Lighting system runs off conveyor belt energy

KRS Design, a Wollongong based electronics design and manufacturing company, has developed the Energy Harvester Lighting and Control System, or Energy Harvester for short.
The system has been designed to be used in conjunction with existing conveyor roller systems in coal preparation plants (both above and underground), ship loading operations and a number of other applications where conveyors are used to transport products over a long distance.
It harnesses the kinetic energy from conveyor belt rollers (or idler rolls) and uses this energy to power lighting, control and diagnostic devices. It would be suitable for large-scale mining operations, as well as materials and manufacturing plants where there is a large conveyor run that doesn’t have a 240VAC power supply.
The system can provide up 100m of lighting, sensors and communications hub (cluster) without a need for an external electrical supply. It can be installed on existing systems using plug-and-play cables and devices.
The generator is coupled to an idler roll on the conveyor system with the roller chosen being the one that is located at the bottom of the conveyor in the return path of the belt.
The electrical power can be used for sensors, internet, cameras and other specialised applications without the need to run an electrical supply along the length of the conveyor, which can be many kilometres long on some installations.
The power generated is also used to power an LED lighting system along the conveyor which can light up the customer’s product on the conveyor as well as the walkway alongside the conveyor, which enhances safety and productivity along the conveyor system.
Each Energy Harvester system draws approximately 150W from the conveyor infrastructure, which is 150W per 100m. In the case of a conveyor system run that stretches for kilometres, where numerous Energy Harvesters can be installed, it has been designed to not overload the power limitations of the existing conveyor system, as typically these systems tend to be using up to 200-500 Kilowatt motors.
On top of all this, there is purpose-built software to monitor and control the Energy Harvester. All aspects of the conveyor line within 100m of the system control box can be checked, viewed and monitored remotely.
There are currently three demonstration systems installed out in the field. The first system is installed in a Coal Preparation Plant located in Lithgow. This system has been running for 15 months without any failures or problems. The second and third systems are installed at two separate underground coal mines. They have been running six months and three months respectively and have had no performance issues.

Levy could cost WA Govt $2.4 billion

Western Australian mining companies could cost the state government up to $2.4 billion if they decide to fight the proposed $5-a-tonne ‘levy’ on iron ore exports.
The fee, which up until now has been $0.25-a-tonne, could be successfully challenged in a court of law, Murdoch University law lecturer Lorraine Finlay told the ABC.
If the challenge is successful it could also threaten the already existing revenue stream leaving the Western Australian government poorer by up to $120 million.
“The concern with the production rental levy is that it’s really an excise duty dressed up as a levy,” says Finlay, “and if the High Court held that that was the case, then the levy would be constitutionally invalid.”
So how would the mining companies get around the tax? Under Section 90 of the Australian constitution, states are not allowed to introduce taxes on the production, manufacture, sale or distribution of goods.
The increase is being championed by Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls who says the old agreement – dating back to the 1960s – needs to be upgraded to reflect 2016 prices, not those of 50 years ago.
“The Auditor-General reviewed State Agreements in 2004, he made it very clear that future parliaments shouldn’t be shackled by the terms of a 1960s agreement,” says Grylls.

Man dies after mine collapse in Queensland

A 62-year-old man has died after a makeshift mine collapsed on him in the remote outback area of Opalton.
Sidney Cuddy was said to be working alone when the incident happened. Cuddy was found under a pile of rubble on Saturday night. Emergency services were notified, but it took them six hours to get to the scene due to its isolated location.
Police and firefighters had to dig with their hands to remove the debris so they could recover the body of the popular Longreach man. A friend became concerned after finding Cuddy’s damaged car late on Saturday afternoon.
Opalton area is an opal mining location – one of the biggest areas to find the rare gem in Queensland.
The reason for the mine collapse is not known. Workplace Health and Safety and the Department of Mines and Energy have been informed of the incident and will be investigating. This brings the mining accident death toll in Queensland to two for 2016.

Rio Tinto to face prosecution after worker injury

The NSW Department of Industry’s Resources Regulator will begin prosecution proceedings against Rio Tinto Coal (NSW) following a serious worker injury at the Mt Thorley Warkworth mine.
The worker sustained serious spinal injuries when he fell from the grader’s hydraulic powered access ladder when it unexpectedly moved and began to rise at the mine, south west of Singleton, in October 2014.
The Regulator will allege the company breached theWork Health and Safety Act 2011 by failing to take reasonable steps to reduce the worker’s risk of falling off the ladder, including failure to take appropriate action to prevent the ladder system unintentionally moving.
A Rio Tinto spokesperson told Australian Mining, The safety of our people is our single most important priority and we are committed to working hard every day to create an injury free workplace.”

After any safety incident, our focus is always on learning lessons for the future and removing and managing risks to our people. That includes in this case.”

