The leading magazine for maintenance engineers FROM ERIKS
Mine, all mine
Focus on the Quarrying and
Mining industry p12
trousers?PPE and the law - protecting employees
and employers p6
S ON •
Recycling without borders
Where Scotland leads,
the rest of ERIKS follows p10
How ceramic coatings
improve pump efficiency p22
Best practice in
Welcome to Know+How…
We aim to bring you the latest news, applications and technologies
with every edition of Know+How and this issue is no different as
we focus on two of the most dynamic sectors in operation today.
The quarrying and mining sectors are in the midst of profound change. Long
regarded as ‘old industries’ both sectors are undergoing a renaissance as
previously unprofitable pits and quarries are brought back into production or made
profitable again by new techniques and state-of-the-art technology, which are
delivering ever more impressive returns on investment.
Both sectors are highly capital intensive and keeping machines and equipment
in production and working efficiently is at the heart of the MRO strategies that
quarrying and mining companies are putting in place.
Inside, you’ll find in-depth articles on the potential of synchronous motors;
sensor system monitoring for vibration and heat detection; durable cast-iron
sealing options that can keep lubrication in and contamination out of valuable
components and a new ceramic paste and spray which can reline pump housings
damaged by abrasive materials. We also look at the health and safety implications
of using face masks in the harsh environments of mining and quarrying.
As ever, we have a guest writer, in the form of Quentin Wray, one of the most
respected quarrying and mining journalists at work today, who will be asking if
reopening the UK’s coal mines offers a better solution than fracking for gas, and
the TIG addresses the thorny issue of the UK’s energy security in light of recent
tensions in the Ukraine.
If you have any comments you would like to raise on the topics contained in this
issue you can email the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org, not forgetting
Know+How’s own website: www.eriks.co.uk/KnowHow where you can register
for your own personal copy and make enquiries about something you have read
or contact one of the contributors.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Managing Director, Editor in Chief
New QR code access
To make it easier to get all the latest industry news straight to your
mobile device or smartphone, simply scan the QR codes throughout.
Latest News 04
UK manufacturing bounces back
with strong start to the year
Gravity-powered minewater treatment
halves energy use
UK becoming increasingly dependent
on mineral imports
Drone tech flying high after investment
Does my bum look safe in this?
Technology Update 08
SKF launches new conveyor belt
monitoring kit for early fault detection
ERIKS opens UK Development Cell for
cutting-edge sealing technology
Timken SNT plummer blocks
Top 10 Tips for electrical motors
Planet Plus 10
Scotland leads the way-ste
FOCUS ON QUARRYING & MINING 12
Is the UK’S coal industry on the
verge of revival? p12
All part of the service partnership p13
Driving fast payback with synchronous
Double the life, and half the trouble p16
Hard as (rubber) nails? p17
Taking care of your baby p18
Solving the housing crisis p20
ENERGY savings 22
Give your pumps another pasting
BEST PRACTICE 24
Breathe more easily
US ON •
Published by ERIKS UK, Amber Way, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 8WG
Now it only takes
5 minutes to find out
5 years’ ownership costs.
You’ll find the ERIKS Online Motor Calculator at
Before you spend money on repairing
or replacing a motor, spend a few minutes
finding out its Total Cost of Ownership.
The ERIKS Online Motor Calculator gives you a comparative
TCO for repairing your existing motor, or replacing it with an
IE2 or energy-efficient IE3 motor. It also tells you the new
motor’s carbon footprint over 5 years, the cost savings
you can achieve, and even its eventual scrap value.
With these facts and figures at your fingertips,
you can make an informed decision to repair,
or replace. And because ERIKS are equally
expert at both, your next step
will take even less time
to work out.
Latest news Latest news
ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow4 5
The UK has become increasingly
reliant on the import of minerals and
mineral-based products over the last
40 years. Between 1970 and 2011,
the total UK minerals consumption
has decreased by about 35%, whilst
the production has also decreased by
about 35%, according to a report by
the UK Minerals Forum.
The total value of UK mineral output
has increased by nearly 300%, mainly
due to large increases the offshore
production of oil and gas. UK domestic
coal output and GB primary aggregates
consumption have both declined.
The production of salt, brick clay and
cement raw materials has also fallen.
The Chairman of the UK Minerals
Forum, Lester Hicks, said: “Many of our
minerals, especially for construction,
are still obtained in the UK. These
would be especially hard and expensive
to import. So where we get our
minerals is important. But this interim
report shows an overall pattern of
declining domestic production and
increasing imports over the past
Two major investment moves have been announced in the area of
mining operations and research this week, marking a significant
advancement in the use of drone-based surveying technology.
Maptek, a mining computer tech company, has invested in
DroneMetrex following its development of an innovative new
system called the Topodrone-100. It can be used for aerial
photogrammetric mapping from a small drone.
DroneMetrex managing director, Tom Tadrowski, said: “We’ve built a
mapping system from the ground up, everything is designed for the
drone from the start. Other companies are building drones and then
putting mapping systems in them, but no-one’s ever going to be
able to do it properly that way.”
Advances in the drone technology sector can be seen through
the current development of drones which can be used as aerial
real-time truck fleet management, site and remote infrastructure
monitoring, and machinery tracking.
UK manufacturing output has shown strong signs of recovery
having witnessed year-on-year growth of 3.8%, according to the
most recent figures released by The Office for National Statistics.
In line with George Osborne’s aim to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy
through increasing manufacturing output, February 2014 saw a
0.9% increase on January 2014 figures.
On the most recent UK manufacturing statistics, Lee Hopley, chief
economist at the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, comments:
“Manufacturing output headed higher, buoyed by a strong pick up
in the pharmaceuticals, transport and food sectors. Output now
stands at its highest level in more than two-and-a-half years, with
companies reporting good trading conditions, both at home and
in overseas markets.”
However, the UK’s manufacturing output is still yet to recover
to the pre-recession peak figures of 2008.
UK manufacturing bounces back
with strong start to the year
Drone tech flying high
treatment halves energy use
British engineers from Minus Engineering and Exeter University
have developed a new gravity-powered treatment system which
could provide a novel, low energy-intensive way of cleaning
polluted mine water.
The developers of ‘NeutraSeal’ claim that it will cut energy usage
by at least half in comparison to the conventional pumping
systems. A pilot plant has been built which has the capacity to
treat water at a rate of 3m³/hour, siphon up to 10m, and leave
a footprint comparable to two shipping containers.
Firstly, the water is dosed with lime in order to increase its pH
to neutral. Its oxygen content is then increased in the aeration
tank. Finally, it is rid of its precipitated metals using a tilted plate
separator before being returned to the environment.
The main innovation lies in removing bubbles of gas and
increasing the dissolved oxygen. Justin Daglish, the director of
Minus Engineering says: “If you have bubbles in the line then the
siphon won’t work.” The technology’s utilisation of this siphoning
effect enables it to run at a higher position than the mine.
ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow6 7
The Health & Safety at Work Act, Personal
Protective Equipment Regulations and the
Personal Protective Equipment at Work
Regulation make the employer’s duties
concerning PPE absolutely clear. But even
when you follow the letter of the legislation,
it’s hard to ensure an employee gets hold of
the right PPE and, having acquired it, wears
it. However, what you can do – to protect
your employee and yourself – is take every
possible step to make it easy for them, and
record evidence that you have.
Now there are PPE vending machines which
do just that. And because they make it easier
for employees to access the correct clothing
or equipment, they also make it more likely
they will wear it.
Tea? Coffee? Totectors?
If you thought vending machines were only
for drinks, chocolate and crisps, think again.
There are now highly sophisticated vending
solutions available for the whole range of
PPE – from helmets to safety boots – which
not only help increase take-up of PPE by
employees, but also reduce the cost to the
employer of providing the equipment.
That may sound like a contradiction, but
it isn’t. It’s simply a result of easier access
combined with closer control and accurate,
Unlike the traditional PPE stores with a
counter and a storeperson, PPE vending
machines can be located exactly where they
are needed: at point of use. Or they can be
positioned where employees will pass them
just when they need them: as they leave the
canteen or the lavatory at the end of a break
or the start of a shift. So there’s no reason –
and no excuse – for employees not to pick up
the PPE they need, when they need it.
In the right gear
Of course, just because someone has the
right gear you can’t be sure they will wear it.
But with a vending machine solution you can
be sure they have it – and that it is definitely
the right equipment.
The machines available offer a variety of
options for enabling and controlling access.
These include the employees’ existing
clocking-in cards, or dedicated swipe cards
or key fobs. More advanced machines can be
accessed with a thumbprint, or even with a
retinal scan. However, whatever the method,
the result is the same: you will have a record
of who has accessed the machine, and when.
With the means of access bringing up
relevant preloaded data, a touchscreen
then enables the employee to search by
keyword (a choice of languages is available)
or graphic icons, to find the equipment they
need, from the relevant, risk-assessed range
of equipment offered by the machine. For
example – if the employee is identified as
working on a job requiring Kevlar gloves,
it will not allow access to soft cotton
gloves. In addition, if the gloves have been
restricted to, for example, one pair issued
per day per employee, another pair will
not be issued without a higher level of
authorisation – such as from a supervisor.
This means a replacement for a genuine
reason – such as wear and tear – can be
authorised, but employees will not be able
to have a new pair simply because they left
their old ones in the canteen.
By maintaining this closer control over access,
PPE costs have been proven to be reduced,
without endangering employees’ health and
safety in any way.
Visitors to a site often need just as much
protection as employees. So PPE vending
machines can be set-up to dispense a
complete visitor ‘safety kit’ containing all the
If the kit contains – for example – safety
shoes, hard hat, goggles, ear defenders and
overalls, these can all be contained in one
drawer of the machine, packaged together
based on shoe size. The visitor then only
has to specify shoe size to receive a
Just for the record
These automated equipment vending
solutions not only give – they also
take away. And what they take away
is a complete record of who took what
equipment, and when.
As already explained, this helps to reduce
PPE wastage. And it provides a complete
audit trail, which has traditionally relied on
paperwork and the diligence, reliability
and accuracy of the storeperson or the
employees themselves to complete it.
By restricting access to only the right
equipment for the job, and recording who
has accessed it, the vending solution makes
it impossible for an employee to claim he or
she had wrong or no PPE, in the event of
a health and safety incident. In which case,
the only conclusion will be that they had the
equipment but chose not to wear it, which
relieves the employer of any liability in the
event of an industrial injury claim.
Of course, this should not hide the
fact that PPE is always the last resort.
Before it is utilised it is the employer’s
duty to do everything so far as is
reasonably practicable to eliminate
the hazard entirely – from a machinery
redesign to a process reorganisation or
change of materials – should first have
been considered and taken.
It’s probably one of the few parts of the body that doesn’t have Personal Protection
Equipment (PPE) designed specifically for it. Otherwise, from head to toe, employees
need by law to be protected when their job demands it. And it’s their employer’s
responsibility to provide the PPE, and to record what’s been issued to whom, and when.
So how can you be sure the right equipment is readily available, and that employees
have kitted themselves out?
safe in this?
Technology update Technology update
8 9ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
new conveyor belt
monitoring kit for
early fault detection
Conveyor idler floors are a common cause
of belt damage in the steel making industry
and pose a serious threat to overall machine
operational efficiency given the potential
length of downtime that can occur if a fault
is not spotted as early as possible. If left
unchecked, conveyor faults can also be
responsible for belt fires and other serious
risks to employee health and safety.
Early detection is key to minimising risks
and optimising plant performance, so SKF
has launched its easy-to-use handheld Idler
Sound Monitor Kit, which can continuously
detect faults from 3m away at a pace of
2km/h. As a result, maintenance engineers
are able to detect faults from a safe
distance from the moving conveyor.
It can be operated with just one hand and
can be used with earphones to ensure that
any audio signals are not missed amongst
product assembly noise. The Idler Sound
Monitor Kit is able to detect both audible
and inaudible sounds in order to pick up the
unique sound pressures produced by faulty
ERIKS Opens UK Development Cell
for Cutting-Edge Sealing Technology
ERIKS Sealing Technology has opened a new UK product development cell specialising in cutting-
edge sealing technologies for the Oil and Gas sector. Reserved for the development of prototypes,
the facility will enable ERIKS’ customers to bring their products to market in the shortest time
possible and increase their competitive edge. The development cell exceeds the previous 3D
prototype printing capability for fit only testing to meet the growing needs of customers that
require functional prototypes.
The product development cell is the
newest addition to ERIKS advanced
laboratory and test facilities, located at the
Birchwood Science Park in Warrington.
This modern facility houses a highly
capable, customer facing polymer materials
laboratory, supported by ISO 17025
qualified laboratory facilities and their
mechanical applications laboratory, making
ERIKS Sealing Technology one of the few
organisations to offer such capability from
a single centre.
The product development cell incorporates
a high-spec twin-spindle, large-
diameter 5-axis NC lathe, capable of
machining metals, rubber and functional
thermoplastics, as well as the latest
moulding and mechanical seal assembly
facilities, enabling the manufacture of
complex shapes in the sizes demanded
by the oil and gas industry.
Mick Holland, General Manager of ERIKS
Sealing Technology said, “…We understand
our customers are under increasing
pressures to bring their products to market
in the shortest time possible. Our new
product development cell removes any
unnecessary delays from the production
of functional prototypes to ensure prompt and
focussed service to our customers precisely
when they need a competitive edge.”
Timken has introduced a new range of durable
cast-iron SNT Plummer Blocks, complete with
robust sealing options to keep lubrication in
and prevent contamination.
