Experience borne of Australia's toughest projects produces massively durable Milsons Point Wharf gangway for tourist hot spot

August 2017

A company that has built its reputation on the fabrication of massively durable major steel structures for public and private infrastructure - including mining, materials handling, oil and gas and waste water projects - is now completing one of its biggest jobs ever for public maritime facilities.

TW Woods Construction has manufactured the architecturally formed 26-ton gangway for the new Milson's Point ferry wharf at the heart of Sydney's maritime and tourist facilities, where it must withstand an aggressive maritime environment in a busy port while delivering ongoing safety and high load capacity. 

Tomago-based T.W. Woods is known nationally and internationally for its exceptional metal forming and fabrication of mining and infrastructure capabilities for the mining and energy, oil and gas, water and waste water industries, including rolled steel pressure vessels and giant rail, energy, minerals and coal bulk handling loaders and chute systems.

In its latest project involving the 26-ton gangway for the new Milsons Point ferry wharf, just under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, TW Woods worked with Waterway Constructions to develop the new wharf gangway, which will be located near Luna Park and the North Sydney Pool, which are both busy tourist and commuter hot spots.

The 24m long and 4.4m wide structure involved complex structural fabrication and profile cutting to form the enormous steel structure, which must absorb high loading weights once installed. 

TW Woods Director Tom Woods with the newly fabricated Milsons Point wharf gangway

TW Woods Director Tom Woods with the newly fabricated Milsons Point wharf gangway.

The new 24m long gangway of Milsons Point Wharf moves towards completion in one of TW Woods Constructions' fabrication facilities

The new 24m long gangway of Milsons Point Wharf moves towards completion in one of TW Woods Constructions' fabrication facilities.

The gangway has not only been designed to safeguard the safety of millions of tourists, but also has been designed for longevity in terms of environmental factors, such as the salt water that surrounds a ferry wharf and the varying and vibrating loads that will use it.

"The heavy fabrication and quality finish involved in this project are all especially designed to minimise corrosion, since it will be installed in a highly saline and busy industrial environment," said Mr Woods, whose company has worked closely with Waterway Constructions on several other maritime projects, including the Sydney Harbour Overseas Passenger Terminal upgrade and the new wharves at Mayfield 7 in Newcastle.

"For a company that's typically fabricating large machinery and parts for mining and bulk materials handling, it's a rewarding challenge to work on construction and infrastructure projects, especially in Sydney's key tourist and maritime facilities like Milsons Point," he said.

"The experience we have accumulated doing mining and infrastructure projects - including water, waste water, gas and industrial projects - has contributed to our understanding of and exceeding the high-quality standards expected for this public infrastructure task."

"In turn, this project extends our capacity for private infrastructure projects said Mr Woods, whose company has invested millions of dollars to upgrade its fabrication and metal processing facilities, including cad-cam plate processing facilities, stud welding machine and a plate handling and processing facility serviced by a 10-tonne overhead gantry crane.

Facilities also include an 800 sq m paint and blasting facility incorporating a sand blast chamber with 10-metre high ceiling to handle large jobs, feeding directly to a state-of-the-art 720 sq m industrial paint shop with 12m entry door to handle major projects. 

The company also has also installed specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology for metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium. 

The three-generation family-owned business prides itself in having comprehensive technologies and skills on-site, so that it can maintain close quality control at each step of the project while controlling progress towards delivery on time and on budget. 

T.W. Woods Directors Tom and Glenn Woods demonstrate the company’s thick steel forming capability

T.W. Woods Directors Tom and Glenn Woods demonstrate the company’s thick steel forming capability.

Private infrastructure projects range from massive train loaders to specialised mining and energy fabrications

Private infrastructure projects range from massive train loaders to specialised mining and energy fabrications.

TW Woods Construction
 
Headquartered on a two-hectare site at Tomago near Newcastle, T.W. Woods offers complete manufacturing services in-house, guaranteeing reliability of supply of quality projects completed on time. The Group’s design, engineering and fabrication capabilities extend over more than 4000 sq m of workshop area. T.W. Woods operates nationally for clients in the mining, metals, construction, energy, materials handling, water and waste water and related industries. Services available within the one well-equipped facility include: 
 
  • Extensive heavy and medium plate fabrication 
  • Proven toughened steel expertise (Distributor for Duaplate)
  • Plate rolling, pressing and processing, including complex shapes
  • Transfer chutes, bins, hoppers and silos
  • Materials handling technology
  • Abrasive blasting and industrial painting
  • Cad Cam plasma cutting
 
For further information, please contact T.W. Woods Group, 521 Tomago Road, Tomago, NSW 2322, ph 61-2 4964 8300, fax 61-2 4964 8671, tom@twwoods.com.au, www.twwoods.net.au.
 
