The Mayer team has amassed wide ranging expertise in bulk materials handling which enables us to offer specialist services beyond our core design, build and maintenance activities.
Design and audit services
Mayer’s core activity is the design of mechanical structures with electrical and control interfaces. It is necessary for our engineers to be experts in at least two of these four fields, as well as being able to understand high level concepts of the others and to be able to integrate them all.
Developing this combination of skills is critical in the current environment where a growing number of machines is straining an already small field of experts in the area. In recent times, the industry responded by building more new machines based on past designs. But, all too often, has then not adequately adapted the design to the new application with the consequence of unsound solutions that fail to meet present and future requirements.
At Mayer, we have maintained and are developing our ability to create the right solutions for the application at hand. We also understand the significant differences between design and audit/analysis, and have capabilities in both areas.
Our approach is to take your key design criteria and create a verifiable design to meet your specific requirements. In some cases we create completely new designs; in others we analyse and modify an existing design to suit your system’s needs.
Importantly, we will not recommend a machine designed over 20 years ago purely on the basis that it is ‘proven technology’. Typically, those designs do not meet modern standards for strength, serviceability, stability or safety. Although these modern standards are more conservative, we work hard to ensure the new design does not increase the machine mass unnecessarily. This effort, together with designing the right machine for the right system allows the machine to be lighter and more efficient, with savings that include:
- Reduced utility and maintenance costs over the life cycle of the machine;
- Reduced infrastructure needed to support the machine;
- Reduced ongoing infrastructure costs;
- Improved and better documented design for safety.
The benefits for safety and procurement of the machine are obvious. Perhaps less intuitively, the follow-on savings are nevertheless dramatic and will pay for the machine many times over.
At Mayer, we’ve developed unique analytical capabilities that play a key role in machinery design and problem solving. We’ve done so because we believe that the commonly used analysis approaches to design are flawed in so far as the outputs of high end analysis software are insufficient for creating effective design since they cannot provide the information needed to fully understand a design.
Instead, we take a holistic approach to understanding a machine’s behaviour by undertaking staged structural and mechanical modeling, by drilling deep into the detail of load cases and by challenging design assumptions at every turn. Our analysis and audit process has been developed over 22 years and incorporates the use if several specialist tools driven by our in-depth understanding of machine behaviour to provide rapid answers to complex problems. Our areas of expertise include:
Structural and Finite Element Analysis
At Mayer, the worlds of structural and mechanical engineers frequently converge, so we use several modes of analysing structures.
For the purpose of understanding the flow of forces and moments, we engage structural analysis, using primarily use electronic means, such as MicroStran by Engineering Systems, which allows us to control the numerous and complex load cases and load combinations typically experienced in bulk materials handling machines and to resolve members to typical strength design standards, such as AS4100, AS3990 and BS5950.
An example of linear structural analysis is shown in the model of a coal loader at Wollongong.
As our machines merge the disciplines of mechanics and structures at several levels, it is also necessary for finite element analysis to be conducted on a number of parts, elements, sub-systems and in some cases entire machines to analyse the outcomes of a particular design. Here, we engage Cosmos FEA to review the key elements and how they are likely to work together.
The use of both MicroStran and Cosmos allows us to analyse for the dynamic response of an entire machine to the various input frequencies operating with the mechanical equipment. Where FEA fails in its computational abilities and requires significant computing and power time, MicroStran provides efficient, accurate and reliable results, allowing us to work with a variety of standards and input editable conditions.