Volume 17 | Issue 7 | Year 2014

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You’re staring at a rock wall that needs to be broken down, pulverized, chipped away, whittled, excavated, quarried, reached where it is unreachable – you get the picture. But how to do it safely, efficiently and within your costs?

Breaker Technology (BTI) can do the job. The company is a top manufacturer of quarry, construction and mining equipment, specializing in rockbreaker systems, hydraulic breakers, demolition attachments and a full line of rugged, low profile mining vehicles.

Its machines can break through anything, safely and dependably, as proven by the company’s leading position in the global mining and quarry markets. It is one of the 17 companies under the umbrella of Astec Industries Inc., whose broad offerings provide innovative equipment for asphalt production, road building, pipeline, and trenching, oil and gas well drilling and wood and waste processing along with crushing and of course rock breaking systems.

BTI builds mobile rockbreakers, scalers, scissor lifts, crane trucks, lube trucks, ANFO loaders, shotcrete mixers, trucks, cassettes and multi-purpose equipment as standard. Chief among these product offerings is its new Mine Runner, capable of high-level performance on the most rugged terrains on earth.

Mining The Future
The Mine Runner is an all-purpose vehicle, and a modern day solution for a future focused mining operation, aimed at safety, lower emissions, and increased productivity. Not to be confused with a customized road vehicle or generic people carrier, the Mine Runner has hydraulic wheel drive (HWD) motors, providing greater power, and extended maintenance and duty cycles.

Standard on the Mine Runner is a rigorously tested and independently certified ROPS/FOPS operator cab. “The ever increasing payload requirements and tramming distances have exceeded the capabilities of the typical re-purposed highway 4×4 style truck. Unlike many over the road type vehicles being modified for use underground, the Mine Runner is purpose designed and built for the underground environment,” says Andy Jackson, BTI Engineering Project Leader, Mobile Equipment Systems.

The Mine Runner is also capable of easy customization to optional configurations without hindering performance or longevity of components. Designed with one of the cleanest engine configurations the Mine Runner comes with a Tier III Canmet or MSHA Certified, or the Tier 4 Interim , it meets and exceeds air quality standards. The heavy-duty chassis and axle specifications allow the Mine Runner to be deployed in a variety of configurations from personnel carrier, maintenance/mechanics vehicle, fuel/lube vehicle, crane/scissor lift vehicle and telescopic aerial boom vehicle. This purpose built-in flexibility allows supervisors to add real time support in ways previously unseen in underground mining. The flexibility of design lends the Mine Runner to suit additional needs of an underground mining operation and can include medical/emergency vehicle, trash compaction and collection.

Powered by BTI’s innovative “Hydraulic Wheel Drive” or “HWD” fluid controlled power train, the Mine Runner offers increased efficiencies and optimized power delivery to each wheel independently. Brad Toole, Engineering Manager for BTI says, “Fuel efficiency is important to our customers, and that is one of the advantages of using the hydraulic wheel end drive. It is up to 50 percent more efficient than the standard conventional mechanical power train. Traction to each wheel regardless of ground conditions contributes to its increased tire life. The system also ensures the diesel engine is running within its optimal power band using the automatic hydraulic gear selection or the manual 1-2-3 gear speed range, as such a smaller engine can deliver higher levels of performance. There are no brake pads to wear out or replace and the removal of a mechanical drive train allows greater flexibility on the chassis for related application components units such as tanks or personnel cabs. With 12 inches of ground clearance and more than seven inches of suspension travel, the Mine Runner is very capable of navigating rough terrain.”

Long-time Player
Such expertise in the creation and production of mining vehicles has come from years of knowing the industry and the types of products demanded by customers.

BTI was founded in 1958 and remains one of the select few Canadian equipment manufacturers to service the mining, construction, demolition, and aggregate industries for such a lengthy period of time. BTI has installed more than 2000 booms into harsh and remotely located quarrying and mining sites and has recently delivered its largest TRX model rockbreakers to an operation in Labrador.

