In the mining and mineral processing industry and almost every other industrial operation, electric motors are at the heart of the operation and present in almost every aspect of industrial works. Electric motors drive large equipment like crushers, mills, and driving hoists, and even small reagent dosing pumps. They are an essential part of mining and mineral processing, including driving equipment like generators and pumps.
Electric Motors in the Mining Industry
Under the harsh conditions of mining hard and soft rock, equipment must be resilient to meet the demands of production safely. Greater production is always a necessity of mining operations; as ore deposits decrease, demand for mined goods only increases. Mines continuously expand to access high-quality ore when only inferior ore remains in abundance. Mining and mineral processing industries must follow trends in electric motor technology to seek the most resilient and efficient equipment.
To make mining more safe and productive, current trends are bolstering the popularity of AC motors, where in the past, the mining industry has long relied on DC motors. Underground coal mining is leading the industry in adopting AC motor technology for their many advantages. AC motors have lower noise levels, improved safety, optimized performance, and increased efficiency. Fixed speed drive systems are also being replaced with variable speed drives that offer greater control. For surface operations, the efficient induction motor is losing market share to the more productive synchronous motors.
Electric Motor Repair Is Crucial to Keeping the Mining Industry Going
A halt in mining production can cost revenue, and when an electric motor failure results in significant downtime, that loss in revenue can span several weeks. The impact of losing a larger piece of machinery can devastate production. According to Newcrest Mining, when the motor driving their SAG mill had loose windings, their Cadia operations experienced several weeks of interruption for repair and testing. Electric motor repair for mining, such as preventative maintenance, load testing, and windings inspection provides valuable information about the equipment’s health. It can also increase the reliability and longevity of electric motor driven mining equipment.
Underground coal mining equipment manufacturers have been implementing conversions from DC to AC systems with variable frequency drives (VFDs) that allow operators to control speed and torque. AC motors can also reduce maintenance costs and require less installation time and downtime. When placed under similar circumstances, AC motors require less maintenance than their DC counterparts. This is especially true for high-maintenance parts inside DC motors like commutators and brushes.
As the mining industry transitions to AC motors with VFDs for analog speed control, the need for speed regulating techniques decreases. Hydraulic speed control, starters, mechanical gears, cascade drives, fan damper controls, and fan inlet vane controls are no longer needed with AC motors. The performance of a motor with a VFD often depends on the cooling system, which can increase the longevity of the system and remove heat from the inverter, converter, power semiconductor devices, and auxiliary components. An optimized VFD has the smallest equipment footprint while delivering rated power, which is important both for hazardous and/or tight working conditions
High-voltage drives are present in mining operations to deliver efficiency advantages to mining equipment. Soft starting large mill motors with high-voltage drives reduce stress on the large motor and help the power delivery system by eliminating low current inrushes and voltage dips. The drives also deliver necessary high-power, torque control, and speed control to the motors running large shovels and draglines.
Depend on Renown Electric for Motor Repair Services
At Renown Electric, we have served various industries with motor repair services for over 30 years. We offer the following in-house electric motor repair and shop services:
- Motor rebuilding & rewinding
- Generator rebuild & rewinding
- Gearbox rebuild & rewinding
- Sheave regrooving & manufacturing
- Servo motor repair
- Pump repair
- Motor drive repair
- Machine shop services
With 24/7 services from Renown Electric, you can extend the life and performance of your electric motors. We help mining operations prevent losses in revenue from downtime with dependable maintenance and repairs. Contact us to request a quotation or schedule service today.