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Taking tough jobs in their stride

Normet has four decades of experience in supplying mobile equipment, vehicles, and related services to underground mining and tunnelling projects. Its engineering expertise in heavy-duty underground machinery and commitment to new product development has seen Normet deliver over 7,000 vehicles to date.

Normet offers a very comprehensive range of products for mining and tunnelling needs, covering the entire mining process, apart from drilling, loading, and heavy hauling. This includes equipment for concrete spraying, explosives charging, and scaling; vehicles for transporting men and materials; and lifetime care.

The company works with a network of leading partners in basic research, automation development, and industrial design – and uses state-of-the-art software, including 3D mechanical design and specialist programs for electrical and hydraulic design and for stability and strength calculations. All product lifetime data is collected and managed using a PDM/PLM (Product Data Management/Product Lifetime Management) system.

Normet sprayed concrete systems ensure consistently high-quality surfaces and low lifetime costs.

Sprayed concrete systems

The use of sprayed concrete in mines, tunnels, and other civil engineering structures is an integral part of all successful operations today, and the trend is very much towards the greater use of self-propelled, mechanised/automated spraying systems to deliver higher productivity and superior operator safety, as well as more consistent surface quality.

Normet’s mobile sprayers, transmixers, and agitators are the outcome of decades of underground experience and close links with tunnelling and mining customers worldwide. Many of the hundreds of sprayed concrete and concrete transportation units that Normet has delivered over the years are still serving customers well, thanks to their excellent reliability and durability.

All of Normet’s Spraymec models are available in an electro- or diesel-hydraulic configuration, with an optional on-board compressor. Transmixers and agitators can be supplied with a range of different horizontal or inclined bowls, and all feature powerful engines for excellent operating speed. A soundproof operator’s cab is a standard option for all mining equipment.

The number-one charging system

All drilling and blasting operations have one thing in common: no method of charging will make up for poor drilling, but good-quality drilling can be ruined by poor blast design and charging.

To maximise the benefits of bulk explosives – whether ANFO, emulsions or water gels – the charging process needs to be mechanised. Equipment must be safe and reliable and meet the highest productivity and quality requirements, both for face and production charging.

Normet’s range of Charmec underground explosive chargers is designed to meet all of these needs, and hundreds of these units are in use worldwide. As the technology used in modern emulsion and water gel charging processes sensitises explosives while they are on the charging unit, Normet has developed its charging concepts in close cooperation with explosives manufacturers.

Better scaling

The benefits offered by Normet’s Charmecs result in high-quality, cost-effective bulk explosive charging processes and low lifetime costs.

Scaling loose rock manually is unsafe, unproductive, and uneconomical. Mechanisation improves the quality, effectiveness, and safety of scaling work and the entire excavation process.

Normet’s mobile mechanised Scamec 2000 has been developed with the help of extensive input from the field; and comes in three interchangeable boom versions for optimum reach and coverage, reducing the need for repositioning and keeping non-productive time to a minimum.

Scamecs can be equipped with a hydraulic impact hammer for scaling hard rock, or a pick unit for primary scaling in soft and stratified rock and secondary scaling.

Getting people where they need to be

Normet’s utilift scissors lifts are designed for load lifting and installation work in mines and low-profile tunnels, such as roof reinforcement, charging explosives, hanging cables, and installing pipes and ventilation equipment. Typical standard options include a side-shift platform, platform tilt, crane, pipe hanging equipment, air compressors, ANFO charging kits, and helper platforms.

The company’s Himecs are ideal for medium- and heavy-duty work in practically any tunnel profile, and can be supplied in a large variety of configurations for different needs. A new platform load-sensing system and other built-in safety features ensure maximum operator safety.

Normet also supplies a full range of rubber-tyred underground transport vehicles. Ultimec units can be custom-built for any purpose; and the Multimec slideon, slide-off cassette system is ideal for mines needing the ability to multipurpose vehicles rapidly to carry men, materials, or fuels.

The Normet RBO is ideal for transporting personnel or carrying small quantities of materials quickly to a work site. Adding accessories, such as a crane, compressor, or welding machine can quickly transform an RBO into a multi-purpose underground support vehicle.

> Jukka Pihlava
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)