Anyone who, like Wilfried Dünnwald, looks back on many years of working as a miner in a managerial position knows the potential problems at transfer points of conveyor systems first-hand. It makes no difference in which industry the continuous conveyor technology transports bulk materials. It also makes no difference whether it works underground or open pit. Spillages or dust emissions are a nuisance for all industries. In order to be able to contain both of these problems permanently and at the same time without an exponential increase of the maintenance efforts for the skirtings of the transfers used for this purpose, Dünnwald brooded intensively over various technical principles. This basic self-study of the options included a strict exclusion procedure. What would have been the point of developing a further, basically similar technical solution to the ones already in place? The inventor’s own specifications were therefore also concerned with eliminating the well-known unfavorable side effects of existing systems. In order to break new ground in terms of wear and tear, maintenance-free operation and service life, only a contact-free method was ultimately considered and the Venturi principle came into focus. Based on this approach, numerous trials followed that proved increasingly promising in the course of the test runs and were additionally fueled by a corresponding customer order. The prototype of the now patented AirScrape was thus born in 2012 (Figure 2), laying the foundation for successful series production. This initial success encouraged Dünnwald to take production into his own hands and thus he founded ScrapeTec Trading GmbH in Kamp-Lintfort/Germany in 2015 (Figure 1).
According to the current state, a user-relevant undertaking. Meanwhile about 1,000 belt transfers worldwide are protected by ScrapeTec solutions. “One of the first series production models of the AirScrape has been in daily use in a dolomite plant since 2013 and still performs its task reliably,” confirms the developer with justified pride. Also products that later followed the AirScrape under the names of DustScrape and TailScrape have always emerged from the specific needs that became apparent to the developing experts during on-site installations or were formulated by customers.
“It is exciting to always be able to find a suitable solution. In the meantime, we have found that transfer points offer more positive potential for this than was previously thought. Of course, I am primarily interested in the technical side. But now our products are also convincing those responsible for controlling and experts for occupational safety and health. This motivates the entire workforce and makes them happy,” says Dünnwald, who likes to share the success of his company’s innovations.
How intensively the aspects of occupational safety, health protection, efficiency, cost reduction, environmental protection, energy saving – in short: sustainability – are linked to the use of an AirScrape system, is also regularly noted by ScrapeTec sales manager, Thorsten Koth. His current impression: “The AirScrape and its current product siblings have developed solid self-propelling tendencies and are in demand internationally. Our participation in relevant trade fairs has significantly increased the awareness of our products internationally. This offensive approach has also helped us to stabilize the ScrapeTec presence through newly acquired local partners.”
In addition, there is a lot of positive feedback from users: “All of them confirm how quickly the implementation pays off – if the operator does not shy away from the initially somewhat higher investment costs. The reward follows immediately and consists in working with a reliable, virtually wear-free system, actually no dust at transfers, better working conditions for the workforce, and less wear and tear on the belt, rollers and the entire system. Added to this is a plus in energy efficiency. If you want to get an idea of how the AirScrape works without going on a journey, you can easily find illustrative application videos on YouTube.”
With the flare-up of the corona restrictions, ScrapeTec has also accelerated its previously planned remote work. This segment offers, e. g., webinars or video conferences, in which problem cases can be presented on site with a camera and discussed with ScrapeTec’s experts. This saves time and costs in the run-up to the implementation, without compromising the real objective of a successful installation.
The references of ScrapeTec include numerous medium-sized companies as well as names such as RWE, K+S, Thyssen-Krupp or Saint Gobain. The AirScrape is now used worldwide at belt transfer points, proving its efficiency even under difficult climate conditions.
ScrapeTec Trading GmbH