Upgraded chairlift increases mine safety

12th March 2021

Upgraded chairlift increases mine safety

HEAVY LIFTING Becker Mining South Africa has recently launched a new upgraded chairlift PLC panel that enhances reliability of Becker chairlift systems

Mining sector technology specialist Becker Mining South Africa has recently launched a new upgraded chairlift programmable logic controller (PLC) panel that enhances reliability of Becker chairlift systems, which are used to safely transport personnel on mines worldwide.

These locally manufactured chairlift PLC panels, which are programmed to automatically display the trip conditions of the chairlift system, comply with all the latest requirements of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, in terms of the stringent regulations of the Mine Health and Safety Act.

“The new Becker PLC panel features a user-friendly 12-inch display, that not only clearly indicates a trip condition, but also guides the user in quick and effortless fault finding. This is a critical safety advantage in the mining sector,” says Becker Mining South Africa senior GM Tom Searle.

He notes that the upgraded PLC panel, with expandable options, uses an intelligent pull key system to show all trip conditions. Critical chairlift information – including emergency contact details, wired diagram drawings and a parts list – is installed on the PLC panel and can be easily updated at any time.

“The program on this PLC has site- specific trip condition pictures that automatically indicate the area where a fault has occurred and also includes pictures of the actual components. For user convenience, next to these pictures, is a guide for fault finding and immediate access to the circuit diagram drawing.

“The system also provides technical support contact details and to assist our customers with easy ordering of the correct spares, a list of components used in that specific panel, with allocated part numbers, is provided,” Searle explains.

If users want to upgrade their system, they have the option of connecting the chairlift panel to the control room through installed networks. The PLC could subsequently connect to a surface system, allowing it to send a short message service to designated numbers. The user is also able to login remotely to view trip conditions to send artisans to assist with breakdowns.

Becker Mining South Africa’s chairlift systems are designed to transport up to 900 personnel each hour, quickly, efficiently and safely in all underground applications, including difficult mining conditions.

Becker’s modular, low maintenance chairlift systems, which encompass the latest technology and manufacturing trends, meet stringent quality and safety regulations in the mining sector. These chairlifts, with a simple, yet robust structure, are installed in underground sites with steep inclines up to 45º and long haulages up to 2 000 m, at drive speeds between 1.5 m/s and 3 m/s.

In emergencies, the chairlift system can be used for transporting injured workers quickly and safely back to the surface.

Safety features include a rope slip sensor and a failsafe brake system, which is spring-activated and hydraulically released on the drive wheel brake path. Secondary and primary brakes are capable of holding the entire out of balance load. Other critical safety devices are the passenger override sensor and an intelligent pull key system.

Chairlift underground transport systems can be supplied with dependable diesel-driven generator sets, to ensure the absolute safety of miners in the event of a power outage.

Becker Mining is committed to providing the latest product designs, impeccable manufacturing standards and cost efficiency, as well as enhanced safety and total reliability of these underground transportation systems. Every chairlift installation is custom- designed to suit every specific application and drive units are selected based on the length and gradient of the installation.

The company is also responsible for erecting the chairlift drive house, mechanical and electrical installations and all civils work.

Becker Mining offers a full range of spares for chairlifts, as well as a support service, which includes a maintenance and on-site repair service.

The company’s service also comprises audits of running installations, identifying areas that require attention. Recommendations are given about necessary maintenance requirements and the safe use of the system.

Becker Mining’s chairlift systems are designed and manufactured at the company’s Alrode facility, in Gauteng.