TUNRA Bulk Solids Handling Research Associates (TBS) was formed in 1975 and was the first division to be established by TUNRA Ltd (now Newcastle Innovation), the research and consulting company of The University of Newcastle.
The primary function of TBS is to provide high-level professional consulting and contract research services to the resource, process and manufacturing industries. Essentially, TBS provides a mechanism for technology transfer by commercialising research output and ensuring that expertise gained through research is widely disseminated and utilised in industry, not only in Australia but world-wide.
Over its 38 years of operation, TBS has continued to be highly respected both nationally and internationally for its professional consulting services provided to industry and for its cutting edge research and technological developments in the many areas encompassed by bulk solids handling, processing and conveying. It has successfully completed some 4,000 projects for more than 1000 companies in Australia as well as in 40 countries world-wide. While the work of TBS covers the handling and processing of powders and bulk materials in almost all industries ranging from power generation, chemical processing, agriculture, manufacturing, food production and pharmaceutical, the major thrust has always been towards mining and minerals processing. The following figure illustrates the principle areas of activity:
The experience in bulk solids handling is unique worldwide in the range of activities contained within one research group with capabilities ranging the spectrum of fundamental and applied research through to industrial practice. This breadth of knowledge and experience has generated a highly regarded international reputation for TBS.
The main focus of TBS is basic design concepts with specific recommendations being made for the detailed design of new and ongoing projects. The input of TBS in providing the basic layout and operational parameters represents the very foundations upon which the success of bulk solids handling plants depend and that guaranteed performance objectives are able to be met.
The 'leverage' factor has been conservatively estimated at an average value of 200:1, which means that for each consulting dollar received by TBS, the return to industry is at least $200.
Comprehensive laboratory test facilities have been established to aid the research and consulting activities encompassing storage, flow and handling, instrumentation and control, belt conveying and mechanical handling, and industrial fluid mechanics.