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Continental acquires SA Tech Company to increase conveyor services

  • Permanent magnetic & x-ray-based technology to detect conveyor damage in real time
  • Clients benefit from early-detection preventative maintenance
  • Lowered downtime for mining and industrial operations

Johannesburg, December 2017. Global conveyor belt company, Continental AG, recently acquired South African Tech Company Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to strengthen its preventative maintenance offering for conveyor belts. The Pinetown-based company is known for its fundamental work for x-ray and magnetic image-based systems that are used for the early detection of damages in fabric and steel cord conveyor belts.

This condition monitoring technology for conveyor belts, developed by AIT for the international bulk-handling market, utilises innovative magnetic sensing technology that is verified by extensive x-ray imaging measurements. The technology provides continuous online condition monitoring of steel cord reinforced conveyor belting and reduces the risk of belt failure by providing data that is used for timely planned maintenance, thus reducing costly downtime.

Up until now, technicians have had to inspect an individual conveyor belt while it is stationary or running at a reduced operating speed. The advantage of AIT’s permanently installed monitoring systems is that damages to conveyor belts can be detected early, while the system is running, and therefore can be repaired in good time.

AIT technology provides a high-resolution, easy-to-interpret, magnetic image of damaged or broken steel cords for the verification of potential alarm conditions. At the same time, it gives operators real-time online interactive access to review the damaged belt locations and their severity. In addition, the splice integrity and damage severity can be monitored over time, enabling a historical data comparison.

Conveyor belts keep the globalised cycle of mining and industry moving. “If a belt system experiences extended downtime, the entire production chain often collapses and intensive maintenance and repair work are required. Monitoring systems help our customers detect damages early and thereby reduce downtimes and save maintenance costs,” explained Hannes Friederichsen, head of the business unit Conveyor Belt Group, Continental AG.

“With this acquisition we have added technical sensing knowledge and R&D competence to strengthen our expertise in the area of predictive maintenance. At the same time it is a strategic cornerstone to enlarge our service capabilities in industries such as mining,” stated Hans-Jürgen Duensing, who is responsible for the ContiTech division on the Continental Executive Board.

AIT was founded in 2004 and provides scientific consulting services to the South African industrial and commerce sectors, both private and public. The company has specialised in developing innovative and cost-effective solutions to scientific and technical challenges experienced by large- and small-scale industry and commerce. “In the last years, Dr Michael Alport and his dedicated and experienced seven-employee strong team have done an excellent job. We are very pleased to welcome them to our family,” concludes Friederichsen.

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transport. In 2016, Continental generated sales of €40.5 billion and currently employs more than 227,000 people in 56 countries.

As a division in the Continental Corporation, ContiTech is one of the world’s leading industrial specialists. Its customers can be found in key industries such as machine and plant engineering, mining, the agricultural industry, and the automotive industry. With around 46,000 employees in 44 countries, the company uses its development and material expertise for products and systems made of rubber, polyamide, metal, textile, and electronic components to combine these with individual services. ContiTech always thinks in terms of customer-friendly and environmentally-friendly solutions – going well and truly beyond its roots as a producer of rubber products. With sales of approximately €5.5 billion (2016), this international technology partner is active with core branches in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Contact for journalists

Paul van Zyl

Operations Manager – Fluid & PTG

Conveyor Belt Group

ContiTech South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Phone: +27 (0) 11 248-9337



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