HomeGoldHVAC experts offer mines smooth, reliable operations

HVAC experts offer mines smooth, reliable operations

Specialists in robust, custom-engineered air-conditioning systems, Booyco Engineering is now driving the expansion of its service offering in the mining sector following the proven success of its products in this demanding industry.

The company has been a leader in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) solutions for decades, supplying extensively to the rail, defence and mining industries. Booyco Engineering managing director Brenton Spies says the expansion of its mining footprint will help mines improve their vehicle uptime while further enhancing health and safety performance.

“Keeping mine vehicle operators cool in the heat of a mining site is crucial to health, safety and operational efficiency,” says Spies. “Standard air-conditioning systems, however, seldom stand the test of time, leading to unexpected failure and unplanned downtime.”

Among the factors causing early failure are hotter-than-average ambient temperatures, high dust levels, heavy vibrations, shocks from uneven mine haul roads and long operating hours. Grant Miller, Booyco Engineering’s executive director, points to the danger of drivers working in an over-heated cab, should an air-conditioning system fail.

“This is not only a danger to the health of the driver, but could affect other workers and infrastructure on the mine if the cab conditions cause the vehicle to be driven unsafely,” says Miller. “Fortunately, many countries including South Africa apply regulations to ensure safe working conditions – so an operator could be entitled to cease work if the cab becomes over-heated.”

The result is that a machine could stand idle, waiting for repairs to the air-conditioning unit while costing hundreds of thousands in lost production for the mine. He says there are two aspects to avoiding this risk: installing fit-for-purpose HVAC equipment on mining vehicles; and applying a regular and high quality maintenance schedule.

“This is where Booyco Engineering has proved itself to our mining customers,” says Miller. “We engineer the HVAC solution to suit the miner or contractor’s application, and we ensure that the equipment is well maintained.”

The company’s design and support capability has been developed over more than 35 years, employing the latest software and specialised tools in its 3,000 m2 Meadowdale facility. Its technical support services allow customers to rely on Booyco Engineering for a planned maintenance programme for their HVAC systems.

“Few mining operations have the skills to conduct this specialised work professionally on a regular basis,” says Spies. “Where the mine is large enough to warrant an on-site technician or team, we can put that in place as part of a maintenance contract to ensure that all HVAC systems continue performing optimally.”

He says the company can also provide regular site visits to conduct inspections and maintenance, and has a roving team available for ad-hoc call outs. Booyco Engineering’s rich heritage in HVAC design and maintenance makes it the ideal partner for mines looking to ensure reliable and uninterrupted operations, he says.