In terms of fluid handling, one of the frequently overlooked aspects for the equipment is how to manage hoses.
Of course, a hose reel is the most practical way to keep hoses wound up and easily manageable for transport, but there is more to hose-reels than meets the eye.
Managing Director of Australian reel manufacturer, Recoila, Michael Pawson says reels aren't just simple spindles anymore – they are expected to perform across a wide range of duties, often in very harsh conditions.
“The handling of fuels, lubricants, general fluids and pumping equipment systems is a vital ingredient to the smooth running of the mine or quarry,” Pawson said.
“We have often been called in to investigate situations where equipment is not only poorly maintained and monitored in such demanding applications as fluid transfer, a lot of the time we see equipment which is poorly selected for job in the first place.
“In general, fuels and lubricants and general pumping equipment systems are on high demand in this industry, and there are many variables in choice which have to be made wisely to ensure an optimised reel or reel system is chosen in the first place and implemented properly.
“Problematic issues such as over-run, axle support, hose sizes, lengths and pressures, structural integrity and all-round general durability in sometimes harsh environments are key issues that need to be addressed when reels are put into practice with fuels and pumping systems.
Pawson said that mining operations can successfully manage their hoses for pumping equipment, fuels and lubricants by paying attention to reels as a stand-alone technology, vital in the overall fluid handling system set-up.
“We have a long-standing history of maintenance and monitoring and often see mistakes made by the mining industry when choosing reels to handle fuels and pumping duties.
“Often there has been no thought whatsoever put into the reels as they are considered an afterthought and not properly respected as a business assets."
Recoila, a company in the reel business for 30 years in Australia and New Zealand produces the C-series of reels, constructed of carbon steel and stainless steel 316 with galvanized and powder coat finishes.
The C Series has a main axle supported by ball bearings, which allow a smooth and reliable rotation, while the innovative adjustable friction brake allows users to increase or lessen drag to prevent over-spooling.
In order to prevent unspooling during transit, a positive spool-lock holds the spool fixed, preventing overrun.
The open spool design allows air flow to help dry out wet hose, and the reel can also be easily cleaned.
The C-series bolt together frame and spool offers easy access for maintenance and servicing when required.
The unique modular design of the C Series also allows the user to add or change drive systems in the workshop or field with a simple bolt-on feature.
The C Series has five drive options and accommodates hose from 6mm to 38mm (internal dimensions).
It can hold hose lengths from 15 to 300m, dependant on size.
“The mining and energy sectors are really no different to any other industry when a choice has to be made on the issue of reels,” Pawson said.
“First of all, the reel has to fit the application and has to be durable enough to work efficiently and constantly without faltering and causing downtime.
“It has to be flexible to handle a wide variety of hoses that may be handling volatile substances such as fuels and lubricants and it will be pumping these for hours on end.
“They should be flexible enough to be deployed in all sorts of applications with many different hoses and product and even allow users to add or change drive systems whenever it is required.”