ABB Partners With Takraf to Deploy One of the World’s Most Powerful Gearless Conveyor Drive Systems

October 04, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

ABB and TAKRAF Partner to install one of the world’s most powerful gearless conveyor drive system in Chuquicamata, Chile.

ABB provides its global network of customers with innovative power and automation technologies. The company operates its business in several key areas, including discrete automation and motion, power products, low voltage products, power systems, and process automation.



Recently, ABB completed commissioning and testing for one of the world's most powerful gearless conveyor drive (GCD) systems located at the Chuquicamata copper mine Chile's Antofagasta region. 

ABB collaborates closely with TAKRAF, a Tenova company specializing in providing integrated solutions for global mining, minerals, processing bulk material handling, beneficiation, and air environmental industries.


ABB commissions the world's most powerful gearless conveyor drive systems. Image courtesy of ABB Mining

Chile's New Gearless Conveyor Drive System 

Back in the fall of 2019, about 19 drive systems were commissioned in record time.  The conveyor system was built underground with a length of 13km and the ability to transport 11 thousand tons of ore per hour, with an elevation of 1300m.

In partnership with TAKRAF, ABB supplied power and control for the system with 11 5MW GCDs with AC synchronous motors. To enhance the flexibility and accuracy of Chile's conveyor system, ABB used its Mining Conveyor Control Program (MCCP). 

This allows control of the conveyor belt, ensuring its smooth operation and safety by synchronizing both High Power Motors and High Power Hydraulic Brakes, which is essential when going uphill. ABB also supplied five containerized E-rooms to ensure secure housing for control, electrification, and instrumentation equipment. 


An infographic for the project at Chuquicamata. Image courtesy of ABB


Not only did ABB provide the technical solution needed for the project, but they also tackled challenges concerning transport, logistics, and installation to ensure the conveyor system was a success. 


Aiming to Improve Factory Assembly

An embedding concept developed by both ABB and TAKRAF involved the complete factory assembly and testing of GCD motors, easy installation, and efficient alignment. This saved on installation time and shortened the deployment of maintenance teams. The motors were designed to be mechanically disconnected from the drive pulley rapidly. 

This means that operations can continue if a drive failure occurs. Abb aims to make this a long term solution that has been meticulously planned and constructed so that it can operate for more than 50 years.


ABB and TAKRAF facility. Image courtesy of ABB


"This is a new milestone in underground applications for continuous mining. It is the highest drive power ever installed on a conveyor and uses a wide range of features for data acquisition, equipment assessment and process optimization." said Ulf Richter, Global Product Manager for Belt Conveyor Systems, at ABB. 


Sustainability and Energy Efficiency 

By combining ABB's liquid-cooled MV voltage-source frequency converters with large synchronous motors, active and reactive power consumption decreases. This ensures increased energy efficiency without additional network filters.

To reduce carbon emissions and provide clean air to workers in Chucuicamata (in line with the strict health and safety executive (HSE) requirements), ABB also installed its Ability Ventilation Optimizer.