Mining equipment and mineral processing technology will be one of the bright spots for the 2013 bauma trade fair
By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief
An international trade fair for construction equipment and mining machinery, bauma takes place every three years in Munich. This year the event will be held April 15-21, 2013. What sets this exposition apart from others is its sheer size, 3,256 exhibitors occupied 555,000 m2 of space in 2010. To put that into perspective, MINExpo 2012 was less than 80,000 m2 and CONEXPO 2011 was less than 220,000 m2. Attendance for bauma 2013 is expected to easily eclipse 500,000 people.
Tunneling has always been an important aspect of the bauma, but tunneling and mining are two different disciplines. Over time, the mining portion of the exposition has grown steadily from a bolt-on segment to a prominent position. In 2007, the mining sector was given its own hall (C2). The number of mining-related companies participating in bauma has grown to 700. And, the mining sector is one of only a few areas showing growth because of the downturn in construction markets in Europe. Exporting equipment to emerging markets, in both construction and mining, has become a central focus for many equipment suppliers and service providers.
While the Mining Hall will be an important meeting place for many, several vendors are so large that their exhibits simply include mining as one vertical market among the many that they serve. Liebherr has been and will continue to be the central focus for bauma. Not wanting to give away the big surprise, Liebherr does plan to have one large mining truck and one mining class hydraulic excavator on hand. For a lot of delegates, those two pieces of equipment will serve as the landmark for the outdoor portion of the event.
Meet Innovation—Discover Diversity
The Liebherr Group is the largest bauma exhibitor (14,000 m2) and the company will showcase many new and existing pieces of equipment and existing equipment. Construction on Liebherr’s open-air stand began during November 2012 and during late January it was starting to take shape. The open-air site includes eight tower cranes, two mobile construction cranes, 10 mobile cranes, four crawler cranes, three duty-cycle crawler cranes, a large rotary drilling rig, three wheeled excavators, seven crawler excavators, eight wheel loaders, three crawler tractors and loaders, a pipelayer and a telescopic handler, six exhibits from the concrete technology program, two material handlers as well as an articulated truck, a mining-class haul truck and a mining-class excavator.
To demonstrate its pass matching capabilities with haul trucks, Liebherr will present the face shovel version of its 350-ton R 9400 mining excavator. With a 22-m3 bucket as standard equipment, Liebherr believes it is the ideal machine for loading a mining truck fleet in the 136 metric ton (mt) class. The kinematics of the production-tailored attachment combined with a mining-optimized bucket shape ensure the highest crowd and breakout forces. Even under tough conditions, Liebherr believes the R 9400’s high digging force will improve bucket penetration and offer high bucket fill factors.
Designed for hard-digging applications, the R 9400’s heavy duty three-piece fatigue-resistant undercarriage provides efficient superstructure weight distribution and reduces ground bearing pressure enabling the necessary stability and reliability. There are currently more than 30R 9400 hydraulic mining excavators operating in four countries. The latest R 9400, recently commissioned for a gold mine in Ghana, is the first model in face shovel configuration.
While they are arguably more well known for lifts on construction sites, Alimak Hek’s mast climbing equipment can also serve as elevators for raises underground. The company will showcase its SE-H range at bauma 2103. When the company talks about its SE-H range, they talk about increased safety, efficiency and productivity. The unit’s rack and pinion technology allows it to lift heavy loads with a compact system. Delivered in a standard container, it can be assembled with several door configurations. “The design of the latest Alimak SE-H passenger and freight elevator offers a variety of doors—one, two or three vertical sliding doors or vertical bi-parting doors,” said Anders Norberg, head of design, Alimak Hek. The doors can be positioned on any of the sides away from the vertical mast. Specially designed structural steel provides a maximum payload for a single mast is 3.3 metric tons or 6 mt for a system with two masts.
Beumer Conveyors to Transload Iron Ore in Malaysia
The Beumer Group, a leader in material handling and conveying, will deliver 16 belt conveyors to Vale for its iron ore transloading facility in the Andaman Sea. The order, which is valued at more than $100 million, was placed for Vale Malaysia Minerals, which is constructing an iron ore distribution center in Teluk Rubiah. At the facility, iron ore will arrive from Brazil and then be blended and shipped to the customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Beumer troughed belt conveyors off the Malaysian coast, in the Strait of Malacca, for transporting iron ore from very large ore carriers to smaller vessels in a specially designed port and storage facility. Construction work is already in full swing. The loading terminals are expected to go into operation in 2014. A second expansion phase will run until 2019.
