Connecting the mine

Reliable cables and cabling equipment is imperative to the smooth running of a mine site writes Jessica Darnbrough.

Mine managers demand reliable and efficient equipment that can reduce downtime, maintenance and staff hours.

Reliable cables, cable support equipment and accessories are imperative to the smooth running of a minesite.

Often, however, they are over-looked and under-valued.

Cablofil’s business development manager George Loseby told Australian Mining there are a number of new products on the market that increase mine efficiency and productivity, but often minesite managers are unaware of their benefits.

Cablofil has launched a cable wire mesh tray unit that is said to reduce labour costs by 20 to 30%.

This type of cable tray, designed as an alternative to cable ladders, is a welded mesh design which lowers the overall weight and therefore assists the logistics and ease of handling onsite.

According to Loseby, the product is versatile, reliable and can be fabricated on site, a valuable asset for remote mining companies.

“The biggest advantage of the cablofil system in mining is its rapid onsite installation,” Loseby said.

“It uses fewer fittings than cable ladders with just a bolt cutter required to shape the tray.

“For example, if we consider a situation where a truck backs into a cable tray on one of our Western Australian mine sites, using Cablofil the mine could rapidly replace damaged cable trays. This avoids long lead times for specific fittings.”

The tray is designed to span 2 m fixings and comes in three depth ratings (30mm, 54mm and 105mm deep) each of which has a different linear load capacity.

Over a 2m span, the trays can withstand weights from 6 kg per linear metre anywhere up to 90 kg per linear metre.

“Cablofil offers mines an alternative tray system to suit their particular application which can and will save money.”

“Due to its variety of widths (from 50 to 600mm) and surface treatments (ElectroZinc, Hot Dip galvanized or Stainless Steel), the tray can suit any application,” Loseby said.

A singular connection

While Cablofil supports cables, Connectivity Solutions is a company supplying, as their name suggests, the latest in connectivity solutions allowing mine sites the ability to upgrade years of legacy cabling with a single proven Ethernet (or IP) based technologies.

Ethernet has been around since 1973 and is based on the idea of computers communicating over firstly; a shared coaxial cable, then twisted pair cable, glass fibre, and more recently via wireless communications.

Connectivity Solutions director Peter Elderton told Australian Mining the wired Ethernet connection from the surface to the underground often uses optical fibre or wireless connectivity solutions, providing connection to a quickly growing number of ‘IP’ enabled devices.

“Mines often need to use intrinsically safe connectivity, and fibre optic or wireless solutions can provide this safety assurance,” Elderton said.

“Fibre optic cabling using light as a transmission medium and wireless communications to connect devices via the Ethernet has no power used in transmission, which minimises the chance of an uncontrolled spark.

“There is a plethora of gases in mines. If a cable sparks, there can be obvious serious ramifications.”

Overall an Ethernet system provides a time efficient connectivity from the surface to the internal mine.

“By installing such a network, we can provide central management of routine sensors, alarms, serial devices and video streaming, as well as provide connectivity to enable email transfers between the miners and the control office,” Elderton said.

“Through proven technologies used the control office has complete access and information on every activity in the mine.”

According to Elderton, once building such a network, a myriad of ‘IP’ enabled devices can be added with minimum costs.

Already mine managers are requesting IP video cameras on site to watch over mine site activities.

Traditionally, if a mine site had a video camera installed, a cable would have to run all the way to the camera and then connect to the main power switch or board.

Today using advanced Ethernet connectivity, the camera can be wireless and remote operated.

This technology helps mine managers know exactly what is going on in the mine.

They can patrol their workers, equipment and resources, see what areas need improving and then work on it.

George Loseby

Cablofil

Business development Manager

george.loseby@hpmlegrand.com.au

www.cablofil.com.au

Peter Elderton

Connectivity Solutions

Director

petere@connsol.com.au

www.connectivitysolutions.com.au

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