Case story

Sandvik improves ergonomics in mining equipment

Ergonomics is increasingly important in the design and marketing of construction and mining machines. For the Swedish-based Sandvik Group reliable electric actuators helped improve ergonomics – for example, in their underground drill rigs.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, a leading global supplier of solutions for the mining and construction industries, has been using actuators to adjust the control panel in the driver’s cab. This makes it easy to adapt the cab for operators of different heights. The company has long been at the forefront of safe cabin design, offering FOPS/ROPS certified steel and acid-proof cabins for drill rigs. Sandvik underground drills also offer the highest levels of operator protection and comfort.

Effortless ergonomics in heavy machinery
Drilling is controlled from a control panel. The increasing importance of ergonomics requires that the panel can be easily adjusted horizontally and vertically to suit each operator; and because all work is performed either sitting or standing, the need for adjustment is even more important. Horizontal adjustment can be carried out easily with the help of guide rails, but for vertical adjustment, the weight of the panel requires a mechanism that can support it.

”In the past, we used manual adjustment, with the help of a screw and crank; but in practice this often proved to be awkward. Therefore, the operator did not adjust the control panel, and consequently, the operator had to work in a slightly uncomfortable position,” says Mika Väisänen, the project engineer from the Product Development Department.

“For our new underground drill rig, the Sandvik DD422i, we were looking for an electric solution for the height adjustment of the panels. Using hydraulics or compressed air was out of the question: we did not want any excessive hoses and holes in the cabin.”

Quality and trust in the product were decisive factors
According to Väisänen, Sandvik chose an electric actuator solution from LINAK because it was suitable for the task, without the need for any major changes or redesign. It is a complete and cost-efficient solution for height adjustment.

Sandvik prepared a full-size model of the new cabin before it was put into production, in order to ensure the suitability and functionality of the different components and systems. The actuator LA23 was chosen for the panel adjustment, due to its suitable size, strength and IP protection.

“At Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, our vision is to achieve zero harm to our people, the environment we work in, our customers and our suppliers,” says Mika Väisänen and continues:

Sandvik improves ergonomics in mining equipment
 

“The automation and safety features we can offer with Sandvik DD422i and other rigs in our Next Generation drill range mean we can ensure optimal working conditions and a higher level of safety. Improved ergonomics are a clear indicator of the fact that Sandvik wants to develop and offer the best quality operator environment in the world. Therefore, an actuator in the right place may well be much more significant than it appears at first glance.”

Mika Väisänen standing at the control panel

Mika Väisänen standing at the control panel

Operating principle:

  • Operators choose whether they want to work sitting or standing, and they can adjust the panel to an ergonomically correct height by pressing a button
  • The required height is adjusted with the actuator

Employees' working comfort and ergonomics can be easily improved when adjustments of the pedals, armrests and the steering panel are carried out with actuators. Also, adjustment of steps and guardrails as well as working and warning lights and cameras will give the operator a more pleasant and safe working environment. 

 


Sandvik is a high-tech and global engineering group, holding world-leading positions in selected areas – tools and tooling systems for metal cutting; equipment, tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries; products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys as well as products for industrial heating.

In 2016, the Group had approximately 43,000 employees and sales of 82 billion SEK in more than 150 countries. Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is a business area within the Sandvik Group and a leading global supplier of equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries. Sandvik in Tampere manufactures surface and underground drill rigs for the mining and construction industries.

 

Videos

Files

Focus on construction

When it comes to performance in rugged and harsh environments, LINAK actuators withstand the conditions, even on heavy duty construction machinery.

TECHLINE product overview

Explore the wide variety of tough and powerful TECHLINE products. Built to last, built for hard work and built for work in harsh environments.

LINAK test brochure

Each and every component in an actuator is subjected to a comprehensive battery of tests at the LINAK test center. Learn more in this folder.

Have a question about electric actuator technology?

- We are not psychics. But, we are experts in actuator technology. So do not hesitate to ask us anything about that.