The Regulator has begun Category 2 Work Health and Safety proceedings under the Act for failure to comply with a health and safety duty.
The case is due in the District Court on November 21.

More torque and action with latest model Fastrac

Australian distributor JCB Construction Equipment Australia (CEA) has introduced the all-new 8330 Fastrac tractor.
“The most obvious changes are the … styling and new Command Plus cab, but under the skin, the 8330 has an engine with more power and torque, a new high speed hydrostatic steering system and new tyre options,” says Dave Moselen, JCB CEA National Product Manager for Fastrac. “A more compact front linkage and PTO package as well as a larger deck area behind the cab add to the tractors’ versatility and productivity potential.”
The Fastrac 8330 has an 8.4-litre six-cylinder engine but it now meets Euro Stage 4 / US Tier 4 Final emissions standards.
The revised engine specification meets emission standards, and is said to deliver more power and torque than other models, using a twin turbocharger installation that delivers quick responses when the operator requires increased power.
“The new 8330 model … has a rated speed output of 250kW (335hp) rising to 260kW (348hp) under full load,” says Moselen. “At the same time, peak torque goes up by 10 percent to 1440Nm at 1500rpm, which gives the tractor even greater ability to ‘hang on’ as conditions become more challenging or the tractor faces a climb, whether in the field or on the road.”
The tractor also comes with Activ Traction, a feature that the machine’s Continuously Variable Transmission’s (CVT) retain grip during heavy-draft applications. Activ Traction draws information from a radar speed sensor, hydraulics position control and cruise control to manipulate engine torque and maintain traction.
The new Command Plus cab in the 8330 provides space, comfort and practicality for the operator, with a supportive driver’s seat that can swivel 50 degrees to the right and 20 degrees to the left so that an eye can be kept on rear-mounted and trailed equipment in comfort.
A unique hydrostatic dual-steering system is used, which replaces the power-assisted mechanical system. It is predominately two hydrostatic systems in one, using an advanced control valve to continuously monitor pressures and flows in both systems.
The new system meets the failsafe requirements for a tractor capable 70kph top speed in the event of hydraulic or engine failure. Another features selectable Rapid Steer, which halves the number of turns lock-to-lock from four to two.
Other features include:

  • Sharp bonnet styling with improved forward visibility and improved lighting
  • New fully hydrostatic high speed approved steering with Rapid Steer
  • New tyre options that increase supplier and tyre design choice
  • New heavy duty axle components which facilitate track width of up to three metres


Komatsu unveil cabless autonomous trucks

Komatsu has unveiled its completely cables, next gen autonomous truck at MINExpo.
“Unlike 930E and 830E autonomous models, Komatsu has newly developed this vehicle exclusively as an unmanned vehicle designed to maximise the advantages of unmanned operation,” the company said.
Komatsu said the design of cabless vehicle, dubbed Komatsu’s Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle, allows for an equal distribution to the four wheels both loaded and unloaded, and by “adopting four-wheel drive, retarder and steering, Komatsu is aiming for high-performance shuttling of this vehicle in both forward and reverse travel directions, thereby totally eliminating the need for K-turns at loading and unloading sites”.
It reportedly has a turning radius of 15.9 metres.
The company went on to state the new vehicle will improve productivity at operations that feature challenging conditions, such as slippery ground or confined spaces for loading, although it did not elaborate on how the machine will overcome these issues.
The Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 416 tonnes, and a payload of 230 tonnes.
It has a power output of 2014kW, a maximum speed of 64 kilometres per hour, and measures 15 metres in length and 8.5 metres in width.
It has not set an official launch date, only stating it plans a market introduction “in the near future”.

El Capitan secures ore deal with AuraSource

El Capitan Precious Metals has announced that it has executed its agreement with AuraSource, for the sale of up to 600,000 metric tonnes of head ore over the next 12 months. This agreement is renewable for five additional one-year terms.
The revenue to ECPN would be US$180 million per year at a cost of approximately US$30 per tonne for mining and loading. The agreement is contingent upon Right of Way road access and AuraSource’s ability to secure its buyer and financing for the prepayments to El Capitan. The Company is confident it will be able to provide the road access required.
At the Shareholders’ Meeting in New Mexico last week, shareholders were presented with a description of the precious metals recovery process, including samples of the processed precious metals product.
The votes of those shareholders’ present and those represented by proxy re-elected the entire slate of directors. The shareholders also authorised an additional 100 million shares of common stock and ratified the appointment of MaloneBailey LLP as the company’s auditors.
The shareholder meeting included a trip to the mine site and approximately 80 shareholders saw, firsthand, the operations, the road, and the site that is producing the ore and concentrates.