Media enquiries to Whyte Public Relations +61 2 9439-9329 or whyte@bigpond.com.
 
Glenn Woods, Jamie Woods, Tom Woods and Labor Federal candidate for Newcastle Sharon Claydon watch operator Stuart Hamilton, left, plasma-cut a chromium carbide liner for mining industry use at T.W. Woods Tomago plant.

Clean, green birthday boost for resources and energy innovator T.W. Woods Construction

A Newcastle company that has invested millions in redeveloping its facilities to expand its Australian and global customer base has been recognised with a Federal Government grant to invest in clean and renewable resources.

The T.W. Woods Group – which manufactures materials handling technology including transfer chutes and loading gates for many of Australia’s biggest resources and energy companies – will receive up to $153,900 from the Federal Government’s revenue in revenue from the carbon price.

Federal Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, AM MP, and Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Grierson MP, announced the grant from the Federal Labor Government’s $1 billion Clean Technology Investment Program.

The announcement came as T.W. Woods celebrates its 50th anniversary after undertaking a three-year expansion of its Tomago facility from which it operates nationally and exports as far afield as Canada and China. The company has also become a valued supplier to the water treatment and materials handling industry because of its investment in expanded capacity to process specialised metals and manufacture complex shapes required for special-purpose tanks, silos and pressure vessels.

Visiting the company, Sharon Grierson congratulated T.W. Woods Construction and said the grant would help them to reduce power bills and carbon emissions. “Working in partnership with T.W. Woods Construction, Federal Labor is assisting industry by reducing their energy bills by $60,000 per year,” Ms Grierson said. “At the same time the company will cut carbon pollution by reducing the energy intensity of their operations by 32 per cent.”

“This will be achieved by replacing compressors and lighting, as well as investing in photoelectric cells to regulate lights, the installation of additional translucent roof panels and variable speed control of their grit blast exhaust fan, and upgraded hot water systems.”

“These changes are exactly the sort of practical improvements that the Clean Technology Investment Programs were designed to support, and they’re having a real benefit to Newcastle businesses, the community and the environment.”

T.W. Woods Managing Director Tom Woods said the grant reinforced his company’s own investment in the type of cleaner and greener technologies that environmentally sensitive customers are increasingly requiring of their suppliers.

“Because we are exporting nationally and internationally we have to be able to demonstrate to global companies that we share their corporate ethos of environmental responsibility. We have already poured large sums of our own money into advanced and efficient technologies such as our plasma cutting bed for plate profiling and processing. So to get this grant in addition is a bit of a birthday present for our 50 year celebrations,” he said.

T.W. Woods Transfer Chute

Time-saving compact coal transfer chute proves its robust benefits in service

 

A smooth flowing low-height transfer chute designed to overcomes space, spillage and conveyor bulking problems common in coal mining and coal handling facilities is being proven in service at a busy Hunter Valley colliery. 

The chute – manufactured by the T.W. Woods Group – is used extensively throughout the underground coal mine, which produces more than 1.6 million tons a year and supplies a nearby power station. New and refurbished models of the chute being incorporated into conveyors handling the throughput. 

“The chute’s major advantages are its simplicity, ease of installation and robust design,” says a leader of the mine team responsible for its use and maintenance. “We put in one new chute and a couple of refurbished chutes recently and it was very straightforward. It takes one shift about four hours to perform the complete installation,” he said.  

The tough hardened steel design – built to outlast conventional types – is based on the T.W. Woods’ Group’s experience of more than 40 years in constructing plant for mining, energy, construction and materials handling plant throughout Australia. 

“The design more than covers what we do. It’s a robust simple design that’s pretty wear resistant and easy to adjust for our operations, which involve about 1200 tons and hour with throughput containing lumps up to 300-400mm, said the team leader. 