Volvo Penta Improves Engines for Underground Mining
With nine Tier 2 engines and nine Tier 4i engines, Volvo Penta can now offer the mining industry a complete range of engines approved for underground mining applications. These new engines are not only compliant, they also lessen the demand on mine ventilation systems.
In 2011, Volvo was one of the first diesel engine manufacturers to receive stage 3B and Tier 4i certificates for its entire engine line-up. Later, the Volvo Penta 13L Tier 4i diesel engines were the first to be certified by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Canada Center for Mineral and Energy Technology—Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories (CANMET-MMSL).
Ventilation represents a huge cost for underground mines. With a ventilation rate of around 30 cfm/hp, the Tier 4i engines deliver the maximum ventilation rate available for a conventional diesel engine. According to Volvo Penta, it doesn’t get any better.
Volvo Penta opted for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to comply with current and future emission legislation. Since Volvo Penta introduced its first SCR engines in 2006, the benefits for the users have been increased power and lower fuel consumption by 5% to 10%, according to the company. And since the catalytic converter was designed to last the life of the engine, the Volvo Penta SCR systems have not increased service intervals or caused any additional downtime.
Aker Wirth Unveils Boring System for Development
Working with Rio Tinto, Aker Wirth has developed a new, innovative tunnel boring system for underground tunneling and mining—the Mobile Tunnel Miner 6 (MTM 6). The machine concept combines the flexibility of a roadheader with the robustness of a tunnel boring machine. The knowledge gained from a previous version developed by Aker Wirth and tested by Codelco was used to make further improvements to the system.
The self-propelled machine moves on a crawler and a walking mechanism and excavates rock with six powerful hydraulically actuated arms fitted with disc cutters. The muck is conveyed to the rear of the machine by a loading apron with loading disks and via a chain conveyor where it is loaded.
This new tunneling system is part of Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future program and will be tested in a full-scale trial at the Rio Tinto Northparkes copper mine in Australia this year. The machine should set new standards for mine development. When compared with conventional drill and blast operations, the MTM 6 is designed to more than double current performance with a potential advance rate of 10 m/d.
With undercutting technology, the MTM 6 is especially efficient with tunneling in hard rock (up to max. 300 MPa). The considerably lower tensile strength of the rock (as opposed to high compressive strength) is exploited. The roller cutters are positioned at a slight angle to the cutter arms, thus undercutting the rock and removing pieces about the size of the palm of a hand. The energy required for undercutting is about half that used for conventional disc cutters on traditional tunnel boring machines.
The MTM 6 is able to cut rectangular or horseshoe-shaped cross-sections in addition to circular tunnels with a bore diameter of up to 6 m. This permits the direct boring of the desired tunnel shape, whereas the lower part of a round cross section usually needs to be backfilled where a conventional tunnel boring machine is used.
The machine is also an innovation in terms of its mobility: it can move flexibly forward using a walking mechanism and backward with a crawler. Thanks to several swivel joints, the turning radius of the 75 m long machine is 30 m. This means it can master considerably tighter curves than a classic tunnel boring machine that has a turning radius of approximately 500 m under comparable conditions of use.
“We will revolutionize safety and efficiency in underground mining with the new Mobile Tunnel Miner,” said Einar Brønlund, CEO, Aker Wirth. “This innovative technology will improve health, safety and environmental protection significantly and makes working conditions more attractive.”
Ground Engaging Tools from Spain
The Spanish ground-engaging tool manufacturer, MTG recently built a new plant located in Monzon. “What makes this factory so special, besides being equipped with the most innovative technology in melting manufacturing, is the special equipment that allows us to control the steel alloys to an optimum and makes it possible to produce bigger wear parts for mining and heavy construction without the risk of breakage or damage,” said Raul Rico, industrial operations vice president, MTG’s. The plant has been specifically oriented to expand the company’s available product range toward larger mining and heavy construction wear parts. MTG will continue to operate its existing plant in Barcelona.
