With the complex challenges currently faced by the global mining industry because of changing regulations, resource depletion and environmental impact concerns, it is essential for the industry to incorporate new technologies, practices and operational efficiencies. Pratley, a leading producer of electrical termination products, has 75 years of experience when it comes to demands placed on electrical termination equipment used in the mining industry and is developing products which can meet the needs of the industry.

According to Pratley marketing director Eldon Kruger, electrical termination products used in the mining industry should be developed with durability, safety, reliability and innovation in mind. “We have developed a range of world-class electrical termination products that offer quality, value and a high degree of innovation to the mining industry, many of which are ‘world-first’ products.”

Pratley Electrical research and development laboratory. Image credit: Pratley

Pratley Electrical research and development laboratory. Image credit: Pratley

Mining operations can be in harsh environments, such as extreme temperatures, high humidity and corrosive conditions. Innovations that improve the durability and reliability of electrical termination products can help ensure they function correctly in these conditions. “The current priority for senior mining stakeholders is to keep pace and continue investing in innovation and technology where the efficiency, value and productivity gains are proven,” continues Eldon.

Pratley pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of design engineering and safety. Cable glands and electrical junction boxes are safety-critical elements in any electrical reticulation setup. Designing these products by merely looking at the cable design can result in a near-sighted approach when a holistic one is needed.

The company remains dedicated to providing the mining industry with innovative solutions that meet their electrical termination needs. “A great example of this is Pratley’s recently launched Taper-Tech Flameproof Gland range consisting of four separate glands in two unique categories,” explains Eldon. The unique feature of this range is that all versions are fitted with Pratley’s Taper-Tech flame seal technology, consisting of tapered seals made from superior, Pratley-developed, high-temperature, and low compression-set elastomers. The seals all have a taper on the leading edge that abuts against the gland nipple taper on the inside. The taper on the bush and the one on the cable gland’s nipple are angled differently.

Ex de Flameproof Taper Tech Cable Gland Range. Image credit: Pratley

Ex de Flameproof Taper Tech Cable Gland Range. Image credit: Pratley

This means that, under thrust or pressure from the front, when it is tightened, this differential taper allows the bush to slide down the taper easily, reducing the force needed to achieve radial compression.

“We use customer feedback as a basis to see what the market is looking for. We also draw on our own expertise to find gaps in the market and how we can fill these gaps. A parallel and agile development process allows us to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of the most optimal solutions and products,” continues Eldon.

The company operates two test and research laboratories at its Krugersdorp manufacturing facility, which places it in the top league of electrical-equipment manufacturers globally. The fully equipped laboratories are staffed by world-class scientists and technicians, who are regarded as global experts in the science and standards of electrical equipment for hazardous areas. The electrical testing laboratory has the distinction of having state-of-the-art equipment to the extent that other accredited laboratories approach the company to make use of its advanced equipment.

Overall, innovation in electrical termination products for the mining industry is essential to ensure safety, efficiency, compliance and cost-effectiveness in mining operations. “As such, Pratley will launch new products this year ideally suited for the ever-changing mining sector, at least one of which will be a world-first and game changer for electrical termination products,” concludes Eldon.