◢ Look alive
Hard-Line Solutions developed EntryAlert for underground situations where remote load haul dump (LHD) truck operators cannot see pedestrians entering their vehicle’s area. One strobe light is installed over the entrance to the drift and flashes as long as there is an LHD operating. When someone enters the drift, they break a light beam at the entrance, and a second strobe light at the remote operator station starts flashing. The equipment is connected by cables to a remote control used by the operator, who can reset either light once the pedestrian is clear or the vehicle is no longer operating remotely. Max Gray, North American sales and global marketing director, says customers had been asking for this additional layer of safety. “It is good mine management on any drift using remote operation,” he says.
◢ Convenient control
Conveyor Components Company has updated its Tilt Level Probe with an explosion-proof version of the control unit for more convenient placement. The probe itself is either a six- or nine-inch steel cylinder suspended over bulk handling equipment. The unit can be set to detect either the presence or absence of material and allows for a maximum of 5,000 feet of cable between control and probe. The three models available include dust-proof, weather-tight units and models that are explosion-proof. “Not only can the probe be placed in a hazardous environment, but this control unit is also designed for use in hazardous environments,” says sales manager Rich Washkevich, adding the new control units also feature long-life LED indicator lights and lightweight surface-mounted electronics.
◢ Non-smoking areas
The CA610LF75 leaky feeder coaxial cable from AIR802
meets the mining industry’s growing interest in zerohalogen
cables, according to chief technology officer
Michael Bryant. Halogen is a popular material choice for
fire retardant cables in North America because it has a
low burn rate. Still, fire and water lead halogen to
produce toxic fumes and acid. AIR802 uses a low-smoke
zero halogen material with its cable. “This material will
do the same thing and accomplish more by producing
less toxic smoke,” says Bryant. “We’re seeing more and
more customers asking for low-smoke zero halogens. It’s
particularly useful in underground mines.” The cable is
designed for 150 MHz VHF systems and can support up
to 450 MHz frequencies.
◢ Powerful wrench
Stanley Black & Decker subsidiary PROTO
designed its first line of pistol air impact
wrenches with both power and ergonomics in
mind. Senior brand manager Alan English says
the handle of the PROTO Titanium series air
wrenches is positioned in the centre of the tool,
alleviating wrist strain and improving product
airflow. “The air flows directly into the motor of
the tool and not up into the back of the tool, like
many of the competitive units,” he explains. The
result is the highest breakaway torque in the
industry: 1,260 foot pounds in the half-inch
drive size compared with 1,100 and 1,190 foot
pounds, respectively, in PROTO’s closest
competitors, says English. Its titanium front
housing also works to keep its weight low, at 4.6
pounds in the half-inch size.
◢ Save the tires
Trimble’s TirePulse Monitoring System caters to users who
need precise, timely temperature and pressure data on any
tire type. Chris Wheeler, segment manager for telematics
devices, says the pressure gauge is accurate within three
percentage points, allowing users to fine-tune their tire
inflation. The sensor’s valve-stem positioning protects it from
breakage and overheating. Trimble’s fleet management and
productivity software, VisionLink, provides an interface for
running real-time updates on tire conditions. A fault in the
tire, like a major pressure drop or overheating, automatically
generates an email or text to the machine operator or to
back-office personnel. TirePulse is the first of many
monitoring devices planned to operate on VisionLink.
◢ Low-maintenance belt rollers
Martin Engineering’s EVO high-speed roller cradle improves on
traditional roller designs by combining high belt speed capability
with better impact absorption and less required
maintenance, says Paul Harrison, global
engineering manager. “Rolls don’t provide a
continuous surface against which the belt
can run, and that gives sealing
problems, which lead to dust and
spillage and all sorts of issues,” he
explains. The tightly spaced EVO design
creates an almost flat belt edge which,
says Harrison, allows effective sealing
while adding more support for the belt.
Rollers are normally widely spaced so
they can be taken out for maintenance.
EVO slides out on tracks instead.
Harrison says one mine accustomed to
replacing four to five rolls a month had
zero component failures after seven
weeks using EVO rollers.
◢ Plastic protection
Plastics specialist igus Inc. has released its E4-1 polymer Energy
Chain cable carrier, which combines the strongest parts of three
previous E4 series carriers in one product. Scott Parker, product
sales manager for Canada, says the E4-1 cable and hose carriers
have a tongue-and-groove design that protects the carrier’s noisereducing
stop dogs from debris. The design can be open to allow
debris to fall through or closed to protect the interior from accidents.
On mine sites, they typically replace festoon systems or other less
flexible, higher maintenance approaches. “Because it’s a polymer,
we get a lot of interest in potash and coal applications because it’s
non-corrosive,” Parker says.
◢ Into thin air
Neptune Systems has released its Neptune Evaporator,
promised to be an environmentally sound, cost-cutting
wastewater disposal system. Salesperson Tris Waystack says
fracking operations use the product to evaporate 97 per cent of
their fracking water at one or two cents per gallon, avoiding the
cost of taking it to a treatment plant. The trailer-mounted system
uses a turbine fan to turn the liquid into aerosol over a lined
pond. Contaminants of 40 to 100 microns settle within 150 feet
of the unit as they spray out, while water particles dissipate.
One unit can evaporate 3,000 to 9,000 gallons per hour.
Waystack says no other company sells all-inclusive units of this
scale; customers need supply only a water hose flowing at 150
gallons per minute. The evaporator can also be used to treat
◢ Hoist health checkups
ABB has introduced its new Hoist
Performance Monitoring Service designed to
take the work out of consulting its experts.
“What this brings to the table is a very
organized, very clear, straightforward way to
be able to intelligently look at the customer
systems remotely,” says Sachin Jari, North
American mining manager. Information is
continuously retrieved from operational
points like the motor, hydraulics and brakes
and sent to ABB. Hoist service experts
regularly analyze the data and hold remote
sessions with staff at the mine to discuss
solutions for issues. Continuous monitoring
alerts the customer if pre-established
triggers show abnormal conditions; ABB
investigates the cause and recommends