Good things come in small packages

AN EASTERN U.S. coal mine has lifted its advance rates 10% per day thanks to a nifty little device named the Mk7 Continuous Mining Guidance Laser.
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Mine & Process Service Pocket Mining Anemometer.

Angie Tomlinson

Continuous Mining Guidance Laser enables longwall operations to develop gate entries faster than conventional methods. Continuous miner drivers can follow the Mk7’s laser beam to load coal with more confidence which ultimately leads to faster development.

“There are many other benefits to developing entries that are ‘laser straight’ but this is just one, and very significant, as most longwall operators cannot develop panels as fast as the longwall retreats out,” said marketing manager Lee Ptasnik.

The continuous mining guidance laser has been used in hundreds of underground applications in the last 20 years. The development of the Mk7 self-contained battery-operated laser has made it possible for more operations to institute the timesaving device.

The laser is constructed entirely of stainless steel, which contributes to a longer life and also allows for its stabilization in ventilation air. The Mk7 is MSHA approved for use in underground mining and where gassy conditions exist.

In longwall operations the laser assists in improving head and tailgate alignment and when using continuous miners the laser provides a constant reference. It also assists in accurate installations for conveyors.

Accessories for tunneling work include precision beam deflector for curved tunnels, grade indicator and Penta Prism (bends laser beam a precise 90 degrees, for checking square of tunnel linings).

Mine & Process Service said the laser had been well accepted in both longwall operations and continuous miner mines, coal and non-coal.

Another of Mine & Process Service’s products proving small things do come in small packages is the PMA-2001 Pocket Mining Anemometer. This pocketsize, electronic instrument replaces the large mechanical type devices that have been considered the benchmark for years in underground mines for checking ventilation.

“With the introduction of our PMA-2001 Pocket Mining Anemometer, we have given the mining industry a compact device using electronics that has superseded the mechanical devices. Electronics makes them very accurate and highly repeatable,” said Ptasnik.

“In most cases, using two different mechanical anemometers at the same location, at the same time,

will actually give you two different air readings. This is due to calibration techniques that vary from laboratory to laboratory, the type of wind tunnel they use for calibrating, how they are positioned into the wind tunnel, etc,” he said.

“Until the introduction of our anemometer, no one questioned the accuracy or repeatability of mechanical devices. What we are now finding is that many are inaccurate, mostly due to human error in the calibration.”

The pocket Anemometer provides instantaneous and automatic timed, 60-second counts readings. This brings about more accurate, easier and faster ventilation readings, as well as safer work environment since miners don't have to keep an eye on their wristwatch as they are walking the entry for 60 seconds.

“Our PMA-2001 Anemometer makes it more likely that mine personnel will carry the device and take all the required air readings and more, as it just makes that job so much easier.”

The device has been certified as intrinsically safe by MSHA.