Modern Mining October 2022


Canadian tyre specialist Kal Tire’s innovative tyre solutions, which are underpinned by support for customers’ ESG commitments, received an enthusiastic reception at the recent Electra Mining Africa 2022 event, with attendees keen to partner with the tyre specialist for access to its cutting-edge technologies. By Nelendhre Moodley . Kal Tire pioneers industry leading solutions

A ccording to John Martin, vice president, Southern Africa, Kal Tire Mining Tire Group’s range of technologically advanced solutions has amassed interest at the very highest eche lons of management, including group CEOs of major mining companies in South Africa. The company used Electra Mining Africa to show case a number of industry leading technologies, including prototypes of two first-of-their-kind tools that enhance safety and productivity – the wheel inspection unit and the Kal Clamp. The Kal Clamp is a remote controlled device designed to effortlessly remove the final bolts in the wheel removal process from a safe distance. Also on display were Kal Tire’s expanded carbon emissions reporting programme (Maple Program), a recycling solution that promotes a circular economy, and an autonomous tyre inspection system. Pioneering innovations Given that earthmoving equipment is subjected to ever-increasing loads and speeds, with wheels at risk of fractures in high stress areas, it is imperative to have regular checks on these expensive compo nents, says Martin. For non-destructive testing, mining houses cur rently transport mining equipment wheels, which often weigh in the region of two to three metric tons, over extensive distances and, in the process, signifi cant transport costs can be incurred.

Kal Tire has developed an onsite inspection tool which allows the tyre services provider to test the reliability of the wheel onsite. The pioneering solution, called the Wheel Inspection tool, relies on a mobile unit to scan and flag cracks along weld lines or ring grooves that could potentially compromise wheel integrity and safety. “The data provided by the tool is used to advise the client on whether the wheel is in good working order, or potentially compromised in any way. The results of the scan will define whether the wheel can still be used, whether it requires repairs, or if it poten tially needs to be scrapped. Aside from realising a massive cost saving in terms of fuel, travel and time, the client indirectly reduces its carbon footprint and thereby the mine’s overall rate of carbon emissions due to the elimination of long and costly transporta tion,” explains Martin. The prototype tool, which was on display at Electra Mining Africa, is at development stage and will only be put into commercial use in 2023. “We need to make a few minor adjustments and amendments to the product before it is com mercialised,” says Martin, adding that the Wheel Inspection tool was a crowd pleaser and attracted significant attention at the Kal Tire stand. Complementing the Wheel Inspection tool is Kal Tire’s Kal Clamp, a tool that offers a step-change in the tyre removal process. Using the Kal Clamp, technicians are able to safely perform the last and most dangerous step in removing or installing an OTR tyre by using the remote-controlled clamp which secures and then releases the last two-wheel bolts in a safe and con trolled manner. “Typically, for this final step in the tyre removal process, technicians must stand between the tyre manipulator bearing the weight of the assembly, and the wheel assembly – an extremely risky exercise. With this device, the technician is removed from the danger zone and uses the remote-controlled clamp to release the wheel from the piece of equipment,” explains Martin. While many attendees were keen to acquire the devices, Martin was quick to point out that the inno vative solutions were not necessarily for sale, but offered as part of Kal Tire’s on-site services offering. “It is not just about the innovation or the tool, it is about the quality and width of services that we offer –from tyre recycling, to safety and improved

Kal Tire’s booth at the Electra Mining Africa 2022 event.

32  MODERN MINING  October 2022

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