“We use it on left and right hand 90-degree turns, where it is easy to adjust for throughput flow. The chute hangs off the jib frame, sitting on bearing blocks, taking discharge from the upper belt. It’s straightforward to adjust back and forward for throughput as you require.” 

The low-height transfer chute features a conical head developed  by mining specialist designers to maintain high volume high flow rates (up to 2000 tons an hour) when conveyors change direction either underground or on the surface. 

“Frequently in underground mines you get 90 degree turns as coal conveyors emerge from one shaft and have to transfer into another within very tight spaces,” says T. W. Woods Director Mr Tom Woods.  “It is usually very difficult to get coal to turn that quickly without spillage and bulking up on the conveyor belts as coal is dropped from the belt above onto the one below while changing direction.” The company’s transfer chutes are designed to overcome two problems inherent in this situation: 

  1. The compact design can be fitted into lower overall heights than conventional designs, operating with a separation distance between belts of 1200-1500mm 
  2. The chutes’ conical head is configured to provide a smooth transition through the turn for coal moving at typically 3m a second and dropping up to 1500mm onto a belt below. 

“Drawing on our designer’s highly respected problem-solving expertise and our own hands-on experience over scores of mines, we set out to eliminate the spills, splatters and bulking that can disrupt production in mines where time truly is money. Eliminating frustration, delay and cost is vital in today’s economic climate,” said Mr Woods. 

“The design has already been proven service with some of Australia’s leading coal producers. A bonus of the design also is that it has been quality engineered in our own extensive metal working facilities to easily outlast conventional designs and far exceed typical warranties.” 

T.W. Woods products for mineshaft development include shaft liners, drilling tooling and wear plate materials, as well as custom-fabricated wear plate kits manufactured at the company’s new plate processing facility for the maintenance of heavy machinery used in shaft development as well as bulldozers, trucks, graders and loaders. 

T.W. Woods’ hood and spoon chute designs under construction

Coal chute refurbishment helps eliminate chronic blockage and wear issues for mining and energy

 

A coal chute refurbishment and redesign service is being introduced by T.W. Woods to help eliminate chronic problems in older chute types, including premature chute and conveyor belt wear, blocking and product spillage. 

The service – which complements T.W. Woods new smooth-flowing materials handling transfer chute business – applies to both underground and overland conveyor chutes used with mine and energy plant conveyors typically between 900-1200mm with and up to 1200 tph capacity. It also applies to chutes used by quarries. 

Refurbishment componentry, including soft loading chutes in hood and spoon configurations, take advantage of advances in chute design over the past 10 years, as well as better and more robust materials, such as high-impact, extremely wear resistant chromium carbides, which make advanced hood and spoon designs possible. 

“While many of the improved designs and materials have been around for the last decade or so, many of the older plants around seem to be rusted on to older designs – they just patch them up or repair them as they wear through,” says T.W. Woods Director Mr Tom Woods. 

“Such plants have a continuous problem with having to employ labour to clean the chutes out and to clean up the spillage they cause, costing time and money.” 

Faults in older chutes, mostly due to outdated design, include: 

  •  Blocking or hang-up due to fines, clay or sticky material being conveyed. “At T.W. Woods we incorporate self-cleaning features which keep the product flowing through the chutes at the same velocity as the speed at which the discharge belt and receiving belt are moving. This keeps the product moving, reducing slow flow areas and reducing boil -over at the discharge belt, which in turn reduces spillage and chute hangup”. 
  •  High Impacts at loading points on chutes, which wears holes through the chute because of constant impact. T.W. Woods designs its refurbished and replacement chutes so as to reduce the impact angle of the material onto the chute. This reduces impacts, reduces noise and keeps the material flowing, rather than bouncing and becoming uncontrolled. “We also recommend chromium carbide material, which is designed to handle the high constant impact and extend the life of the chute considerably by a number of years,” said Mr Woods. 

T.W. Woods also incorporates large radius turns into the chute design, which allows material to flow easier and not hang up. This also reduces wear on the chute, extending their life. 

“Problems can arise because original mine designers can tend to produce standard chutes of the type they always have without full consultation with the mine owners or engineers. 

“An education process is sometimes needed with maintenance engineers on the costs and downtime this can incur,” says Mr Woods, whose company’s new and refurbished chutes have been employed by industry leaders in the Hunter Valley and nationally. “Initially the mine maintenance engineer may have to realize they have a problem with wear, impact, hangup, blocking, spillage and premature conveyor belt wear. 

