Upping its Teck game

With an innovative and creative approach, Western Australian manufacturing company Teck Global has developed a design solution to overcome the major drawbacks of traditional electrical termination pits.

Crucial to the setup of a mining operation, electrical terminations are needed to join cables that are restricted by the length of cable drum, maximum pulling tension or a change of direction.

On minesites these terminations have traditionally been constructed below ground and in line with the cable runs, meaning they are out of the way and take up little space.

While this can be a cost-effective method, it means they are not easy to access when maintenance or repair work needs to be done.

Terminations are a likely point of failure and require immediate attention to prevent part of a mine shutting down.

Identifying it would make much more sense to have these termination sites out in the open and simple to enter, Teck Global has developed above-ground termination enclosures.

According to Teck Global Managing Director David Zucaro, the units reap immediate benefits.

“An above-ground termination enclosure gives you a safer way to inspect your cables,” he said.

“You reduce manual handling and potential risk for the inspectors. There’s not a big steel lid with a pit; it’s like a box on top with doors.

“You don’t need a crane or a permit to get inside, you can literally open the doors, walk inside and see what is going on.

“Overall it saves time and money, and is a safer option.”

Developed in 2016, Mr Zucaro said Teck Global was the only company with this kind of design solution and it had proved popular with miners so far.

“We have two iron ore miners using them and they are loving the features,” he said

“They have to inspect their cables every year, and when they did their first inspection they said it was ridiculously easy. It wasn’t a whole-day affair.”

According to Mr Zucaro, some of the smaller mining companies might be unaware of the risk for long-term failure associated with traditional termination pits.

“If a company has a bunch of these across its site, it’s a potential time bomb,” he said.

“If you’re not inspecting them, as I’ve heard many minesites do, it can lead to major problems.

“You will lose production and power unless you have redundancy in your network, and the operation will close down until you can fix it.

“When they are in these enclosures, they are out of the weather and won’t be filled with water.

“They are less likely to damaged, which means they will last longer.”

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