Available in two and four-bolt mounting
configurations, the SNT line features 200,
300, 500 and 600 series housings, with
3000 and 3100 series housings available
for larger sizes. It is suitable for a wide range
of industries and applications, including
power generation, mining for cement and
aggregates, metal mills, pulp and paper, food
processing, warehousing, movable bridges
and structures, and industrial fans.
Four seal options are
available to end-users,
including double lip, labyrinth, V-Ring and
taconite seals, to meet varying application
needs. Timken’s SNT Plummer Blocks are
designed for Timken’s spherical roller bearings
which offer premium performance with lower
operating temperatures and increased load-
carrying capacity to offer end-users a longer
The range can also accommodate varying
shaft sizing ranging from 20mm to 380mm.
Cast steel and ductile iron housings are
available for severe duty applications.
1. Cut costs with an overhaul
Removal of electric motors for timely overhaul can increase
the life of the motor and reduce its running costs, and in some
instances save a costly failure.
2. Check the operating temperature
The life of a motor depends on its operating temperature.
Any build-up of material on the windings or obstructing airways
will be detrimental to the dissipation of heat and result in
3. Check for dust
Dust holds a serious threat to the life of an induction motor.
If dust is allowed to consolidate in the windings, it turns the
winding overhang into a sponge soaking up any harmful moisture,
oil or acid fume ingredients in the atmosphere.
4. Remove dust
Regular inspection is recommended with the removal of any
accumulated deposits either by hand or by being sucked out
using a vacuum cleaner.
5. Check for excess oil and grease
Oil and grease present a particular hazard to motor windings,
primarily in their capacity to arrest, absorb and unite other
6. Remove excess oil and grease
Thoroughly clean windings with an appropriate solvent.
Take care in the choice of the solvent, since the use of
an improper one can soften or even remove the varnish.
7. Check for moisture and remove
An insulation test will establish whether a motor winding is
significantly affected by moisture content. If so, it is preferable
to ‘dry it out’ before attempting to put it into service.
8. Minimise friction
Numerous conditions can lead to generation of unnecessary
friction, such as bearings receiving an insufficient supply of oil or
grease, application of a totally incorrect lubricant, or contamination
of bearing lubricant with solid particles.
9. Remedy misalignment
Geometrically incorrect assembly of a driving unit and its driven
equipment results in accelerated wear and ultimate failure of a
constituent component. Any tell-tale signs – such as overheating,
vibration or noise – should be promptly investigated and remedied.
10. Minimise vibration
Vibration can quickly generate problems, such as loose wiring
connections or chafing of winding insulation. To trace a vibration
source, the most practical procedure is to use a vibration meter
but can be achieved often by a process of elimination, checking
potential sources in turn until it is located.
FOR ELECTRIC MOTORSTOP 10 TIPS
For more detailed
scan this QR code
SKF has launched a new sound monitor kit designed to detect conveyor idler faults much earlier than
any other method currently available, potentially saving companies thousands of pounds through
the aversion of unnecessary maintenance costs and system downtime.
10 ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
You and the
We’re already aiming
to achieve the zero
target nationally by
the end of 2015.
However, the new
mean that we have
been presenting metal, plastic, glass,
paper and card for separate collection
for recycling, since 1st January.
Meanwhile, further south, we’re conducting
a survey on all our main sites to assess what
is wasted and why. And in a practical first
step, we’ve swapped half the waste bins at
our Halesowen Head Office and Distribution
Centre for recycling bins, and point-of-use
recycling bins have also been installed.
Watching our waste
The waste survey has already revealed
some staggering statistics. For example,
in 2013, as a company we produced 540
metric tonnes of waste nationwide, of which
only 85 tonnes was recycled.
That leaves us with a staggering 460
tonnes of waste – much of which could
probably be recycled or re-used – being,
So we need to recycle more. We need to
look at ways of re-using waste: perhaps
diverting it to energy production where
suitable. And we need to look at the most
effective way of all of reducing waste:
preventing it in the first place.
Doing things differently
For example, you want to protect
something in the post. Do you use a Jiffy
Bag with a high plastic content, which is
then thrown away?
Well why not protect the item just as
effectively but far more sustainably, with a
cardboard box? It’s not only re-usable – so
better value for money – but also recyclable
– so there’s zero waste to landfill. It’s a win-
win, not a waste-waste, situation.
In it together
Reducing waste to landfill is not just
about saving money – though in the long
run it will. It’s not just about giving our
business a competitive advantage. Though
that will come too. It’s also about helping
our customers, most of whom are going
through the same process of finding ways
to reduce waste.
Clearly, if they can choose to buy a product
in recyclable packaging – and even a
product which is recyclable – it will help
reduce their own waste stream, so will be
their preferred option.
And last – but far from least – reducing
waste is about the planet. Our planet and
our customers’ planet. Everybody’s planet.
We’re all in it together because we’re all on
it together. So let’s all think hard and work
hard, to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill by
the end of 2015.
New regulations have been passed by the Scottish
Parliament to help Scotland become one of the most
resource-efficient nations in Europe. And as ERIKS has
sites in Scotland, that means we’re fast-tracking our
Zero Waste to Landfill initiative north of the border.
Clearly, if they can
choose to buy a product
in recyclable packaging
– and even a product
which is recyclable – it
will help reduce their
own waste stream, so
will be their preferred
Group Quality Manager
What if a bearing was so good, it could last twice as long as the one
it replaces? So good that it could reduce energy costs, cut lubricant
use, and even allow you to run your machinery faster and cooler? The
benefits to your operation would far outweigh the cost of these bearings.
Upgraded SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings are just that good,
delivering twice the life of original SKF Explorer bearings under
contaminated and poor lubrication conditions.
Additionally, sealed SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings can be
considered lubricated for the life of the bearing in many applications.
By eliminating or extending relubrication intervals, these bearings can
significantly reduce the cost to purchase, apply and dispose of grease.
For further information: www.skf.co.uk/srb
Upgraded SKF Explorer spherical roller
bearings last up to twice as long
SKF (U.K.) Limited
12 13ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
Focus on Quarrying and Mining Focus on Quarrying and Mining
To put this into perspective, according to the
National Coal Mining Museum in 1900 there
were 3,384 mines with 780,000 workers
producing some 225 million tons. After rising
to just over 1.2 million workers in 1920 the
industry has been in a steady, and of late
Some argue this is a good thing despite the
devastation wrought on mining communities.
Coal fired power stations produce more than
a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas
emissions. Yet, even in the face of consistent
efforts to wean the country off this dirty fuel
and move it to renewable energy, the UK still
uses more than 50 million tons of coal a
year, mostly imported, to supply its 19 coal
power stations. These employ more than
4,000 people and produce over a quarter of
the country’s electricity, rising to more than
50% in peak times.
Recent developments mean coal needn’t be
the carbon monster that it traditionally has
been and ‘clean coal’ is possible. However,
a proper investment in carbon capture and
storage (CCS) is needed to make this happen.