Bulk bagging – quick turnaround demands mobility

Qube Bulk manages more than 20 million tonnes of bulk product shipments per year, which now includes filling of bulk bags with three abrasive mineral sands for Cristal Mining Australia using a Flexicon Bulk Bag Filling System.
When Cristal decommissioned its in-house bagging operation, Qube Bulk’s Picton facility devised a bulk bag filling solution in concert with Flexicon Corporation. The result is a mobile system that fills up to 80 bulk bags, or 160,000 kg, with the abrasive materials per eight hour shift—automatically, accurately and dust-free, claims Flexicon.
Bulk truck shipments from Cristal’s mineral separation plant are delivered to storage sheds at Qube Bulk’s Picton facility. Productivity is key to the bulk bagging process, according to Jos Pascoe, Qube Bulk regional manager. “Often, due to market situations, we receive orders fairly late and need to bag the product in a short time span to get the shipping containers loaded with bulk bags and to the port on schedule,” he says. “The need to respond to orders for any combination of the three materials stored in different sheds demanded a mobile solution.”
Flexicon proposed a skid-mounted mobile bulk bag-filling station having a 2.5 m3 capacity hopper and a 220 mm-diameter, 3m-long rigid tube screw conveyor moving materials to the bulk bag fill head. It delivers 20 m3 per hour, filling bulk bags weighing 1,000 kg or 2,000 kg. The skid measures 4 m by 2.25 m, and the unit stands 3.4 m high.
A forklift moves the mobile filler between storage sheds, depending on which material needs to be loaded. Pascoe reports that the system, including its 2.75 m-long offload roller conveyor, can be set up and running at a new location in 20 minutes or less.
Once an order is received and the filling station is positioned in the appropriate storage shed. Pascoe’s crew can fill up to 80 bags per eight-hour shift. He says about half that time is actual material filling and half is spent placing pallets, hanging empty bags and conveying filled bags out of the station.
A skid-steer loader empties bulk material into the feed hopper. The bottom of the hopper funnels the granular mineral into the steel tube screw conveyor inclined at 45º. The conveyor is equipped with a heavy-duty stainless steel spiral to handle the free-flowing but abrasive mineral sands, which range in density from 2200 kg/m3 to 2750 kg/m3. The design of the conveyor itself does not include any bearings or rotating seals, and the drive motor is mounted above the discharge point, preventing abrasive minerals from grinding on bearings or seals at the drive shaft. A pneumatically-operated product sampler automatically captures a 142 g specimen from the material stream during the fill cycle, for product quality documentation.
In keeping with Australia’s focus on workplace health and safety. To this end, the pivot-down fill head allows safe, rapid connection of the bag loops to the filler latches without standing on the roller conveyor straining to reach overhead bag connection points or inserting hands between fill head components.
Dust is contained by an inflatable bag spout seal and a telescoping discharge chute between the conveyor outlet and filler inlet, and by venting displaced air and dust to a filter sock.
Once a bag is filled, the latches automatically release the bag loops and the roller conveyor moves the bag out of the filling area for tagging and transfer to the shipping container.
The unit’s PLC automates everything except connecting of the bag straps to the latches and pulling the bag spout over the deflated spout seal. Load cells under the filler send signals to the PLC to stop the conveyor when the bag gains the desired target weight. The PLC also automates other aspects of the process including activating the powered roller conveyor and product sampler and other actions based on feedback from sensors.

Centurion wins BHP freight contract

BHP has awarded a five-year freight contract to transport and logistics supplier Centurion, which will cover BHP Billiton’s Nickel West sites, according to the The West Australian.

The contract comes as BHP is looking to restart development at the northern Goldfields where it has nickel deposits. Nickel West also has plant in Kwinana, Kambalda and Kalgoorlie that will need logistics support.

Owned by the Cardaci family, Centurion’s Kalgoorlie and Perth Airport distribution centres will be the hubs of the new business.
“We already have existing clients in the area and this new contract will help us grow the local business by putting on additional services to and from Perth,” says Centurion executive general manager Justin Cardaci.
Cardaci says that part of their current focus has been to grow its business organically in Western Australia as it claims to have “the most extensive logistics network in the State.

Road trains on the outer as EPA approves skyrail in Pilbara

Transporting iron ore across the Pilbara via skyrail has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
The Bulk Ore Transportation System, or BOTS, will transport iron ore from the Iron Valley Project to Port Headland.
Designed to replace road trains, the skyrail will be mounted onto concrete beams, which in turn are spanned between precast concrete substructures. The carts/wagons will be powered by diesel and petrol.
All aspects of the project, including supporting infrastructure, will be monitored from a Perth-based control centre.
Four environmental factors were taken into consideration when the approval was given including flora and vegetation and terrestrial fauna. Also, there will be a decrease in the use of road trains, which is claimed to have a positive affect on the environment.

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