Developing and producing conveyor equipment made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic instead of steel has proved fruitful for a Western Australian specialist conveyor engineering firm.
In October 2019, DYNA Engineering launched its HDPE Conveyor Guards, made from recycled HDPE plastic.
Conveyor guards prevent personnel from entering the danger zone and contain rogue materials within the conveyor, protecting them from harm.
Traditionally, these guards are manufactured out of steel. However, the vastly lighter weight, safer installation and removal, lack of required painting, and quicker and more sustainable manufacturing process has made the new material popular among mining businesses.
The conveyor guards were the company’s first release in a growing range of HDPE conveying components it now offers, which includes under conveyor guards and wind guards.
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Thomas Greaves, DYNA’s General Manager, says the Australian mining industry can and should make a real difference by deploying more sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly procedures and processes.
“Because of the incredibly high volumes of materials used in the construction and manufacture of equipment and plant required by the mining and bulk handling industries, there is a real opportunity to do something about improving their impact on the global environment” he says.
“Mining has been at the vanguard of many industry sectors eagerly adopting more sustainable and recyclable innovations. The rush continues to develop further ways of replacing outdated and unacceptable methods and materials with more productive, cost-efficient, safer and environmentally desirable alternatives.
“Mining Equipment and Technology Services (METS) providers to Australian miners and contractors have been punching above their weight with innovative, new technologies. Engineering firms have developed and implemented many processes and technology that are proving much better for their customers and far better for the environment.”
New, additional facilities for HDPE manufacturing
Dyna’s success has encouraged and enabled the company to invest significantly in additional specialist fabrication and machinery specifically for the manufacture of further HDPE made products.
It has opened an additional workshop dedicated to HDPE manufacture, doubling its floor space, purchased additional equipment to double production and increased its efficiency and turnaround times.
Further research and development work is ongoing to determine which additional conveyor system components will be selected for future HDPE material manufacture instead of steel.
HDPE under conveyor guards were developed using this process. Its panels have been designed to simply slide into two steel support bars, ready for fixing to an existing conveyor truss or stringer structure. To provide additional strength, the guards use an ‘X’ design in the HDPE routed mesh panels.
This design advantage was developed by DYNA and can be found on all of its conveyor guard panels, providing them with a unique competitive advantage.
Another example is the HDPE wind guards. These are used to mitigate wind interruptions to conveyor operations and are a sturdy, corrosion and rust resistant alternative to conventional steel.
ISO accreditation underway
“After 30 years of operation, we decided it was about time to really put our money where our mouth is and invest in the globally accepted way of helping to ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits,” Greaves says,
“The trifecta of ISO accreditation – ISO accreditation for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 is underway. We’re committed to the implementation of best practice safety, management and environmental behaviour.
“It will also help us minimise waste, increase productivity in the workplace and reduce the number of errors. This is scheduled to be finalised and in place in the third quarter of 2021.”