Plugs, sockets and couplers required for the electrical cable connection to bulk mobile equipment are infamous for their high theft risk. Subsequent replacement costs are compounded by downtime and production losses. To counter this problem, Powermite has designed a patented ProAlloy coupler to provide optimal performance whilst deterring theft.
Mines and plants require components which are rugged, cost-effective and reliable. Couplers are traditionally manufactured from brass, leaded gun metal or stainless steel, materials which are renowned for high theft risk due to their elevated weight-to-value ratio. “Following three years of intensive research and development initiatives, we found a seamless solution; a coupler manufactured by Powermite’s sister company, Proof Engineering, also in the Hudaco Group, from a zinc, copper and aluminium blend,” states Donovan Marks, Director at Powermite.
“The material mix of this innovative product which we have named a ProAlloy coupler, is contaminated with aluminium which decreases the value from approximately R35,00/kg to R6,00/kg. The product therefore has no resale value and cannot be resold for scrap.” Marks adds that the ProAlloy coupler is also more affordable and 33% lighter than its counterparts. Marks confirms that they also assist customers by buying back the metal at R15,00/kg, effectively closing the loop. Ever mindful of the environment, Powermite recycles the metal through a re-melting process.
A key advantage of utilising this patented material is that movement can be controlled between manufacturer, supplier and customer, further reducing theft. The ProAlloy coupler demonstrates material integrity, keeps its machinability and remains completely malleable. Having successfully completed strict corrosion tests, conducted by Mintek against brass in mining water, these couplers are quality assured. Successful field tests conducted by numerous blue-chip mining houses have inspired the development of ProAlloy plugs and sockets that provide end-users with the same benefits as the ProAlloy coupler. The versatile ProAlloy material can also potentially be used in various other components including switches, housings and flameproof glands.
Powermite’s product suite is manufactured by Proof Engineering and Ampco in a cutting-edge facility on Johannesburg’s West Rand, which proudly holds the title as one of the largest plug and socket manufacturers in Africa under one roof. These efficient and robust products are used by many industries, especially mining, on mobile generators, pumps and welding machines, marine, industrial and general engineering applications as well as machinery operating in underground and opencast mining operations, for example continuous miners, shuttle cars, pumps, tunnel borers and transformers. Proof Engineering is a specialist supplier of world-class components equipment and systems to the mining industry.
“Powermite is proud and excited to bring this cutting-edge ProAlloy to the market. As a company it is our goal to continuously enhance the standards of our products and services. We look forward to further advancing our product portfolio to exceed customer expectations,” concludes Marks.