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Portable compressors for the mining industry

3 min read

Featuring a compact, rugged design, industry-leading rapid service times and extended service intervals, the 8 Series Utility portable compressor range has been specially engineered and developed by Atlas Copco for secure integration into utility trucks and other OEM applications in the mining and construction sectors.

Ian van der Walt, Sales Manager at long-standing Atlas Copco Power Technique dealer, Airlif Compressors, explains that the mining sector uses mobile service trucks on their plants to attend to breakdowns on mobile equipment.

“Portable air compressors mounted onto these trucks supply the compressed air to, for example, pneumatic tools required to complete repairs.”

“We had the opportunity to look at the Utility range during an Atlas Copco dealer conference and we were highly impressed with what we saw,” states Van der Walt.

“The Utility range ticks all the boxes when it comes to the specific requirements for these truck-mounted compressors. With a 10% smaller footprint on average compared to other compressors, the unit’s compact, generator-like box shape design fits seamlessly on the back of the utility truck. In addition, the lightweight compressors can be effortlessly lifted and mounted onto these vehicles.”

Van der Walt adds that the U75 is small and light enough to be mounted on to the back of a bakkie whilst the largest unit in the range (U250) can be conveniently towed behind a standard passenger vehicle. As breakdowns often occur some distance away, the compressor must be reliable so that the repairs can be completed quickly to minimise costly downtime.

“Different loads may be required to operate a variety of pneumatic tools at the breakdown site and this is where Atlas Copco’s PACE (Pressure Adjusted through Cognitive Electronics) technology comes to the fore presenting a single compressor solution,” stresses Van der Walt.

With this the simple intuitive software, operators are able to access the electric engine to control pressure and flow settings.

By doing the job of two compressors to serve a number of different compressed air requirements such as pumping of tyres welding and gouging, delivers substantial savings on CAPEX and a rapid return on investment for end-users.

“The suitability of these Utility compressors for mounting onto service trucks together with the positive reaction we are seeing from the market convinced us to offer the complete Atlas Copco Utility range. In fact, we have gone one step further by standardising on the U110 and U110 PACE units for the mining sector.”

With eight models to choose from, the Utility range meets diverse applications in mining, demolition, construction, infrastructure, refineries, shipbuilding, etc.

The high-humidity, corrosion-resistant C3-rated, stackable, space-saving housing allows for three Utility compressors to be placed on top of each other.

This rugged and reliable range can operate in extremely harsh environments (ambient temperatures of between -20°C and +50° C) and its spillage free frame and integrated top tank which eliminates risk of leakage, makes it a good-for-nature machine.

Easy-to-open panels, easy-to-access components and no special tools required, enables excellent serviceability of the Utility range. Zandra van der Westhuizen, Product Manager Power and Lights, Portable Energy at Atlas Copco, further notes that it only takes one hour to service these compressors.

“Added to this, with service intervals of up to 1,500 hours compared to the standard 250 hours for comparable units, customers can enjoy up to six times more uptime and productivity (subject to operating conditions such as dust).”

“Atlas Copco products are engineered and not assembled which is one of the reasons why the Utility range is the best-fit portable, flexible compressed air solution,” states Van der Westhuizen.

“In line with this forward-thinking philosophy, we bring sustainable productivity solutions to our customers, higher machine utilisation for increased revenue and lowest total cost of ownership for increased profitability.”

Van der Walt confirms that these value-for-money Utility compressors with their unmatched capabilities are performing well in the market thanks to impressive fuel efficiency (an average saving of up to 8%) as well as their ability to deliver exceptional air flow and pressure.

“This, together with the invaluable product and technical training provided by Power Technique specialists, make it clear that these units fit hand-in-glove with the mining sector.

By standardising on the U110 and U110 PACE, we have opened doors to several untapped sales possibilities, positioning both Atlas Copco and Airlif Compressors as a formidable team in this space.”

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