Plugs, sockets and couplers which facilitate the connection of electrical cables to mobile mining equipment are high theft risk components and the cost to replace these critical parts is aggravated by downtime and subsequent production losses.
“Couplers traditionally manufactured from brass, leaded gun metal or stainless steel carry a high theft risk due to their extremely high weight-to-value ratio,” says Donovan Marks, Marketing Director of Powermite, a Hudaco company. “Following a three year research and development programme, we came up with a perfect solution for industry in the form of a coupler that is manufactured from our patented non-theft ProAlloy material to specification.”
The ProAlloy couplers are manufactured by Proof Engineering, part of Powermite, a specialist supplier of world class components, equipment and systems to the mining, marine, industrial and general engineering sectors in Southern Africa for over 45 years.
In addition to presenting a low theft, these ProAlloy couplers are not only 33% lighter in weight compared their brass equivalents but are lighter on the pocket too.
The ProAlloy material is comprised of a zinc, copper and aluminium mix which holds no resale value thus earning the name, non-theft material. “The fact that the mix is contaminated by the aluminium reduces the value from approximately R35/kg to R6/kg and thus cannot be sold for scrap,” explains Marks. He adds that they further assist customers by buying back the metal at R15/kg, “effectively closing the loop.”
“Due to the fact that it is a unique patented alloy, material movement can be controlled between manufacturer, supplier and end-user,” adds Marks. He further notes that the ProAlloy coupler demonstrates material integrity, retains its machinability and remains completely malleable. The Zinc product has undergone stringent corrosion tests conducted by Mintek against brass in mining water and results showed that there is no corrosion affect.
To ensure very little or no impact on the environment, Powermite recycles the metal through re-melting which is in line with the company’s commitment to a cleaner environment.
The ProAlloy couplers have been successfully tried and field-tested by a number of blue chip mining houses which has led to the manufacture of ProAlloy plugs and sockets that provide end users with the same benefits as the ProAlloy couplers. The material may also have potential applications in components other than electrical couplers, such as switches, housings and flameproof glands.
Powermite’s range of electrical products, hazardous lighting products and components are manufactured locally by Proof Engineering and Ampco under one roof in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on the West Rand of Johannesburg, that can now boast to be the largest plug and socket manufacturer in Africa. These products are used by mining and industry on mobile generators, pumps and welding machines marine, industrial and general engineering applications as well as on mining machinery operating in underground and opencast mining such as continuous miners, shuttle cars, pumps, tunnel borers and transformers.