February 2016

The best in new technology

Compiled by Katelyn Spidle

◢ Precision drill

Sandvik DD422i

Underground drilling requires operators to be extremely precise, and the smallest human error can be costly for mines. Therefore, Sandvik recently released its next generation of development drills, including the DD422i, which brings full automation to drilling. The aim is to increase accuracy, productivity and tunnelling quality, according to Kerry Falk, marketing manager at Sandvik. The equipment is based on Sandvik’s Intelligent Control System Architecture, which allows for nine different hole type settings and three alternative control methods including manual drilling control, feed percussion follow-up and intelligent torque control. The new tech also makes tunnelling easier on the operators by increasing the operator’s field of vision by 25 per cent over previous models and reducing noise levels in the cabin to below 69 decibels at all times. The carrier is articulated, which allows it to work in tight spaces, and the equipment can handle different voltages, making the DD422i a good choice for contractors who share equipment between sites, Falk said.

◢ Get to know your hoist

ABB Mine Hoist Fingerprint service

Hoist systems are the lifeline of underground mines – often solely responsible for transporting necessary personnel, materials and equipment below the surface. But, as ABB global service manager Remy Lanoue pointed out, “even if a hoist looks like it’s operating smoothly, there is always room for improvement.” To give clients a full, comprehensive snapshot of their existing hoist system, ABB is launching its Mine Hoist Fingerprint service in North America. The service is a structured audit that collects data from over 20 pre-defined points and uses it to analyze the electrical and mechanical components of the hoist system. “We check everything from the current condition of the hoist to past issues, identify areas for optimization and even benchmark it against the industry standards,” said Lanoue. Within a week, the service team will provide a detailed report that includes recommendations for the future. Depending on the terms of the agreement, the expert team can also upgrade the hoist system and perform periodic checks.

◢ Super-sized cells

FLSmidth 600 Series SuperCell flotation cells

Processing plants handling high tonnages or low-grade ore often require long banks of flotation cells to meet throughput goals, taking up valuable space, power and money. That is why FLSmidth recently released its 600 Series SuperCell flotation cells, the largest on the market. The effective volume of the cells ranges from 600 to 715 cubic metres, depending on the launder arrangements and the kind of rotor/stator used, but their footprint is small. Compared to an arrangement of smaller flotation cells, the larger cells take up between 20 and 30 per cent less area on the plant floor to process the same volume of ore. According to Frank Traczyk, FLSmidth’s director of flotation products, the new cells reduce capital costs and operational expenses by up to 25 and 15 per cent, respectively. When paired with the company’s nextSTEP rotor/stator, the cell also uses less power than other comparable cells, potentially as little as 0.35 kilowatts per cubic metre.

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