A vision of safety

Safety, security, visibility.

These are three bywords for the mining industry and operational standards which miners attempt to weave into all aspects of what they do.

Unsurprisingly the Australian mining industry leads the world in these aspects.

And it, along with Australian manufacturers, have spent whatever it takes to ensure that injury and accidents are no longer a common aspect on site.

At the same time there is also the focus on cost savings, and unlike the boom, operating more productively and more efficiently.

Looking at the increasing demand for safety on all mine sites, Hella has developed a new heavy duty light that is helping miners to operate with much more visibility, while at the same time aiding the fight against fatigue on site.

It has created the new HYPALume light for vehicles and light towers to bring a little clarity on site.

Designed and fully manufactured in Australia the light has been built with the Australian mining industry in mind.

It is also using the latest in lighting technology, utilsing high power LED lights to provide a greater, whiter spread of light that is aiding workers.

Speaking to Hella they explained that as the issue of fatigue increases onsite, and fatigue fighting technology such as eye tracking machines, caps that actively measure truck drivers' brain waves,and glasses that which can monitor blinking rates and register microsleeps are helping to battle this serious issue, the capital investment for this technology is heavy, whereas simple changes such as installing more appropriate lighting can make massive changes quickly.

According to Hella general manager Stuart Ellacott, the lights are suitable for both DC and AC applications and have been designed to withstand demanding outdoor and industrial requirements.

"Producing more than 20 000 Lumens by using 56 high-power colour-matched LEDs coupled with three specialised optical distributions, the Hella HypaLUME consumes far less power compared with conventional industrial lighting," Ellacott said.

"It uses 240 W at 24 VDC, translating to a luminous efficiency close to 100 Lumens per Watt, which means it provides similar light levels to a 400 W metal halide light fitting while using far less power." 

According to the company, which has a design and manufacturing plant in Mentone, Victoria and has been operating for more than 50 years, the units not only save money but also reduce CO2 emissions.

"The LEDs operate at a colour temperature of 5700 K to provide a near daylight environment and a comfortable work area wherever they are used," he said.

This comfortable aspect is important, as it is diminishes the impact of night blindness caused by workers exposed to bright lights while operating at night.

"They are also protected from reverse polarity and short-circuit faults, and the light produced remains consistent across a wide range of voltage applications."

The unit's driver board and housing have been specially designed to use advanced thermal management which draws heat away from the LEDs to ensure long operating life – with Hella offering a five-year LED light output warranty.

The lights are also designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -40C to 50C with no decrease in output, while the high-impact lens is chemical resistant.

Importantly, in regards to the mining industry, these lights are built to be fully dust resistant and can take being covered in dust and then jet-washed off with no ill effect whatsoever on the light's ability to operate.

"The Hella HypaLUME, designed and manufactured in Australia,represents the next generation of highly efficient, yet economic industrial area lighting products," Ellacott said. 

"The quality produced simply cannot be compared with conventional lighting based on operating costs, service life and light output quality throughout each unit's service life."

Typical applications for the floodlights include loading bays, tunnels, warehouses and haul roads.

"We have taken into account feedback from many sites and operators, equipment manufacturers and lighting users to produce a floodlight that combines real world performance with energy efficiency," Ellacott said.

Hella has also partnered with Allight Sykes to provide these powerful lights for lighting towers.

Allight Sykes explained that these lighting towers, while not providing as high intensity light over a wide spread as halogen or metal halide lights do, these towers do throw the light just at similar distances, and importantly unlike halogen lighting towers they last considerably longer.

"These towers are essentially able to run for two weeks, and require significantly less attention due to their longer lasting capabilities," an Allight Sykes spokesperson told Ferret..

This is because the LED lighting towers use a lot less power in their operation, and are programmable, which means an operator only has to do a single run to program their lighting times and the lights then automatically turn themselves on and off, cutting what could be an hour or more for a miner going from light to light, checking them and running through the start procedures.

On top of this, they use less fuel during operation.

This combination of cost cutting and time saving is working in line with the change in focus for miners and the industry.

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