GE recently highlighted products and services from across its three business units—Digital Energy, Industrial Solutions and Power Conversion—that help mining customers minimize downtime and better manage their electricity needs. GE’s mining products, featured at MINExpo 2012, deliver enhanced power and productivity and are part of the GE Mining business’ broader offering, which was announced earlier this week and brings together the best technologies, people and resources from across GE to help mining customers tackle their toughest challenges.
As the global mining industry expands to deeper, more remote and extreme locations, mine operators are under increasing pressure to find and utilize electrical power more safely, efficiently and reliably. GE is fulfilling this need by offering mining customers innovative solutions that allow them to reliably transmit electricity from the generation source, safely distribute electricity to users and ingeniously convert electricity into motion.
GE’s Digital Energy business, for example, is working with mining customers to deploy network communication solutions that can withstand the harshest environments. Whether it is the monitoring of gas levels, controlling ventilation fans or providing live video, Digital Energy’s industrially hardened Multilink switches manage the Ethernet LAN throughout a mine. In addition, the business’ MDS line wireless communication devices allow secure and cost-effective data acquisition from remote sensors, meters, alarms and relays throughout a mine.
“No matter where our customers are located—from the peaks of the Andes Mountains to the arctic tundra of the Canadian North—a robust communication system is mission critical to mine safety and operation,” says Tom Mueller, industrial communications product line leader for Digital Energy. “Through offering a versatile portfolio of communications solutions tailored to the harsh environments of mining, we are able to help our mining customers around the world maximize safety and uptime and optimize production.”
For safe and reliable distribution of electricity, Industrial Solutions’ Arc Vault Protection System can stop an electrical arcing fault in in less than 7 milliseconds—a fraction of the time that conventional systems require. By reducing equipment and facility downtime and minimizing switchgear damage, it enables mine operators to maximize their return on investment through enhanced productivity—all while reducing the risk of on-site injuries.
“When you consider that a typical arc flash produces temperatures as high as 35,000 degrees and blast waves strong enough to collapse a worker’s lungs, it becomes abundantly clear why electrical safety is a top priority for our mining customers,” says Brian Donovan, global leader, vertical markets for Industrial Solutions. “In addition to offering comprehensive arc flash studies, through continuous research, product development, technical publications and industry support, we demonstrate our resolve and commitment to lead the way in arc flash hazard reduction at mine sites around the globe.”
The Power Conversion business provides highly reliable, efficient and adaptable power conversion systems engineered with the customer’s needs at the core of their development. GE engineers are placing robust and dependable technological solutions with very little routine maintenance requirements in some of the world’s most challenging mining environments. As an example, Power Conversion’s alternating current (AC) excavator solution, which consists of drives, controls and motors, is designed specifically for challenging surface mine applications and environments.
“As mining companies look to implement solutions that can lower overall energy use, our systems are an ideal choice as they are extremely efficient,” says Richard Price, mining leader for Power Conversion. “Additionally, because the design and manufacture utilize fewer parts, our systems tend to require less personal care and maintenance, which is a tremendous benefit to our customers.”