Rising to safety and productivity challenges: Innovations in underground lifting vehicles

10 February 2020 (Last Updated February 10th, 2020 10:26)

When operating underground lifting vehicles, we are faced with a number of challenges. Mining workers must be kept safe, and to keep up with an increasingly mechanised industry, vehicles must be as productive as they are robust.

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When operating underground lifting vehicles, we are faced with a number of challenges. Mining workers must be kept safe, and to keep up with an increasingly mechanised industry, vehicles must be as productive as they are robust.

The electrification of vehicles used by the mining industry has led to a number of outcomes; carbon emissions are reduced, air is cleaner in underground tunnels, and the opportunity for digitised approaches to mining has gained traction.

Lifting vehicles are required in tunnels for man lifting and carrying out installations. Safe practises and efficient operations are essential.

Types of underground lifting vehicles

Boom lifts and scissor lifts are the two most common variations of underground lifting vehicles.

Consisting of a platform or bucket attached to a boom arm and grounded vehicle, boom lifts are utilised to rise workers up on the manoeuvrable platform to carry out work in elevated areas of a tunnel.

Scissor lifts raise a platform directly up and down using crossed supports that are pivoted like two halves of a pair of scissors.

The type of lifting equipment and model of vehicle that operators choose will depend on the application, the weight and height capacity required, and the size of the tunnel.

Himec range of boom lifts

Normet’s expertly engineered boom lifts were designed in collaboration with industry leaders to understand the challenges that the mining and tunnelling industries face when it comes to lifting vehicles.

Its portfolio covers the needs of both hard rock and soft rock environments, as well as medium to heavy-duty lifting and a broad variety of platform configurations. Customisations can be made for any lifting or installation application.

The Himec MF 125 has a mechanised man lifting platform capable of lifting 500kg to a height of 12m. The MF 905 has a maximum height of 8.7m and the SF 605 can reach 6.6m.

Normet’s Himec RM 128 T is a self-propelled diesel driven twin boom unit. It is designed for underground charging, man lifting and installing works. The RM 905 and RM 910 REX are self-propelled boom units, which are utilised for lifting and installing works, as well as charging of mine explosives.

The Himec RM 915 A, meanwhile, is a self-propelled boom lifter that is ideal for underground robotic steel support installation. It features the Normet Rigid Frame Carrier, an M-series Cummins Tier4F engine and a NSB 920 boom.

Utilift range of scissor lifts

Designed for lifting and installation applications in mines and low-profile tunnels, Normet’s Utilift range of vehicles are robust scissor lifts suitable for roof reinforcement, explosives charging, installation of cables, pipes and ventilation equipment.

The Utilift MF 540 Scissor Lift offers a lifting capacity of 4.5t and a maximum platform height of 4.5m. It is specifically designed for safe installations works in tunnels up to 6.5m high. The Utilift SF 330 Scissor Lift has a lifting capacity of 3t and a maximum platform height of 3.5m. It is suitable for use in tunnels up to 5.5m high.

Normet

Normet is focused on developing innovative technology to digitise the mining industry and improve sustainability. Safety and productivity are at the core of the future of mining.

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