PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Becker Mining’s upgraded chairlift PLC panels increase safety

November 2020 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Becker Mining South Africa recently launched a new upgraded chairlift PLC panel that enhances the reliability of Becker chairlift systems, which are used to transport personnel on mines throughout the world.

These locally manufactured panels, which are programmed to automatically show trip conditions of a chairlift system, comply with all the latest requirements of South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) in terms of stringent regulations of the Mine Health and Safety Act.

“The new Becker PLC panel features a user-friendly display, which not only clearly indicates a trip condition, but also guides the user in quick and effortless fault finding. This is a critical safety advantage in the mining sector,” explains Tom Searle, senior general manager: Capital, Becker Mining South Africa. “The upgraded PLC panel, with expandable options, uses an intelligent pull key system to show all trip conditions. Critical chairlift information - including emergency contact details, wired diagram drawings and a parts list - is installed on the PLC panel and can be easily updated at any time.

“The programme on this PLC has site-specific trip condition pictures that automatically indicate the area where a fault has occurred and also includes pictures of the actual components. For user convenience, next to these pictures, is a guide for fault finding and immediate access to the circuit diagram drawing. The system also provides technical support contact details and to assist our customers with easy ordering of the correct spares, a list of components used in that specific panel, with allocated part numbers, is provided.

“If users want to upgrade their system further, they have the option of connecting the chairlift panel to the control room via installed networks. The PLC can then connect to a surface system, allowing it to send an SMS to designated numbers, in the event of trip conditions. The user is also able to log in remotely to view these trip conditions and send out artisans to assist with breakdowns.”

Becker Mining South Africa’s chairlift systems are designed to transport up to 900 personnel per hour, quickly, efficiently and safely in all underground applications, including difficult mining conditions.

The low maintenance chairlift systems, which encompass the latest technology and manufacturing trends, meet stringent quality and safety regulations in the mining sector. They are installed in underground sites with steep inclines up to 45° and long haulages up to 2 000 m, at drive speeds between 1,5 m/s and 3 m/s.

In emergencies, the chairlift system can be used for transporting injured workers quickly and safely back to the surface.

Safety features include a rope slip sensor and a fail-safe brake system, which is spring-activated and hydraulically released on the drive wheel brake path. Secondary and primary brakes are capable of holding the entire out of balance load. Other critical safety devices are the passenger override sensor and an intelligent pull key system.

Chairlift underground transport systems can be supplied with dependable diesel driven generator sets, to ensure the absolute safety of miners in the event of a power outage.

Becker Mining’s chairlift systems are designed and manufactured at the company’s Alrode facility, according to stringent local and international mine haulage safety regulations.

For more information contact Tom Searle, Becker Mining South Africa, +27 11 617 6320,,


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