During bauma, the company will display its new MTG ProMet II, which has one single upper base instead of two, allocating more wear material in the front part of the shroud and increasing its wear life, improving penetration, and extending the bucket life. Each new ProMet II size is available in three formats for the bucket lip: central, left and right, with specific angles designed to cover the needs of the main markets. However, new designs and references might be developed in the future to cover other markets’ specific needs.
The company has also developed an iPad app for selecting wear parts. MTG will launch the new version (2.0) at bauma, which the company claims will be more interactive and better organized with a wizard tool to help users configure their buckets with MTG’s teeth and adapters.
Wirtgen Displays Surface Miners and Screens
The Wirtgen Group’s Mineral Technologies division will display a well-matched range of products for mining and mineral processing: Wirtgen surface miners and Kleemann crushing and screening machines. Some shallow, relatively soft deposits can be mined effectively using surface miners. These units grind coal and iron ore from the formation with a special cutting roller. Slewing conveyor systems can load the material onto waiting haul trucks or place it in windrows alongside the surface miner.
Wirtgen offers three classes, the 2200 SM, 2500 SM and 4200 SM, which have cutting widths of 2.20 m to 4.20 m and cutting depths of 20 cm to 83 cm up to a uniaxial compressive strength of 120 MPa. Special machines can even cut hard granite up to 260 MPa. Wirtgen claims to be the only manufacturer that covers a performance spectrum from 100 metric tons per hour (mt/h) to 3,000 mt/h.
Kimberley Metals Group (KMG) recently put the Kleeman machines to the test. At its Ridges project, located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, in 2011, iron ore is extracted from a mountain ridge, taken by haul truck to a central location and processed. The processing itself is handled by SJ Crushing as a subcontractor of KMG. “The major challenge for us was going very quickly from submitting our bid to a stable production of 500 mt/h,” said Neil Fitzpatrick, project manager, SJ Crushing.
“The director and owner of SJ Crushing, Steve Crabbe, saw clearly that he needed a decisive advantage to be awarded the contract. And he found that advantage in equipment from Kleemann, with its robust design and its diesel-electric power concept,” said Fitzpatrick. Crabbe discovered Kleemann at bauma 2007 and made contact when the call for tenders was issued for the project. The mobile solution, consisting of a MOBICAT MC 125 Z mobile jaw crusher and three MOBICONE MCO 13 S secondary crushers was developed in close cooperation with the Kleemann experts from Germany. Because the initially anticipated project duration was very short, just four years, it quickly became clear that the solution would have to be a mobile one. The equipment in the mine is also quickly movable in case of changing conditions or requirements.
The ore is transferred to the MOBICAT MC 125 Z by wheel loader. The size of the material recovered by the surface miners ranges from 0-200 mm, while the blasted material can have edges up to 1,000 mm long. In addition, the compressive strength of the material can be far above 300 MPa. The mobile cone crushers break the material down to a final grain size of 0-10 mm, each of the three units generating the end product. The material from the bottom and to some extent the middle deck of the triple-decker screen units is passed on to the next machine in order to ensure the high hourly output rate of more than 600 mt/h.
The machines run in two shifts around the clock, seven days a week, so after-sales service is extremely important. “The reliable support from Wirtgen Australia was a major deciding factor,” said Fitzpatrick.
A Mill with No Balls
Milling technology developed in Chile will be unveiled at bauma for the first time. The developers believe the Micro Impact Mill possesses the necessary attributes to revolutionize ore crushing. Traditionally, mills grind ore in a wet process with iron balls in a rotating cylinder. The operating costs of these huge, heavy machines and their energy consumption are enormous. In addition to energy consumption, the balls and the grinding cylinder wear.
The MIM uses an autogenous process, where the material pulverizes itself. Current measurements with comparable machine sizes show saving potentials of up to 80%, and the output of the ore-bearing rock is higher with the MIM than the cumulative value of a breaker plus ball mill. The system can be operated as a wet or dry process.
The unit has two sheaves that function as an accelerator and bluff body for the ore to be ground. Adjustable rotation options of the driven sheaves generate very high relative velocities of the rock with the help of special driving pin elements.
