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The Vacon Variable Speed Drive Strikes Gold!

200 to 280kw VSD Panel
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Vacon 10 Compact
Vacon NXP Variable Speed Drives

The rolling fields of County Tyrone in Ireland are an unlikely setting for a goldmine but, located in the small town of Cavancaw, the Omagh Minerals Site (OMS) is just that. The only goldmine in the country, OMS recently suffered a catastrophic failure of its ball-mill, an integral machine in its gold production process.

Gold is extracted from mineral ore; trace amounts of the precious metal are present in each ton of the heavy material. Ore is mined before being emptied into the ball mill which, using heavy ball-bearings, crushes it into a powder from which the trace amounts of gold dust can be more easily extracted. Weighing over fifty tonnes when fully loaded and drive by a 250 kW motor, the ball mill requires a torque force of more than 24,000 nM in order to begin functioning, pressures which resulted in the failure of its gearbox.

Bearing specialists Hayley Group were called in to investigate the breakdown of the valuable machine. The results of this investigation showed that the current gearbox attached to the ball mill was barely adequate for the purpose and, to improve reliability, a gearbox of a higher-capacity should be installed. The estimated delivery time of this larger gearbox was, however, in excess of 8 weeks, during which time the mine would be completely out of service. Understandably, Omagh Minerals were reluctant to close for such an extended period of time and, as advised by Hayley Group, decided instead to fit a smaller gearbox with a 250 kW variable speed drive system as the highest load on the gearbox only occurred upon start-up.

Ralspeed were able to provide a bespoke variable speed drive system within a single week, allowing the mine to quickly resume operations. Mark Jones, representing Hayley Group, said, "The panel, which incorporates a high-performance Vacon variable speed drive, was delivered right on schedule. Because Ralspeed had designed specifically for the application, it was quick and easy to install and commission, which meant that we were able to get it into service without delay. This has turned out to be an effective and convenient solution, not least because of the very fast delivery and excellent support provided by Ralspeed (who have) certainly hit the gold standard for Omagh Minerals!”

Our variable speed drives and soft starters are among the best available on the market today and we have a strong focus on swift provision. For more information on our superlative range of control gear, please contact our dedicated customer service team on 01254 582345 or email us at To receive updates, special offers and other news from Ralspeed, please subscribe to our regular, feature-filled newsletter.

16th December 2013, 16:38
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  • Danfoss Vacon 100 GP 0.75kW-160kW
  • VersiStart Range
  • Variable Speed Drive Panel 185-200kW for Hire
  • 3 Pole Contactor 11kW - 15kW
  • Danfoss Vacon 10 Compact 0.25kW-5.5kW
Page updated 16th Dec 2013, 16:58
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