In its 46 years of operation, Rand-Air has built up an enviable reputation in the mining industry for the quality of its compressors and the excellence of its service. The company supplies either portable diesel compressors or stationary electric compressors, each of which have particular applications. All Rand-Air compressors use screw compression elements to produce compressed air.
“In mining, industry and manufacturing, compressed air is frequently absolutely essential,” explains Rand-Air Fleet Manager Craig Swart. In the extraction of minerals from the ground, the first action that is taken is exploration drilling, which is carried out with compressed air. If a mine is an open pit operation, then compressors are essential for initial overburden stripping and blast-hole drilling to remove the actual ore.
“Some of our smaller portable generators are roadworthy and can be towed behind a suitable vehicle, and can be rapidly deployed to site,” Swart continues. The smaller range of Rand-Air compressors range from 190 cubic feet a minute (cfm) unit to a 400-cfm compressor. These deliver seven bar pressure.
However, if there is a requirement for larger volumes, Rand-Air is able to supply a range of compressors from a 620-cfm unit to its XAS746 compressor which supplies 1500 cfm. This range will supply pressures of between 7 and 10 bar. These compressors are mounted on four-wheel trailers and need to be transported to site. “They have often proved invaluable in factory breakdown situations, as standby compressed air where an uninterrupted supply of air is crucial,” he adds.
If there is a requirement for high-pressure compressed air, Rand-Air supplies a range of compressors from the XAHS186 (370 cfm @ 12 bar) to the impressive XRVS 487 (1052 cfm @ 25 bar). These have application in mineral exploration drilling and for flaring in the petrochemical industry.
“What is new to Rand-Air is that to more effectively serve the needs of the exploration drilling industry, Rand-Air has introduced the DrillAir Y1260 variable high-pressure compressor which will deliver 1431 cfm @ 21 bar ranging up to 1226 cfm @ 35 bar. Being able to choose exactly the right pressure to match strata conditions, hole size and bit type “is proving to be a cost saver for local drilling contractors”.
Rand-Air also supplies what are known as ‘boosters’. These skid mounted units are well suited for use in the pipeline industry and an exploration drilling. They have a maximum working pressure of 69 bar and are able to deliver 2440 cfm.
Customers of Rand-Air can also source a range of various Atlas Copco electric compressors. These deliver volumes from 190 cfm – 1500 cfm at 7 bar pressure and our available on wheels or skids. They operate on 380 v with step up and down transformers. “These units are particularly useful in underground mining operations where diesel fumes would not be acceptable,” he continues.
A growth area for Rand-Air has been in the supply of oil free compressors, which supply air which is absolutely contaminant free. While there are other compressors on the market which are advertised as ‘technically oil free’, Rand-Air’s Atlas Copco oil-free compressors supply air that is 100% absolutely oil- and contaminant-free. This machine has proved very popular in the food and beverage industry, in medical applications and in particular with oil refineries and mines during major plant shutdowns. Temporary compressed air is needed to activate control systems during the shutdowns, and here Rand-Air’s oil-free air provides the answer. The PTS916 supplies 1600 cfm at 7 bar, and 1270 cfm at 10 bar. The unit can be run from 1 bar up to a maximum pressure of 10 bar. A built-in after cooler ensures the air is supplied at ambient +10°.
In addition, with its compressors, Atlas Copco supplies a range of highly efficient air dryers which are dedicated oil-free air units and are suitable for use with oil-injected compressors.
“What our mining customers like about our compressors is that they get much more than just a machine. We strive to serve our customers with bespoke solutions that exactly suit their needs and exceed their expectations,” Swart concludes.