November 2016

The best in new technology

Compiled by Cecilia Keating

◢ The reel deal

Mobile Reel Handler
Courtesy of Fortis

Replacing cables in a mine shaft can be an onerous and lengthy operation, requiring multiple workers and pieces of equipment to transport huge reels. Every minute the process takes and the shaft remains inactive, profit is lost. Fortis believes its motorized Mobile Reel Handler will make re-roping faster and more efficient. “It can save mines large sums of money and be a safer alternative,” said Fortis owner Gerry Clarke. From the driver’s seat, a single operator can pick up a reel using the machine’s two independent hydraulic arms, transport it to its destination, and carefully unroll it using a built-in braking mechanism. The reel handler can be used both above and below ground, but Clarke said he believes it “shines” underground. “It can rope up shafts and move reels that would be otherwise difficult to move,” he said. One side of the back end can be removed to fit down mineshafts and can be re-assembled in minutes by two operators. Although designed to work with large reels of wire rope, the machine is equipped to handle any material under 41,000 pounds and less than 104 inches wide.


◢ Can you hear me now?

Tufftalk headset
Courtesy of Sena Technologies

In loud mining environments, clear communication is key to a safe and smooth operation. Sena Technologies’ new TuffTalk headset has a hard hat mount and a heavy duty design to withstand rough mine conditions. It has a 1.4-kilometre Bluetooth intercom range – the longest on the market – and Sena’s marketing manager Leah Langford said she believes it will “keep everyone on the same page and safe.” Workers can communicate uninterrupted via a universal intercom with up to four other headsets. The headset can also be connected to two-way radios, or paired with smartphones via Bluetooth. Sturdy muffs protect users’ ears from harmful and distracting background noise, while an ambient mode feature allows operators to amplify crucial external sounds. Operators can communicate and make and receive phone calls hands-free using the headset’s glove-friendly dials.


◢ Universal monitoring

EarthTrack PayloadSpeech
Courtesy of RCT

An inadequately monitored fleet can result in high costs for mines; over-servicing interrupts operation, under-servicing can shorten a machine’s lifespan, and idle and damaged machines waste production time and fuel. RCT’s new EarthTrack Fleet Management Solution gives management personnel relevant production and utilization data to help cut costs and boost productivity, according to Mick Tanner, mining and resources product manager. “[EarthTrack] only delivers relevant data that can be tailored to suit specific areas of concern to the end users,” he said. “For example, machine idling time, machine utilization reports, payload and impact monitoring, all of which can help businesses deliver a better bottom line profit.” The system can be installed on any machine across a fleet and its interactive dashboard can be accessed by any smart device with Internet, via a secure login. EarthTrack “is universal over all machine types and brands, which allows mine management to gather all data into one area – making it very easy to analyze equipment both individually and as a group,” Tanner said. Other key features include instantaneous alerts for serious issues, data on operator performance, and the ability to implement and adjust speed limits in different areas of the mine site.


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