Iron and coal became almost as important as any mineral deposit when the industrial age dawned. The coal provided the energy for steam engines, and locomotives, new workhorses for a new age, used the iron to build their massive frames. A global economy had been established overnight because of these two earthbound resources, and mining would never again be the same. There was just no way that rickety old mining picks and wood-propped shafts could satisfy this exploding demand. Modern mining equipment was on its way to provide the resources this new era needed.
As stated, coal and iron were needed in huge volumes when the industrial age arrived. We needed energy and metal to build bridges and support a growing population, a society that had fallen in love with machinery. For example, pure manpower once provided the only option for sorting ore. Explosives and pickaxes didn’t differentiate between a mineral-rich vein and the surrounding rock, so all of that rocky matter had to be hand sorted by sharp-eyed workers. Hand frames with iron meshes were shaken to screen the ore. As anyone can imagine, this was a time-consuming job, a labour that was in no way efficient. It was conveyor technology and electric motors that ended this practice. And it was the arrival of modern mining equipment, polymer-based materials and durable alloys, that gifted these advanced machines with long life.
Expanding outward to encompass the global industry, sorting equipment and advanced machining giants adopted every technological development that took place above the subterranean realm. Electric motors took over from people. Carbon steel took over from rust-prone iron, finding its place in everything from first-cut scalping stations to diamond-tipped drills. Modern mining equipment tapped into the global pulse, adopting current electrical and metallurgical methodologies, and adapting those selfsame engineering forms to work in one of the most hazardous environments known to man. This modern theme also covers worker safety, including the improvement of respiratory ailment prediction and a reduction in events that can cause hearing damage, but it also encompasses new and improved machinery. One example of this futuristic swing comes again from screening, a part of the process that can introduce losses. Sensors are developing that can sort materials electronically. Better plastics avoid downtime altogether, placing abrasion-proof polymers in screening grids as new banana screens and multi-stage vibratory mechanisms differentiate valuable ores from waste with unfaltering precision.
In fast-forwarding another ten or twenty years, who knows what further developments will have proven themselves? Improved electronic sensors seem likely, as is further automation, composite materials, tailored plastics and alloys, and telemetry-driven equipment that can be operated at a distance.
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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