Rubber Utilization in the Mining Industry

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When you open your smartphone, laptop, or other mobile devices, you most likely don’t consider what they’re made of. The United States Geological Survey reports that over one-half of your mobile device is made of mined materials. Mining is the reason we can enjoy so many luxuries in the form of electronics, appliances, and more.

According to IBIS World, the mining industry is expected to grow 5.4% within the next year. With such rapid growth, OEMs need to ensure that their manufactured equipment can keep up. Preventing damage to crucial parts, keeping workers safe, and providing quality function is the name of the game. 

In this article, you will learn all about how rubber manufacturing fits into the issues and trends of mining equipment. Read on for more information.

Not sure how rubber parts can improve your product? The knowledgeable associates at RPM Industrial Rubber Parts are ready to answer all of your questions. Give us a call at (888) 842-5668 or contact us online.

Rubber Parts and Mining Equipment

Mining is a dangerous job that requires a variety of specialized equipment. Here are only a few of the machines used in the industry:

  • Bolter
  • Personnel carriers
  • Drills
  • Utility vehicles
  • Boom lift
  • Rockbreaker
  • Sprayers and cannons
  • Explosives chargers

Each of these machines contains many different parts. To keep these parts safe, the machine should be well equipped with rubber vibration control products

Rubber parts work to protect your equipment by isolating heavy vibration. For example, an engine mount absorbs the energy emitted from an engine. This reduces high frequencies and protects surrounding parts from damage. 

Want to learn more about engine mounts? Check out our blog: What is an Engine Mount and How Does it Work? 

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Challenges in Mining Equipment Usage

Mining equipment, while heavy-duty, is sensitive. Like any machinery, this equipment requires proper upkeep and immediate repairs when necessary. Not only are workers at risk when machinery doesn’t work the way it should, but operating costs will increase. There are many challenges to using mining equipment, here are a few:

  • Maintenance: according to Caron Business Solutions, repairing and maintaining mining equipment accounts for 30-50% of total costs in a mine. Mining machinery undergoes incredible amounts of stress. Constant drilling, rock breaking, and lifting are all strenuous activities – even for a machine. This means that machines are requiring preventative maintenance or breaking down from damage.
  • Operator safety: the U.S. Department of Labor reports that in 2020, there were 29 mine worker fatalities. While the number of mine-related fatalities has stayed under 30 in the past 6 years, there is not enough of a reduction to point to any major changes in equipment safety mechanisms. 
  • Increasing costs: the strain of increasing costs for mining companies has made it more important than ever to keep equipment in good shape. Repairs and downtime only add to the overwhelming list of expenses. 

Fortunately, many of these issues can be solved before the equipment is first turned on. It all starts in the manufacturing process. When equipment is high quality, functional and safe, both OEMs and mining companies reap the benefits. 

One of the easiest and best ways to do this is by incorporating isolating rubber parts into manufacturing. Providing shock and vibration control solutions will decrease repairs and downtime while keeping personnel safe. 

Trends in Mining Equipment

There are so many incredible innovations coming into the mining industry. From smart technology-enabled equipment to drone usage for difficult conditions – the list is endless. While this technology can take a long time to develop, design and manufacture, it can provide incredible benefits that will change the way mining works. 

These new technologies will add another layer of productivity to the mining industry. Take a look at two of the biggest trends in the mining industry: low emission mining equipment and innovative safety mechanisms.

Low Emission Mining Equipment

Mining may not be the first industry you think of when you think of low carbon emissions. However, according to McKinsey, two top mining companies have pledged a 30% decrease in carbon emissions by 2030. Many mining companies are reducing emissions by switching to liquid biofuels, implementing hydrogen fuel cell drivetrains, and using battery electric vehicles. 

In order for these new machines to provide long-term functionality, they need to be protected. Typically, electric mining vehicles use more sensors than traditional vehicles. This is because operators need to know more about the state of the machine.

Sensors are sensitive to heavy vibration and require proper protection. Using rubber flex bolt sandwich mounts and other types of mounts can combat this problem and ensure sensors are working the way they should.

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Mining Robotics and Safety

At RPM, we like to emphasize the importance of operator safety in any industry. Workers are the lifeblood of the mining industry and should be protected and comfortable. One major innovation being used to keep workers out of harm's way is by using autonomous mobile robots to inspect mines. Don’t worry, these aren’t the kind of robots that will take over the world. These robots are controlled by workers and are used to examine potentially dangerous conditions such as flooded pathways, unstable ground, and more. 

The robots are equipped with sensors that tell the operator about air pressure, oxygen levels, and other parameters. They also use a camera to show the operator exactly what it is that they are facing. 

If implemented more often, robotics could reduce workplace injuries and fatalities. To safeguard this autonomous equipment, it should be fitted with the proper isolating rubber parts. This will keep high mining frequencies from damaging or interfering with the robotics.

 

RPM: Improving Mining Equipment with Rubber

Mining equipment malfunctions and breakdowns can put workers into serious trouble. Keeping machines in good shape by using protective rubber parts can make all the difference. 

Our team at RPM works hard to ensure that your equipment is equipped with high-quality rubber parts that will decrease repairs and increase operator comfort and safety.

We are passionate about providing excellent customer service and quality rubber solutions. Whether you are looking for standard replacement parts or you need a custom component for a new product – we have got you covered. Visit our website to learn more: www.rpmrubberparts.com

 

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