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Element Holder Automatic Loading & Storage System

Client:  African Explosives Limited (AEL)

Date:  2009

TF Design has developed, manufactured and installed an automated element holder loading and storage system in the Initiating Systems Plant at the AEL Modderfontein Factory.  The Initiating Systems Plant at the factory includes a 219 small Detonators Loading/Filling machine located in the Detonator Priming Compartment, element holder transfer equipment trolleys and storage bays located in the Element Store Compartment and three 230 Rigid Element Manufacture machines located in the Element Filling Room Compartments. 

The Element Holder Automatic Loading and Storage System consists of an electro-mechanical chain driven main conveyor extending across the compartments, two rigid element transfer tables, (one fitted on the 219 side and the other on the 230 side of the element store), pneumatic vertical lifts installed at the 219 machine, at each rigid element transfer table and at each 230 machine, four electro mechanical trolley lifts, one lift fitted next to each transfer table on either side, twelve element holding trolleys, twelve trolley storage bays, sensors, junction boxes and twelve main distribution boards housing the operating screens, electrical and compressed air (pneumatic) components.

A winch assembly is located next to the main conveyor, above the 219 machine to aid in the maintenance of the motor & gearbox assembly.

TF Design's brief was to design a PLC controlled automated system for the transfer of the elements to and from the various detonator machinery within a set time frame, taking into account the explosive environment in which the operation is to take place.

Element storage and automation