The MARECHAL Electric DECONTACTOR technology guarantees to save any mining operation on conveyor downtime while positively impacting their bottom lines and keeping their operators safe.

Conveyor systems account for a significant contribution to capital expenditure not only in mine planning but also from an operational and maintenance perspective.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 4, 2019
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Added to the initial cost implications is the logistical challenge of an expanding open cast mining operation where there is a necessity to move equipment along quickly and easily as the extraction progresses.

In a mining environment, the operating conditions are very typically demanding, dirty, hot environments with high humidity.

Environmental conditions such as these affect every piece of equipment, particularly those of an electrical nature.

The DECONTACTOR is a patented technology which combines a socket-outlet with an integrated switching device which allows for disconnection under load up to 250 A or 75 kW.

In addition, spring-loaded, silvernickel contacts facilitate exceptional conductivity and contact quality over multiple operations – far exceeding IEC standards.

It has been designed to withstand harsh climatic conditions as well as corrosion, vibration and shocks inherent to mine materials handling. Able to operate efficiently within temperature variations of -40°C to +60°C, it is also watertight up to IP69k.

Wisconsin-based, Payne and Dolan, which owns and operates asphalt plants and aggregate sources across the US is a good case in point.

The plug-and-play capability of MARECHAL plugs and socket-outlets have added significant value to their operations.

Problem

Payne and Dolan found that the standard industrial electrical connectors used on its processing equipment and portable crushers was neither durable nor reliable.

Frequent relocation of equipment resulted in difficult, time-consuming power disconnection and reconnection. Additionally, the pin and sleeve connectors had poor ingress protection.

Sand and grit would get into the connectors’ threads and render the equipment unusable, resulting in expensive replacement costs.

Solution

Payne and Dolan replaced its pin and sleeve electrical connectors with the MARECHAL Electric DECONTACTOR. A quick, simple action of pressing down on the load-breaking switch, de-energises the DECONTACTOR completely.

A safety shutter and built in arcing chamber protects workers fully from any accidental electrical exposure.

The option of lockout protection on the DECONTACTOR provides easy, line-of-sight lockout/tag-out compliant with LOTO standards. IP4X ratings automatically keep dust, grit, and water from entering the devices and ruining the plugs and receptacles.

Master electrician John Schreurs explains that “The ease of disconnecting and reconnecting with the DECONTACTOR speeds up and simplifies the moves.”

Result

Payne and Dolan have reported that repositioning of equipment is now much easier, faster and more efficient.

Replacement costs for electrical connectors have decreased; however, in the event of a replacement being unavoidable, it is possible to purchase only the spare part required, as a result of the DECONTACTOR modular design.

This translates into significant savings on equipment purchases. The switch to MARECHAL Electrics’ plugs and socket-outlets has all-in-all been positive for the Payne and Dolan’s workers and as well as its balance sheet.

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