Maximum braking power, at an altitude of four kilometres

From the mountains of Chile and Peru to the windblown North Sea, Svendborg Brakes keep check on some giants in the world of industrial machinery and wind turbines. The size of machinery is ever greater and conditions more extreme; this means that the need for excellent quality and superlative braking power is also growing apace.

Considerable force is required to crush the copper ore excavated by Chilean miners from the Andes mountains. One machine that deals with this challenge is the gearless SAG (Semi-Autogenous Grinding) mill. Ore is crushed in a vast 12-metre diameter drum powered by a 32,000 horsepower motor. The specially manufactured brake system – whose clamping force of more than 24 million N m can bring the very heavy mining equipment to a complete halt – is made by Svendborg Brakes.

Every year, Svendborg Brakes delivers braking systems for wind turbines, mining facilities and drilling rigs across the world. The company operates a global After Sales Support system that is at the ready, at any time of day or night, to provide service and spare parts so that costly downtime is avoided.

Total control, under any conditions

Svendborg Brakes have been fitted in a variety of applications, mainly in heavy industry sectors such as wind power, oil and gas, mining and marine. The common denominator for all these applications is safety, durability and reliability, even under the worst imaginable conditions.

“Our brakes simply must work, when all else fails. In some cases this means being able to deliver a clamping force of up to 36 million Newton metres – in some of the most extreme environments on earth. Some installations in the mining industry work at altitudes of between four and five kilometres, where the thin air demands that the motor for the hydraulics be specially modified to prevent it faltering. In other cases, brakes must be able to withstand temperatures of plus or minus 50 degrees Celsius”, explains Robin Schmidt, Regional Sales Manager at Svendborg Brakes.

Hydraulics and spring forces

The product portfolio ranges from spring-applied emergency brakes with few movable parts to 2-Stage Soft Braking Option (SOBO) systems, where lightning fast hydraulic power units and advanced electronics give full control of the braking process.

“In spring-applied brakes a series of powerful springs clamp the brake; while hydraulic pressure releases it. This type is used in emergency brakes and to secure brakes during service. In contrast, with active brakes such as the rotor brakes on wind turbines it is hydraulic power that clamps the brake. The electric motor, which controls the pressure in the hydraulics and loads the accumulator, runs only for short intervals of around 30 seconds. But quick application and precise control are paramount”, says Robin Schmidt.

Constantly increasing demands

Product development at Svendborg Brakes is characterised by new challenges. Customers’ applications are growing in size and complexity and are installed in ever harsher environments. Hoyer Motors, who has supplied motors to Svendborg Brakes for more than 20 years, has a say in the process at an early stage of product development.

“Hoyer knows our products and the end result we are working towards. For this reason, we involve Hoyer at the development stage of early prototypes. Through close contact and an in-depth knowledge of the product, we can make quick changes during that stage, which makes it easier to win approval for the prototype. Moreover Hoyer provides high quality and excellent service and can keep pace with our global presence”, says Robin Schmidt.