There are so many variables that go into customizing a ventilation door system to fit your mine door application. Besides the usual dimensional size of the door, actuation type and the amount of air pressure resistance the doors will face, consider the following additional factors in determining the safest ventilation mine door that is right for your mine’s application.

Variables to Consider When Choosing Smarter Ventilation Door Solutions

Location of Doors

Will the doors be in a main haulage way? Crosscut? Or in a maintenance area? This will dictate the number of open/close cycles the doors will experience and depending on your answer will dictate the type of door bearing system that should be used. As an example, no mine wants a door to last 250,000 cycles when they were expecting 1,000,000 life cycles. 

Air Pressure Resistance. An Important Safety Factor

A proven experienced mine door professional and/or supplier should be able to calculate the amount of force placed upon a proposed door, using water gauge, height and width and application to determine the amount of force required for safe opening and closing of doors. Often the upset air pressure is overlooked. Consider the occasional upset air pressure the doors may experience (for example, at times of blasting) and the effect it can have on the door. Every mine has unique challenges. Every application is different. “One Size Fits All” is not a safe approach. A custom engineered solution should be proposed in each mine door application.  

Installation Options

Remember each mine is different, with a different application, different strata, different mine environment. A qualified mine engineer should determine the best options taking into consideration the unique installation site location. Work with a door supplier requesting CAD drawings for your modeling. A proven mine door supplier can assist with example drawings, support, and council.

Operational Conditions

Often overlooked are the external factors different for each mine and their location across the globe. Consider elevation, underground temperatures, strata composition, relative humidity, corrosive atmosphere, earthquake zones and other unique operational conditions, and the impact it can have on all components in your ventilation mine door system.

Explore the Possibilities of Actuation

Know your options. No longer are you limited to actuating doors using pneumatics, or hydraulics. While these are viable options, new advancements in actuation are available. Innovative technology in actuation is now offering hybrid solutions. Combining the best features of screw type electro-mechanical actuators and hydraulic actuators while eliminating the shortcomings of each. Know all your options for making the smartest buying decision that is best for your mine door application.

The Ever-Expanding Universe of Door Controls

As little as 10 years ago, the request was simple. Open and close our doors via automation. This has evolved to adding safety lights and alarms, vehicle detection devices to prevent door closing while an obstruction is in the doorway, and motion sensors for automatic open/close cycles triggered by an approaching vehicle. New Artificial Intelligence (AI) video camera technology is currently being tested to identify “danger zones” that will stop a door’s motion when a person enters a designated area (where door wing panels are in motion).  

Consider the possibilities of equipping one PLC Control cabinet operating 1, 2, 3, even 4 doors from 1 control cabinet. Consider adding gas detection devices triggering an alarm to notify miners. Consider not only controlling doors locally at the door location but also evaluate above ground control utilizing ethernet communications. It’s a different world. Again, know your options.  Todays’ qualified mine door suppliers need to be skilled in electrical control engineering/automation as well as fabricating doors.

In conclusion, every mine has unique needs, conditions, and applications. Share and explore all possibilities with a proven ventilation professional to better dictate smarter buying decisions. Work with ventilation door suppliers that have a past reputation of success, have evolved with technology and are investigating new technologies to increase safety, productivity and door longevity.    

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