“Once these problems are identified, we partner with the plant to look at the issues affecting particular sites and discuss options to vary the design, to give a longer, lower maintenance life – along with easier and usually cheaper ongoing repair and maintenance, with an easier exchange replacement time/downtime.

“Some traditional mines look at the upfront cost in particular applications and baulk at that – they would rather pay ongoing charges, adding up to a much greater sum, than to pay one sum to address the chronic problem and achieve an overall much lower cost of running the chute. 

“But once a refurbished chute or replacement chute is installed, they usually go on to convert all their chutes over time. This has happened at quite a few mines in recent years.”

T.W. Woods products for mineshaft development include shaft liners, drilling tooling and wear plate materials, as well as custom-fabricated wear plate kits manufactured at the company’s new plate processing facility for the maintenance of heavy machinery used in shaft development as well as bulldozers, trucks, graders and loaders. 

The company’s new technology includes low-height transfer chutes which feature a conical head developed by mining specialist designers to maintain high volume high flow rates (up to 2000 tons an hour) when conveyors change direction either underground or on the surface.

Ore loader produced by T.W. Woods

Trainloads of work for feisty Aussie firm that put its money where its mouth is

 

An Australian company that continued to invest millions in its plant and workforce during the worst of the Global financial Crisis is reaping the benefits today with strong order books and an expanding reputation for in-house skill and quality. 

Tomago metal fabrication and engineering company T.W. Woods embodied the tough Newcastle spirit when it continued to take on apprentices, retain staff and expand its in-house capabilities throughout 2007-2008 and right up to the current day. 

“We like doing things in-house anyway, because that way we maintain top quality control and can ensure deliveries go through on time. And that’s what customers want,” said T.W. Woods Director Mr Tom Woods, who, with his brother Glenn, has overseen company growth to encompass 4500 square metres of purpose-built fully equipped workshop space at Tomago where it is generating orders from local and overseas resources, energy and infrastructure companies. 

Recent orders have included five massive ore trainloaders for Western Australian plus extensive orders for the company’s expanded rolling, pressing, fabrication, wear plate and sandblasting facilities. 

“We like to say we put our money where our mouth is in good times and tough times and now we are in superb shape to handle to orders we are getting from the Australasian mining industry and from the Asia-Pacific, Middle East  and beyond,” said Tom Woods. “We don’t have to listen to a bunch of big city bankers telling us what we can and can’t do – we know what’s possible and what’s not and we steer our own course. We depend on local expertise, the kind that understands us and our industry.” 

T.W. Woods has grown from a company founded by Tom and Glenn’s father Mr Tom Woods to become one of the largest heavy engineering and fabrication companies in Eastern Australia, serving primarily the mining, energy, water and waste water and construction markets.

A three-generation family company that prides itself on traditions of loyalty, self-reliance and service, Tom Woods says “Our big strength is the fact that we have great staff loyalty, great staff skills and are comprehensively equipped to handle complete projects on-site. We don’t have to send work out all over the place, so we can meet the tight deadlines while maintaining the high quality that companies demand. 

“We place great emphasis on building up the best team, giving them the best tools and keeping them and the customers satisfied. This has seen us through both the tough times and the good times. People in the Hunter know that good times come and go, but that you are always going to need good people with good technology to complete on the local and world markets. That’s why we have invested several million dollars to upgrade our fabrication and processing facilities,” he said. 

Tom Wood’s son, Jamie, in recent years became the third generation of the Woods family to join the company, which employs apprentices every year. The company places a high value on staff training and retention, having 10 staff members (in a workforce of 40) with more than 10 years service and several with 20 or more years’ service. 

“We have also continued to upskill our valued staff from our local community and to employ apprentices even when the outlook was not so bright. We have invested millions over the past several years, without heavy debt, by building national and international capabilities through the loyalty and support of the quality, world-class companies with whom we deal. Business is always a calculated risk, but our faith in Australia and our local community is paying off for everyone,” said Mr Woods.

T.W. Woods heavy rolling, welding and fabrication capability

Self-reliant manufacturer takes on the worlds best to win oil, gas, resources and infrastructure markets

A nationally and internationally successful heavy engineering and metal fabrication company has completed major investment and skilling initiatives to expand its capabilities in the oil and gas, resources and infrastructure construction markets. 

