Heavy duty mining vehicles are usually delivered to the mines with standardized couplers from well known brands, such as Wiggins or others, already fitted on the machines. Most of these couplers are designed with a recess for one coupler to connect to the other. This system has a major disadvantage: over time, dirt gathers in the couplers’ recess, and contaminates the vehicles’ engines and hydraulic systems. Even though most coupler suppliers provide plugs and caps to keep dirt from gathering inside the recess, it is common knowledge that after a while they are lost and are not replaced. Most of the time, operators do not take the time to clean the couplers before coupling them to the nozzle or receiver. And even when the couplers are cleaned with HP washers before usage, dirt is never entirely removed, and contamination still occurs.
To prevent contamination due to couplers, Banlaw have developed Flush Face couplers with a flat face instead of a recess. To avoid contamination, operators just need to wipe both the receiver and the nozzle faces with a rag, before connecting the couplers. This is a quick and easy job, dirt does not accumulate on flat faces, and contamination is therefore avoided. The Banlaw Flat Face coupler is also a “push-to-connect” coupler, meaning that the operators do not need to manually retract the outer collar or actuator of the female (nozzle) when engaging a nozzle to the mating male coupling (receiver). This is another key advantage as it makes the connecting operation simpler, easier and quicker: most of the other brands on the market require to manually retract the collar/actuator to connect, making the operation more difficult.
Lastly, the Banlaw Flush Face couplers are color coded: the nozzles for each type of fluid at the dispense bay have couplers with different colors. The corresponding receivers on the vehicles are fitted with couplers using the same color. Couplers from different colors cannot connect with each other. This means that each tank on a vehicle can be filled with one type of fluid only, and it is virtually impossible for an operator to feed the wrong fluid into a tank. The color codes also enable operators to identify the appropriate tank easily and quickly, without having to worry about connecting nozzles to the wrong tank.
“In 2009, one of our customers in Ghana approached us with a requirement to provide a solution to prevent contamination”, says Donald Dale, Business Development Manager Hyspec Africa. “With the standard couplers that came with their mining equipment, they experienced huge contamination problems, due to the gathering of dirt inside the recess of the couplers. The couplers were not being cleaned properly before being connected onto the machines. This resulted in contaminated oil entering the engines and hydraulic systems, causing failures, additional equipment downtime and unavailability. The customer agreed to our suggestion to replace all plant equipments with Banlaw Flat Face Push-to-Connect couplers, and since then, engine and hydraulic pump failures have dropped drastically.”
For additional information on how Hyspec can help you implement one of these solutions, please contact your Hyspec representative, or Fanie Gouws at email@example.com