Kal Tire’s Gravity Assist System (GAS) has won more plaudits, this time receiving top honours among a host of products in the International Mechanical and Technology Innovation category at the Electra Mining Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
GAS was one of more than 60 products reviewed across three categories on day two of the show, with the technology’s simplicity and effectiveness marking it out as a winner.
This is the first year Electra Mining Africa has launched these awards to recognise new technology and innovations coming from both within South Africa and internationally.
As Kal Tire says, the average mining tyre has a lot of lug nuts and, until now, support for the hefty 36 kg torque gun has come through the sheer brawn of tyre technicians.
“Today, the GAS essentially renders the activity and the torque gun ‘weightless’, making the process much more safer, efficient and precise. The system reduces common risks associated with torque gun tasks, including pinched fingers, muscle strain and fatigue,” the company says.
Eric Bruggeman, CEO SA Capital Equipment Export Council and judge of all the products at Electra Mining, said: “When I reviewed the GAS, I was taken aback at not only the simplicity of the machine, but how robust and effective it will be for tyre technicians on mine sites.
“For decades, these technicians have been suffering injuries and strains related to managing very heavy tools, the GAS is one of those things that makes you say, ‘Why hasn’t this been invented before?’”
Dan Allan, Senior Vice President of Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group, said: “Investing in innovation at Kal Tire means we are developing practical solutions that not only improve the safety of how our teams work but also provide opportunities for vehicles to spend less time in tyre bays.
“Our intent is to continually invest in innovation that brings new products and solutions to our customers that help to increase efficiency, productivity and safety.”
Kal Tire’s Innovation Centre in Canada has created several exclusive and patented products that have been launched and field-tested in Canada, South America, Australia and Africa.