T.W. Woods Construction prides itself on self-reliance through in-house expertise and advanced technology to achieve the tight deadlines and unique shapes, pressure capabilities and specifications required on resources and infrastructure projects.  

“We are prepared to invest multiple millions to back our expertise, competitive edge and on-time quality reliability against the world’s best,” said T.W. Woods Managing Director Mr Tom Woods. “We don’t spend time grizzling about being hard done by through overseas competition – we not only meet the competition in Australia, we export to demanding markets such as Canada and China.” 

 The privately owned company – one of the few to continue to employ apprentices and constantly upskill its staff over more than 20 years - has invested multi millions of dollars in technology such as its new plate processing facility to help handle the challenging tasks often involved in tank, silo, chute, flange, pipeline, pressure vessel other materials handling and metal fabrication tasks for sub-sea, offshore and onshore markets. 

A 1000-ton brake press has expanded the company’s ability to handle some of the largest metal forming tasks required by Australian industry. The 1000-tonX3.2m brake press can press form steel plate up to 60mm thick, making it suitable for major fabrication tasks required by industries such as construction and resources, civil engineering, mineral processing, energy, oil and gas, infrastructure and water and waste water. 

The Tomago workshop has the facilities to press plates up to 6000mm long and routinely produces designs or produces to client specification products in stainless steel, mild steel, quenched and tempered metal, aluminium, wear plates, carbon steel and specialist material. It marks out and cuts materials using computer controlled plasma equipment and provides complete or part rolling and fabrication of:

  • Square to round, elliptical, conical, T-pieces and all transitions
  • Tanks, silos and pressure vessels
  • Chutes or chute liners
  • Hoppers or hopper liners
  • Pipes from 150mm upwards
  • Expansion bellows
  • Sumps
  • Bins or bin liners
  • Conical section bin bottoms 

Investment in plant at its comprehensively equipped 4500 sq m headquarters at Tomago near Newcastle includes a 300 amp cad-cam profile plasma cutting bed capable of cutting 13m X 3.5m plates up to 60mm thick with plasma, and more than 150mm with oxy. The facility also houses a 1600am stud welding machine and a plate handling and processing facility serviced by a 10-tonne overhead gantry crane. Processed plate is finished in an 800 sq m paint and blasting facility incorporating a sand blast chamber with 10-metre high ceiling to handle large jobs, feeding directly to a state-of-the-art 720 sq m industrial paint shop with 12m entry door to handle major projects. 

“We have invested millions in staff and technology over the past several years, without heavy debt, by building national and international capabilities through the loyalty and support of the quality, world-class companies with whom we deal,” said Mr Woods. 

The company’s services (including specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology for metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium) are used by organizations such as Delta Energy, Incitec Pivot, water and waste water authorities, Integra Coal,  Laing O’Rourke, Xstrata and resources and infrastructure companies extending from Australasia to China and Canada.

T W Woods Directors Tom and Glenn Woods with plasma cutting machinery being used to produce D11 wear plate kits, one of a broad variety that can be produced at Tomago.

New wear plate kits custom fabricated for heavy machinery by T.W. Woods

New custom-fabricated wear plate kits are being manufactured by the TW Woods Group for the maintenance of heavy machinery employed by such industries as mining and energy, oil and gas, civil engineering and construction and infrastructure industries. 

The kits – typically employed on heavy bulldozers, trucks, graders and loaders – are precision cut, processed and packaged at the company’s new plate processing facility which also handles challenging maintenance and fabrication tasks involving tanks, silo, chute, loader and other materials handling equipment. 

“Because we handle the broad spectrum of metal fabrication tasks in the one facility, we offer optimized quality control and delivery times for wear plate products frequently needed to precise deadlines,” said T W Woods Managing Director Mr Tom Woods. “We are very much aware of the uptime and maintenance needs of a host of our world-class customers across the heavy industry sector, and we share their standards of workmanship and reliability as applied to heavy machinery,” said Mr Woods, whose company has recently completed multi-million dollar investments encompass 4500 sq m of purpose-built fully equipped workshop space at Tomago. 

