EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – Marcotte Mining Machinery Services, a manufacturer of durable, low-maintenance utility vehicles for harsh, underground environments, has scooped the top award for most innovative cable carrier application in a worldwide competition.
Marcotte Mining beat out the Canadian competition at the country level of the international vector awards, organized by igus — a leading developer of plastic cable carriers for automated equipment. Designer Ian Martin was awarded with the grand prize at the MassMin 2012 conference in June.
igus first launched the vector awards in a bid to demonstrate the potential for plastic cable carriers to achieve over and above that of their metal counterparts. Modern polymer designs are rigid, long lasting, and withstand all kinds of demanding environments. Mining applications are particularly challenging, because they involve thick rock and dust debris, yet igus cable carriers are dirt and corrosion resistant, are easy to repair in the field, and are extremely robust.
Most mines use hosed booms for replacing overhead-suspended equipment and piping. Usually, more than one piece of maintenance equipment is used to lift, locate, and fasten overhead equipment and piping in place. However, Martin enhanced the functionality of one of his company’s largest utility vehicles, the Multi-RAM, to complete all of these actions with just one truck. This minimizes time, manpower, and vehicle emissions.
Existing boom designs have hoses hanging between each extending section. This inhibits the functionality of the service platform and leaves hoses at risk of becoming tangled. To limit the amount of hydraulic hoses hanging underneath the platform, Martin used an Energy Chain cable carrier from igus to guide and protect the hoses from the vehicle’s base to the extension boom’s gripper. Martin and Marcotte Mining received a plaque and $500 U.S. in credit to be used towards future igus products.
The vector awards are a global initiative to recognize those using plastic cable carriers in unique, ground-breaking or unusual applications.