Capital Equipment News

Werner Baller, founder and chairman of Weba Chute Systems, has been inducted into International Mining’s Technology Hall of Fame for 2018.

Werner Baller founder of Weba Chute SystemsThe accolade marks a major achievement for Baller and the company he has developed since 1983. Born in West Germany, he studied ceramic engineering before coming to South Africa in 1965. With 45 years’ experience in mining and engineering – and 27 of those in transfer chute systems – he has developed nine patented products.

Perhaps the most successful of these has been his Weba Chute System, which he developed after a comprehensive study of conventional chute design. Taking a scientific and innovative approach to the dynamics of bulk materials at transfer points, the Weba Chute System presents a streamlined and cost-saving alternative.

It also delivers higher levels of occupational health and safety. Based on the lined ‘super tube’ or cascade system, the lower layer of material in the product stream moves in a tumbling motion – rather than sliding. This reduces wear, with the lip often remaining completely covered by material and therefore never needing to be replaced.

Baller’s company is now a global producer of customised bulk material transfer chutes, serving hundreds of customers in 15 countries.

“It is humbling to be awarded a place in the Technology Hall of Fame,” he says. “More importantly, it is a recognition that there are innovators and quality OEMS in South Africa that are able to compete on the world stage.”

The International Mining Technology Hall of Fame is a well-established forum for recognising the technical innovators in the mining industry. With nominations submitted under specific categories, voting is undertaken by a college of some 100 leaders in the fields of exploration, mining and processing. To ensure impartiality, none of these experts are employees of supplier companies.

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