The company’s services include specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology for metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium. These services are used by organizations such as Delta Energy, Incitec Pivot, water and waste water authorities, Integra Coal, Laing O’Rourke, Xstrata and surface and underground mining companies throughout Australia including iron ore producers in the Pilbara and coal companies in Queensland. 

New plant used in the cutting and processing of wear plate kits includes a 300 amp cad-cam profile plasma cutting bed capable of cutting 13m X 3.5m plates up to 60mm thick with plasma, and more than 150mm with oxy. The facility also houses a 1600amp stud welding machine and a plate handling and processing facility serviced by a 10-tonne overhead gantry crane. 

The company’s press brake facilities include a 1000-tonX3.2m brake press that can press form steel plate up to 60mm thick, making it suitable for major fabrication tasks including include draglines, buckets, mills, earthmoving equipment, ripper blades, pressure tanks and pipelines and diverse heavy plate fabrications.

Next generation minerals handling technology aims to lift failing coal and ore chute systems out of the past and deliver savings in downtime, clean up and lost production.

July 2014

(Attn media including mining and energy, minerals processing, materials handling and process engineering, transport and shipping media, Australia, Asia-Pacific and worldwide. Editors please note: an email of this story and the picture accompanying it can be obtained from whyte@bigpond.com)

Blocked chutes pose a downtime and safety hazard. This spillage was the result of a design failure in a transfer chute. A loss of production, clean up cost and material handling hazard resulted.

A new generation of coal and ore materials handling technology is being introduced to australasian and international markets by a group that engineers chutes and complementary systems to permit faster conveyor belt speeds, greater throughputs, fewer breakdowns and enhanced safety.

The Chute Technology engineering group targets problems common to many coal and ore plants and loading systems by addressing them with a combination of three skill sets, including advanced engineering analysis of flow, followed by upscaleable 3D Discrete Element Method (DEM) design processes and finally custom manufacturing to individual plant needs.

The chute Technologies - which are applicable to existing as well as new projects - are complemented by the practical experience of each of the three Principal Partners in Chute Technology, who have combined experience of more than 80 years in a wide variety of resource industries including coal, iron ore, alumina and limestone across Australia, the USA, South America and South Africa. The technologies are also applicable to gold, nickel and other bulk minerals and ores.

Major benefits of the chute design technologies have already been demonstated in service with a West Australian iron ore producer which increased production by several million tons, or 50 per cent. Several Hunter Valley coal mines, meanwhile, are also benefitting from less wear and fewer breakdowns because of practical individualised designs produced by one of the partners in Chute Technology, long-established Hunter Valley mining industry supplier T.W.WOODS.

Chute Technology combines the local and international manufactureing experience of T.W.Woods, represented by Director Tom Woods, with the similary broad engineering and technology experience os Engineering Consultant Dennis Pomfret of Dennis Pomfret Engineering, and Design Engineer Gary Telford of McKajj Services, which contribute extensive project management, engineering and drafting experience.

Transfer Chutes Stuck In The Past.


"Existing chute designs have fundamentally been stuck in the past, because few companies have seen the need to take advantage of innovations now available with advanced technology and knowledge.    But under the impact of steeply rising 21st century volumes, existing designs are breaking down incessantly - wearing out in weeks, sometimes - and always slowing up production with downtime and repairs," says Mr Woods .
"As Australian and international producers set out to double and treble outputs, the underlying problems are becoming starkly apparent through breakdowns, downtime, problems with sticky material throughput, and spillage creating cleanup and safety issues.

"Supervisers on sites or on loading facilities often are painfully aware that they have got the problem, but these issues have become so prevalent that they sometimes think of it as inevitable. It's not inevitable, just inefficient and a matter of rectifying the problem with focused design and smarter manufacturing," said Mr Woods, who has more than 30 years practical experience with producing better coal chutes that last longer.

Through their specialist company focused on the design, manufacture and optimisation of materials handling systems, Chute Technology's partners aim to deliver benefits by applying rigorous design skills and practical knowhow gained by experience in mines, ports and industrial plants.

"In addition to a proven capability to design new chutes, the new Chute Technology organisation wil specialise also in the retrofit of existing plants."

