Mining Impacts Everyone

The economic and industrial growth of nations around the world is closely tied to the mining operations that provide the raw materials from which modern society is built. The global mining market is currently expected to grow from $1641.67 billion to $1845.55 billion this year, making it one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world.

Mining is also an extremely challenging undertaking, and mining professionals work ceaselessly to navigate global market forces and difficult production, environmental, and worker safety challenges. There is no place where this industry’s intrepid spirit is more visible than at the quadrennial MINExpo International trade show, a massive event that brings the world’s mining professionals together for networking, educational opportunities, and exciting product displays and demonstrations.

Pneumat Introduces a New Equipment Category to MINExpo

MINExpo is a colossal event sponsored by the National Mining Association (NMA) that takes place every four years in Las Vegas, Nevada. It showcases technology and expert discussions on topics related to mine exploration, development, material preparation and processing, smelting and refining, environmental compliance, worker safety, and features the latest products and services from mine industry vendors.

This year, Pneumat Systems hit MINExpo for the first time and got noticed in a big way. For decades, innovative Pneumat equipment like the Dual Impact BinWhip, BinDrill, and Cardox CO2 Blasting System have been used extensively in agricultural production, cement manufacturing, and a range of other industries. Increasingly, mining operations are incorporating these powerful technologies as well, driven by heightened industry awareness and recent innovations that have made Pneumat Systems equipment even more well-suited to these demanding applications.

For many MINExpo attendees, their introduction to Pneumat Systems came when a video caught their eye as it played on seatback TV screens on the busses shuttling them between their hotels and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

As word got out, show attendees hit the Pneumat booth in droves, excited to bring home a solution that could boost mine throughput while keeping their workers out of harm’s way.

Clearing Buildup from Bunkers, Silos, & Ventilation Shafts

Pneumat has developed a number of systems useful for dislodging buildup in storage bins and bunkers at both surface and underground mines. They’ve been used effectively on a variety of mined materials, including:

  • Coal
  • Metal ores (gold, silver, copper, zink, aluminum, lead, etc.)
  • Troma and soda ash
  • Oil shale
  • Aggregates (sand, gravel, etc.)

The main product lines used by the mining industries that have been proving invaluable for blockage and buildup removal include the following:

Dual-Impact BinWhip

The Dual Impact BinWhip is a heavy-duty hydraulically-driven system designed to dislodge hung-up material from inside storage bunkers and vessels. Mining operations that previously had to schedule quarterly shutdowns and send workers in with jackhammers are now able to knock ore, coal, and other rock-hard materials off their sidewalls on an ongoing basis.

In addition to reducing downtime, installing a BinWhip atop coal bunkers or ore bunkers can reduce the need for confined space entry and other unsafe cleaning activities. Some underground mines are also exploring installing BinWhips in their ventilation shafts to clear buildup and maximize the flow of fresh air into the mine.

BinDrill

For situations involving material bridging, the BinDrill works in conjunction with the BinWhip to drill a hole through the bridged product. This creates an opening through which the BinWhip can enter. It can also be used to create a flow channel down to a discharge gate so hardened material has a path to exit the bunker, silo, or storage vessel. It works like a miniature oil derrick, allowing the operator to keep adding drill segments to drill and bore down to whatever depth is required.

Cardox CO2 Blasting System

Cardox actually originated in the mining industry, as a non-detonating method for fracturing rock without the risk of igniting a fire or explosion. Unlike traditional explosives that generate a high-velocity shockwave, the Cardox gas expansion system releases a controlled blast of inert carbon dioxide gas with the power to fracture coal, metal ores, and other rock-hard materials. While it has been used continuously in the mining industry for over 100 years, not all mining operations have elected to utilize it.

Many operations continue to use explosives to dislodge blockages in gates and transfer points despite the increased risk of injuries to workers or damage to equipment. As the mining industry seeks to reduce costs and mitigate safety risks, Pneumat’s reusable Cardox system, with its convenient Rapid-Fill Pump, is getting renewed attention for practical mining applications.

