® system is of major benefit for the environment. "In Jamaica we were able to save the tree population by forgoing construction of a road for the transport of raw materials," reports Hans-Jürgen Duensing. The system makes up for the equivalent of 1,200 truck runs a day and eliminates the corresponding amount of CO2 and particulate emissions.

"For us it is not only a matter of transporting the world's resources but also of protecting our planet's environment," emphasizes Duensing. "Responsibility for the environment also guides us in the development, manufacture and transport of our products."
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