Fixing a common hinderance with a ‘flick of the switch’

Resource Industry Solutions provides to several of Australia’s leading companies.

Resource Industry Solutions has lent a hand to some of Western Australia’s largest mining conglomerates through its range of high-quality industrial electrical and conveyor monitoring solutions.

Many successful mining operation has usually faced some degree of trial and error.

With a number of different machines, vehicles and workers operating all at once, it is often a journey in itself to get everything to run optimally.

For the conveyor and industrial electrical side of a mine site, Resource Industry Solutions provides an extensive list of high-quality products from trusted and field-proven brands that can solve a number of common issues, such as false trips from conveyors.

Resource Industry Solutions owner Vic Kairys has a decorated history in providing products from brands such as Kiepe to some of Western Australia’s mining giants, including Rio Tinto, BHP and Alcoa.

Originally an electrician for BHP in Victoria, Kairys changed career paths in 1994, and began supplying industrial electrical and mechanical equipment to the mining industry.

“My wife wasn’t happy with me coming home smelling of grease and grime,” Kairys tells Australian Mining. “And I used to like to see the technical reps coming around talking to the supervisors and I thought ‘now that’s the sort of job I could do.’”

By 2003, Kairys founded Resource Industry Solutions, which he has operated in Western Australia for more than 15 years.

Things took a positive turn in 2007-2008 when a major iron ore operator in the Pilbara enlisted Kairys to fix false trips at an overland conveyor system.

The iron ore company was reporting constant false trips from the conveyor safety switches it used, which operated through a bobbin mechanism.

A major flaw with these types of switches is they do not give the pull rope much play, and as a result, a dramatic change in temperature can cause a small change in size to the metal.

“And of course, when you have heat and coolness, metal expands and contracts,” Kairys says.

The Kiepe HEN002 Pull Wire Switch installed in the Pilbara.


Kairys provided the company with the German-made Kiepe HEN002 safety pull rope switch, which prevented false trips through its cam mechanism, and was the only switch the miner tested that worked the majority of the time.

“It’s based on a cam system and has a very high-power spring inside. It’s the cam that actuates the switches rather than a bobbin mechanism,” Kairys says.

The Kiepe switch offers huge gains in reliability and prevents the common issue of false trips through its unique design. This easy-to-install switch prevents production hinderances and maintains smoother operations.

The iron ore company trialled the switches for 18 months, and then replaced all switches on the conveyor with the Kiepe switches that Resource Industry Solutions supplied.

“We ended up suppling 240-odd switches and they replaced all the switches along the conveyor and then from that day on, the Kiepe range has become the standard for all the company’s projects,” Kairys says.

“That was the initial tipping point, or the initial start of the popularity and the appreciation of the features of the switch.”

Since the iron ore company first adopted the Kiepe switch, Kairys has sold between 3000-4000 Kiepe switches to various mining operations in Australia.

He continues to see strong demand from some of the country’s biggest mining projects, including new mega  iron ore developments in Western Australia.

Kairys has become one of the industry’s local gurus in conveyor monitoring solutions, through his method of working through a concept, design and supply approach.

“I try and find a solution to problems that the end users and the consultants for those end users are facing,” Kairys says.

“I find out what it is they need, try and find a solution, make sure that solution is viable and then spec it into their project. It’s got to a point where I don’t have to actively market and annoy them.

“They’ve got me in their email address book. They know that when a project is happening and when they have a requirement for one of my products that they will give me a call or drop me an email.”

Kairys is now the Australian vendor for all Kiepe products and provides bespoke configurations of the solutions that Resource Industry Solutions offers.

“Whether it’s a small two-man electrical contracting company or a multi-billion-dollar mining company, they all get the same level of assistance. I try and help them out; no job is too small or too big,” Kairys concludes.

This article also appears in the October issue of Australian Mining.

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