Signal Application Tips for the Mining Industry
This is part of our new Blog Series…Signal Application Tips by Industry. We hope you find these helpful in determining how and where to use Tomar Signaling Products.
Mining applications will differ between open pit/strip or underground mine locations.
Open pit applications usually entail alarms to alert for blasting, both large and small-scale local blasting. The 1000/1001 electronic sirens are used to alarm small to medium size areas. Larger outdoor areas may necessitate multiple units.
Open pit mines usually have huge vehicles for transport of loads. These vehicles may require visual as well as audible alarms. These include the 800 series lights, and even a low-voltage DC 1100-1224 siren.
Open pit mines usually have miles of conveyors and signaling equipment is used intermittently along the length of such conveyors to notify of start-up or problems with the conveyor.
Open pit mines are loud, dark environments. While it is necessary to use warning lights for signaling to overcome high ambient noise levels, certain strobe lights, such as the Power Strobes or 800 series models may be found to be too bright and blinding in certain areas. Lower intensity models such as the Microstrobe may be more suitable in these applications. Hazardous area and explosion proof models may be called for, as dangerous gases may be present. These include 3200BEP CID1 strobes or 4375 CID2 strobes, or 4375XL LED models. The 1002WEP or 1000/1001 audible alarms are used for gas alarms to alert for relevant levels of oxygen or methane.
The mineshaft exhaust fans usually have start/stop alarms, as these units are large enough to pose a hazard when operating. Mineshaft elevators also utilize alarms to notify if there is a problem below and prevent the elevator from descending into a dangerous situation. Hazardous areas will differ depending on what element the mining operation is working with. For example, a coalmine with the presence of methane gas may be more hazardous than a gold mine.
As with open pit mines, there is a constant movement of materials via conveyors, elevators, etc., which pose personnel safety hazards, these are mitigated by the use of visual and audible signaling.
In any type of mine there may be onsite processing done to the materials such as crushing, smelting, filtering, etc. Again, this entails the movement of materials through mechanisms such as conveyors and large heavy-duty vehicles, which use signaling as described above.