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Nonelectric detonators gain traction

An explosion with ground being blown up in a controlled explosion using the BME Viperdet MS series of Detonators

BLOWING UP IN POPULARITY The new BME Viperdet MS series of detonators has been used in 11 successful blasts since its launch in August

20th October 2023

By: Halima Frost

Senior Writer

     

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Since the launch of mining explosives and blasting technology supplier BME’s new Viperdet MS series of detonators in August, the products have been used in 11 successful blasts in the South African quarrying sector.

According to BME, the mining segment of chemicals company Omnia, the series is an improved version of its nonelectric detonator product range, with “excellent” feedback from clients on its performance.

The series offers high-accuracy timing and a triple-layered shock tube, with a high resistance to abrasion.

The quality of the detonators – manufactured using BME’s latest automation technology – has also been improved with the inclusion of high-quality raw materials in the design.

“We have, over the years, invested considerably in our production technology, giving us automated processes that enhance safety, sustainability and efficiency to reliably deliver a world-class product,” says BME technology and innovation GM Nishen Hariparsad.

The MS series joins BME’s LP series and SD series of underground dual-detonator products, with the MS series designed for use at surface mines, underground operations and the quarrying market.

“Our systems harness robotics and artificial intelligence to ensure that we meet and exceed customer expectations with our nonelectric detonators.”

Hariparsad adds that different delay timing requirements and applications dictate whether a single detonator, compared to a dual detonator, is used in a specific application.

Additionally, the high level of automation employed in the production of MS series detonators is a significant differentiator for the company, as most competitors rely predominantly on manual production lines.

Consequently, BME achieved consistency in detonator quality, enhanced production flexibility, reducing waste and lowering environmental impact through its production practices.

“The company’s production facilities at Losberg and Dryden are also powered by renewable energy to prioritise sustainability and operational continuity.

“BME always strives to be at the forefront of technology and brings innovative and cutting-edge mining solutions that deliver best blasting and fragmentation outcomes.”

This, adds Hariparsad, has underpinned the launch of the Viperdet MS series – which includes downhole, trunkline and dual detonators.

BME global product manager Dr Rakhi Pathak says the triple-layered shock tube design provides high tensile strength and prevents any damage during normal operating conditions.

“Made with high-strength material that is temperature resistant, the connectors are easy to use and quick to apply,” she notes, adding that the connectors are also colour coded for ease of identification.

Pathak stresses that safety remains the utmost priority; therefore, quality and manufacturing processes ensure that the product meets the highest industry safety standard.

“The Omnia mining segment’s certified supply chain was crucial in achieving the standards for which it is known in the mining sector, including the quarrying sector, where the Viperdet MS series is expected to find an impor- tant market,” he concludes.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

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