IPP&T Magazine Online

New cable harnesses for the mining industry

November 21, 2019   Don Horne

NAI has announced a new design and manufacturing project for large mining operations in China.

NAI manufacturing operations in Suzhou, China, recently began the development and manufacture of very complex cable harnesses for installation within large explosion-proof enclosures. These cabinets are placed within mines for the operation and control of variable frequency drives and inverters. These drives power and control conveyor belts, water and oil pumps, cooling fans, tape winding devices and brakes inside the mines. In addition, they provide alerts and notifications for transformers, motors, cables and other components when they are not operating within the expected temperature range, voltage range or other parameters. All operational drives utilize NAI interconnect solutions for the transmission of control signals and essentially act as the nerve system for mining operations.

All control drives utilize rugged NAI harnesses designed specifically for mining applications.  Ten different cable harnesses have been designed, each of which is used for data communications and control, some with shielding for protection against EMI. Harnesses carrying power are also now in planning and design stages.  The typical data/control harness includes over 100 terminations, while the largest harness has more than 900 terminations. These assemblies have been designed to be very rugged and resilient to various tough environmental hazards. NAI products meet the requirements of the following tests, ratings or standards:

  • GB3836.2-2010 for explosive atmospheric conditions
  • High voltage test at 330V for power cable
  • Connectors are IP67 rated for resistance to dust and water

The customer for this mining project awarded the design and manufacturing of harnesses and box builds to NAI after producing the harnesses themselves internally.  The company realized they were not as well suited to this kind of operation as NAI, and they ultimately preferred to focus on their main mining control equipment business and outsource this custom work to NAI.  They acknowledged that, by using NAI, they reduced their quality risks and manufacturing lead times and they gained access to NAI’s global supply chain for advantages with various components.

NAI designs and manufactures custom rugged cable assemblies and harnesses for a variety of industrial applications for mining machinery, construction and agricultural equipment, robotics, machine tools, material handling equipment, instrumentation & control and other industries with demanding requirements.


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