Panorama Editorials Archive

Editorials Archive

B&W Stormajor provides unrivalled stockpiling, rail and barge loading flexibility

B&W StormajorTM provides unrivalled stockpiling, rail and barge loading flexibility

n these days of incredibly tight capital budgets, cost effectiveness
of equipment and system flexibility come to the fore like never
before. The Stormajor™ mobile loader from UK Company
B&W Mechanical Handling Limited fits this bill perfectly. Having
a pedigree of over 25 years and being a unique concept in bulk
materials handling, the Stormajor™ combines the benefits of the
Samson™ feeder design with a radial and luffing outloading
boom conveyor into a single mobile machine able to receive
material both from tipping trucks, loading shovels and grab
B&W, based in Ely, Cambridgeshire, enjoys the benefits of
being fully integrated into the substantial and respected
International Aumund Group with strategically placed offices in
more than 10 countries and representatives in over 40.
The Stormajor™ offers high-capacity stockpiling, railcar and
ship loading from a single integrated machine, available with a
range of specialised features tailored for each application.
As a universal bulk loader, the Stormajor™ offers very high
handling rates within a compact integrated design. The machine
has capacities ranging from 300 to 1,250 cubic metres per hour
depending on the outloading boom belt, currently available in
800mm, 1000mm and 1200mm widths as standard.
In certain circumstances a single machine can be configured
to fulfil all rail-car loading, ship loading and stockpile forming
requirements for a particular site.
The reception section of the Stormajor™ is the world
renowned Samson™ apron belt feeder unit. The configuration
of Samson™ is chosen specifically for each application, ranging
from the lighter duty 380 series for grains and lower capacities
to the very heavy duty 1600 series typically for mineral ores and
high capacities. The geometry of the Samson™ feeder section is
determined by the material characteristics such as flow angles,
lump size and angle of repose. The inherent storage capacity of
the intake hopper allows a fast turnaround time for trucks
leading to faster unloading.
A comprehensive range of outloading boom systems is
available to meet every situation. Slewing options are available
ranging from a standard ±30° from the boom centreline right up
to a full ±90° for special applications.
Two basic boom designs are produced based on a parallel
structure for machines up to 24 metres in length and belt widths
up to 1,000mm. For larger units and belt widths of up to
1,200mm a tapered boom structure is provided allowing higher
loadings and extended cantilever boom lengths up to 30 metres.
A wide angular luffing range of +30° to almost horizontal is
achieved using a hydraulic cylinder in tension. At the base the
boom is mounted to a precision ball-bearing slew ring with a
hydraulically operated slewing system. This combination of ‘high
lift ‘ and ‘high reach’ make the Stormajor™ an ideal choice for
barge and smaller vessel loading.
The high outloading boom angles are achieved using a
chevron belt where the material handling characteristics permit.
All outloading boom designs include three roll troughing idlers
with parallel return rolls, all formed integral to the boom
structure for minimum weight and maximum structural integrity.
At the feed point either close-pitch troughing and transition
idlers are provided or, for impact resistance handling heavy
materials, impact bars can be included together with an
extended feed boot and flexible side seals.
Specifically for shiploading, the cambered boom design, as
illustrated here, allows the head of the conveyor to be lowered
over the vessel hold to reduce the free fall distance and
minimize the effects of windage on the material flow in-flight.
The Stormajor™ is also highly capable of providing a flexible
solution for railcar loading. Incorporating an on-board weighing
system, the product loaded into each railcar can be controlled
to an accuracy of plus or minus 0.5%. The weighing system,
comprises a single weigh idler mounted to the outloading boom
belt conveyor together with an electronic interface and control
panel including digital displays and a resettable totalizer. A
tachometer is fitted to the conveyor tail pulley to accurately
measure the belt speed plus an inclinometer to measure the
boom angle and these factors computed along with the load
applied to the weigh idler determine the handling rate of the
equipment. With a loading rate of some 500tph (tonnes per
hour), the Stormajor™ can load the railcars quickly, but thanks
to the integral weighing system, without risk of overload. The
loading operation is automated and linked to the client’s main
computer system, using a wireless network on site, which
instructs the weighing controller how much ore to load to each
railcar. After achieving the required set weight in each
consecutive railcar the weighing system stops the Stormajor™
belt drives to suspend loading until the next railcar is in position.
The equipment is re-started manually and the weighing system
automatically reset for each railcar.
For this application the Samson™ 800 Series design provides
around 60 tonnes of live storage and will receive material either
from the grab cranes direct or from a conventional loading
This project illustrates the versatility of the Stormajor™
concept in that the same unit may be used for rail-car loading,
stockpiling and for barge loading with the added bonus of
complete mobility requiring no fixed concrete foundations or
dedicated port infrastructure.
The efficient control of dust emissions is a major feature with
several options available. The Stormajor™ loader can be fitted
with flexible PVC covers for both the Samson™ and the
outloading boom together with a variable-angle trimming chute
at the delivery end. More comprehensive solutions include a
fully profiled steel enclosure for the receiving section complete
with dust extraction and filtration systems and a cascade dust
controlled loading spout to control the material into the railcar
or hold floor.


