Mining customers value the incorporation of safety systems in the cranes.
In many markets the mining sector represents an important part of global economic activity. In countries such as Chile, Peru and also Mexico, the activity linked to this sector defines the state of their economies and the investment trends that governments apply to their budgets and expansion plans.
GH has been closely linked to this sector with a considerable fleet of installed cranes and specific solutions that have contributed important experience with this type of solution.
To evaluate the situation and perspectives in this sector, we contacted the GH collaborators in Chile (LUAGHER), whose activity in the sector has led to the company becoming a real expert.
LONG TERM INVESTMENTS
- How is the sector performing at the moment? Is there investment in new facilities or expansion of existing ones?
The market value of the mining resource determines the performance and investment programmes in the sector, which are usually long-term.
The volatility of commodity prices in an already global market also marks the evolution and perspectives of the sector.
There are two lines of development in the sector: new plants and modernisation and/or expansion of existing plants.
- Where is the investment taking place? Are we supplying equipment?
Investment in recent years has been more on the side of state mining (CODELCO) but in the future it is expected to be more focused on private mining, with several new projects and modernisation of existing plants.
For the CODELCO projects we have supplied a large number of single girder hoists and many overhead cranes for both maintenance and production, with capacities from 5 to 80 tonnes.
- What is the main reason for the growth/contraction of activity at present?
The main cause of growth or contraction is the market value of copper the “commodity”: with a low value, investments stop; with a good projected future value, they are activated.
This doesn’t only happen with copper. All raw materials are subject to the same parameters.
INCLUDE WEIGHT INDICATOR SYSTEMS
- What do customers demand in terms of technology for hoists in mining applications?
In general, mining customers value safety in their new equipment: limit switches, overload, anti-collision and anti-storm protection. The type of enclosure is important; dust and moisture are elements that are always present.
For equipment installed high in the mountains (over 3,000 m in altitude) the issues of derating and heating are important.
- Have we implemented any specific feature for the sector?
Although it is a standard product, the request to include lifted weight indicator systems is a constant requirement in the new equipment to be supplied, a situation that is not common in the industrial area.
This weight information is requested either through a macro display or as a screen on the control unit (radio control). It is requested primarily for safety procedures.