Renttech South Africa’s Unilift range: delivering safety and affordability to mines and on display at Electra Mining 2016

The upcoming Electra Mining exhibition in September this year once again offers the mining industry an excellent opportunity to meet its suppliers and vice versa.

Renttech South Africa will be exhibiting – among its welding, generators and lifting/rigging ranges – their own Unilift brand of lifting equipment. Specifically, the company will be showcasing its new range of Unilift KV lever hoists and the recently introduced Unilift-KII chain block series.

“Chain block and lever hoists have myriad applications in mining. On the surface, construction and maintenance of metal processing and other infrastructure is ongoing. Underground, as fresh reserves of ore are explored and mined, stoping and development continue at top speed. These activities involve any number of heavy-lifting and moving activities, all of which require safe and effective lifting equipment,” says Martiens Opperman, Renttech South Africa’s Operations Manager, explaining why Unilift lifting equipment is so popular.

Challenging environments

Underground, equipment is deployed in a very hot, humid environment which is both highly abrasive and corrosive. The galvanised chain and working parts used in Unilift equipment are excellent for resisting both corrosion and abrasion. “Often, chain blocks are left underground for extended time periods. Miners want to know that when they return, that particular chain block will still work; and that corrosion has not seized the mechanism,” points out Adele van Zyl, Rigging Product Manager at Renttech South Africa.

A mine’s key operational objective – to constantly feed ore to surface mills – means that the demands on both men and machines, who work against the clock, are extreme.

“Mostly, mines will buy items such as chain hoists except when there are specific short-term projects – such as a plant shut-down.  In this instance, renting Unilift lifting hoists conserves valuable capital, and gives contractors flexibility in their choice of equipment,” van Zyl adds.

Overload protection

With the pressures of modern mining, the potential for lifting equipment to be abused or incorrectly used is always there. To counter this, the new Unilift chain blocks and lever hoists are fitted with an overload protection device. Customers have the option to set the level of overload protection they require.

“When using a certain chain hoist, one mine may be happy with 15 percent overload protection, while another might opt for 25 percent protection,” explains van Zyl.

“Furthermore, there is no global specification to cover the material type on an overload protection device, therefore settings can differ due to ambient temperature variations and this applies to all manufacturers,” she advises.

In the mining environment, typically the smallest chain blocks will be used to pick up the heaviest loads – as these are easy to carry and hook on.

“If a chain block with a 1.5 ton lifting capacity is used on a five-ton load, the chain block mechanism will secure the load and prevent damage to parts or – very importantly – to people,” she advises.

The overload system is an extremely vital and effective safety measure, providing peace of mind that the equipment cannot be misused beyond its correct and safe capacity. In addition, Unilift equipment meets and complies with today’s stringent occupational safety legislation.

“We also provide training to add to our customers,” says Opperman, explaining that proper training prevents damage to equipment and injury to people.

Furthermore, Renttech is certified Lifting Machine Entity (LME) allowing the company to sell and repair lifting equipment. Renttech also has lifting machine inspectors (LMIs), who perform the legally-required inspections of all manually operated lifting equipment which has undergone repairs.

“Our LMIs are all registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and can test in compliance with SANS 300 standards,” adds Opperman.

Unilift equipment is CSIR-tested, manufactured to SANS specifications and carries the international CE mark. The CSIR undertakes statutory batch tests on Renttech web slings in accordance with ISO 9001 accreditation.

“As Renttech maintains an extensive inventory of spare parts for Unilift equipment, the turnaround times for repairs are exceptionally quick,” he continues.

“We are looking forward to Electra Mining Africa 2016, as it gives us the opportunity to meet with our local customers; as well as mining representatives and other potential customers from the rest of Africa. Renttech now has a substantial operational footprint including in countries such as Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and the DRC. We are very keen to meet with potential pan-African customers, to see how we could assist in the provision of equipment to meet their lifting, rigging, industrial gas, power generation or welding requirements.

While of course we cannot display all our equipment at Electra Mining due to space and logistical constraints, we will be delighted to take invite customers to also visit our Wadeville head office and sales outlet, if they would like to learn more about our products and solutions,” van Zyl concludes.