Rock enters the machine through a feed hopper. Through an opening in the fixed sheave, the material enters the intermediate area and the driving sheave accelerates the rock material. Driving pin elements are integrated in the geometry of the sheave that bring the fed-in ore-bearing rock into radial speed. With the acceleration energy taken up, the rock collides for highly efficient pulverization of the mill material. The driving pin elements on the sheaves ensure the high velocities in radial as well as axial direction, so that then the generated powder is pressed out of the intermediate area and it passes the machine via an outlet hopper as a fine powder.
The grain size is mostly determined by the distance of the two sheaves. The smaller the distance, the finer the grain size. By adding some water, the work process in the mill can be further shortened. The operators thus have several setting parameters for required grain sizes—and all of this occurs with not dust exposure.
Abrasion Resistant Plate for Mining Machinery
Throughout the world, eXtra Abrasion Resistant (XAR) special structural steels from ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe make the mining, transportation and processing of raw materials easier. Deep rock, fluctuating climatic conditions and extreme loads are no problem for the robust XAR steels. They were developed especially for applications requiring maximum wear resistance.
With 30- to 100-mm plate thicknesses, XAR steels offer optimum solutions for all areas of mining equipment. Alloyed with chromium and niobium, they display hardnesses of up to 600 Brinell, guaranteeing optimum wear resistance. Components made from XAR steels last five times longer than conventional structural steel components, according to ThyssenKrupp.
Rema Improves Transfer Points
Rema Tip Top will be on hand displaying its line of products and services that improve conveyor operations. The company’s Remaslide LF, a low-friction, slider bed bar, supports conveyor belts at transfer points. The polyethylene coating has been improved not only to reduce friction, but also to resist wear. The company will also display its Remagrip CK-X pulley lagging. Both the 20-mm CK-X HD and the 25-mm CK-X HDX will be on display at the Rema stand.
McLanahan Will Be There
For years, McLanahan Corp. has been a well-known and respected name in North America’s mineral processing industries. In 2012, they opened their first office in Europe where they have continued to grow and expand their operation there. This year, the company will be exhibiting for the first time at bauma 2013. Visitors will see McLanahan’s full line of crushing, washing, classifying, dewatering, feeding, screening and scrubbing products represented with 3-D models. Additionally, sales and engineering staffs from both the European and North American offices will be on hand to answer questions.
Radar-based Monitoring Systems
Orlaco will present some safety options for mining, where continuous vibrations and temperature fluctuations are common. The company’s radar system, RadarEye, gives the haul truck driver an active warning. It sounds an audible alarm, automatically activates the monitor and selects the correct camera. The radar is integrated in the visibility solution, which means the settings for the radar unit(s) and camera(s) can be controlled from the monitor.
Scania Mining Offers Experience and Flexibility
Scania has gathered all of the experience gained during more than a century in the heavy vehicle industry to provide a range of attractive solutions for the mining business. In addition to specialized mining trucks, the line of vehicles also includes buses for crew transport, engines to power mining equipment and gensets, as well as container-based field workshops for on-site servicing and training for drivers and service staff.
Smaller mines and extensions from existing mines often lead to longer transport routes from the mine to the processing plant. This provides an advantage for smaller, less expensive “road trucks” that are considerably more fuel-efficient than bigger machinery that may consume 50 to 60 liters/hour. The corresponding figure for a Scania truck is generally less than half.
Trucks of the size that Scania offers have benefits that affect cost and productivity. For on-site transport, smaller trucks have significant advantages since they can operate on narrow roads that are less expensive to build and maintain. They also provide extra flexibility in transport capacity. For outbound haulage, they can run on public roads if required.
Scania offers solutions for every stage in mining, from exploration to reclamation and everything in between, starting with rigid dump trucks up to 46 mt for in-pit mining or moving out with 120-mt outbound combinations.
Scania's field workshops are based on a modular container system that can be put into operation a week or two after a concrete foundation has been laid, a concept that has proved its worth in many countries worldwide.
Driver training is part of the Scania offer, with a potential to contribute valuable fuel savings, as well as reduced wear and tear. The training can be adapted to suit local conditions and the level of driver competence. Scania can also tailor financing, leasing and rental solutions to suit operators’ needs.
