Werner Baller – WEBA Chute Systems inducted into IM Technology Hall of Fame
In the Bulk Handling category of the awards, it has been a close-call judgement for the panel of judges between Dick Stahura Sr. of Martin Engineering and his quest to control “Durt” and improve belt conveying, and Werner Baller, Founder and CEO of SouthAfrican based WEBA Chute Systems. Werner Baller is the 2018 inductee, a man who recognised a need in the mining and material handling industries.
He steered his company to specialise in bulk material transfer and transformed it to become what it is today: renowned as a producer of “the best quality transfer chutes in the world.”
With more than 27 years’ experience in transfer chute systems and over 45 years total experience in the mining and engineering industries, Baller has developed nine patented products including the WEBA Chute System.
It was during the early 1990s, that the company conducted a comprehensive study into the negative and cost incurring aspects of conventional chute design and then set about designing a transfer chute which would eliminate these problems. The result led to the birth of the WEBA Chute System – a patented, streamlined, scientific approach to the dynamics of bulk materials handling at transfer points.
The WEBA Chute System was patented in 1991. A program of continuous development and improvement has seen various other patents being lodged over the years, the latest of which is the WEBA Swing Chute, Patent 2013/09648.
Current Managing Director of WEBA Chute Systems is the founder’s son, Mark Baller who in his own right has over 20 years’ experience in the mining industry, in
manufacturing and project management. He is supported by Alwin Nienaber, Technical Director at WEBA Chute Systems, who has over 23 years’ experience and this team is considered the perfect succession plan for the business.
Weba Chute Systems pioneered the engineered transfer point and it was through the company’s ability to view it in a completely different way that industry is today able to control the flow of material with all the benefits that this brings
WEBA Chute Systems should not be compared to conventional chute systems as these South African engineered and manufactured systems adopt a completely different approach to the control and handling of bulk materials. These are considered by industry as an improved alternative to traditional chute systems.
The system is based on the lined ‘super tube’ or cascade system, whereby much of the material runs on material always. The bottom layer of particles in the product stream moves in a tumbling motion and subsequently does not slide down the chute. This not only reduces the wear significantly, but in many cases the lip remains completely covered by material and never needs replacement.