Sponsored by: Lewis Australia
Specialised Automation around the Globe
Lewis Australia is an automation engineering company that specialises in designing and building special purpose equipment for the mining, smelting and refining industries. Lewis Australia’s innovative skills lead to the automation of manual processes thought to be “too hard”.
In May 2019 the Government of Queensland approved Pembroke Resources’
proposed Olive Downs mine. The A$1bn open-cut metallurgical coal project is now inching towards final approval from the Federal Government, although industry experts have warned final approval isn’t yet assured, with the company yet to be granted a mining licence for the project.
Should the application be successful, the company says the mine will employ up to 1,000 permanent workers once operational, producing as much as 15 million tonnes of metallurgical coal a year. During the construction phase 500 jobs will be available, according to company representatives.
Significantly, the mine will use existing infrastructure for water, power and the transportation of its metallurgical coal, which will be exported via the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal near Mackay. It, like the 25 other operational mines in the region, will have a projected lifecycle of 79 years.
Speaking after the approval from the regional government, Barry Tudor, Pembroke’s chairman and chief executive, said: “There is no viable alternative to coking coal in the primary steel production process for the foreseeable future and Olive Downs will be a major supplier to the world’s leading steel producers, and as such, will be a valuable contributor to the Queensland and Australian economy for generations.”
The news was welcomed by the Queensland Resource Council (QRC), which said it was a ‘commitment of confidence’ at a time when the region’s unemployment rate was rising. QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane says: “Olive Downs is a clear and practical example of all levels of government working together to provide big city economic opportunities in regional areas surrounding the mines. This investment from Pembroke underpins the high quality coal sourced from the Bowen Basin, which is the largest coking coal export basin in the world.”
More than half of the country’s coal mines are managed by pro-Russian separatist militia.Credit: DmyTo/Shutterstock.
More than half of the country’s coal mines are managed by pro-Russian separatist militia.
Installing world leading equipment around the globe in dirty and hot environments, is what Lewis Australia lives for. They have become specialists in making automation work in these tough conditions and locations.
Some of their notable projects include, blast hole sampling, oxy-lancing systems, casting lines, online accretion removal system and laboratory automation.
They offer a complete engineering service including
- feasibility studies
- mechanical and electrical design,
- equipment construction,
- project management &
- turnkey project services.
Scorepion – Blast Hole Sampler: Automatic, random sample collecting and crushing from the safety of the truck cabin
Lewis works very closely with their clients to ensure the end result is above expectations.
All Lewis projects are assembled and thoroughly tested in their workshop and accepted by their clients before transported to site for installation, commissioning and training.
Lewis has earned its excellent reputation by consistently providing:
- Innovative solutions
- Dependable client service
- Quality built equipment
- On time delivery and
- Client satisfaction
Many of the systems that Lewis installs are designed to improve the safety of operators and maintenance personnel. The Exolance, is a great example of this allowing the operator to oxy lance using a remote control while being well away from the dangers.
The Exolance - Automatic Oxy-Lancing system is one example of improved safety for operators.
Mobile Fluid Transfer
Stopping drills, trucks and loaders for refuelling (or water refilling), results in costly lost time. As more and more trucks and drills are becoming autonomous, it is essential to remove the operators away from these service tasks. Lewis has mobile robotic systems that can perform this work while they are still in operation saving critical down time.
Mobile Fluid Transfer
Filling up the water (or fuel) in this drill rig: Operators no longer need to be on the bench near autonomous drills
Online Accretion Removal
Shutting down systems for cleaning can be a costly exercise. With innovative ideas and new technology, Lewis has developed a number of online accretion removal systems to complete these tasks while maintaining operations, greatly reducing down time.
With the ever increasing amount of samples taken at mine sites, it has become crucial to accurately track them all the way through the laboratory drying and crushing systems right up to the digestion and final results.
Lewis has installed a world leading automated laboratory in Arizona. This lab can handle 500 samples or 2500 digestions per day. Every sample is tracked in a sophisticated database using specially designed RFID tags to handle the high temperatures in the drying ovens and the acid fumes in the lab.
Lewis Australia’s Key Capabilities
- Automation engineering/construction of new automation systems
- Specialising in automating casting lines
- Upgrading/automating existing production lines
- Integrating diverse technologies and sensing equipment
- Automating manual systems thought “too hard”
- Mobile robotic systems and AGV’s
- Robotic production cells design, manufacture and programming
- Molten metal handling
- Mobile water / fuel transfer systems
- Ultra Light Weight Heavy Vehicle Extension Tools