The value of critical communications

Sepura SC20 covered in dust.

Communication is critical to keeping mines safe, secure and efficient.

The risk of dust or debris entering equipment on a mine site is a significant risk that can potentially lead to operational downtime, lost revenue and immediate danger to onsite personnel.

Sepura TETRA radios are designed to suit mining companies working in dusty, wet or dirty environments.

The company’s line of accessories is an important part of its total solution, providing flexible options for users in a variety of environments with diverse needs.

Purposeful Design for Mining Sepura’s design teams have incorporated a number of intelligent features to protect radio users and ensure reliable, trusted communications that are “always on”.

This is vital for mining users and includes both dust suppression and waterporting, meaning the radios and accessories can maintain loud, clear audio when it’s needed most.

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This Sepura radio and audio accessory, which works clearly despite the accumulated dust, can be washed under running water.

The ability to repel dust and water is critical, as many mines use water to dampen roads and other on-site facilities to reduce the amount of dust being thrown into the air.

Dust that lands on electronic equipment can get into small indentations and cavities, eventually reducing performance and affecting durability.

Capable of repelling dust from their speakers, Sepura’s devices are also IP67 rated, meaning they can be submerged in water for cleaning or held under a running tap. The devices are ready for use immediately after cleaning and do not need to be dried.

Of course, this ability means they can keep working even during the heavy downpours that can occur when working outdoors.

Water drains from the device and is expelled from the speakers by vibrations, allowing for quick and thorough cleaning of dirty or dusty devices, which in turn allows for continued efficient and safe use.

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Above all, this means that operation is not interrupted in the event of safety errors.

An additional dust cover eliminates the problem of magnetic dust that can be attracted to the speaker cavity, which contains a magnet. The dust cover adheres to the front of the product, covering the speaker interface and preventing dust and water from being drawn into the speaker cavity without affecting audio performance.

This is a key element in further protecting miners to ensure dust suppression is maintained.

A number of features have been added to the sRSM that Sepura has finalized after extensive consultation with mining users.

These include larger push-to-talk buttons, moving the emergency button to the top of the device where it can be found intuitively during a crisis, and flexible clips and cables that adjust to the user’s size and deployment location.

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An enlarged lip is also built around the buttons, meaning shock is absorbed by the device’s body rather than the more sensitive button, further preventing dust from getting in.

Testing Products for Mining Users To ensure features such as dust suppression work, Sepura conducts extensive validation testing at its UK laboratories. It even includes a rain chamber specially built to replicate heavy monsoon rains.

The company also performs dip testing after working with mining organizations so it can reproduce the way a product is used and cleaned on site, ensuring it performs the way its customers want it to, time and time again.

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