FLSmidth launches Cage Guardian Safety Brake for steel guides

Delivering on a promise to provide solutions for a sustainable tomorrow, FLSmidth’s Cage Guardian Safety Brake for steel guides brings sustainable protection to underground miners and the cages they utilise in their work.

FLSmidth’s reliable Cage Guardian Safety Brake is designed to serve underground mining operations. The Cage Guardian Safety Brake is used on conveyances running on tubular or top-hat-shaped steel guides and offers superior safety and numerous other operational benefits to underground mining companies.

Safety is a top priority for mines and that is what drives FLSmidth’s safety brake solution. The Cage Guardian Safety Brake uses steel guides instead of conventional timber guides. This eliminates uncertainties inherent with wood and provides an enhanced degree of safety, repeatability and reliability. Whereas timber guides are subject to moisture and defects, steel guides have stable properties and dimensions and are much easier to maintain.

The Cage Guardian Safety Brake is strictly mechanical – no hydraulics, pneumatics or electricity – for fail-safe operation, even on wet or contaminated guides. Actuation and operation is performed by redundant mechanical systems, only requiring a slack-rope or rope break event to bring the cage to a safe stop. With average deceleration rates of .9g to 2g (9 to 20 m/s/s) (29.5 to 65.6 ft/s/s), the Cage Guardian Safety Brake has a lower jerk rate and provides smoother deceleration.

The safety brake system also allows for easy retrieval of the cage after an event. Unlike conventional safety dogs for wood guides, the Cage Guardian Safety Brake inflicts minimal damage to any cage or guide components. This results in faster redeployment of the cage. While timber guides must be replaced when a safety catch event occurs, the Cage Guardian Safety Brake decelerates on steel guides while using a self-contained brake path. This puts less strain on the shaft guides. As a result, neither the safety brake nor the steel guides suffer ill effects from a safety catch event.

Superior design, ease of maintenance, and proven tested results give users total confidence that the Cage Guardian Safety Brake will enhance the safety of their operation. Every system is completely factory tested and calibrated for the mine-specific application. Each system is also free fall tested and results are documented with a certified test certificate. Additionally, the design of the safety brake system enables easy ongoing maintenance and regular testing.

“As wood guides become increasingly less desirable from both environmental and economic perspectives, the use of steel guides becomes ever more attractive and the Cage Guardian opens up a new world of opportunities for the safe transport of personnel underground,” says Henry Laarakker, a product manager at FLSmidth. “It also allows for a fully-engineered safety solution, inspiring a high degree of confidence without reliance on the variability of nature inherent with wood guides.”

The depth of technical and operational expertise within FLSmidth allows a high level of focus to be placed on the safety, design and effectiveness of its products. This is vital to the company’s strategic mission of helping customers achieve higher production and recovery rates. FLSmidth is also on hand with technical advisory services to assist with installation, so that scheduled downtime is minimised.