The Portable Energy division (previously Portable Air) is now part of a newly created Construction Technique business area. This change is a reflection of the division’s emphasis to move away from a compressor-only mindset and toward a wider range of mine-site solutions that include gen-sets, light towers, dewatering pumps and used equipment, in addition to compressors.

The Construction Technique business area brings together the Portable Energy division (previously under the Compressor Technique business area), Construction Tools and Road Construction Equipment divisions (both previously part of the Construction and Mining Technique business area), explained Geert Follens, president of the Portable Energy division. “It also includes a new mostly decentralized division, the Construction Technique Service, which will provide service and parts,” Follens said.

Atlas Copco Portable Energy has opened its first refurbishing center in Warsaw, Poland, and is currently preparing for a worldwide roll-out of its used equipment program. This new initiative will offer Atlas Copco-branded pre-owned and refurbished portable compressors and generators that will be sold through its existing sales channels, explained Sam Waes, business development manager, used equipment, Portable Energy division. The company will buy old equipment and also offer a buy-back agreement when miners purchase new equipment.

Atlas Copco positions itself as a global company with a local approach. Touching on the used equipment program, Follens explained it definitely is a global program. The company “has clearly defined countries that will give material and defined countries that will receive material.” As an example, Tier 4 products will only circulate in areas where Tier 4 is applicable.


High-Altitude Operations
More and more mining activity is taking place in extreme locations either in the desert or high altitude (sometimes both). “For South American mines operating at high altitude, such as those in Peru, Chile and Argentina, Atlas Copco is now presenting a range of products dedicated to and adapted to high-altitude applications,” said Ben Van Hove, regional marketing manager Americas, Portable Energy division. “It’s very important for us to also provide reliable products to these customers because working in high-altitude is extremely critical and difficult, and the people must be able to rely on the equipment. We have focused on that and we are establishing ourselves now as a total solution provider for that geographical area”

Atlas Copco high-altitude portable energy products are designed for heavy-duty work in tough environments. According to the company, never before has portable equipment been able to support operations at elevations above 5,000 m (16,400 ft). Air compressors, such as the XAS 186 (375), have the capacity to provide sufficient volume even at altitudes where air density can be 60% of sea level or less. The company’s auxiliary compressors and boosters support high altitude down-the-hole, top hammer and reverse circulation drilling for exploration drilling projects.

Follens said they were also focused on China and Mongolia. “We have place a special focus on operations working at high elevation—beyond 5,000 m, which are extremely high for diesel-driven equipment,” Follens said. “The high-altitude product line was the result.”

Atlas Copco also notes the QAS generators provide prime power as a continuous source of reliable electricity, or standby power with the lowest dB(a) levels in the industry. The QAS range features easily serviced Kubota, Perkins, John Deere, Volvo and Cummins diesel engines ranging from 20 up to 1,250 kVA and providing up to 1,000 amps at a variety of voltages.


Other New Equipment
Atlas Copco introduced the XAS 750 JD7 Tier 4a rotary screw, portable compressor during the event. It generates 750 cfm of free air delivery and 100 psi at normal working pressure. Powered by a 200-hp, 6-cylinder John Deere diesel engine, the XAS 750 is designed for heavy-duty applications.

A significant improvement from the previous model is the electronically controlled, water-cooled engine’s fuel consumption of 8.2 gal/h at 100% load. To meet the new Tier 4a emission standards, the engine uses Exhaust Gas Recirculation technology to reduce NOx emissions. The exhaust gases are cooled and reintroduced to the engine cylinders, resulting in lower peak combustion temperature, reducing NOx formation. A particulate filter is then used to remove the increased amount of particular matter.

The new John Deere Tier 4a engine is installed in a new canopy and frame, similar to the previous XAS 750 model, thus making the machine’s footprint similar. Atlas Copco expects this canopy and frame combination to support the Tier 4 final variant as well. The XAS 750 features a single-axle design and an A-frame drawbar and torsion bar suspension, which provides durability, stability and road performance when in tow. The compressor is also available in a skid-mounted configuration.

The company currently has four units in the field with about 2,000 hours. Additionally, the machine must use low ash engine oil and low sulfur fuel. The company also noted it is currently working on an 850 model that uses a Cat C7 engine.

The new Hurricane B7-41/1000 booster comes with advanced operational, safety and maintenance features that offer customers increased reliability and the lowest possible downtime. Atlas Copco noted the booster is smaller and lighter than competitive units of the same class, and has a capacity of 2,440 cfm at a maximum discharge of 1,000 psi.

The booster is driven by a Cat C7 diesel engine and features a 4-cylinder, single stage, reciprocating booster. It comes with a standard 24 volt starting and operating system. Other standard features include automatic load/unload, booster bypass, pre-cooler with a built-in bypass valve and after-cooler. Additionally, a new suction scrubber tank has a built-in water level safety feature, which will shut down the booster when high water levels threaten to damage the valves.

The Hurricane B7-41/1000 sports several other service and safety improvements, such as a temperature sensor connected to a shutdown safety system on each cylinder to prevent overheating damage. Engine and booster coolers are now separate for better air flow efficiency and easier maintenance. New dual inlet ports into the suction manifold distribute air evenly into the valves for longer valve life. The booster’s redesigned piping system comes with minimal NPT fittings, reducing the risk of leaks. Single-point lifting and a stronger base-frame with forklift slots ensure safe transportation of the unit.

The company also introduced a range of Tier 4a generators in the power category above 150 kVA. The QAS 150 JD T4a, QAS 250 JD T4a and QAS 330 JD T4a offer minimized energy use, noise levels and environmental impact. These new generators are being produced at the company’s Rock Hill, S.C., manufacturing facility, which will allow for shorter delivery times.

One of the benefits of the generators is that a tank of diesel lasts up to 24 hours at full load. Additionally, customers no longer have to be concerned with soil contamination as the generators have a containment base to prevent leakage.

In addition, the company’s WEDA submersible drainage and slurry pumps fulfill a larger scope of pumping applications with connection diameters ranging from 2 to 10 inches, with capacities in heavy-duty mining applications up to 18,000 l/min. QLT light towers come in four- and six-lamp versions, designed to withstand winds up to 80 mph (130 kph). For ease of transportation, up to 10 QLT light towers, each equipped with four individually controlled 1,000-watt metal halide lamps, can fit on a single truck.

Smith is an assistant editor for Rock Products, Concrete Products and Cement Americas. She attended the event in Panama, representing all of the Mining Media titles, which also includes Coal Age, E&MJ, Equipo Minero and The ASIA Miner.