Low-profile Concrete Mixers
Putzmeister’s latest concrete mixer for mining operations, the Mixkret 4, was launched last year and is already in use at several mining projects mainly in South America and Asia. Underground miners would use a Putzmeister SPM 4210 concrete spraying equipment, in conjunction with the Mixkret 4 to complement the concrete spraying process. The machine is optionally available with an additive tank for transporting and transferring additives to the shotcrete equipment, enhancing site logistics.
The low-profile unit provides a concrete capacity of 4 m3 and is equipped with a 6-cyliner, 130 kW (174 hp) engine, which provides it with a great traction and driving capacity as well as the possibility to work at high altitudes. The cabin, mounted in machine direction, and the night vision camera at the rear, facilitate its maneuvering and ensure visibility conditions at all times. Its compact design and state-of-the-art axles, both used for steering and driving, provide mobility and maneuverability in narrow galleries and tunnels. The machine has hydrostatic transmission with a stepless variable gear motor, which ensures an ideal torque:speed ratio. It also features an automatic speed control system for moving down slopes fully loaded at the safest maximum speed.
Innovations in Tire Protection Technology
Celebrating its 70th anniversary as a tire protection chain manufacturer, Erlau will display its Easylock tire chain system and the Sideflex tire protections system. The Easylock overcomes the difficulties of installing and removing tire protection chains (TPC). Ordinarily the open ends of the Omega rings are passed through the adjacent eyes of a pair of links and joined by a forged hasp which is secured by a pair of steel pins. Driving home the pins is difficult and carries the risk of injury both from the hammer and from flying steel fragments. When it comes to removing the TPC, punching out rusty pins is equally arduous and using torches next to a $20,000 rubber tire could be hazardous for one’s personal safety. Furthermore, once cut, the omega rings are no longer usable and replacements have to be purchased.
The Easylock is a connecting ring that can be fitted and removed, without hammers or cutting equipment. It consists of two components, an Omega ring and a locking hasp. The ring is passed through two adjacent links and the hasp pushed over the prongs of the open ring. The hasp incorporates a locking device which is secured with a 90° turn, in either direction of a simple hex key.
Due to long distances, weight considerations and increased fuel costs, TPC do not work for haul truck tires. For mine trucks, Erlau has developed Sideflex, a cost-effective sidewall protection system. The light weight system consists of a sturdy set of replacement wheel nuts and extensions supporting a flat ring to which is attached a fanned array of over-lapping platelets. The platelets shield the entire sidewall and deflect any aggressive rock debris that might otherwise pierce the sidewall. While the mounting components are made of steel, the shield is manufactured from an engineered polymer. This robust material has a unique memory capability that enables the platelets to flex and deform upon impact and then return to their original shape.
Diesel Engines and Onsite Power Generation
Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH will be presenting engines fit for future emissions regulations EU Stage IV and U.S. EPA Tier 4 final. The company will display its portfolio of diesel engines covering power outputs from 75 to 3,000 kW. In the open-air area of the show, Tognum will also be presenting diesel gensets for power generation carrying the MTU Onsite Energy brand (See Mine Power, p. 59).
Power outputs up to 560 kW are served by MTU’s 4- and 6-cylinder inline engines of Series 1000 and 6-cylinder inline units of Series 1100, 1300 and 1500. Equipped with SCR, these engines are able to meet the EU Stage IV requirements and U.S. EPA Tier 4 final requirements to apply from 2014. Engines with power outputs from 100 to 460 kW are used, for example, to drive haul trucks, wheel loaders and underground mining vehicles. For countries with less stringent emissions rules, MTU will continue to supply its renowned Series 900, 460 and 500 units for power outputs from 75 to 480 kW.
MTU’s product portfolio for power outputs above 560 kW also contains 12 and 16-cylinder engines of Series 2000 for the 561 to 1,163 kW range. These are available in a configuration compliant with EPA Tier 4 interim using in-engine technology only. Series 4000 engines are available with 8, 12, 16 and 20 cylinders for outputs up to 3,000 kW and meet EPA Tier 4 final requirements without the need for exhaust aftertreatment. New in this engine series is the EPA Tier 4i-compliant 12-cylinder unit.
Catering to Mines Worldwide, Kal Tire Expands its Position
With over 40 years’ experience, the Kal Tire Mining Tire Group now operates on more than 150 mines sites in 19 countries on five continents, and they continue to expand. They will be participating in bauma. The company continues to strategically expand its operations and offer the world’s leading mining companies its high standards for service.
