Leading mining equipment OEM Techmine Solutions has developed an innovative solution to a common mining problem – efficiently lifting thousands of metres of conveyor belts for maintenance.
Techmine has developed a new lightweight hydraulic belt lifter that uses an Enerpac XC-Series cordless portable hydraulic pump to safely and reliably provide the hydraulic pressure (700bar) required to lift belt sections weighing up to 2000kg.
“The new belt lifter effortlessly raises the belt in 20 to 25 seconds without requiring complex input from the user. An 1800mm belt lifter, comprised of three main parts, weighs only 29.5kg once assembled. The main 13.7kg lifting beam is ergonomic and easily portable,” says Justen Wright, Principal Engineer at Techmine and inventor of the new technology.
Western Australia based Techmine has more than 75 years of experience working both on brownfield and greenfield projects across all mining sectors and their maintenance processes. The company was founded on the principle of bringing safe, efficient and reliable conveyor maintenance solutions to the mining industry, to meet the rigorous demands of modern mining maintenance.
“The Enerpac XC-Series cordless hydraulic pumps were the logical choice solution to power Techmine’s belt lifters. Enerpac is the brand of choice by our client base – their tools are high quality, reliable, easy to use, extremely versatile and adaptable for use with our products. The portable XC pump fits in perfectly alongside our lifters and when not being used for belt maintenance, the Enerpac pump can be used on-site for any other of its normal tasks.”
They are a much smarter way to get the job done,” said Wright.
Solving a sore point for the mining industry
The Techmine Team identified a fundamental safety risk in existing conveyor maintenance practices, and used their mining and engineering experience to develop a solution that would be highly valuable to mining companies across Australia.
“We discovered that when it came to conveyor lifting, equipment that wasn’t specifically designed for that purpose was being used simply because it was the only thing available – but there could be inherent safety and performance risks,” said Wright.
“Mine sites should not be lifting anything without knowing the weight first, because if the weight is above the lifting device’s capacity, this can cause all sorts of problems. Our new belt lifter clearly displays the belt’s weight as the lift progresses, meaning it cannot be overloaded.”
“Currently, it is too easy for mining operations to perform maintenance on thousands of metres of conveyor belts without knowing the load on their belt lifters. All it takes is one failure resulting in an injury or incident that may change a workers life forever as well as significant downtime and additional repair costs.”
“So we developed a lightweight portable system that could be easily stored at a shift crew workshop for example. This means that the belt lifter is charged and ready to lift any conveyor on the mine site safely and correctly, whether it’s for general shutdown maintenance or an unscheduled breakdown.”
Enerpac WA Territory Manager David Capper is delighted to see the belt lifter innovation come to fruition and says that the Techmine team have all been working hard for many years to reach this point.
“This application has been a sore point for the mining industry for a long time, with many companies past and present working to produce a solution. The Techmine team have delivered a refined and ingenious solution, which will draw interest from mine sites across the country,” he said.
Techmine has already had successes in trials with major mining companies, with others specifically seeking them out for a solution to this established problem.
Enerpac XC-Series cordless hydraulic pumps
Designed to satisfy the need for a long-lasting pump that can be used in hard-to-access areas, XC-Series cordless pumps are constructed of lightweight materials, equipped with a powerful, one-half horsepower motor and feature 28-volt, Lithium-Ion battery technology.
With its bladder reservoir, Enerpac’s cordless pumps eliminate venting and offer leak-free operation in any orientation. Plus, the overall body, handle and trigger have been ergonomically engineered to maximise ease-of-use and portability.
XC-Series cordless pumps deliver oil flow of 2.05L/min at its low-pressure setting and 0.25L/min when operating at full pressure, up to 700bar. Additionally, the lithium-ion technology ensures XC-Series pumps provide end users with the battery runtime necessary to accommodate demanding application requirements.
Enerpac’s XC-Series promotes operator safety by removing trip hazards associated with traditional powered pumps. Safety features include overload protection circuitry, which safeguards both the pump and the operator from excessive amp draw or temperatures, and a trigger lock-off mechanism that protects against unintended operation during transport.
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