The reality is that, as attractive as dumping
fossil fuels completely may sound, the world
economy, and indeed the UK economy, is
a long way away from being able to do that.
Other countries, with more impressive green
credentials, are even building new, albeit
cleaner, coal fired power stations to ensure
security of supply and lower energy costs –
even Germany is building several.
Experience shows that many businesses
get started by artisans, not only in
manufacturing but also in the services and
repair sectors of the economy. Small and
medium businesses are the major driver of
employment and beefing up the small scale
manufacturing sector in the UK would
provide a fantastic opportunity for its
economy to absorb the millions of young
people not currently in employment,
education or training.
While the arguments for the
reestablishment of the UK coal mining
industry are powerful, there are no magic
bullets. Take the example of South Africa,
which has an abundance of minerals but
which missed the last two commodity
booms because politics and damaged
confidence levels stopped it from putting
in place the logistics and policies needed
to take advantage of the opportunities.
If the UK’s coal industry is to be revived,
it will undoubtedly require support from
the state. This need not take the form of
direct subsidies to miners and ancillary
industries (although the fiscus may be
required to derisk investments through
tax and other incentives). Support must
come primarily through the building and
upgrading of the physical, social, legal
and financial infrastructure needed to
successfully mine and beneficiate minerals
in a modern economy.
S ON •
IS THE UK’S COAL
INDUSTRY ON THE
VERGE OF REVIVAL?
There are now only a handful of coal mines left in the UK, employing fewer
than 6,000 people and producing a mere 18 million tons a year. This is down
from 1980’s 211 mines where 230,000 workers produced 127 million tons.
Quarrying & Mining
But one of the most important
benefits of strengthening the
British mining industry and the
new technologies associated
with it will be the demand it
will create for artisans and
the impetus that this will give
the country’s nascent
The UK’s proved reserves are a small
percentage of the world’s total of 861,000
million tons but there is enough there to
make it imperative that it makes the most
of its remaining natural endowment and,
without being irresponsible, develops and
exploits it for both local and export markets.
There is certainly enough there to create
space for the UK to become a leader in CCS
technology – a leadership position that
would stand it, and its industrial northern
heartland, in good stead over the century or
so that coal will, despite the legitimate
efforts of the green lobby, remain a
cornerstone of global energy policy.
Further developing the domestic energy
sector would encourage re-industrialisation
and help establish new small, medium and
large scale manufacturers to service the
mines and ancillary industries. There are also
opportunities for equipment manufacturers
and resellers to set-up shop.
ERIKS’ Gearbox Service is not just a service offering.
It’s a service partnership. And the difference lies in
ERIKS’ attitude to customers, and the added value provided.
Expert knowledge for cost-effective
Superior data gathered by the latest
equipment, and interpreted by skilled
Pump services and technical
resources all in one place, from repair
and replacement to audits and testing.
repair and overhaul of a wide
range of industrial electronics, to
BSEN ISO 9001:2001 quality.
Electrical Power Distribution
Repair, replacement, maintenance and
installation of transmission, switchgear
and distribution network equipment,
to keep you legal, safe and productive.
HV Motors and Coils
A total integrated solution, for a range
of industries from nuclear to oil and
gas, power generation to defence,
and many more.
Only ERIKS Gearbox Services has
the attitude, experience, expertise and
resources to offer a wide choice of options
based on a solution-neutral philosophy.
Best choice, best value
ERIKS’ comprehensive gearbox capability
means customers can choose from three
options when a gearbox fails: to repair,
replace, or upgrade.
For speed of service – when the machine
in question is process-critical, for example
– ERIKS’ can provide out-of-hours
support on an emergency basis. However,
even in these cases, the total cost will be
considered, and a repair (using OEM
spares and backed by a 12-month
warranty) will only be recommended if
it is financially viable.
If a repair is uneconomical, ERIKS can
provide a like-for-like replacement –
including ERIKS range of Fenner products.
The newer equipment will help to reduce
running costs, and will of course be backed
by a full manufacturer’s warranty.
Alternatively, ERIKS offers customers
the opportunity to upgrade to the latest
technology. This will generally provide
long-term cost savings and improvements
in plant productivity and reliability – but as
always the final decision is the customer’s.
A feasibility study can be carried out if
requested, and the ERIKS Online Total
Cost of Ownership calculator is always
available to help customers make a fully-
Avoiding the issue
Better even than a solution-neutral
approach is when there’s no need for a
solution at all. In other words, when the
gearbox issue is spotted before it becomes
a problem, and downtime is minimised or
ERIKS offers a range of Condition
Monitoring services (oil, vibration and
thermal analysis) to facilitate early detection
of potential problems. ERIKS Gearbox
Guard, for example, is a low-cost sensor
network which provides an early warning
system based on continual equipment
monitoring. With a data upload every 10
seconds, Gearbox Guard can trigger alerts
and alarms when pre-set parameters are
exceeded, and enables the identification
of trends. Paragon Asset Tracking helps
customers to keep track of their gearbox
equipment and its status (e.g. due for
maintenance, out for repair, in stores),
helping to ensure equipment – and
therefore productivity – is maintained
at its optimum.
Clearly, the ‘repair, replace, upgrade’
solution-neutral philosophy is so totally
unbiased, ERIKS will even help you avoid
having to make the choice at all.
14 15ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
Focus on Quarrying and Mining Focus on Quarrying and Mining
For applications from
crushers to conveyor
belts in mines and
quarries, to pumps and
compressors in steel
plants, and for numerous
other high power, heavy
load uses, synchronous
motors are increasingly
the motor of choice. And
these are just the sort
of applications where
savings can be made, and
fast payback on the cost of
the motor achieved, so that
all subsequent savings
help to reduce the user’s
torque – such as crushers, extruders and so
on – breakdown torque with synchronous
motors can be as much as five times higher
than the rated torque.
An additional benefit of synchronous
motors is their ability to improve stability
in Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) applications.
Synchronous motors with variable speed
are recommended for applications with high
torque, low speed and wide speed adjusting
range. Depending on load and environment
characteristics, motors for such applications
can be constructed with or without brushes.
These motors are suitable to operate at any
speed range from zero to maximum, and
will maintain stability independent of load
variation, which – on equipment such as
laminators, plastic extruders and similar –
is a capability of paramount importance.
Maintenance not missed
On brushless-type machines, the reductions
in day-to-day running costs delivered by
synchronous motors are complemented
by reduced maintenance costs. Since the
motors are manufactured without brushes
So why do synchronous motors offer such
significant and speedy savings?
Essentially it’s thanks to the motor’s ability to
reduce electrical energy costs, and improve
energy efficiency, by correcting power factor
on the motor power supply. In addition, they
provide high torques and constant speed
under load variation, which results in low
operating and low maintenance costs.
