TIME was able to replace a 10-inch (25.4 cm) cylinder using 110 pounds (45.36 kg) of pressure with a six-inch (15.24 cm) cylinder using 50 pounds of pressure. The design leaves no air in the cylinder when the door is closed.
McDougall said the doors with the new cylinders open just as quickly as the older models using more air.
“The secret is to get the opening and closing of the doors to be the same as it would be with the 10-inch cylinder,” he said. “Miners are impatient, and if that door doesn’t open in 32 seconds, they’ll take whatever piece of equipment and push the door open.”
The company can also retrofit older door cylinders with valves so they require less air.
“If the old cylinder is still good, what we look at doing is putting in a valving system that will be able to regulate the air pressure so you don’t have to use 110 pounds of pressure to open the door when 50 pounds will do it.”
McDougall said reducing the consumption of compressed air is a huge issue for mining companies, and TIME is constantly looking for new ways to help them do that.
“With the way the cost of electricity is going today, I believe compressed air is the number one cost-saving measure mining companies can look at.”