Kal Tire to showcase OTR tire replacement and inspection prototypes at Electra Mining
At a time when mining operations are looking to a future with improved ESG, safety, and productivity, Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group is bringing users several solutions. At Electra Mining 2022, Kal Tire presents several innovations including an expanded carbon emissions reporting program, a recycling solution that promotes a circular economy, autonomous tire inspections, and prototypes for two tools that will change how technicians work safely around the wheel.
"More than ever before, mines are challenging themselves to do better when it comes to safety and ESG, so we've thought differently as mining tire management partners and we've invested in developing a range of solutions that are effective and add value," says Dan Allan, senior vice president of Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group. "As we're helping customers fulfill their evolving commitments, we're bringing mining operations new ways of working that help protect technicians, reduce environmental footprints, and improve fleet use."
One of the ways Kal Tire users in Africa and beyond can now advance ESG targets is with its Maple Program and custom-built carbon calculator. Users receive annual certificates containing accredited data about the fuel and carbon emissions savings when using sustainability solutions such as retreading, Ultra Repair, and conventional repairs to OTR tire sizes 49-inches and up. Tires with large but less complex injuries can effectively be restored and returned to service through the patch and process of conventional repairs, which are performed often in every region Kal Tire operates.
"With our sustainability solutions included in the Maple Program, we provide an important and accessible way for mines to reduce costs and their carbon footprint while extending tire life," says John Martin, vice president of Southern Africa at Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group.
To meet the growing demand for OTR tire repairs, especially in the thriving copper and ore region of Northern Cape, Kal Tire just opened a new branch and repair facility in Hotazel. Additionally, in Mozambique, a new tire repair facility is exceedingly busy helping users keep tires in production.
As mines look to a future with greater automation to reduce risk and downtime, Kal Tire is bringing users autonomous tire inspections. By integrating the thermal imaging technology of Pitcrew.ai with TOMS, Kal Tire's proprietary Tire Operations Management System, potential issues inside the tire are detected early on, and TOMS automates critical next steps, such as work orders for inspections. The stations are now in use at sites in Canada, Australia, Chile, and soon to be in Mozambique. On its own, TOMS is a productivity tool that supports near-instant visibility and a focus on planned tire work.
Providing solutions at all stages of tire life, Kal Tire is also ready to bring its OTR tire recycling technology to other regions. After several years of research and development, in 2021, Kal Tire successfully opened a thermal conversion mining tire recycling facility in northern Chile that converts scrap OTR tires into reusable products. The technology uses heat in the absence of oxygen to convert tires into their base elements (fuel oil, steel, and carbon black). Nearly 100 percent of the tire can be reused.
"The journey in Chile shows us here in Southern Africa what's possible when stakeholders unite and commit to solutions at the top of the recycling hierarchy," says Martin. "This solution promotes a circular economy, it's scalable and it can be implemented anywhere."
At Electra, Kal Tire will showcase prototypes for two tools to further help improve productivity, efficiency, and safety. The wheel inspection will allow mines to inspect wheels on-site as the mobile unit scans and indicates cracks along weld lines or ring grooves that could compromise wheel integrity and safety. As earthmover equipment is subjected to ever-increasing loads and speeds, and wheels risk fractures in sensitive areas, wheels play an integral role in mine safety.
The Kal Clamp allows tire technicians to safely perform the last, and most dangerous, step of removing or installing an OTR tire and wheel assembly as a remote-controlled clamp secures and then releases the last four wheel bolts. Typically, for this final step, technicians must stand underneath a tire manipulator forklift bearing the weight of the assembly.
"We've invested in developing these tire management tools because we believe every team member should be able to return home safely at the end of the day," says Allan. "As more and more mines act on bold new commitments that will enhance lives, communities and the environment, we look forward to continuing to develop solutions that deliver positive change."
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