At a time when reducing mine operating costs is a focus for many, Kal Tire brings enormous benefit to its customers by extending the life of tires and keeping vehicles—and mine sites—up and running. Mining companies are able to maximize the efficiency of production due to Kal Tire’s high level of service, technology, repair and retreading capabilities.
In Canada, the company has a strong foothold in many provinces. To support ongoing expansion, the company continues to make significant investments in safety, training, equipment and facilities. Additionally, new techniques and solutions continue to be developed specific to the OTR business such as tooling and recycling.
Kal Tire Australia is the country’s fastest growing independent full service tire distributor. Substantial investments have been made in infrastructure, facilities and leadership personnel. Significant investment has been made in three new state-of-the-art grab trucks and service vehicles to be based in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Port Hedland. Several existing facilities have been upgraded to provide additional services to customers including an earthmover repair facility and warehouse space that will allow for greater inventory capacity.
Kal Tire operations in South Africa began three years ago when branches were established in Middelburg and Brits to satisfy local demand at the time for tire supply and services. However, the start of 2012 saw major developments for the Kal Tire Mining Tire Group with branches opening in Secunda, Lydenburg and Steeldale, Johannesburg. The final two branches; Kathu (Northern Cape) and Thabazimbi will be operational during the first quarter of 2013.
Bell’s E-Series Takes ADTs into New Era
The new B30E will take center stage for Bell Equipment at bauma 2013. The 30-mt articulated dump truck (ADT) showcases the improvements Bell’s design engineers have made in the key areas of performance and fuel efficiency. They have also improved ADT functionality too with operator-focused advancements and the high levels of automated machine protection. The all-new truck platform has been specifically engineered to handle future emissions requirements and will take ADT innovation into the next era, according to the company.
The latest generations of Bell D-series trucks introduced their [email protected] SCR-technology as an industry leading standard in fuel-efficient emission control, compliant to Tier4i and EU-IIIB. While the E-series platform has been designed for upcoming legal requirements, first generations of the B30E (240 kW/1,300 Nm) continue to use the proven [email protected] engine configurations of their predecessors, but engine power and fuel consumption have been additionally optimized through event dependent software that controls retardation, cooling and charging of accumulators.
“We’ve increased the suspension travel and the A-frame gives a more independent ride. In ride quality evaluations numerous operators have been unanimous in their approval and appreciation of the improvements achieved on the E-series,” said Tristan du Pisanie, Bell Equipment's B30E project manager.
CDE Showcases Mineral Processing Expertise
CDE will have representatives on hand from its mining division to discuss the company’s range of processing equipment, which can be used to beneficiate iron ore, silica sands and frac sands. The company has already won a number of significant projects where the M2500 mining range has been employed including an iron ore processing system for Bhushan Power and Steel in India. Recent success has also been enjoyed in Australia with a major project under way in the production of silica sands in Western Australia.
The CDE Mining range also includes equipment to be employed for tailings management including the Aquacycle thickener and GHT filter press.
Representatives from CDE Asia in Kolkata will also be available, including Managing Director Manish Bhartia. “Kolkata is where our Ore Processing Knowledge Center has been developed over the last seven years. We look forward to sharing our experience with visitors to bauma and providing details of both the equipment we can offer and the range of supporting project services,” Bhartia said.
Percussive Drill Bits
Element Six, a global leader in synthetic diamond super materials, will announce the launch of its new 3-D Percussive Diamond Insert (PDI) that will crush the drilling cost per meter for the mining industry. The PDI uses proprietary polycrystalline diamond technology to combine geometrical and material aspects to optimize the impact and wear resistance properties of the PCD dome. This technology has been developed to deliver superior and reliable performance in aggressive formations under severe application conditions as well as significantly increase penetration rates, according to the company.
Tests demonstrate the PDIs can drill on average 10 times deeper than conventional tungsten carbide inserts, and are suitable for drilling in a variety of rock types from sandstone to granite. “They will change the mining industry’s expectations for drilling penetration rates in underground and open cast mining,” said Markus Scharting, business manager mining, Element Six. “We know mining operators need drill bits which continue to deliver step-change operational performance in a safer environment.”