Plug and unplug: Engineering designs that work

The quick release system is strong, safe and has an ergonomic grip.

AusProof helps Queensland make its mark in the world with a plug and receptacle range that exceeds expectations. Australian Mining reports.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to AusProof’s Gladstone factory in Queensland during April recognised the company’s standing as an innovator and domestic manufacturer.

The manufacturing facility, in fact, became the backdrop for the Prime Minister’s launch of his policy initiatives for export development grants and apprentice initiatives.

Similarly, former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Julie Bishop visited the facility a few years earlier to acknowledge AusProof’s export footprint throughout Asia and America.

The Queensland-based company is today widely recognised for high voltage electrical cable couplers and components for mining and tunnelling excavation projects.

AusProof sales director Frank Lantry reveals the secret behind the company’s success, saying, “AusProof is committed to ongoing research and development, which enables us to respond to customer feedback and continually produce innovative products that benefit our customers.”

To illustrate this, the company’s 60 Ampere (Amp) plug and receptacle range has been tested to 90 Amp, and the 425 Amp range has been tested to 500 Amp, well above the industry standard with this high performance.

They can now connect larger pumps and equipment without users having to upgrade their existing infrastructure, passing on the monetary savings in equipment and labour costs to users.

AusProof also released the latest PES range to the market this year, following the company’s progress in research and development, according to Lantry.

“Our criteria for the PS, PL and PES restrained ranges are that they need to be at the highest quality. They have to be fully interchangeable with what’s in the marketplace at the moment, and that they always offer additional features and benefits,” Lantry tells Australian Mining.

The latest addition to AusProof’s PS, PL and PES 60A plugs and receptacles range sees each of the criteria being met.

They have a single piece contact, which has proven to allow them to operate at a higher current rating, which means less likelihood of failing due to overloads or faults.

The quick release is also an additional feature that allows a restrained plug to be engaged and disengaged more quickly than a standard receptacle, increasing machines’ mobility.

Ausproof receptacle gland bracket proves a rugged engineering design.

 

In addition, all plugs are fabricated with stainless steel to guarantee they are fit for the conditions of mining and tunnelling projects.

Its solid stainless steel interior minimises the risk of phase to phase faults by providing phase segregation by earth. This design reduced the likelihood of phase to phase faults and is able to shield high voltages from the person handling the item, making this procedure safer.

“The tunnelling industry is harsh and muddy, so we want our product to last the life of the projects,” Lantry says.

“We don’t make them as a consumable. We’ve designed them so they’re more easily maintained, for mine employees and excavation workers to look after the maintenance themselves.”

The outer body of the plugs, for example, can be simply removed using Allen keys. Once removed, all connections can be inspected and maintained without disturbing the termination.

AusProof’s new release cannot be understated, given all major mining companies’ use of the restrained range of plugs and receptacles. This range offers many benefits to all its users with regards to safety, reliability and innovation.

Lantry also says that many metalliferous mines and projects throughout Australia specify the AusProof restrained range, as it is Australian designed and manufactured to the country’s standards.

While Australia is the only company in the world that manufacturers a plug up to 35-kilovolt load, AusProof has been able to use that experience to offer a lower voltage range to satisfy the other end of the market, according to Lantry.

“We have gained experience in the higher voltage product and the knowledge from supplying them. This has allowed us to meet the Australian and international standards for our restrained range products,” he says. 

AusProof has grown into a leader in coupler research, design, manufacturing and distribution during its 40-year history. 

This article also appears in the August edition of Australian Mining.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.