Industrial equipment supplier Condra has announced a fully automated overhead crane capability and revealed that the first such machine was delivered to platinum-group metals producer Lonmin.

The overhead crane provides an alternative to the traditional pendant and remote control option. The full automation of the crane is in line with a general trend away from manual control in the mining industry.

Condra managing director Marc Kleiner said that the company has been engaged in making new advancements in sensors, controls and software, thereby, offering capability in automated applications.

Kleiner said: “This is a capability that we will offer to our customers as an option.

“We will mainly but not solely target the copper mines, especially tank house and copper-leaching applications where we have extensive experience.”

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By GlobalData

The fully automated machine has installed a 16t and a 16m span double-girder electric overhead travelling grabbing crane at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine.

The overhead crane has a manual override option and hosts dual hoists in its design, one to raise and lower the load, while the other mechanically closes the grab to overcome the spring-loaded open state via an internal sheave arrangement.

Condra noted that the crane is also equipped with variable speed drives, delivering maximum speeds of 10m a minute on the lift, and 20m and 40m a minute on the cross-travel and long-travel, respectively.

Condra said: “These machines go up to heavy-duty Class 4, with a tight focus on product quality and reliability to the standards of ISO, GOST and other internationally recognised quality control bodies.

“Two lines of hoists are manufactured in a number of standard models suited to most mining, industrial and general applications, from 1t to 500t. Motors are bought from external suppliers.”

The fully automated crane was delivered and commissioned at Lonmin’s site in November last year.

It also features a mechanical rope grab in place of the hydraulic alternative to deliver improved durability of mechanical operation within Markina’s abrasive operating environment.