Polaris fits underground lighting needs

SEVERAL Australian underground coal mines are trialling NL Technologies’ Polaris all-in-one cap lamp while others have already bought it, NLT Australia managing director Tim Haight says.
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NL Technologies'cordless all-in-one cap lamp Polaris.

Blair Price

Going by the industry feedback, Haight expects the product to be a big hit.

The cap lamp is cordless – an obvious advantage – and Polaris was also praised for the intensity of the light, the product’s light weight, the duration of the battery life and its quick charging time.

NLT plans to unveil more accessories for the Polaris this year, in addition to the flexible arm attachment with a magnet on one end which is already assisting with maintenance efforts underground.

With the lamp connected to one end of the arm, the magnet at the other end can be securely fitted to any suitable ferrous surface to help focus light on a particular area.

“If you are working on the engine in the vehicle you can stick it on the side of the engine and aim it down where you want to be,” Haight said.

“This gives you the ability to shine it right on what you are working on and work away hands free.”

He said some maintenance workers had previously resorted to holding a flashlight in their teeth when using a screwdriver or other tools.

The arm attachment also helps in situations when a cap-mounted light cannot be shone directly on the area of interest.

Additionally, a handle attachment allows the all-in-one product to be converted into a standard torch.

“It's big in the European market; they like these all-in-ones and they have been demanding them,” Haight said.

While also expecting the Polaris to sell well in South America, he said there was a huge market in Australia as the other all-in-one cap lamps available were cheap products out of Asia which were reportedly of questionable quality.

The Polaris is pending approval by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.

It has received IECex and ATEX approvals, including Group II and M1 certification late last year.

While NLT received IEC 62013 as a minimum requirement, it also obtained additional certification to M1, a first for the company, which allows the miner to continue using the lamp even after methane has been detected.

Previously, the lamp and miner would have needed to exit the mine immediately.