A tribute to tools

Toolboxes can be customised for different trades.

Magazine spacer
digital  
Forum  
forum  
Products  
products  

Tooling in the mining industry is an extremely broad topic as there are thousands of different kinds of tools.
The Oxford Dictionary describes a tool as an implement used to carry out a particular function, or a thing used to help perform a job.

SOME TRENDS
Element 6, which has strong roots in the South African diamond industry, dating back some 60 years, provides a good reference point for some of the tools that are being used in the mining sector today.

  • Hard rock – drilling is typically required in exploratory and blasting holes, so the choice of inserts to mount into drill tools should be taken into consideration.
  • Soft rock – a range of hard wearing tungsten carbide products and synthetic diamond picks is believed to offer overwhelming benefits to the industry.
  • Tunnelling – round shank picks with a diversity of head designs and retainer systems are needed for this specific application, and inserts can be customised for specific requirements. Drill bits are used for roof bolting, particularly those equipped with tungsten carbide or polycrystalline diamond inserts to suit the rock conditions.


Such a brief overview already shows some key concepts that emerge:

  • Synthetic diamond – working face material in exploratory and blast hole drilling through the world’s hardest formations, which exist in a range of different sizes, strengths, and coatings.
  • Polycrystalline diamond – can be mounted on drills and picks to increase penetration rates and increase longevity of performance life.
  • Carbide tungsten – tough, hard and economical with good wear resistance even at high temperatures.

    Click here to read the full feature article on page 10 of the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of MMPR ...

Communication systems speak volumes

A world of technological gizmos and gadgets goes into making the right communication equipment.

Magazine spacer
digital  
Forum  
forum  
Products  
products  

Tiaan Tromp, Becker Mining South Africa sales manager, gave a rundown of a number of individual modes of communication.

Backbone
Leaky feeder
Leaky Feeder, for those less familiar, is a mine wide communications systems that is based on a radiating cable that can be deployed where ever the mine requires communication. The cable has gaps / slots that “leak” the signal in and out; one can say that it is like a gigantic antenna system, and can be dubbed as one of the most effective mine-wide communication backbones.

“The leaky feeder is primarily a voice communications system, but also manages data transfer, particularly tagging and tracking,” said Tromp.

“A lateral system, one can “spider-web” it wherever it needs to go with special equipment used to spilt the cable and allow it to branch.
Think of it as a system with a tap, hosepipe and sprinkler; the more it branches the less “water pressure” there will be, so at some point you are going to need a pump to pump up the pressure again. The same principle applies to a Leaky Feeder, so every 350m (for UHF) to 500m (for VHF), you will need to insert a power amplifier to boost up the signal again.  

Industrial Wi-Fi/fiber
Industrial Wi-Fi is also a communications backbone, run using a fiber optic network and / or meshing with hot spots underground, much like hot spots we find in airports, malls and restaurants.
It is can be connected back to the mine’s IT infrastructure or on a seperate network and makes up a mine wide communication system for voice, video and data.

Click here to read the full feature article on page 5 in the Mar/Apr issue of MMPR ...

 African mines Online150 African Mining150 Mining Mirror150 mining Africa online150 MMPR150 MTE150 Plant Equipment Hire150 Quarry Southern Africa150African Mines Handbook150

Home Features Mining & Engineering