These benefits explain the use of the
motors in a wide range of industries,
including mining and quarrying, steel,
pulp and paper, wood processing, sewage,
chemicals and petrochemicals, cement and
oil. Applications in these industries include
crushers, mills and conveyor belts; fans,
pumps and compressors; pulp and paper
extruders; wood chippers and debarkers;
and fans and water injection pumps.
Less stress, more efficiency
Due to their higher efficiency level,
reduced size and higher output rating,
synchronous motors can replace DC
motors in high-performance applications.
In addition, in a number of instances, a
motor with lower torque values compared
or slip rings, obviously the usual inspection,
cleaning or other maintenance of these
components is not required.
Synchronous motors require a DC
power supply to power the field winding
(rotor winding). This comes from a
brushless rotating exciter (on brushless
versions), or via a static exciter on versions
with brushes. WEG synchronous motors
supplied with static exciters are fitted with
slip rings and brushes that allow current
powering of the rotor poles through
slipping contacts. The DC power
supply for the poles is derived from an
AC/DC converter and static controller.
The static exciter is used extensively on
WEG synchronous motors with a brushless
excitation system are fitted with a rotating
exciter, normally installed on the rear of the
motor. Depending on motor operation, the
exciter has either a DC or AC power supply
on the stator.
The safe choice
WEG design and manufacture synchronous
motors in sizes up to 20MW for general
to standard can be applied. This brings a
positive reduction in motor starting current –
resulting in fewer problems with the electric
system during starting – together with a
reduction of mechanical stresses from the
Although synchronous motors have better
efficiency and speed accuracy than
induction motors, their design is more
complex. This means that cost comparisons
between the two are not entirely
The simpler design of the induction motor
makes them less expensive for a given
power level, at power outputs up to 10
megawatts. But above this figure, the higher
efficiency of synchronous motors delivers
lower operating costs.
This higher efficiency is the result of
synchronous motors’ superiority at
converting electrical energy into mechanical
power. They can also be designed for high-
efficiency operation across a broad speed
range, which in turn provides significant
energy-saving across a wide variety of
loads. And for applications requiring high
industrial applications, and also offer
versions for hazardous (flammable)
atmospheres both on- and off-shore.
These hazardous area motors are
supplied in a range of protection levels,
such as Ex-n (non-sparking) and Ex-p
(pressurised), to meet national and
international standard requirements.
In addition, these WEG synchronous motors
are tested and approved by worldwide
certifying institutions including API, NEMA,
IEC, CSA, BVQI, NBR, ABS and DNV.
So if you’re looking for high efficiency,
speed accuracy, and fast payback, a WEG
synchronous motor is your safe choice –
in more ways than one.
FASTpayback >>> with synchronous motors >>>
16 ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
Focus on Quarrying and Mining
Double the life,
and half the trouble
An open-cast mine operator in Germany mines coal, which is estimated
to be around 30 million years old. However, it was the two brief years the
bearings on its conveyors were lasting which was one of the operator’s
most pressing concerns.
There are 250km of conveyors on the
site, operating – like the mine – round the
clock, 365 days a year. The longest section
is 5.6km, and each section incorporates
around 40 bearings, in the head and tail
pulleys and the bend rolls. The conveyors
transfer approximately 240,000m3
of mined coal, and move approximately 500
million tons every year of other material,
that’s been extracted and is then used to
rebuild the mine.
Grease was the word
The bearings used by a coal mine operator
on the conveyors were open spherical roller
bearings, which were continually failing.
The working environment at the mine is
by its nature highly contaminated with
dirt, grit and other foreign bodies, all of
which frequently found their way into
the bearings, causing repeated failures
and downtime. Downtime in any process
obviously has a negative effect on
productivity, but in a non-stop operation
As a stop-gap measure, the customer’s
maintenance engineers frequently applied
large amounts of grease to the bearings.
However, this not only created an unwanted
cost, but also caused additional problems
and expense in terms of disposal, and
raised concerns relating to Germany’s strict
Doubling the duty
One aspect of conveyor maintenance is
lagging rework on the pulleys. With the aim of
minimising downtime – and achieving a target
3% reduction in operating costs – the coal
mine operator called in SKF to see if they
could find a solution which would keep the
bearings operating until the lagging rework
SKF application specialists suggested a test
of sealed spherical roller bearings on the bend
rolls, to replace the existing open versions. As
well as installing SKF 23228-2CS5/VT143
sealed spherical roller bearings, the housings
were filled with grease (for life), and a labyrinth
seal was added at the end of the roller.
While the previous
open bearings typically
lasted an average of 730
days, the SKF sealed
solution lasted more
than FOUR full years: a 100%
increase in service life.
The longer life enabled the coal mine
operator to achieve its goal of performing
bearing maintenance at the same time as
lagging rework. Additional benefits included
cost savings on used grease disposal,
and a reduction in bearing mounting time
from four hours to two. This also meant
a reduction in downtime, and enabled
maintenance engineers to gain time to
spend on other critical tasks.
Would the coal mine operator go back
to their old-style bearings? Not in 30
Imagine a game of ‘Scissors, Paper, Stone’ but with rubber and steel
instead. Most of us would put our money on steel to win. But in a hose application,
it would be rubber that comes out on top for abrasion and wear resistance.
Which is why Novaflex®
use rubber compounds in their mining slurry hoses.
The hardest material is not always the hardest-wearing. And that’s
particularly true if you need a material to resist abrasion rather than,
for instance, impact. Even the hardest steels can be gradually worn
away by contact with abrasive materials, whereas a soft and elastic
rubber compound will last longer, with less wear.
take advantage of the abrasion-resistant properties of
certain rubber compounds, to produce hoses with a longer service
life, that offer better value for money.
Soft is hard to beat
The unique ability of rubber compounds to resist abrasion, cutting,
ripping and other types of wear is down to their elasticity.
This means that, when they’re hit by a particle (a tiny piece of grit in
the slurry that’s being pumped, for example), the compounds deform
to absorb the kinetic energy. This means less or no damage to the
material, and less wear as a result, where a harder-surfaced material
would resist the energy instead, and end up being chipped.
It’s knowing which compounds are best for each abrasion resistance
requirement that enables Novaflex®
to create longer-lasting hoses
for applications such as mining slurry transfer.
Going round the bend
It’s not only abrasion that affects the performance and service life of
a transfer hose. Bends, offsets, misalignments, expansion, contraction
and vibration can be all in a day’s work for a hose, and the hose
material and construction need to be flexible enough to cope.
Even so, engineering as large a bend radius as possible into the
hose system will help to reduce wear and increase service life.
Hose wear always occurs on the outside radius of the bend, so the
greater the bend radius, the lower the angle of impact and the lower
the rate of wear.
The optimum bend radius to reduce wear is ten times the inside
diameter of the hose.
