If a 49-er from the old Californian gold rush was to materialise inside a 21th-century mining facility, we have no doubt he’d be lost. His old wooden screening cradle has no place in a high-volume industry where the manufacture of mining equipment is defined by engineering plastics and mighty alloys. He’d hop on his mule and leave the work to the automated conveyor belts and crushers, maybe shaking his head in wonder after seeing all that heavy-duty excavation equipment as it bashed huge slabs of rock into workable streams of screenable matter.
Early mining practices are chronicled as manual labour, as muscled workmen scraping at the ground to expose mineral deposits. The evolution of this practice moved onward fast, creating copper and tin mines, claustrophobic holes where these workers used handheld tools to excavate the base elements responsible for the Bronze Age. Fast forward to the industrial age, a time where steam and mules are replacing hand-worked tools, and we’re on the cusp of something quite special. Tough tasks are about to undergo a transformation phase as the manufacture of mining equipment introduces automated engineering processes, methods that will replace the roles traditionally held by man.
Huge productivity gains and massive cost savings are the natural upshot of technology in this enclosed environment. Hydraulic tools enable miners to descend in cages to impressive depths, kilometre deep areas where they hack at coal seams to fill railed mining bins, and these forged iron loaders cycle back up to the surface to dump their contents. Machines had arrived, were using hydraulic power to chip away at the rocks, but the workers still rule in this era.
Strong alloys stand in for corroded slabs of iron, and engineering plastics take the abrasive load generated by aggregate streams as they come hurtling back to the surface, already de-watered and screened. This is a semi or even fully automated facility, one that uses kilometres of conveyors and screening decks. Strong crushers break rocks and shovel them into armoured feeder mechanisms. Oscillating motors are kept in sync with the operation through PLC controls (programmable logic controllers), and the surface of every machine is coated in a durable polymer, in urethanes, polycarbonates, and UHMW-PE finishes that absorb impact and reject wear.
The manufacture of mining equipment in this tough mining industry environment stops abrasive effects and enhances productivity, but the industry is still evolving, adding technological refinements that enhance worker safety while protecting the local environment.
Screening Technology Pty Ltd T/AS Hawk Machinery
Address: 7 Lantana St Blackburn North Vic 3130
Contact Person: Bohdan Blaszczyk
Phone: +61 3 9877 7777
Fax: +61 3 9877 8177
Mobile: 0411 099 989
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