ATA engineers have a wealth of experience applying the most advanced analysis and test techniques to enhance designs of complex equipment and structures across many industries. A common thread in all these applications is the severe demands put on the hardware due to static, dynamic, and thermal loads. The loading mechanisms in these applications are often poorly understood and have not typically been quantified in a reliable manner. In such situations ATA’s testing capabilities can help evaluate a series of loading events that can be used in the analysis of the equipment. The availability of such well defined loads provides a platform for a thorough and accurate analysis that can assess the suitability of the design for its intended purpose.
ATA’s general approach to such applications can best be understood by considering specific examples of closely-related technical scenarios in very diverse industries. Hoisting of ore, man, and materials from deep underground mines in South Africa is a very challenging proposition. The use of very heavy conveyances moving at high speeds is just one aspect of the challenge. Safety is of paramount importance in such applications. The economic impact of shaft down-time due to operational problems is a further consideration. The South African mining industry had long realized the deficiencies in their methodology for designing the shaft steelwork that guides the conveyances during vertical hoisting and turned to ATA’s engineers for help in addressing this industry-wide problem. A detailed comprehensive research program was conducted in which operational tests were conducted in very difficult conditions in order to understand the fundamental technical issues. A thorough analytical program was then completed to build upon the basic understanding of the problem in order to establish criteria for avoiding such problems in new installations. The set of criteria developed by ATA engineers have become so well accepted that they now form the basis for a South Africa design standard (SABS 0208-4).
The key technical issue addressed in the South African design standard is the impact of a deformable body (i.e. the conveyance) with an elastic guidance structure. It turns out that virtually the same technical issue is encountered in the golfing industry. In this case the club, including the flexible head and shaft, are moving at high speed when contact is made with an elastic ball. The fundamental mechanics are very similar to that encountered in the mine hoisting application although the details are obviously different. The analytical tools used in both applications are the same making it very efficient for our engineers to seamlessly switch from one problem to another. This type of overlap is not uncommon in other areas of ATA interest. Chatter problems experienced in sheet-metal rolling mills are technically similar to hunting problems sometimes encountered by roller-coaster cars. The durability of welded structures is relevant in many different applications. ATA’s broad-based experience across industries helps us get to the crux of these problems quickly and cost-effectively.
ATA has supported the design, analysis, and testing of the following industrial systems:
Special services that ATA provides to this industry includes: