Mining environments represent a frontier that won’t easily submit to our best extractive efforts, which is why we ensure machinery innovation is on hand to tame the process, no matter how challenging the project seems or how adverse the conditions become. Toughened alloy housings and heat treated gears form the backbone of this operational setup, but the technological lifeblood that lubricates these deep-penetrating systems thrives on the spirit of innovation.
The technology we’re about to outline has already taken over the industries’ exploration sector. Tomography scanners and GPS-sourced data make the geologist’s life that much easier. Extractive machinery deserves at least as much bleeding-edge support. And that’s exactly what’s happening. But it’s a two-sided approach that’s being adopted, not a cavalier stab in the proverbial dark. Before going any further, let’s define a two-way strategy.
Productivity is the primary metric, one that dictates profit margins. The machinery works faster, it provides analytics, and it feeds real-time data to an automated control network. The next operational metric is the environmental impact. Innovative subsystems come to the fore here when the mining complex has a larger than average footprint. The technology balances the extraction process against any wastage, before using the resulting differential to intelligently manage environmental issues.
Primary crushers and double-decker screening solutions equipped will always be a part of the processing environment, but newer options are currently being tested. Large-scale cutting equipment fits into this category. Fragment extraction equipment optimises the initial cut so that there’s less stress placed on crushers. Water jets and thermal impulses are presently establishing the groundwork for this fragment processing stage. As a sidebar, screening technology is also adapting an innovative processing approach, with dewatering channels collecting hard to size dust particles. The advantage of this latter mining solution satisfies both of our system metrics, for waste is being minimised while productivity figures experience a simultaneous gain.
Sensors and digital electronics are making big inroads within coarse mining environments, so automation is a feature that’s set to continue as real-time extractive data binds itself to information technology. But it’s the actual machinery that forms the heart and soul, the working, processing frame of the complex. Fragment conditioning stages are taking the stress away from crushers and feed mechanisms. Meanwhile, these processing machines continue to evolve by adopting tougher alloys and ever-maturing system features, builds that maximise volumetric throughput while optimising their material separation capabilities.