July 25, 2024

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Newly-launched SCA Container Tipplers enhance efficiencies of containerised bulk handling

5 min read

Specialised Container Agencies (SCA) designs and manufactures a wide range of containerised bulk material handling equipment that ensures safe and efficient off-loading from both rail wagons and road trucks. Key advantages of this equipment include improved productivity, product protection and lower operating costs in container handling.

Included in the locally-manufactured SCA portfolio are SCA Container Tipplers for fast unloading of open-top containers, of either half or full height; the Big Tipper – a 12 m Elevated Container Tipper Frame (ECTF) and the 4-Way Tipper – a versatile tipping frame compatible with most 6 m/20 ft skeletal trailers. Also in the range are Intermodal Side Tipper Bins for quick off-loading of materials from rail wagons and road trucks and Side-Tip Reception Feeders that receive bulk materials directly from tipping trucks and loading shovels.

“SCA specialises in the design of containerised bulk material handling products for high-speed, heavy-haul and intermodal functions for both road and rail infrastructure. Although the company supports the global initiative to move freight transport from road to rail, we believe in a combination of the benefits of rail and road transport,” says Ken Mouritzen, Director, Specialised Container Agencies. “Key advantages of rail infrastructure over road transport, include less long-haul bulk traffic on national roads, resulting in reduced congestion and decreased wear of road surfaces. Other benefits are improved safety for drivers and cargo, decreased road-related freight emissions and reduced insurance premiums throughout the logistics chain.

“The robust SCA Container Tippler has been developed for the efficient unloading of containerised material from open-top containers. This advanced system allows for fast and efficient engagement, unloading and repositioning of closely-spaced ISO-sized open-top containers, from road or rail transport wagons. Once the container is safely engaged, the control system takes over full functionality to lift, unload and reposition the empty container, without the need for operator intervention.

“This bulk material transport system, which ensures ease of loading, handling and transport by either road or rail, enables traditionally locked-in markets – including mining and production sectors – to deliver material batches to terminals for export.”

To overcome shortcomings of existing container tipplers, SCA specialists focused on designing a dependable tippler system that could accurately engage an ISO-sized open-top container, closely spaced on either a road or rail wagon. It was critical that the tippler could safely lift the container, rotate it and unload the material at a predetermined position. The system further had to be able to engage, lift, unload and reposition either half-height or full-height containers at a rate comparable to dedicated bulk material handling systems, like wagon tipplers or bottom dumpers.

The basic concept of the SCA Container Tippler system is based on advanced technologies, where the container tippler grab is aligned relative to the container twist-lock pockets, by long travelling of the complete assembly, relative to the container position. This can be done for both half height or full height containers. The container tippler engages the container twist-lock pockets of the container to be unloaded, by means of a mechanical grab assembly, which clears the adjacent containers. This design allows for the safe engagement of closely spaced containers on road or rail wagons.

The SCA Container Tippler lifts full containers by means of counterweight assisted pivot drive assemblies, while keeping the container orientation horizontal, with the help of a dual-tip cylinder arrangement. Once fully retracted, the tip cylinder is locked in position, which allows the container to commence the tip process, while being supported on grab support beams.

With the container in a 90-degree position, the material can flow from the container into the chute assembly, which guides it into the receiving bin. To complete the tip process, tip cylinders are extended and pulsed to finalise emptying of all stored materials from the container into the receiving bin. On completion of the unloading process, the tip cylinders and pivot drive assemblies orientate and return the empty container to its original lift position.

SCA plans to soon launch a new fully-mechanised tippler system, with automatic container position detection, engagement, unloading and re-positioning.

The company provides a technical advisory and support service throughout the African continent, as well as internationally.

Additional information

Other equipment includes the SCA 4-Way Tipper, which can easily tip in four directions – front, back, right and left – of any bin, container or accessory with a standard 6 m/20ft ISO container bottom interface, by simply locking any two of the four corners or hinge points of the frame. This machine, which is a versatile tipping frame that uses a simple ‘plug-and-play’ standard air and hydraulic interface, complies with legal road limits in terms of weight and height.

The SCA Big Tipper, with a modular tipping frame, has been designed to tip a 12 m container, with a gross mass of up to 32 000 kg, 50° to one side. This ECTF is a fully functioning unit and does not require any external electric or hydraulic systems to function. An elevated, loose-standing frame facilitates tipping of any container or accessory with a standard 40 ft ISO container bottom interface. This system also reduces unloading time and fuel costs as the truck is easily manoeuvred to the correct position to off-load, requiring less space to operate.

SCA Intermodal Side Tipper Bins are easily moved onto and off container rail wagons and road trucks by container handlers, without the need for the investment in double handling cargo. These side tipper bins can be stacked four-high for storage, increasing payload on rail wagons, from 54 metric tons to 60 metric tons. In areas that are not fully serviced by rail, the Intermodal Side Tipper can be loaded onto road transport, for closed loop, short-haul operations. Road vehicles are then used to carry the tipper bin containing bulk material to the railhead. This means cargo can be received at non-rail serviced facilities, for example on mines and in terminals and ports.

SCA’s tracked or wheeled Side Tip Reception Feeders for road and rail side-tip vehicles, receive bulk materials directly from tipping trucks and loading shovels, providing a buffer storage capacity and a controlled rate discharge. This system, which is a flexible alternative to traditional underground hoppers, is installed above ground, with no need for deep pits and costly civil engineering works. A wide belt design means any material can be reliably conveyed without the risk of bridging or blockage.

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