Coal mine switches to Atlas Copco LED light towers
Atlas Copco represents several pillars for mining: power, water and also light
When approached by the coal mine to supply light towers, Tracpart immediately turned to Atlas Copco for a solution. “We supply Atlas Copco dewatering pumps and portable generators and are familiar with the proven quality of this globally renowned brand,” says De Wet van Wyk, co-founder of Tracpart together with brother, Jaco, in 2009. Thanks to the state-of-the-art LED technology, the HiLight V5+ light towers provide up to 25% more light compared to metal halide lamps while delivering average fuel consumption savings of 60% and reduced CO2 emissions of up to 70%.
Customized light tower solutions for surface mining
Tracpart’s core business is the supply and servicing of new and used tractors for underground and surface applications primarily in the coal mining sector. The company supplies nine major blue chip mining groups which consist of over 30 mining operations as well as large steel producers in Mpumalanga and surrounds. Located in Emalahleni, the Level 2 B-BBEE company also specialises in construction equipment and supports its extensive OEM product portfolio with after-sales service, parts supply, maintenance, repairs, remanufacturing and field service. In 2016 Patrick Mkhonto joined the Tracpart team as an active BEE partner with 51% shareholding. “Having worked with Patrick in the past, we knew he had what it takes to take the business forward,” comments De Wet.
Upgrading to LED light towers with Hardhat canopy
Our strong focus on coal mining positions us as a specialist solutions supplier to this sector. As more and more mines in the region are reaching maximum depths and consequently moving to surface mining, we have expanded our scope of supply from underground machines, equipment and services to meet the growing demand for surface mining solutions. As part of our service offering we conduct regular customer site visits and during one such visit to a coal mine, the customer advised that they urgently needed four light towers. Having used only metal halide light towers, the coal mine requested replacement of the same but when the many advantages of the HiLight V5+ light tower range with cutting-edge LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology came to light, the mine did not hesitate in making the switch to LED.
LED light tower compliant with all mining requirements
Atlas Copco’s heavy-duty LED light towers offer robust, reliable, efficient, economical and safe lighting solutions, “ticking all the boxes when it comes to mine requirements such as SHEQ, low operating expenses and environmental responsibility,” says Atlas Copco Portable Energy Business Line Manager, David Stanford. He explains that the special optic lenses in the HiLight V5+ LED light tower are designed specifically for mining and construction applications. “Depending on the model, a single HiLight LED light tower can illuminate a 5,000m2 area with an average brightness of 20 lux while consuming less than 0.7 litres of fuel per hour. As the emitted light from LEDs is close to natural light sources it delivers the correct tone of light. The fully directional optic lens maximises practical light coverage while minimising ‘dark spots’ improving visibility on the job site for enhanced worker safety and comfort.” David adds that LEDs have an impressive 30 000 hour lamp life expectancy.
A variation of benefits
Highlighting another time saving feature of the low noise V5+ light tower, Atlas Copco Portable Energy’s Zandra van der Westhuizen says that the manual vertical mast can be rotated quickly and easily to light a different area while fully extended to its maximum height of 7,5m. “Furthermore, supported by the extension legs, the light tower can operate in wind speeds of up to 80km/hr. Taking into account longer service intervals (and reduced maintenance costs), the light towers ensures maximised uptime and consequently increased productivity for end-users.”
From an environmental point of view, the built-in spillage-free frame of the V5+ traps oil leakage and prevents ground contamination. The HardHat polyethylene canopy, a standard feature on the HiLight V5+ light tower, is extremely durable and provides maximum protection of internal parts against corrosion and harsh conditions.
Safety is key for mining, also for the V+ LED light tower
With safety a top priority on any mine, all equipment must comply to strict mine specifications and light towers are no exception. Mine specifications demanded that light towers are mounted on braked, double-axle four-wheeled trailers to provide extra stability and safety. “Our V5+ light towers are supplied standard on single axle two-wheeled trailers which meant that a number of modifications were required. We decided to approach Anglo Welding to assist with the modifications as we are well acquainted with the high quality of their workmanship based on previous work they have done on our rental fleet,” says Zandra. The four trailer-mounted light towers were supplied to Tracpart complete with reflective tape and a fire extinguisher.
TracPart is responsible for all service and maintenance on the light towers which are supplied complete with a service kit that are kept by the mine as stock items. “We visit the mine every fortnight to monitor the condition of the light towers,” says De Wet adding that as part of their service to the mine they have undertaken to do the first 250 hours service free of charge. Atlas Copco provided product and operator training which Tracpart passed on to the customer during the handover of the light towers.
Features validated in customer testing
According to De Wet, this application was a good test of the light towers’ abilities and confirms that the units exceeded all expectations. “Our customer reports extreme satisfaction with the light towers and are particularly impressed with the effective lighting and economy delivered by the units.”
In closing, De Wet refers to the quality from Atlas Copco product and service as nothing short of exceptional. “The company backs it quality products with equally good service. Zandra is a star; her and her team went the extra mile on this order, always keeping us in the loop on progress, especially during the manufacturing of the trailers. I cannot ask for better.”
Atlas Copco Portable Energy’s light tower portfolio to Southern African mining and industry also includes the HiLight V4 and the new electric HiLight E2 and E3+ range as well as the flagship in the range, the trailer-mounted HiLight H5+ which recently received the 2017 Red Dot Design Award that recognises the unit as the most efficient LED light tower with the highest luminosity. The H5+ light tower features a controller for automated starting and stopping which means that with its 120l tank capacity, the light tower boasts 0,5l/h fuel consumption and can run for 185 hours without anyone having to touch a button.