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From lights to drills, Milwaukee digs deep into the mining industry
29 April 2019
From lights to drills, Milwaukee digs deep into the mining industry

From impact wrenches to worklights, steel drilling presses, and metal cutting saws, the ruggedness, efficiency, and high-end features of Milwaukee’s diverse product range, distributed locally by leading supplier Upat, have seen the brand make significant inroads into the mining industry.

Key to the success of Milwaukee in this arduous operating environment is the aftersales service and technical back-up offered by Upat, which includes advising customers on the best tools for a particular application. “We have had Milwaukee Power Tools operating successfully underground for two years without having seen the light of day,” Upat Technical Specialist – Mining & Utilities Clayton Dry reveals.

The M18 FUEL™ ¾" High-Torque Impact Wrench is particularly favoured in the mining industry due to its large-size anvil and high torque capabilities. “A major cost factor for mines is having to continuously replace accessories,” Dry comments. Here the Milwaukee ONE-KEY™ feature allows the impact wrench to be customised according to the end user’s specific requirements.

The REDLITHIUM™ M18 battery platform delivers more work per charge, in addition to more work over pack life than any other battery. The onboard fuel gauge monitors the charge more accurately, thereby minimising downtime.
Milwaukee’s RED-LINK PLUS™ Intelligence system is an on-board electronic system incorporated into every tool and battery that optimises performance and decreases overheating of the motor and batteries, therefore extending the life of the tool and the battery.

Milwaukee’s TRUEVIEW™ high-definition lighting range is also finding application in underground and surface mining conditions, where their portability and versatility make them ideal for single operators working in remote areas that require quick set-ups.

“The main advantage of TRUEVIEW™ here is that the white-light system essentially replicates natural sunlight. This is particularly important for electricians working on distribution boards or switchgear underground, where traditional halogen lighting can result in colour-blending, making everything appear either green or blue,” Dry notes. The Milwaukee range, which operates on the M18 platform, consists of lighting solutions ranging from 200 to 9 000 lumen lighting.

The M18 battery platform is ideal for all Milwaukee 18V power tools, which not only allows for extended run time, but gives mineworkers peace-of-mind that they do not require additional batteries in order to get the job done. It eliminates the problem of ‘dirty power’ from gensets that have not been maintained properly, which could result in power fluctuations that are potentially highly damaging to power tools.

Included in the Milwaukee products that are suitable for underground mining is the M18 FMDP Magnetic Base, used generally for large-diameter drilling applications into plate work. The fact that it is battery-operated with a permanent magnet, meaning that the battery only runs the motor to drill the hole without the hassle of cords, makes it ideal for underground and field use. “This is a lightweight, portable, and powerful magnetic drill base that is eminently suited to this environment,” Dry adds.

A major feature of the Milwaukee M18 CHPX high-performance four-mode hammer that assists mining operations reduce their maintenance costs is the brushless POWERSTATE™ motor. Here the drill can be used in conjunction with drill bits ranging from 4mm to 28mm in concrete and up to 13mm into steel. The main applications in underground mining is tagging or demarcating certain areas into grid lines, and for general mining-related applications, thereby providing for more efficient operations.

Another popular Milwaukee power tool for mining is the M18 FMCS metal-cutting saw, used mainly to cut off roof bolts quickly and safely, in addition to cutting steel pipe, plate, and bar. The tool utilises brushless motor technology to ensure a longer machine operating lifespan, and minimal maintenance.

Dry points to the ongoing success of the Milwaukee brand in the mining industry due to its combination of technology and quality. The Milwaukee brand is predicated on the slogan ‘Nothing But Heavy Duty’, which makes it particularly suited for the African mining market.

“It is a premium brand which ensures that mines do not compromise on their safety standards, and can depend on having the best-of-the-best when it comes to equipment such as those power tools provided by Milwaukee,” Dry concludes.

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