Meanwhile, Sempertrans has focused during the last year on becoming more of a solutions provider than it has been in the past, providing counseling, technical assistance and, if needed, help with installations, Illetschko said, although it has made sure it avoids conflict with its distributors. “We sell directly to distributors, OEMs and some customers.”
Sempertrans' application engineering and field service teams provide customers with customized technical consulting services for conveyor systems and the company's products, he said. Other services he cited include design and configuration of conveyor belts and conveyor system audits and improvements along with splicing supervision and others.
Its main customers are in the mining industry but other important markets for the firm include the cement and steel industries, ports as well as other bulk handling applications such as thermal power and heating plants, quarries and the chemical industry.
While the company's main focus is on heavyweight conveyor belts, its product portfolio also includes belts for lightweight applications such as those needed in the packing and recycling industries.
In the last few years, Illetschko said, Sempertrans has invested heavily to improve its technical application engineering capabilities to support customers. The firm also has invested in advanced production and technical equipment, “enabling us to produce our products at the highest technical standards and shorten our delivery times,” he said.
In addition, the company has been introducing new products and made numerous advances in technology.
Earlier this year, for instance, Sempertrans combined with Italian ropeway maker Leitner/Agudio and came out with a new system called Agudio Flyingbelt that's tailored for bulk transportation over long distances using conveyor belt and ropeway technologies.
Agudio Flyingbelt is already in use, connecting a limestone mine in southeastern Brazil with a cement plant owned by Lafarge-Holcim, the world's largest producer of construction materials. Spanning about 4.3 miles—the longest such system in the world—the elevated belt transports about 1,500 tons of limestone per hour at a height of up to 118 feet, Semperit said.
Sempertrans' conveyor belt, which it produces in France, is capable of overcoming terrain that only can be accessed with difficulty, Semperit CEO Thomas Fahnemann said. It “also transports material efficiently and in an environmentally-friendly way. More than 40 truck journeys every hour are saved.”
Illetschko said the giant conveyor belt is more cost effective, efficient and environmentally friendly compared to conventional truck transportation.