The company was founded as JMG Manufacturing Ltd. And was purchased in 1967 by Teledyne Industries. In 1999 Teledyne CM was acquired by Astec Industries, as a natural addition to their aggregate and mining group. Renamed Breaker Technology, the company has continued its strong presence in the market and today, is renowned for its innovation, experience and high-performing products. Its sales and support network includes manufacturing, sales and warehouse facilities in Thornbury, Ontario, Canada; and U.S. service and warehouse facilities in Solon, Ohio and Riverside, California, along with a network of strategically located distribution and service outlets worldwide. Says Marketing Coordinator Lauri Briner, the company sells these products globally, to far-reaching places such as into South America, China, Russia and South Africa.

The company’s specialty applications range from primary and secondary sites involved in construction, demolition or recycling, to quarries and underground mining operations such as scaling and explosives loading. Five market sectors – mining, aggregate, construction, demolition and recycling – are served by the company’s rockbreakers, known for their innovation in reach, lift capacity and HVC Smart Boom (High Velocity Control) capabilities.

As the mining industry heads toward customizable equipment that has greater efficiency, durability, and long life cycles, BTI will lead the market as a custom manufacturer. “We are in a unique position in that we custom manufacture,” Briner says. “Each country has its own standards, depending on the type of mine – each piece we build is built to fit the environment.” One of the biggest issues in the mining and quarrying industries, she notes, is that operators want more efficient production equipment – safety also is a huge issue, Briner said, which the company addresses in each machine it manufactures.

More Ways to Break Things
Outside of the popular Mine Runner, BTI’s other advanced systems each offer customers unique features for tough rock-breaking jobs.

The BXR 185, for example, weighs in at 15,400 pounds (7,000 Kg.) and delivers a rock shattering 18,500 ft-lb (25 000 Joules) of impact energy. Like the rest of the BXR series it is designed for rugged, continuous duty in demanding breaking applications and offers an extra-long stroke balanced piston design which improves the power-to-weight ratio.

“Precise tolerance and balance between the piston and cylinder provide high efficiency, blow rate and power,” says Peter McDonald, senior research and development product designer for BTI. The large cross section upper and lower shock absorbing isolators reduce vibration feedback to the carrier. BTI’s exclusive front head restraint system tightly guides the front head within the housing, reducing loading to the tie rods and the upper portion of the breaker. A narrow box housing design is well suited to tight trenching conditions.

Next is the company’s NT-E Series boom, the company’s fifth generation of small booms. With enhanced coverage and a larger breaker capability, this boom has an optimized structural design. Robust connections, compact pedestal mounting and common cylinders make for a maintenance friendly boom system.

“The increased strength and optimized hydraulics allow the NT line to support a broader range of breakers from the 800 to 3,000 ft-lb class throughout the NT12 to NT24 offerings. The compact pedestal design allows for mounting to competitors’ bolt patterns without the need of an adaptor plate” said Indika (Indy) Balasuriya, BTI’s engineering project leader for Rockbreaker Systems.

BTI’s rockbreaker booms come standard with fully proportional electric-hydraulic control. Dual joysticks operate a fully proportional, load sensing directional control valve providing precise control of all boom functions. The basic system can be modified to suit many needs including radio control pendants for maintenance and long distance applications. The boom system comes with a standard 60-gallon reservoir power pack which incorporates a number of features to improve its functionality and maintenance.

In addition, inherent in BTI’s machines is a stationary boom system designed with easy maintenance.

Originally designed to meet the harsh environments of mines and quarries, the BTI unit is robust, designed with fatigue life in the forefront. It has oversized pinned connections allowing for the continuous handling of heavy loads with minimal stress on the boom sections.

Variation being its core strength, BTI can build to meet any need to allow lower maintenance costs, lower profiles, or any envisioned features that help to get the job done, safely and productively. This is why so many new operations are becoming enthusiastic users of BTI equipment – whether in specialty mining, aggregate or crushing applications.

“We’re a small company but we’ve been around for over 50 years and undergone a number of changes,” Briner says. “We produce a quality product, some machines have been out in the field for more than 20 years.”

Indeed, the company’s depth of engineering experience combined with a dedicated and professional support network has enabled it to reach new heights and depths during its 56 year existence. Through its penchant for custom manufacture of high quality machines that can endure where the need is critical, BTI will continue to allow its customers to scale the outer reaches of the planet.