SME 2012 Seattle preview: Matrix Design, Brookville, 3M Quest, Atlas Copco

THE Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration is ready once again to welcome guests to its annual meeting and exhibition and this year, Seattle will be the backdrop for the popular industry event. Check out a few of the vendors attending “Mine to Market: Now It’s Global” from February 19-23.
SME 2012 Seattle preview: Matrix Design, Brookville, 3M Quest, Atlas Copco SME 2012 Seattle preview: Matrix Design, Brookville, 3M Quest, Atlas Copco SME 2012 Seattle preview: Matrix Design, Brookville, 3M Quest, Atlas Copco SME 2012 Seattle preview: Matrix Design, Brookville, 3M Quest, Atlas Copco SME 2012 Seattle preview: Matrix Design, Brookville, 3M Quest, Atlas Copco

The Atlas Copco Coaltram CT10 utility vehicle

Donna Schmidt

Matrix Design Group

Voice, text, tracking, CO, methane, airflow, belt control and much more. In short, Matrix will be releasing its R3 system in 2012.

The successor to the widely used METS 2.1 system, R3 is designed to be a simple, low-maintenance, low-cost per foot solution for mines needing to comply with the federal MINER Act and AMS regulations and wanting to maximize productivity. Voice, text, AMS and belt control are connected to a simple survivable infrastructure.

Matrix says the third generation system combines all the best elements from METS 1.0, 2.1 and WAMS (wireless IS CO) and adds voice communication, increased reliability, additional AMS sensors and the flexibility to handle different mining conditions using wireless, wired or hybrid node configurations.

The R3 handset is a digital radio with push-to-talk operation that provides practical voice communication during regular operations and text capability when a self-contained self-rescuer is being used.

The handset features functions such as private conversations, listen-on-many/transmit-on-one channel functionality, digital channel display, text pages, battery-life status, a man-down button and more.

After the initial release, R3 will be enhanced to allow operators to use advanced services underground and at the section. These include outside telephone calls, photo capture and transfer, data transfer from underground equipment such as continuous miners, WiFi for data devices such as laptops and PDAs and video.

Other development efforts include integrated mining software applications such as automated time studies for mobile equipment, clock-in/out data transfer and maintenance software integration.

As with all Matrix products, the system is designed and manufactured in the USA. Mention Coal USA at Matrix’s booth for a free gift.


Joining the exhibitors once more is Brookville Equipment, which recently reopened its Pickering Street facility and doubled its mining manufacturing capabilities – allowing the production of more machines and the availability of new models.

The facility houses the manufacturing of small lightweight vehicles similar to the eight-man track maintenance unit that includes customized accessories. This unit features storage for standard 100% oxygen and acetylene tanks, a Venturo ET8K 12 VDC crane, a remote pendant-operated 2-ton capacity crane with 360 degree rotation, a hydraulically operated GETEC DC welder and an open bay beside the crane with inlaid D-ring attachments.

The accessories provide a fully capable maintenance vehicle. Also, Brookville can take the base unit and switch the tool compartment to fit the specific needs of other maintenance crews.

Brookville says it has enjoyed significant growth in all three of its divisions, resulting in the need for the additional manufacturing facility. Production equipment was acquired from the main facility as well as purchases of shears, presses and welders (Millermatic 350P and Dimension NT 450).

The facility’s reopening will support the manufacturing of personnel carriers, maintenance carriers, jitneys and jeeps from the framing stage through final assembly.

The facility holds four units at a time and 10-12 units are expected to be completed each month once full operation is reached. Brookville will also be constructing a paint booth that will support the painting of parts used in the Pickering Street facility.

3M Quest Technologies

The Edge eg5 personal noise dosimeter from 3M Quest Technologies is available with three independent dosimeters, allowing for simultaneous measurement against three industry standards. Users can update The Edge eg5 from its previous two dosimeter configuration to three independent dosimeters using 3M detection management software.

With its MSHA, SIRA (ATEX), CSA (US and Canada) and Simtars (IECEx) intrinsic safety approvals, The Edge eg5 noise dosimeter can be used in potentially hazardous environments such as mines, petrochemical sites and manufacturing facilities. Where intrinsic safety approvals are not of concern, The Edge eg4 has dual dosimeters and data logging/time history.

The eg5 also offers data logging/time history, in addition to simultaneous C-weighted and A-weighted measurements.

The Edge is compact and cable-free. It mounts on the shoulder and weighs just three ounces. A rechargeable lithium polymer battery provides up to 40 hours of battery life.

Recharging is simple, 3M says, with the one or five-bay “EdgeDock” docking station. Data can be downloaded while the unit is charging, then managed and analyzed with detection management software.

Atlas Copco

Eastern US surface coal mines that endured rising drill steel consumption after restrictive legislation reduced blasthole diameters may have just found cost relief.

Atlas Copco Secoroc’s Teamalloy drill pipe is said to be lasting more than four times longer than mild steel.

Atlas Copco regional sales manager Ron Johnson said to comply with the tighter fly-rock, particle velocity and ground vibration regulations, many mines in the region narrowed blasthole diameter, going to smaller blasting patterns with lighter charges.

Johnson said smaller bits created a narrower annulus, forcing bailing velocities to double in some instances.

The chips accelerate the erosion of the mild steel drill pipe. One customer’s mild steel drill pipe’s useful life plummeted from as much as 400 hours to just 130 hours.

Johnson suggested the mine try Atlas Copco Secoroc Teamalloy steel, manufactured by Canada’s Atlas Copco Thiessen in Vancouver, British Columbia and worked with the company to precisely determine its profitability in their application.

The method of comparison was simple but reliable – drill steel cost per hour. It was found by dividing the total cost of the drill pipe by the total air compressor hours logged between installing the pipe and removing it.

It took more than 300 hours of drilling before Teamalloy drill steel began showing wear during the real-life testing in the sandstone layers at the site. Before concluding the test Teamalloy was claimed to have already provided more than four times the longevity of mild steel with less cost overall and it also revealed additional benefits.

Johnson said the driller on the site noted Teamalloy steel was firmer, maintained its stiffness throughout its life and seemed to him to spin truer with less vibration. This, he said, also contributed to increased bit bearing life, further reducing overall cost of drilling.

Check out more exhibitors in tomorrow’s ILN.

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