For shiploading applications a variable-angle chute system is
available to allow accurate placement of material within the
vessel hold. The machine (illustrated below) is fitted with an
entrainment chute at the conveyor head delivering the material
to a variable-angle section including a hydraulic actuator
providing inward and outward movement of the discharge.
Controls for the chute system are provided at the main
machine control cabinet and in addition an infrared remotecontrol
system can be provided to operate the trimming chute
and boom slew, raise and lower functions from the ship’s deck.
The example above also shows the optional stainless steel
chute extensions which allow control of the material trajectory
into the vessel hold. These extensions clip to the base chute
part and can be easily removed when not required.
By combining the variable-angle trimming chute and the radial
boom function, the Stormajor™ may load and trim barges and
small ships effectively with the minimum of machine movements.
Where space is limited and for fast travel along the vessel
hold, the parallel travel system (described below) provides
further improvements in trimming capability and faster overall
loading rate by minimizing the lost time in machine positioning.
For handling dusty cargoes in sensitive areas the Cascade-style
chute may be installed with a specially reinforced outloading
boom to carry the additional imposed loadings.


The unique travel capabilities of the Stormajor™, providing total
mobility in any direction, are achieved by the innovative
‘powered in line’ and ‘powered parallel’ travel systems. In-line
travel with rear axle steering allows easy positioning within the
operating site, with minimum lost time in manoeuvring the
equipment. With larger machines, weighing upwards of 130
tonnes, powered travel is the only real option, allowing the
machine to be redeployed safely and quickly. Hydraulic wheel
hub motors are employed to drive the machine with integral fail
safe brakes.
Parallel travel systems allow movement in any direction and
are particularly suited to shiploading applications where the
Stormajor™ must move parallel to the vessel for fast trimming.
Parallel travel can be supplied with any size of machine including
the twin tandem axle systems supplied on larger machines.
Automatic wheel positioning is provided using the rotary
potentiometer alignment system, allowing the four wheels to be
set at 90° for conventional parallel movement or set at an angle
for travel ‘crab fashion’ in confined spaces.
For in-line travel the forward wheels are set in the
conventional in-line travel position and the rear wheels used to
steer the machine.
The independent wheel units are mounted to a slew ring
fitted with hydraulic actuators to control the wheel alignment
and variable proportional hydraulic valves to allow variable travel
speed. These functions are driven from the control position using
a simple joy-stick.

A variety of drive systems are available using electric motor,
diesel engine or diesel gen-set prime movers, all with hydraulic
power transfer to the conveyor drives and for control services.
The flexibility offered by hydraulic power transfer allows
simplified maintenance and excellent long term
The use of hydraulic drives permits high power transmission within
compact dimensions and allows the prime mover to be
located at low level on the main machine chassis for easy
maintenance access. Diesel drives are offered using a wide range
of air or liquid cooled engines. The engine is mounted on the main
chassis at low level for easy access and maintenance. For machines
with a sound-attenuated enclosure, the engine is mounted to the side of the chassis. Where mains power is available electric motor drives offer an economical and minimum maintenance solution using a trailing cable
between the power supply and the Stormajor™. Larger machines are fitted
with a diesel generator comprising an engine/generator unit installed within a sound-attenuated enclosure. This is mounted directly to the Stormajor™
chassis at low level. This arrangement is ideal where auxiliary services
such as control cabin air conditioning and general lighting are
The B&W Stormajor™ has been providing effective, reliable,
high performance handling of a wide range of bulk materials for
more than 25 years.