Slurry in a hurry
As well as the standard Novaflex®
abrasion-resistant mining slurry
hoses, there are more wear-resistant and quicker installation options
Slurry King 5000 saves time over engineered
hoses and steel pipe installations, with its unique quick installation
system. Simply stock the bulk hose (up to 14" diameter) and
couplings, then cut the hose to length, attach the coupling and
install – in minutes, with no welding. And for the greatest abrasion,
cut and gouge resistance, for dry or wet material transfer, there’s
the NovaWear-YG™ Tube.
So whatever you need to transfer by hose, the most effective hose
material is soft, and the choice isn’t hard: it’s Novaflex®
18 19ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
Focus on Quarrying and Mining Focus on Quarrying and Mining
Just like being there
The sensors used for ERIKS condition monitoring
sensor systems are simple to install and use, and highly
Their Remote Access mode provides a secure,
transparent communication tunnel directly to the remote
equipment. This allows remote monitoring, with data
uploaded to the cloud or alerts sent by text or email,
with no need for modems or Virtual Private Networks.
There’s also no specialist IT infrastructure or static IP
address required to get the sensor up and running, and
its EasyConnect feature essentially makes the device
plug and play.
An ERIKS sensor system is a highly
cost-effective alternative to a full-blown
vibration sensing set-up (which is more
like a full-time nanny). Instead of keeping a
24-hour eye on your equipment and alerting
you to the slightest variation from the norm,
it intelligently interprets the data coming
from the machine, and decides – for each
individual deviation from pre-set parameters
– whether or not you need to be alerted.
And because it can utilise your Ethernet, the
internet and the cloud to communicate, it
can alert whoever you want, wherever you
want, whenever you want.
Sensible sensor choices
Every type of equipment can fail in a
slightly different way. The skill – and the
ERIKS know-how – lies in identifying the
most common failure modes and how they
manifest themselves, then selecting and
installing the appropriate sensors, with the
right set of parameters to identify the signs
Temperature sensors, for example, cost
less than vibration sensors and diagnostics.
But only if the correct parameters are
established from the start will they be
able to tell the difference between a
temperature rise due to a failing bearing,
and one caused by a hot day or local
production temperature fluctuations.
Whereas oil cleanliness sensors will make
sure that the systems’ oil is operating
contaminant free in its optimum condition.
When they do detect a variation which
requires an alert, there’s a choice of
actions which can follow, depending on
the criticality of the equipment and the
You have been warned
With the system connected to a warning
light, siren or similar, personnel on site
receive an immediate warning and can act
accordingly. Alternatively, for a highly critical
piece of equipment, the alert could trigger
a controlled shutdown routine. Or for less
critical equipment, the alert could trigger
a text message or email to designated
personnel, or even to ERIKS engineers.
For the least critical equipment, the data
could simply be uploaded to the cloud,
where it can be viewed and analysed by
ERIKS engineers, along with earlier alerts,
to spot trends and identify potential root
causes of failure.
As machines can keep running until
total and catastrophic failure occurs, any
evidence of what could have caused it will
be destroyed. When one customer suffered
repeated bearing failures on a particular
piece of equipment, a mobile sensor from
ERIKS was used to capture the data and
help identify the fault. At around 60% of
the cost of installing a permanent sensor,
and with no ongoing telemetry costs, short-
term leasing of a temporary sensor can be
a highly effective solution.
Alternatively, permanent sensors can be
particularly useful for capturing evidence
of transient occurrences which would
otherwise go unnoticed.
Look, don’t touch
Some of the plant which needs monitoring
the most is the most difficult to monitor.
In the quarrying industry, for example,
screens, breakers and crushers are well-
guarded for safety, but the conditions in
which they operate mean they are prone
to failure and need careful monitoring.
Sensors are the ideal answer and are
already used in some cases – though
with manual data collection on a periodic
basis. However, by fitting an ERIKS
sensor system and connecting it to the
customer’s own PLC or a telemetry system,
the equipment can be monitored more
frequently – or even continually – by
remote means, and at a fraction of the cost
of the initial capital investment.
With the increasing sophistication
and falling costs of sensors and
communications technology, an ERIKS
condition monitoring sensor system is a
highly effective method of avoiding costly
catastrophic equipment failures – and of
ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Think of an item of your production equipment. Now think of it as your baby (perhaps
you already do). Of course you want to give your baby the best care and protection you
can. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be dragged out of bed every five minutes
just because your baby turns over or burps. So what you need for your plant is a more
intelligent baby monitor, that helps you tell the difference between a cry for help and
a sleepy snuffle. What you need is an ERIKS Condition Monitoring sensor system.
Manager, ERIKS UK
20 21ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
Focus on Quarrying and Mining Focus on Quarrying and Mining
BEARINGS HAVE A TOUGH TIME IN DEMANDING ENVIRONMENTS SUCH AS MINES AND QUARRIES.
IN THESE KIND OF APPLICATIONS, EVEN HOUSED UNIT BEARINGS CAN SUFFER FROM THE HARSH
OPERATING CONDITIONS AND LUBRICATION ISSUES, LEADING TO BEARING DAMAGE. BUT TIMKEN’S
SOLID-BLOCK HOUSED UNITS ARE RIGHT AT HOME, HOWEVER UNCOMFORTABLE THE SURROUNDINGS.
Improved from start to finish
From installation to downtime and service
life, the Timken solid-block housed unit is
a major improvement.
The standard steel Timken unit is delivered
completely sealed, so the bearing is
never exposed to the elements or to
contamination – just one reason the units
can be offered with a lifetime guarantee.
Other design and engineering advances
which help to overcome the most common
causes of bearing failure include a
standard extended inner ring of the solid
block unit – preventing contamination and
shaft wear – and three primary seals, plus
secondary seal and cover options, for even
more contamination protection.
Secondary seals are available in steel,
polyurethane and other options on request.
Lubricated to perfection
Over-lubrication and under-lubrication
can both be problems on bearings. The
Timken solid-block bearing avoids both by
being pre-lubricated to exactly the right
amount. Relubrication is minimal, and it’s
impossible to over-lubricate, thanks to
specially-designed seals and (on non-
purging seal designs) a relief valve which
expels excess grease.
With industry research showing that most
bearings don’t even achieve the given
basic life calculation, there’s clearly a
need for a housed unit that overcomes
the three main causes of bearing failure:
contamination, incorrect lubrication, and
incorrect installation. And that’s just what
Timken’s solution does.
3 problems, 1 solution
If a bearing can find a way to fail, it will,
and there are three main ways it tries:
1. Around 90% of bearing failures are caused
by contamination. Mounting the seal
directly onto the shaft causes this, allowing
contamination to penetrate the bearing.
2. In an attempt to reduce contamination,
operators tend to over-lubricate the unit,
until the grease purges. This leads to the
bearing overheating, wear, and failure.
Over-lubrication also wastes grease,
time and money.
