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Crushtec Chronicle – The DynamiTrac TDH6118 is a testament to our design team

Thanks to the professionalism and ‘can do’ attitude of our design team, the development of the new and unique DynamiTrac TDH6118 mobile triple screen – the first locally produced product of its type – has been completed.

The team is one of our most valued core strengths. Every day, individual members keep a low profile, diligently developing, drawing and recording every single detail of our locally-produced products while providing valuable technical assistance to customers in the field.

The DynamiTrac project was instigated by CEO Sandro Scherf whose research indicated a marketing opportunity for a high capacity triple-deck screen, both in southern Africa and a number of overseas markets .

“Having received a detailed brief from Sandro, we sent our design engineers into the field to meet with existing users of this type of equipment,” says engineering manager Dawie Scholtz.

Learnings proved to be invaluable as operators put forward their opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of a particular design, and areas where they would welcome modifications and improvements.

Dawie says the intention was not to replicate existing products but to devise solutions that would develop a high performance triple screen that would take levels of output and efficiency to an altogether higher level.

The process had its difficulties, including the design of front discharge conveyors without contravening a host of existing patents relevant to folding systems. This was further complicated by the need to incorporate simple and easily accessible discharge chutes that would integrate with the conveyors.

The information gathering completed, the team embarked on an intensive design programme in which each member had personal responsibility for specific aspects of the machine. It might sound as if they worked in isolation, but this was not the case.

“The three dimensional Computer-Aided Design (3D CAD) system we use is a sophisticated programme which, apart from being a design aid, gives each team member a bird’s eye view of the of the project as a whole.

“It’s basically like trying to create a very large jigsaw puzzle enabling the people who are designing the pieces to check that each piece they create will integrate with those made by their colleagues. This not only helps validate the design at an early stage but saves time when we come to assembling prototypes,” says Dawie.

Another advanced concept used in the project is Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This uses computers to accurately test the effects of stress on a component given its dimensions and type and quality of material used.

Coming into the prototype stage, team members rolled up their sleeves and went to the workshop to get involved with the DynamiTrac’s assembly. Despite their hi-tech toys, they are first and foremost experienced engineers and got their hands dirty planning and plotting the optimal routes for hydraulic hoses, fuel lines and conveyor installation. This was no trivial undertaking as the DynamiTracTH6118is by far the largest product ever designed and built by Piot Crushtec International.

The philosophy and methodology applied appears to have been pretty darn good as its prototype offspring is currently undergoing an intensive 2,000-hour test programme on a site in the Free State and is delivering impressive results.

Dawie adds that even at this early stage in the DynamiTrac’s evolution, electronic versions of product and service manuals have been generated and will be constantly updated as the product continues to evolve.

He also provides a few statistics which illustrate that this undertaking was by no means a walk in the park. During the course of the programme, the team originated:

  • 1,796 unique parts
  • 958 detail drawings
  • 285 lasercut files
  • An investment of 4,500 hours into design and development
  • 2,700 hours were taken up in the design of 5,296 parts