August 2014

The best in new technology

Compiled by Tom DiNardo and Herb Mathisen

◢ Location, location, location

ABB Mine Location Intelligence systemA new, versatile and low-bandwidth offering from ABB could make underground location monitoring a lot easier. The Swiss-based company’s Mine Location Intelligence system provides real-time position monitoring of personnel, equipment and vehicles underground. Patrik Westerlund, global product manager of mine automation, said the system is “technologically agnostic,” allowing it to use a variety of communication network sources underground. “This means that the system can use WiFi networks, leaky feeder with RFID technology, [GSM, 3G and 4G] mobile networks and so on,” he said. The web-based system is accessible by PC and smartphone, allowing users to monitor personnel and assets in 3D maps for safety and productivity purposes from control rooms or on-the-fly underground. Mine Location Intelligence can also be integrated into other production and fleet management systems, and other ABB systems that automate ventilation and traffic control underground. “This system is built to support different technologies for positioning, which enables the customers to evolve from their actual technology to new and future positioning and communications technology,” said Westerlund.

◢ Custom pump set-ups

BBA PumpsMeeting local demand is crucial for mining pump distributors, but quickly addressing the diversity of customers’ site-specific dewatering needs can be a challenge. To allow for greater pump customization, BBA Pumps offers a new standardized pump package that includes the customers’ choice of any of its BA or BA-C pumps, along with a diesel engine and control panel assembled on a galvanised frame. This lets users choose the pump unit they need as part of BBA’s “bolt-on” philosophy, which allows distributors to attach the pump to any surface they want. “We send it to our customers and distributors all over the world and, for them, it is ready to run after they have built it on their own tank frames or in their own sound attenuated canopies,” said product and marketing manager Henno Schothorst. In conjunction with the launch of the pump package, BBA has added a new pump to its mining range – the BA-C250H45 – for more flow (maximum 1500 cubic metres/hour) and increased pressure (maximum 180 metres of water column).

◢ Efficient breakdown

GE membrane bioreactorWGE has introduced a new membrane bioreactor (MBR) that works with its Membrane Accommodating Carrier (MACarrier) technology to more efficiently remove toxins like cyanide, phenols, recalcitrant organics and other contaminants in tough-to-treat refinery and chemical processing plant wastewater. “The MACarrier is a modification to the MBR process where we add activated carbon to the bioreactor to absorb and assist in the breakdown of toxic materials,” said Michael Hribljan, regional vice-president, Canada. Typically, the toxins are chemically composed of long chains of carbon compounds that are difficult to biodegrade with traditional filtration systems. The MACarrier also has the ability to biologically regenerate in the bioreactor, which cuts down on operational costs. Hribljan said mining companies can use the new MBR to clean groundwater or waters containing nitrates or inhibitory compounds from blasting activities.

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