3. Most split-block housed units require
time-consuming mounting, adjusting for
float, and measuring the internal clearance
of the bearing. This means several
opportunities for human error, leading –
sooner or later – to bearing failure.
The Timken spherical roller bearing solid-
block housed unit has the solution to all
Saving the day, the months and the years.
A housed unit on a sand dryer was failing every 2-3 days, when thecustomer changed from drying sand to drying pea gravel. To try toprevent the bearings from breaking up, and resolve the problemof excess grease leaking through the seals, the customer stoppedlubrication altogether.
When a machinery upgrade was due, a housing upgrade to aTimken QVVSN19V090ST was also carried out. This bearing wasstill running satisfactorily after 6 months, representing a cost savingof almost £13k.
The situation with another customer was similar, with the balls inthe housed unit cracking after 7-10 days due to overload. In thiscase a Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed unit – theQMSN18J080SM – was introduced, with a single new unit able toreplace 17 of the old ones.
The result was an initial cost saving, followed by a saving of 16 man-hours over 6 months. The total cost saving over the 6-month periodwas nearly £15k, and the bearing unit is still going strong after 2 years.
Pre-lubrication even makes installation
quicker, because there’s no need to
pack the housing with grease as part
of the process.
There are also several other ways the
Timken design saves time at installation:
No fiddling with feeler gauges,
adjusting to accommodate for float,
or placing fixing rings in the housing.
Internal clearance is pre-set, and
bearings can be ordered for the
Float adjustment, if required, simply
means backing off the grub screw to
allow rotation of the locking washer.
Once set, retighten the grub screw
to lock everything into place.
Machined feet (for one-time shaft
alignment), taper puller holes, block
oxide inner rings and six different
shaft locking choices all help cut
installation time – to less than ten
minutes in some cases.
Available in seven different housing
styles to suit any application, and
interchangeable with virtually any other
solid-block roller bearing unit, there are
Timken solid-block housed units in sizes
to accommodate shafts from 40-180mm.
So whatever your housing crisis, there’s
sure to be a Timken unit to resolve it.
This article supplied by Timken.
Energy savings Energy savings
22 23ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
Although it may look smooth to the naked
eye, the inner surface of a pump seen
under a microscope looks rough and
pitted. Although this roughness is
microscopic, it’s more than enough to
cause turbulence and drag as liquids
pass through the pump. This reduces the
efficiency of the pump, and that in turn
increases the amount of energy required
to achieve the specified rate of flow or level
Stainless steel pumps are naturally less
susceptible to erosion and more resistant
to corrosion, but using an ERIKS applied
ceramic coating as a protective and
sacrificial layer on a cast iron pump is a far
cheaper, and equally effective, alternative.
Pumps can come under attack in more ways
Firstly, if they’re pumping materials which
are clearly abrasive, then their surface will
be eroded over time and their efficiency will
be reduced. Secondly, even when pumping
only water, salts within the liquid can also
lead to corrosion.
And thirdly, pumps used for aggressive water
conditions can face a ‘double whammy’
of erosion and corrosion. When the pump
is inactive an oxide layer builds up, from
corrosion. This layer is then removed when the
pump next operates, causing erosion of the
base metal. Then when the pump is switched
off and on the whole cycle is repeated.
Pumps in mines and quarries have a hard time – pumping abrasive materials
that cause metal erosion, or brackish water that can lead to corrosion. And
both of which can lead to less efficient operation and greater energy use.
But surprisingly, the best way to stop your pumps taking such a pasting is
to give them another one: with ERIKS applied ceramic compound.
Eliminating 6-monthly overhauls
A process water pump was requiring 6-monthly overhauls.
Dismantling revealed severe electrolytic corrosion where the
cast iron impeller neck met the impeller disc. The impeller
static wear rings and pump shaft were stainless steel, so
this suggested a galvanic corrosion process, assisted by
the salinity of the abstracted water.
Similar corrosion had occurred between the static wear
rings and main casings, and erosion/corrosion was evident
on the impeller vanes. There were also signs of re-circulation
occurring within the pump as a result of constant running to
the left of BEP.
ERIKS reclaimed the main casing, using ceramic-filled
epoxy paste to rebuild voids caused by corrosion and
entrainment. An efficiency coating was also applied to the
internal surfaces of the main casing, to reduce internal
friction and prevent further corrosion/erosion problems
in future. Bronze replacement impellers and rings were
installed, and new cast iron landings to accept the static
wear rings, after line boring the main casings.
Coated for efficiency
Applied to a pump which has been worn
by abrasive materials or corroded by
aggressive water conditions, the ERIKS
applied ceramic coating works its way into
the microscopic cavities on the pump’s inner
surface. Building up layer on layer, the base
epoxy with ceramic powder fillers restores
the worn areas to the correct level. Then, as
the second stage of the process, another
layer containing even finer ceramic fillers is
painted over the first, to provide a smooth,
The system is so effective that a refurbished
pump with the ceramic compound treatment
applied will be restored to its original,
The treatment can also be applied to a
new pump, where it will deliver a 4-5%
increase in efficiency. This increase
will be maintained for as long as the
coating remains in place and effective:
generally until the next scheduled pump
Extending pump life
Coating a pump with ERIKS applied
ceramic treatment not only increases its
energy efficiency, but also extends its
service life – so it works more efficiently
and more cost-effectively, for longer. This
can be particularly useful in the case of an
obsolete pump for which replacement parts
are difficult or impossible to find.
Equally important, applying the treatment
won’t increase pump outage – it will usually
be carried out as part of a scheduled pump
refurbishment. Depending on the conditions
of use and the abrasiveness of the liquids
being pumped, reapplication of the coating
will not be needed until the next pump
refurbishment. In addition, the length of
time between refurbishments may also be
extended, thanks to the increased efficiency
provided by the coating. Refurbishment
intervals will be determined by the bearing
or seal life.
The application of the ceramic paste and
coating is ideally carried out off-site at an
ERIKS workshop. However, if a pump is
physically too large to move, the process
can take place on-site, provided appropriate
shelter is available. The process involves
firstly, shot-blasting the casing to SA 2.5
(75 microns) surface roughness, then
applying the ceramic paste and top coating
within two hours – before any significant
oxidation can occur. The additional cost
of the ceramic compound treatment is
around 15% of the cost of the full pump
refurbishment. So compared with the cost
of a new pump, it makes sound
The effectiveness and energy-saving
advantages of the ERIKS applied ceramic
coating have been proven in use in both the
water and power industries.
Pumping water goes with the territory in
the water industry, and in water treatment
applications in particular this water may
contain materials which have an erosive
or corrosive effect on the pumps. Similarly,
the power industry uses large quantities
of water for cooling, usually drawn from
the sea or from river systems. This can
be brackish, and has a negative effect
on the pumps.
However, ERIKS’ applied ceramic coating
is used extensively in these industries,
with positive effects on pump life and
energy-efficiency (see green box above).