"A principal aim will be to eliminate reliability problems and production obstacles so as to bring handling systems up to their full potential," say's Dennis Pomfret, who holds patents on proven materials handling technologies. Value-adding services focussed on by Chute Technology include:

a) Increased tonnes per hour, more product delivered in a shorter time at lower OPEX.
b) Reduced wear rates, reduced consumables, labour and downtime.
c) Control of spillage, dust and clean-up, for a safer and safety compliant workplace.
d) Debottlenecking of conveyor systems by applying new technology to upgrades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dennis Pomfret, Gary Telford and Tom Woods bring practical hands-on experience as well as technological expertise to their designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The three parties involved in chute Technology have already worked together on transfer chutes and have identified an opportunity to combine resources to form a company that focuses on transfer chutes. We are focusing our capabilities to provide a superior service, and product, that can be delivered to the customers by dedicated effort rather than a generalised engineering approach," says Mr Pomfret. All companies are based in Newcastle and have an established business base. Partner skills include:

Dennis Pomfret Engineering

Design, specification and commissioning of material handling equipment, transfer chutes, conveyors and hoppers for hard rock, coal and other minerals in surface and underground operations at mines and ports.

Strong technical background honed by experience in managing engineering projects, mining maintenance departments, equipment manufacturing and product development roles.

Specific experience in transfer chutes is more than 20 years, material handling 30 years.

The driving philosophy is to combine field observations and theory to evolve new concepts.

Designs are supported by the application of DEM (Discrete Element Method) modelling for transfer design and FEA structural analysis for chute platework.

McKajj Services

A multi-disciplined design and drawing office which has an associated field services group for project management and construction supervision.

The organisation has a depth of experiance in material handling projects and has shown a special aptitude to produce detailed workshop drawings that flow through the fabrication phase with unprecedented ease.

The field services connection provides hands on exposure for the staff to the operating conditions at mines and gives feedback for enhanced practical design outputs.

The design office is fully equipped with computer aided drafting processes and operates in a 3D environment, using internal management protocols to ensure that the engineering geometry and features developed in the chute engineering phase are faithfully translated to the manufactured product. Our risk management process ensures that projects do not fall victimto, and fail to perform because of, subtle modifications made unwittingly in the interpretation of design intentions at the detailed stage.

McKajj have an enviable record in delivering drawing packages to engineering specifications with high levels of accuracy and clarity.

T W Woods Construction

T W Woods Construction has a renowned reputation for structural steel and materials handling equipment for all sectors of heavy industry and mining.

The facility is geared towards the fabrication of structures using curved plates, so much so that they have developed their own patented curved plate rolling technology which has underpinned their success in proving transfer chutes for more than 50 years.

Train loading equipment which involves heavey platework, hydraulics and electrical control shows the range of skills that can be provided.

T W Woods delivery transfer chutes fit for purpose and the versatility of the fabrication skills allows the designer scope to create the most appropriate chute geometry for the application without undue constraints imposed by manufacturing techniques. The reason why Chute Technology can deliver superior transfer chutes is that the three major contributors, engineering, design and fabrication are very competent in their own fields; they have first hand site experience and first class facilities.

The company's services include specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology for metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium. These services are used by organizations such as Delta Energy, Incitec Pivot, water and waste water authorities, Itegra Coal, Lang O'Rourke, Glencore and surface and underground mining companies throughout Australia including iron ore producers in the Pilbara and coal companies in Queensland.

For further information, please contact T.W.Woods Group,Lot 1, Tomago Road, Tomago, NSW 2322, PH 61-2 49648300, FAX 61-2 49648671,              tom@twwoods.com.au,    www.twwoods.com.au

Media enquiries to Whyte Public Relations +61-2 9439-9329 or whyte@bigpond.com

 

Sticky-coal problem at Newstan Colliery solved with chute refurbishment that eliminates blockages

The Newstan Colliery near Newcastle has successfully ironed out a sticking-point in its coal washery, thanks to a transfer chute refurbishment service provided by engineering company T.W.Woods Group.

The colliery had been attempting for some time to get a smooth flow of a type of clay-rich coal through its washery, but was foiled by earlier unsuccessful chute redesign efforts that left coal clogging up the chute that angles down from a feeder bin into another bin before the coal is washed.

"The coal was't getting through properly," said Geoff Pearson, Maintenance Manager at Newstan Colliery, part of the Centennial Coal group. We'd had the chute taken out for refurbishment twice already, at a cost that makes me shudder. It still wasn't performing smoothly without the coal sticking.

