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Australian Mining Prospect Awards for 2018: Conveyor Manufacturers Australia Wins

Conveyor Manufacturers Australia (CMA) has been named as a winner in the Australian Mining Prospect Awards for 2018, honouring the achievements of organisations who excel within the mining industry, bringing innovation and transforming business practice.

CMA secured the highest achievement within the Excellence in Mine Safety, OH&S category. This award recognises a company which has developed or carried out a program that increases worker safety, removes risk, or cuts worker issues on a project or mine. Other finalists included Anglo Coal, Glencore, BGC Contracting, Mitchell Services Limited and iron ore producer Roy Hill.

CMA was founded in 2014 by a group of highly-experienced mining professionals with a combined experience of over 100 years. As an emerging leader in truly innovative conveyor technology, CMA supports its customers to generate a step-change in performance and productivity. While CMA has a global footprint, it’s roots are firmly based in the Australian mining sector. It is CMA’s mission to deliver solutions which improve the health, safety and well-being of all who use them.

The Prospect Awards have recognised CMA’s flagship REDLINE Underground Conveyor System for its significant positive impact in all underground roadway development, Longwall and Pillar extraction in coal mines, single entry driveage, in underground hard rock development driveage and in civil tunnelling.

The way that conveyors are built, recovered and maintained has not changed in decades. Most components are still manually-handled and often require personnel to enter sometimes extremely risky areas to facilitate the assembly and disassembly of them. They are built hand by hand, piece by piece, involving a significant amount of manual handling, lifting, carrying, twisting, bending and shoving. As productivity has increased, so too has the capacity, and weight, of conveyor components that must be handled.

The REDLINE system all but completely eliminates the manual handling of conveyor construction and retraction.

Currently, most underground mining and tunnelling processes require that conveyors are lengthened and shortened as part of the normal mining process. This drives a significant requirement for manual handling, but also an enormous impact to productivity – as they must be stopped.

REDLINE is a modular conveyor system that is hung from an overhead monorail system, propelled by a hydraulic traction unit. The conveyor advances and retracts in a dedicated Installation and Recovery Centre (IRC) – away from the congested working/face area. As manual handling related injuries have been steadily increasing over the years with the ever increasing size and weight of conveyor components, REDLINE is a game-changer in this regard.

The design of the IRC and conveyor frames also allows the conveyor to be lengthened and shortened while the conveyor is still operating; there is no down-time – an enormous improvement on availability and productivity.

Other key benefits include:

  • Idler change-out: when coupled with CMA’s “Roll-Over Idler” change system, conveyor idlers can be changed from the safety of the walkway – no longer requiring personnel to enter the conveyor envelope. Should a failed idler not be changed immediately, at a minimum it can be lowered away from the moving belt preventing further damage, loss or fire. (The “Roll-Over Idler” will be available in 2019.)
  • Strata support: additional products can be installed without removing the belting.
  • Change out of conveyors: the final conveyor can be installed at the very beginning of a project, removing the current practice of developing roadways on narrow belting and then completely removing and replacing with production-rated components.
  • Cabling: REDLINE can be pre-fitted with monitoring, lighting, communications and other associated cabling systems.
  • Transport: the system is stored and transported in purpose-built wardrobes. It can be transported to the next required area without the manual handling normally associated with loading and unloading of trailers and carriers.

“The safety, ergonomics and productivity of the REDLINE system are significant. We are already experiencing high interest from tier-one mining companies worldwide keen to adopt this technology”, Ben Smith, Director and Co-Founder, said.

Smith continued, “we are thrilled and humbled to receive recognition for our REDLINE system from the esteemed panel of judges representing the Prospect Awards. To stand side by side with other industry heavyweights and receive this award is reflective of our commitment to true innovation, as well as the hard work and commitment of our dedicated staff and suppliers”. “In particular, we sincerely thank the sponsor of this category, Flexco, for their involvement and leadership in this category and the industry generally”.

“It is our mission to disrupt the industry and change the way businesses operate, one conveyor solution at a time”, Smith concluded.