TeamPneumat Cleanout Service

If an investment in equipment isn’t the right fit for a particular mine operation, they may elect to hire a professional silo cleaning crew to come in and eliminate the issue for them. This has the advantage of giving their facility access to dedicated technicians with many years of buildup elimination experience, along with the full arsenal of Pneumat’s powerful cleaning systems. There are a number of factors to consider when making the determination whether to hire a bin cleaning service or purchase equipment to operate yourself.

Mine Operators Forge Valuable Industry Partnerships

With these equipment solutions on display, the Pneumat booth attracted a steady stream of interested mining professionals throughout the 3-day show. Visitors to Pneumat’s booth enjoyed the opportunity to get a hands-on look at equipment and resources to help them make informed decisions about how to best invest in their operations. While Pneumat has made a series of comprehensive training videos and training resources available online, the opportunity for in-person conversations, product demonstrations, and serendipitous discoveries that an event like MINExpo offers can be invaluable to the attendees and exhibitors who participate.

The Pneumat Systems team enjoyed networking and exchanging valuable ideas and information with representatives from across the mining industry. Despite lowered turnout due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the MINExpo trade show still attracted over 44,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors. The exhibits filled 660,000 sq. ft. with vendors ranging from small brands and startups to global industry leaders like:

  • Caterpillar
  • Komatsu
  • Liebherr Mining Equipment
  • Hitachi Mining
  • TMEIC
  • Epiroc
  • Sandvik
  • Volvo Construction Equipment
  • Ground Force Worldwide
  • XCMG
  • Dana Incorporated
  • United Mining Equipment
  • Southwest Products

Why More Mining Operations Are Opting for Pneumat’s Equipment

Safety

Mining remains one of the most hazardous professions, but through proactive risk reduction programs and technological innovations the industry’s safety record has improved dramatically over the years. Pneumat’s equipment can help eliminate some of the safety risks associated with more manual debris-clearing activities.

Longevity

Inclement weather conditions, temperature extremes, corrosive pit water, and abrasive dust make mine sites some of the harshest work environments in the world. Fortunately, Pneumat’s rugged equipment is engineered to industrial-grade standards for durability and longevity. In fact, when it comes to the Dual Impact BinWhip, the counter-rotational forces generated by the patented double-whipset design actually serve to stabilize the unit and extend its useful life in addition to delivering powerful shearing impacts that keep material moving.

Versatility

The BinWhip & BinDrill product lines are suitable for permanent installations, but like the Cardox system they are also fully portable, breaking down for easy transport between bunkers, silos, or mine sites. They make use of an electrically-powered interchangeable hydraulic power unit for maximum flexibility and mobility. Pneumat also provides a variety of different sparking and non-sparking whipsets for combustible or non-combustible environments.

Efficiency

Downtime is the enemy of profitability in any mining operation. When employees can spend less time clearing out ore silos, coal silos, or other bins and bunkers, their labor can be applied more productively toward other important mining activities. Specialized machinery like the BinWhip, BinDrill, or Cardox system provides a more efficient, cost-saving solution for removing stuck material and keeping your production lines flowing.

Affordability

Mining is a capital-intensive industry, which is apparent when you start pricing out things like $50,000 haul truck tires. Major upgrades to transport and storage systems can be prohibitively expensive, which is where strategic purchases of specialized problem-solving equipment like the Dual Impact BinWhip or Cardox CO2 Blasting System can provide an affordable pathway forward.

Creating a Safer World for Miners With Blockage-Blasting Solutions

Pneumat System’s mission is to create a safer world, free from bulk flow issues. The mining industry is no stranger to build-up and clogs impeding their operations, and Pneumat Systems is thrilled to be delivering safer, faster, easier solutions to these persistent problems.

One thing our experience at MINExpo taught us is that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface when it comes to all of the opportunities that exist for helping the world’s miners carry out their important work. Since making these trade show connections, Pneumat Systems personnel have already been invited out to visit mine sites across the nation, where we’ve learned more about their amazing operations and helped bring new solutions to bear on their biggest challenges.

Contact our knowledgeable team to see if the Dual Impact BinWhip, Cardox CO₂ Blaster, RailSpreader Railcar Load Optimizer, HopperPopper Truck & Railcar Unloader, or TeamPneumat Bunker Cleaning Service can help make your mining operations safer and more efficient. We look forward to seeing you at the next MINExpo!