"The transfer chute had gullies in it. T.W.Woods replaced all the working areas of the chute, remoulding and polishing them smooth for us. Now there are no hangs, no blockages. Its like a new pin and has been a big success from day one.

The washery is situated at the mine surface at Newstan Colliery, taking coal from its own and other mine sites. Newstan, located in the Newcastle coalfield, is an underground longwall coal mine that produces coal for the state electricity system's generators and for export markets.

Parent company Centennial Coal has seven operating mines in New South Wales, making it one of the largest underground coal producers in the state. "Newstan handles two sorts of coal. One type is dry, the other is clay-like and sticky. The second type was causing all the trouble for us," explained Mr Pearson. "T.W.Woods charged us just a fraction of our original major spend to solve the problem. The result is wonderful. I think we got the best deal on the planet.

"We've worked with T.W.Woods before, on jobs such as bin repairs. They're very professional and we have a close working relationship. Because they do such a quality job, I would certainly recommend them to other companies like ours."

T.W.Woods coal chute refurbishment and redesign service was introduced to help eliminate chonic problems in older chute types, including premature chute and conveyor belt wear, blocking and product spillage.

The service-which complements T.W.Woods new smooth-flowing materials handling transfer business-applies to both underground and overland conveyor chutes used with mine and energy plant conveyors typically between 900-1200mm with up to 1200 tph capacity. It also applies to chutes used by quarries.

Refurbishment componentry, including soft loading chutes in hood and spoon configurations, take advantage of advances in chute design over the past 10 years, as well as better and more robust materials, such as high-impact, extremely wear resistant chromium carbides, which make advanced hood and spoon designs possible.

"Many of the older plants around seem to be plodding on, unaware of the latest technologies and how they ca help the flow of materials. The old chutes and conveyors are just patched up or repaired as they wear through," said T.W.Woods Director Mr Tom Woods.

"Such plants have a continuous problem with having to employ labour to clean the chutes out and to clean up the spillage they cause, costing time and money."

Faults in older chutes, mostly due to outdated design, include:

a) Blocking or hang-up due to fines, clay or sticky material being conveyed. This  can be corrected with self-cleaning features.

b) High impacts at loading points on chutes, which wears holes because of the constant impact. T.W.Woods redesigns chutes to reduce the impact angle of the material. It also recommends chromium carbide material, which extends the life of the chute considerably.

c) Tight turns in the chutes that don't allow material to flow easily and not hang up. They also wear out the chutes.

"Some traditional mines baulk at the upfront cost of upgrading their chutes, but once a refurbished or replacement chute is installed, they usually go on to convert all their chutes over time. This has happened at quite a few mines in recent years," Mr Woods said.

T.W.Woods new and refurbished chutes have been employed by industry leaders in the Hunter Valley and Nationally. The company's other products for mineshaft development include shaft liners, drilling tooling and wear plate materials, as well as custom-fabricated wear plate kits manufacted at the company's new plate processing facility for the maintenance of heavy machinery used in shaft development as well as bulldozers, trucks, graders and loaders.

The company's new technology includes low-height transfer chutes which feature a conical head developed by mining specialist designers to maintain high volume high flow rates (up to 2000 tons an hour) when conveyors change direction either underground or on the surface.

Headquartered on a two hectare site at Tomago near Newcastle, T.W.Woods offers complete manufacturing services in-house, guaranteeing reliability of supply of quality projects completed on time. The Group's design, engineering and fabrication capabilities extend over more than 4000 sq m of workshop area. T.W.Woods operates nationally for clients in the mining, metals, construction, energy, materials handling, water and waste water and related industries. Services available within the one well-equipped facility include:

a) Extensive heavy and medium plate fabrication.

b) Proven toughened steel expertise (Distributor for Duaplate).

c) Plate rolling, pressing and processing, including complex shapes,transfer chutes, bins, hoppers and silos.

d) Materials handling technology.

e) Abrasive blasting and industrial painting.

f) Cad Cam CNC Plasma and oxy Profiling.

For further information, please contact T.W.Woods Group,Lot 1, Tomago Road, Tomago, NSW 2322, PH 61-2 49648300, FAX 61-2 49648671, tom@twwoods.com.au,   www.twwoods.com.au

Media enquiries to Whyte Public Relations +61-2 9439-9329 or whyte@bigpond.com

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