June/July 2013

The best in new technology

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Compiled by Herb Mathisen

◢ Many uses for more power

Brokk Inc.’s remote-controlled, diesel-powered Brokk 400D rock-breaking machine punches beyond its weight. “It’s much smaller than the typical excavator,” says Lars Lindgren, the company’s president for the Americas. “Our main thing is the size and weight-to-power ratio. We deliver more power and more production than excavators up to three times [the 400D’s] weight.” With many attachments available, operators control the machine remotely to do all sorts of jobs on mine sites. “It can break oversized boulders,” says Lindgren. “It can be used for shaping and making ditches.” The 400D has a larger hammer than previous models and can also be fitted with a digging bucket, grinder and rock drill attachments. “It’s more of a utility-type machine,” says Lindgren, adding it can be used to perform roof-bolting and scaling work. Improvements to its heavy-track system mean the 400D can travel much further and faster than previous incarnations. The Brokk 400D was launched at Bauma, in Munich, in April.

◢ Alignment assistor

Prüftechnik’s Rotalign Ultra iS makes for fast and easy machine alignment. For shaft alignments, laser sensors are fitted to the coupling side of a motor and pump. Holding a hand-held tablet computer, users get readings on how to adjust the machines to align them correctly. “Depending on the quality of the readings, with a minimum rotation of 60 degrees, you already get accurate results,” says Florian Buder, managing director for Canada. “The unit display itself tells you when you have collected enough data.” The processing and memory capacity of the company’s intelligent shaft alignment system is larger than those of competitors, allowing it to collect and record data more quickly. Rotalign Ultra iS can also take vibration readings into account. “It eliminates points which the system automatically recognizes were not good, due to either high vibration or because there was some sort of backlash on the couplings,” says Buder. “You get high accuracy by eliminating wrong readings automatically.” Misalignments negatively affect a machine’s energy efficiency and also increase force on gears, bearings, and belts and wear on parts. “This will assure you that you can operate the machines longer without any problems,” Buders adds.

◢ A clean scrape

Launched globally by IBS in late-April, CleanScrape is an easy-to-install, low- maintenance and relatively inexpensive conveyor belt cleaner. Bruce Field, head of sales, says no major mechanical fittings are needed for installation. “It is unique in that it is diagonal across the pulley, not straight, and that it sits flat on the belt without exerting a high pressure on it,” he says. Tungsten-carbide inserts moulded into the rubber scrapper allow it to effectively clean belts of even sticky materials. “You get the benefit of the flexibility of the rubber and the durability of the tungsten-carbide inserts,” adds Field. The self-tensioning scraper rides over mechanical joints and does not damage belts. And though he says other scrapers can do a good job removing material, they are too aggressive and damage equipment. “They don’t only take the material off the belt, they take the belt off the belt,” says Field. According to the company, the product lasts for at least two years and fits belt sizes with widths between 300 and 2,800 millimetres, and pulley diameters of 300 to 1,250 mm.

◢ Tracking light

Toronto-based Northern Light Technologies has introduced its Genesis cap lamp, which has the ability to host tracking tags from different manufacturers. Weighing only 187 grams and with a minimum luminance of 3,500 lux, the versatile LED cap lamp can house six different RFID or Wi-Fi tracking tag models. The lamp also has a high-capacity battery that powers it for longer than the typical 12-hour shift, and it is rechargeable in less than 12 hours. The cordless, purpose-built lamps come equipped with an emergency flashing feature, so if an employee is hurt, he or she can hold down a button for five seconds to activate the flashing function. The Genesis cap lamp’s battery life cycle lasts more than 500 charges. An intrinsically safe version of the lamp, for use in potentially explosive environments, is currently pending approval.

 ◢ Tires that won't tire

Czech company Mitas released its ERL-50 tire in April and hopes the heavy-duty model will cut down on companies’ tire maintenance and operation costs. “The newest ERL-50 has the largest contact area of all Mitas off-the-road (OTR) tires, which adds to its durability,” says chairman and CEO Jaroslav Cechura. “In addition, this tire features the deepest tread design in all Mitas OTR tires.” The company has been producing OTR tires since 2009. The tires are used for loaders and articulated dumpers, and Mitas also makes tire models for Liebherr cranes. With the ERL-50, steel cord has been introduced into the body and breaker of the radial tire. The whole series of Mitas ERL tires includes 12 different models, with tread depths varying from 28 to 90 millimetres. The ERL-50 has been designed especially for rocky conditions and the company hopes to make the tires available for sale globally in July.


◢Truly tested rock bolts

Released at the CIM Convention in May, Atlas Copco’s Swellex Spartan offers a rigorously tested rock bolt for miners seeking low elongation rock bolts. Mario Bureau, business line manager, says because no elongation testing standards exist, manufacturers can claim that their rock bolts are capable of performing to a standard, even if no testing is done in an environment that mimics the bolts’s real-world use. “There is certainly a void in terms of regulations, that manufacturers are not required to follow a specific procedure for testing,” says Bureau. “At Atlas Copco, we have a very strict procedure for testing. It’s well-defined. It is as close as can be to the use of the product. Spartan has been launched to gap the market segment where the expandable types of bolts are being used with very little elongation capacity.” For these reasons, Bureau says Swellex Spartan promotes safe mining and tunnelling operations.

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