ERIKS’ figures show that any pump with
a discharge nozzle of 6 or above will
deliver a positive return on the cost of the
treatment, in terms of lower energy use.
In addition, the extended service life and
enhanced maintenance of the asset should
also be taken into account. All of which
proves that sometimes, a pasting can be
the best thing to happen to your pumps.
24 ISSUE 19 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow
EXCELLENT COMFORT AND PROTECTION
Disposable Masks are an essential requirement when
working in atmospheres where harmful gases, vapours,
smoke or mist particles are present. Offering a high
level of protection and constructed using non-allergenic
Disposable Masks are lightweight and
ergonomically shaped for a comfortable fit.
Manufactured to the highest standards, our range of
masks include adjustable nose and head straps to
ensure a good, air-tight seal, an exhalation valve for easier
breathing and conform to the latest European standards.
Feel the difference.
Order your RX®
disposable masks today.
Call 0800 006 6000 or visit www.eriks.co.uk
Disposable Masks offer a high level of
protection against dust particles, mist and fumes
- now you can breathe easy!
Take a breather.
Quartz is found in almost all kinds of rock,
sand, clay, shale and gravel. Fine dust from
any of these sources, if it finds its way
into the lungs, can put workers at risk of
developing silicosis: a chronic and possibly
severely disabling lung disease.
Silicosis has only been seen in workers
from industries where there is a significant
exposure to silica dust – such as quarries,
foundries and potteries. It usually takes a
number of years of regular daily exposure
before there is a risk of developing silicosis,
but the link between working in the
quarrying industry and the disease is clear.
There is now also evidence that heavy
and prolonged workplace exposure to
dust containing crystalline silica can lead
to an increased risk of lung cancer. The
evidence suggests that an increased risk of
lung cancer is likely to occur only in those
workers who have developed silicosis.
So clearly, there’s a need to minimise silica
dust where possible, and also to prevent it
being breathed in.
All dusts are not the same. The amounts
of silica found in quarries depends on the
types of materials being worked on. And in
turn, that affects the amount of silica in the
dust in the local atmosphere.
The only way to be sure of the
levels of silica – and the risk of
lung disease for workers – is
to have the materials being
worked on, and the dust in the
air, sampled and analysed.
If silica is identified, current advice from the
HSE is for any person who is exposed to
the dust to be supplied with a P3 respirator.
This will prevent dust particles from
penetrating the filter and entering the lungs.
The filter medium used in P3 filters is
99.7% efficient against dust particles down
to 0.5 microns, so there is very little chance
of any lung-damaging dusts entering the
lungs. In fact, a disposable FFP3V, or a
half-mask fitted with P3 filters, offers a
protection factor of twenty times the Work
Exposure Levels set by the HSE.
However, reducing the amount of dust
created by the processes should always be
the first step. This may mean anything from
changing the way the minerals are extracted,
to using water suppression, for example, to
minimise airborne dusts. As always, best
practice prefers prevention to cure.
The quarrying industry is dangerous enough, without having to worry
about every breath you take. Yet one of the health risks of working in the
industry is caused by exposure to fine dust containing crystalline silica
(otherwise known as quartz). So it’s essential to use the correct personal
protection equipment to minimise exposure and risk.
Category Manager Tools
ISSUE 17 www.eriks.co.uk/knowhow26
The crisis in the Ukraine is
disturbing for many reasons, not
least the prospect of renewed Russian
expansionism and the potential violations
of international law.
But it also calls into question the UK’s
energy policy over the last forty years,
during which we have become more and
more dependent upon gas and coal imports
from Eastern Europe, in particular Russia.
The stark truth is that, with the decline of
the UK’s coal industry, Russia is by far and
away our biggest coal supplier. We now
import circa 20 million tonnes of coal every
year from Russia to fuel our coal-fired
power stations, from a total of circa 45
million tonnes of imports.
The gas situation is more complex.
The UK remains heavily dependent on
gas, particularly for domestic heat, with
the vast majority of supply coming from
imports. However, the complex network of
gas pipelines across Europe make it difficult
to pin down the country of origin. Some
analysts argue that Russia supplies circa
15% of the UK’s gas, whilst others suggest
that none of our gas originates from
Moscow’s state-owned energy companies.
It is however undeniable that our
dependency on imports leave us vulnerable
to fluctuations in the international spot price
for gas which, in turn, is directly affected by
the diplomatic situation.
Moscow has proved in the past to be
more than willing to use energy as a
stick to get what it wants. In 2006, gas
supplies to the Ukraine were cut off.
In 2009, supplies to both the Ukraine and
Western Europe were disrupted. The source
of the renewed tensions between the two
countries is complex, but the Ukraine’s
reliance on Russian gas is, once again,
a contributory factor.
Whilst all this has been going on, in the
UK we haven’t been helping ourselves.
Renewable energy, specifically wind,
remains in its infancy, particularly
compared to Continental Europe. Domestic
microgeneration, such as solar panels,
continues to be hampered by the high
unit cost of the equipment.
Nuclear power therefore remains central
to the UK’s energy strategy, but the sale
of British Energy to the French firm, EDF,
left us without any capability to build and
run our own nuclear power stations.
Whilst the Exchequer got £4.4 billion in
2008 for its stake in British Energy it failed
to wring a binding commitment from EDF
to build any nuclear reactors. In the end,
EDF could only be persuaded to build the
new reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset
if a minimum price was guaranteed for the
electricity generated, due to shareholder
concerns over the enormous upfront
construction costs. This minimum, known
as the ‘strike price’, will be covered by
increases in consumer bills.
The truth is the failings of successive
governments to develop a long term
energy strategy has left the UK at the
mercy of both international relations
and markets. We have come a long way
from when coal, mined in the UK, was
the lifeblood of the economy. The price
we now pay for energy is dictated by
foreign governments and international
PARTNERSHIP BASED ON TRUST –
AND TRUST BASED ON QUALITY
NSK Europe Ltd.
Northern Road · Newark · Nottinghamshire · NG24 2JF · Tel. +44(0)1636605123 · Fax +44(0)1636643276 · email@example.com
Bearings for the mining and quarrying industry: resistant to dust, mud and vibrations
NSK’s bearings for the mining and quarrying industry are extremely reliable even under
tough conditions, and at the highest loads and speeds. For example, NSK bearings from the
CAM VS series last twice as long as conventional bearings. They also help to reduce energy
usage, thereby cutting operating costs.
NSK – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bearings and linear systems.
A premium brand since 1916. To ﬁnd out more about NSK, visit www.nskeurope.com
or call us on +44(0)1636605123
Please visit NSK at the
Hillhead Exhibition 2014
Booth: PA12 / PB11
Bearings for the mining and quarrying industry: resistant to dust, mud and vibrations
NSK’s bearings for the mining and quarrying industry are extremely reliable even under
tough conditions, and at the highest loads and speeds. For example, NSK bearings from the