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Nov 20, 2009

New products to increase company focus on mining sector

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Elquips MD Brian Mostert discusses Elquip's focus on the mining industry. 20.11.2009. Cameraperson: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
 
 
 
Engineering|Africa|Consulting|Fire|Industrial|Mining|Petrochemicals|Pipes|PROJECT|Safety|Stainless Steel|System|Systems|Water|Africa|Equipment|Oil And Gas|Petrochemicals|Pipes|Products|Solutions|Steel|Systems|Consulting Engineers|Rail|Water|Cables
Engineering|Africa|Consulting|Fire|Industrial|Mining|Petrochemicals|Pipes|PROJECT|Safety|Stainless Steel|System|Systems|Water|Africa|Equipment|Oil And Gas|Petrochemicals|Pipes|Products|Solutions|Steel|Systems|Consulting Engineers|Rail|Water|Cables
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UK-based manufacturer of flexible conduits Flexicon and its local exclusive distributor and representative Elquip Solutions, aims to, as part of their marketing strategy, increase their focus on hazardous environments, including the mining industry, through the introduction of a new range of products.

The Flexicon brand has manufactured a full range of low-fire hazard (LFH) Flexible Conduits with the main emphasis on safety.

Elquip Solutions tells Mining weekly that Flexicon has changed the material composite of its conduits to use flame-retardant, self-extinguishing, nylon products that come in metallic and non-metallic variations. The conduits and conectors do not contain any halogen or phosphorus fumes, which are the main causes of fire-related fatalities, rather than the actual flames. All traces of zinc have been removed from the composition of the pipes so that, in the event of a fire, the system itself does not contribute to the flames.

Because of these safety features, the flexible conduits are used in very sensitive environments, such as underground mining, the petrochemicals industry, public buildings, oil and gas industries, and public and mass transport industries, such as rail and shipping.

The metallic conduit fittings come in a variety of different options, they offer high compression strengths and have a high impact resistance. The overbraided flexible metal provides protection and immunity from electromagnetic interferences, as well as increased mechanical abrasion resistance.

Although the LFH conduit range has been accepted into the market and is doing well, the company still finds that local customers are not using the system as much as they could.

"I think, in the industries in South Africa, there is a mindset that businesses are stuck in old technology thinking. They believe that in order for reticulating cables to be strong, especially for underground and heavy engineering applications, steel and wire armour cables are the only option. What they don't realise is that with the LFH Flexible Conduit system, it's not necessary to have that overprotection. This system uses a far less expensive and less bulky method than traditional systems," says Elquip Solutions MD Brian Mostert.

He says that the LFH flexible conduit can cut costs and installation time by up to 70%, but the challenge lies in getting companies to change their methodology. Many consulting engineers are taking a more aggressive approach in using technology to reduce total project costs. There definitely is a desire to change from looking only at material inputs, to a more holistic approach taking into account labour savings through more efficient and technically advanced methods..

In other news, a new protection rating has also been introduced to the market in the last six months. The industrial protection (IP) 68 ratings and IP69k are international standards used to rate the products.

Meanwhile, Elquip Solutions is constantly sourcing new innovative products and solutions for its market and an existing suppliers and sheet metal manufacturer Zanardo, has designed an electrical enclosure, specifically for the mining industry, that can be used underground and in most mining environments.

One of the features of this enclosure is the 30o angle on the top that prevents water from accumulating on the roof and stops any leakage into the box that may contain electrical equipment. The stainless steel box has an IP66 rating as standard.


Economic Situation

Elquip Solutions has taken a different, more aggressive approach to sustaining itself during the economic recession. Elquip Solutions owner and CEO Mike Cronin says that the company was fortunate and, although not entirely unaffected, it managed to pull through because of its diverse client base and sourcing, research and development; and cost-effective but quality products that people require during times like these.

Cronin says that one of the main challenges facing the company during these difficult times is getting people to understand that there are products that are well-priced and of a high standard.

"Just because finances need to be monitored more closely does not mean quality has to drop. The challenge lies in changing the mindset of industries and getting them to try new systems, products and solutions," he concludes.

Cronin says that one of the main challenges facing the company during these difficult times is getting people to understand that there are products that are well priced and of a high standard.

"Just because finances need to be monitored more closely does not mean quality has to drop. The challenge lies in changing the mindset of industries and getting them to try new systems, products and solutions," he concludes.

To watch a video on Elquip MD Brian Mostert discussing Elquips focus on the mining sector go www.miningweekly.com and click on ‘Multimedia' and then on ‘Video Clips'.

 

Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
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