A better answer than 'just add water'

PRIVATE company Spraying Systems Co Australia is steadily building up a satisfied mining customer base in Western Australia thanks to its client-based solutions.

A better answer than 'just add water' A better answer than 'just add water' A better answer than 'just add water' A better answer than 'just add water' A better answer than 'just add water'

Spraying System Co. Australia's specialist staff tailor site-specific dust control solutions.

Spraying Systems Co

The company's specialist staff tailor dust control solutions to offer the best environmental health and cost saving results suited to each site.

Perth-based Spraying Systems Co Australia engineering dust specialist Matthew Hayward (pictured below, left) reviews each site's needs and proposes adequate solutions.

The parent company Spraying Systems Co was founded in 1937 in Illinois, USA, and produces a wide range of dust suppression, prevention and control solutions for applications in the food, mining, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, among others.

In the mining sector, the company offers custom spray technology solutions from the AutoJet technologies division to manage dust in and around stock piles, conveyors and ROM bins, as well as solutions for belt cleaning and rail car dust.

"It's more engineering rather than just throwing a nozzle at a dust problem," Hayward said.

"There are all kinds of nozzles and configurations we have at our disposal, to suggest the best outcome for each client's process. We look in-depth of the concerns in their process in order to suggest a solution with the best benefits in terms of production, safety and efficiency."

Hayward's experience in similar previous roles has assisted him to work closely with clients in resolving their issues through providing very well engineered, cost competitive solutions in a timely manner.  

He said there were two key areas where dust control (pictured above, right)  was essential on mine sites - to achieve relevant health standards and to prevent machinery wear and tear, which provides long-term savings.

"We deal with all areas of the mining process," Hayward said.

"Ore gets dumped from trucks into ROM bins and that's where the dust starts, so our purpose is to basically provide the nozzle technology and the engineering expertise to control that dust to minimal amounts.

"You have to adhere to the health standard's dust emission allowance, sites have to be in control of their water use, plus they have to manage the ore's moisture content for shipping."

He said like the black lung issue in coal mining, there was a growing awareness among iron ore miners of silicosis, caused by breathing in small particles of silica over prolonged periods.

"Silicosis can be hard to diagnose because symptoms can mimic asthma and not everyone stays in mining throughout their careers, but once people realise it's a major problem it's really going to turn the tables on dust control," he said.

"Nowadays people don't want to breathe in dusty air and the work environment should be safe. 

"The end of the mining capital expansions has also increased customers' focus on preventative maintenance to prolong plant life," he added.

"Dust gets into everything and when you get any dust on moving components, it creates wear and tear.

"Especially when you're adding greases and lubricants, it turns into grinding dust and then they end up with machines all over the site prematurely failing.

"If we can reduce the dust, they'll extend the life of their equipment and save money in the long term."

Hayward (pictured on site, above) said Spraying Systems Co Australia stood out in the WA market because it was prepared to listen to customers' issues, and address their limitations. Currently, the mining industry is only looking at spending money where the benefits are obvious and the return on investment is achievable.

Spraying Systems Co Australia offers everything from nozzles to a spray system complete with controls that just needs to be plugged in and installed on site.

"A lot of people think you just need to spray water at the problem but if you do that, it can cause more problems," Hayward said.

"It's the way you spray the water that governs how you get results."

He believes there are other areas where mine sites can improve dust control, and said the company was in constant contact with clients to develop new services and products that will resolve potential issues.

"Small bits of ore fail to fall into the chute at the end of the conveyor, either because it's too wet or it's lodged in the belt and as the belt travels back, these little fragments fall off and build up underneath the frame and on a windy day it blows everywhere - this is only one form of additional issues experienced," he said.

Word is spreading about Spraying Systems Co Australia and Hayward receives a lot of referral customers.

However he looks forward to offering dust control solutions to more companies in the mining sector.

"People need to understand what we're capable of and get in touch," he said.

"Any problem you've got out there, due to our broad range of products and services, we will potentially be able to address your concerns."

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