Minetek’s ‘Sound’ division ensures large mobile mining equipment is compliant

Minetek says its ‘Sound’ division ensures large mobile machinery meets all relevant compliance laws and is expected to save operators considerable amounts of money in the process. Specialising in equipment such as trucks, diggers, excavators, drills, loaders, dozers and the like, Minetek Sound’s “expertly engineered sound attenuation reduces noise by intelligently treating the noise sources in the most effective way.”

According to Minetek’s Richard McAlpin, by solving problems at the source and through correct engineered designs, there are several clear benefits beyond just sound attenuation. These include prevention of overheating through engineered designs, ease of maintenance, less downtime, compliance with strict government regulators, reduction of fines, and improved community relations.

“Mines are 24/7 operations, and anyone working or living near a 24/7 source of mining noise can, without realising it, suffer hearing and physiological damage,” said McAlpin. “WorkCover statistics show up to 3,000 workers’ compensation payouts each year for deafness attributed to large mining machinery, so the threat to hearing is very real and in need of attention. More often than not, in the course of treating the cause of sound pollution on vehicles, we also lower the risk of the vehicle over-heating. And because we keep the machines maintained according to maintenance guidelines proved by Minetek, we find that maintenance and downtime is heavily reduced which is positive for the operator. Ultimately though, the fact that fines become far less frequent and the local community benefits are the real clinchers.”

These are complete turnkey solutions to noise problems generated by just about any large diesel machinery. Intense and detailed noise studies and testing is performed in all areas. Minetek looks at a number of scenarios to provide an overall increase in airflow and improved performance. “Minetek personnel have a strong history working with OEMs such as Liebherr, Hitachi, Komatsu and Caterpillar to help its solutions become widely applicable worldwide. The service also provides noise surveys and evaluation, operator safety advice, site inspections and site recommendations, in-cab testing and recommendations and WH&S noise recommendations.”

“We are very thorough, assessing all large vehicles in the mining sector, accurately predicting the level of noise that they will create and we make reviews in accordance to local, state and national noise criteria, depending on which is applicable,” said McAlpin.

“Everything is tested and a case study provided. For instance, on a mining haul truck, we will test for noise output when it is stationary and during in-situ operating conditions including uphill and downhill travel, loaded and unloaded, and any other applicable parameter and we will provide our clients with a reputable independent third-party noise report. If an owner or manager has an issue with their fleet, we travel to the site and use our noise consultants and engineers to provide our clients with an optimum outcome. We then do our designs with the fine accurateness in a digital environment. Because we have our noise data we are not guessing; we know we will get an accurate result and base our guarantees on that.”