May 2016

The best in new technology

Compiled by David Chen and Kelsey Rolfe

◢ Better blending

Screenshot of Atlas software

Grade fluctuations at the processing plant can hobble productivity and drive up operational costs, with engineers spending extra time blending material reclaimed from stockpiles to meet the plant’s requirements. Hexagon Mining believes its newly-released Atlas 3.0, an upgrade to its Atlas activity scheduling and stockpile management software, can solve that problem. Introducing a new license for Atlas integrated with IBM’s ILOG CPLEX, Atlas 3.0 allows users to select multiple reclaim sources and a destination for the material. It also enables them to specify a range of lower- and upper-grade constraints from each source, which helps with blending at the processing plant, or to set volume and tonnage constraints. “The optimization results can be manually modified to allow more control over the reclaimed material,” said Samira Kalantari, Hexagon’s engineering product manager. Atlas 3.0 can also schedule other mine-site activities like drilling and blasting.

– Kelsey Rolfe

◢ Memory drive

Loader underground

Remotely-operated equipment is becoming more common on mine sites, but it is “quite difficult, and you need to be quite skilled to do it,” said Dave Holman, RCT’s product manager. That is why the company developed its new ControlMaster Independent Guidance (Point-2-Point), a system that allows underground equipment like loaders and trucks to autonomously travel between two fixed points. Operators “train” the equipment on the path it will be traveling – by driving it once in either direction – and it remembers the route until it is shut down. “Once it gets to either end, the machine will stop and the operator takes over and does the digging or the dumping,” Holman said. With the Point-2-Point, the machine can safely travel faster than it could with an operator, reducing cycle times, and experience less wear and tear that can come from operators accidentally driving the equipment into walls. Point-2-Point can be installed as an update on RCT’s Teleremote and Guidance software. It was designed specifically for underground equipment, but can also be used in surface applications.

– Kelsey Rolfe

◢ A greater grease

Bottled machine lube

The purpose of mobile equipment lubricants is simple: reduce friction and protect against wear. Klüber Lubrication believes its new calcium sulphonate-based greases, the Klüberplex EM 91-151 and 91-152, perform substantially better than the commonly-used lithium and lithium complex grease. While adding calcium sulphonate to the formula increases complexity during manufacturing, it is “superior in corrosion-protection and load-carrying capabilities,” said Daniel Narnhammer, head of Klüber North America’s Global Competence Centre. “In our field tests in both surface and underground mines, we were able to test our grease against a standard lithium complex grease,” said Narnhammer. “The customer noted they had increased pin life and the overall consumption of grease was significantly lower.” Narnhammer said the lubricant can “take up water, keep its properties and adhere to metal,” which results in corrosion protection and the ability to carry more load.

– David Chen

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