Conductix-Wampfler finds success in Pacific Northwest

Conductix-Wampfler was the selected supplier for the variable-frequency drive reels

Share this:
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share by Email

One of the largest bulk handling projects for North America in recent years is the Westshore Terminals upgrade in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Westshore is investing $275 million over the next five years to replace aging equipment and modernize its office and shop complex. The project involves replacing the shiploader at Berth 1 and three stacker-reclaimers, with all work being carried out within the existing terminal footprint. Conductix-Wampfler was the selected supplier for the eight variable-frequency drive reels. Each machine will be fitted with a water hose reel for dust suppression purposes, along with a high voltage, control, and fiber-optic composite cable. The cable selected consists of 3 × 150mm2, 6kV-rated, with ground conductors, and twenty four multi-mode optical fibers in a Protolon (M)-R construction made by the Prysmian Group.

We will be supplying our SMART Drive HD30 VFD reels, which incorporate SEW motors with integrated frequency controls. This drive has been used successfully in numerous port applications and for the electrification of rubber-tyred gantry cranes (E-RTGs). Conductix-Wampfler’s Market Development Manager Americas, Mark Zuroske, states that “while the need for variable frequency drive reels is largely seen in ports applications, the bulk handling market has been transitioning to VFD reels from the more traditional drives over the last few years.” As more bulk handling OEMs are moving to VFDs on their machines, we now offer three levels of VFD packages which include standard control, advanced control, and advanced center-point control.  Zuroske went on to state “that while some applications in the bulk handling market are gradually migrating to VFDs, our proven magnetic coupler technology continues to be suitable for the majority of the bulk handling applications”.

Conductix-Wampfler was also successful in the recent supply of a magnetic coupler reel and two specially designed stainless steel festoon systems at nearby Neptune Bulk Terminals. The cable reel was provided for a refurbishment of an existing stacker/reclaimer, where a level wind reel was replaced with a mono-spiral wrap reel. The festoons were placed on the new stacker/reclaimer that was installed in 2014.

In addition, we also shipped two magnetic coupler driven reels for the new ship loaders going to the Pacific Coast Terminal at Port Moody BC.  These reels include CSA-approved cables manufactured by the Prysmian Group’s facility in North Dighton, MA, USA.

We also supplied the cable reel for the new shiploader installed at Canpotex’s Portland, OR (USA) facility, and are under contract to supply the new reel for the potash tripper.  Both of the Canpotex projects, along with the Westshore project, involved the use of special Prysmian composite cables.  Ernesto Heller, Prysmian’s Manager Industrial Markets noted that “we have witnessed a significant increase in the demand for composite cables, which consist of power conductors, control conductors, and multi-mode fiber optics in a single jacketed cable suitable for reeling applications”.  In the case of the Westshore Terminals, the cables selected were the mining and reeling type (M)-R, which has a reduced weight and outer diameter. This was necessary to place these large mono-spiral spools into some very tight quarters. Heller went on to state that “over the years the Prysmian Group and Conductix-Wampfler have developed a close working relationship that has benefited both groups globally”. This is coupled with the realization that OEM customers and end users prefer to deal with a single company able to take responsibility for the complete project.  Also contributing to Conductix-Wampfler’s recent success has been the addition of Precision Crane Industries as its agent in British Columbia. Parent company Portal Crane Parts, Ltd has a strong presence in the BC material handling segment.  Part owner Bret Bromhead has many years of experience selling and servicing components for material handling cranes such as cable reels, festoon systems, and crane braking systems.  Mr. Bromhead stated that “Having competed in this market for 20+ years, I was very familiar with Conductix-Wampfler’s reputation for supplying quality products. Several of the major ports will only use Conductix-Wampfler festoon systems on their ship-to-shore cranes.”

Mr. Iain Barton, Conductix-Wampfler’s Global Market Manager for Mining & Bulk Materials Handling, coordinated several of these important projects between Conductix-Wampfler's global entities.  He added that “In today’s bulk markets, companies that can provide global coordination as well as local service are much more suited to executing bulk projects of a large scope."