November 2007 – Tucson, Arizona

November 2007 Tuscon, Arizona



Radisson Suites Tucson
6555 East Speedway Blvd
Tucson, Az. , 85710


Meeting Minutes

November 15th

8:00 am

– Opening remarks by Ed Barnett-President. Ed called the meeting to order and announced that Jim VanEmmerik would be stepping down from 2nd Vice Presidents position.  Ed also announced that his tenure as President would be over after the Tucson meeting.  Voting to fill open positions would take place on the 16th.

– Tiffany Shaw gave the treasury report and announced that the group would be voting to raise the user and vendor registration fees to $100 and $200 respectively to cover future meeting expenditures in an effort to keep group solvent.

8:15 am – 9:15 am

            – Group Discussion

9:30 am – 10:45 am

– DCS-Rob Marnell  gave presentation of the Col Creek 1570 dragline relocation

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

– New DC-EXX IGBT dragline excitation and control-Bill Horvath, TMGE Automation Systems

12:00 pm

– Lunch

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

– Vendor commercials

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

–  Remote Racking- An alternative to PPE as it relates to Arc Flash Protection. –Suella Spencer-VP, Switchgear Solutions Inc.  Robert Stevenson-President Switchgear Solutions, Inc.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

– Energy Harvesting-Bill Nickerson, RLW

3:45 pm – 4:15 pm

– Maintaining Medium Voltage Switchgear-David Gohill, AZZ/Central Electric Manufacturing.

November 16th

8:00 am

– Ed Barnett opened meeting.  Announced that normal progression was for current committee members move up to fill vacant positions.  Asked for nominees for President.  Jed Jensen was nominated and seconded.  Attendees voted and Jed Jensen was voted in as President.  Floor was opened for nominees to fill position of 1st Vice President with Jim VanEmmerik stepping down.  Aaron Spielman was nominated/seconded and voted in by attendees as 1st Vice President.  Floor opened for nominees for 2nd Vice President.  Travis Sondrol was nominated/seconded and voted by attendees for 2nd Vice President.  Floor opened for Secretary position.  Ross Lenson was nominated/seconded and voted in as Secretary.  Ed also asked for a vote granting the Executive Board to consider raising the meeting fees for attendees and vendors.  Vote was passed to allow this consideration

– Group Discussion summary from discussion held on the 15th

9:15 am – 10:45 am

– C-Series and Centurion Technology update-Tom Barnes, Steve Williamson; PH

9:45 am – 10:45 am

– Arc Flash Hazard Analysis and DC arc flash discussion- Tom McGibbon, General Electric

10:45 am – 11:45 am

– Technical Developments in the Measurement and Analysis of Commutator Deformation-Roy Douglas, Carbone of America

11:45 am – 12:00 pm

– Closing remarks by Ed Barnett, President

12:00 pm -1:00 pm

– Lunch

1:00 pm

– Steering Committee meeting

Topics Discussed

Group Discussions

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

Group 7

Group 8


Group 1 Discussion


  • Arc Flash/Blast
    • Programs in place at mines represented in our group, ranged from no formal program to a somewhat comprehensive system of identification of and precautions needed at each potentially hazardous location.
    • 40 cal “Beekeeper” suits being used at some locations.
    • Nomex coveralls being used at some locations.
    • MSHA input on this topic to date is minimal if any.
    • All agreed on the need for further study and recommendations needed regarding DC Arc Flash/Blast.
    • New switchgear designs, including “Arc Resistant” and remote racking are available in the market. These systems may minimize or eliminate the need for Arc Flash/Blast PPE at some locations.
    • Software is available for the purpose of determining the potential for arc flash/blast at any electrical switchgear. A program from is currently being used at Westmoreland/Colstrip.
  • One mine reported a discovery they made regarding their high-voltage rubber gloves. They were using Class II gloves, which they assumed were rated at 20,000 volts, as required by 30 CFR 77. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the Class II gloves being used were tested at 20,000 volts, and ratedat 17,000 volts. This operation has now switched to Class III gloves, which are tested at 30,000 volts, and rated at 26,500 volts.
  • One member of our group spoke about a national survey conducted by Worker’s Compensation. One result of this survey determined that 16% of employees are “disengaged” while at work, i.e. not paying attention. We all know that the majority of accidents are due to human error, and are preventable.
  • A vendor in our group recounted an experience he had at a mining operation. He witnessed a lock-out/tag-out procedure in action. Multiple electricians were involved, and all followed the procedure to a tee.

New Innovations:

  • Toshiba has a NEMA 3R motor drive, capable of up to 1500 HP available on the market. This enclosure is designed to free stand in an open environment, with out any building enclosure.
  • Wireless Communication systems and Production Monitoring systems.


  • One operator reported on the process they went through in getting a large synchronous, driving a dragline generator set, balanced after the motor was repaired. In the end, the imbalance/vibration experienced appeared to be electrical resonance problems as opposed to mechanical weight distribution.

Future Meeting locations:

  • Locations: anyplace warm.

Future Topics:

  • Wireless communications and monitoring systems.
  • Arc Flash/Blast-specifically DC.
  • Medium voltage arc-resistant switchgear.

One observation made: The discussion groups can easily get imbalanced as to representation of vendors and miners in any given group. We would suggest that we number off separately as vendors and miners. Equal representation in each discussion group would result in more comprehensive discussions.


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Group 2 Discussion

  • Safety: 
  • Man lift went over a bank when operator moved machine to get better reception on cell phone
  • Saffron Mine?: electrocution of contractor for termination: untrained personnel.
  • Arc Fault study and implementation: Phelps Dodge.  Is a difficult process IEEE working on the DC components (by 2009) area restrictions and camera use.
  • Black Berry and Cell Phone use:  banning use on many mine sites.  If caught using the person is dismissed or removed from property.
  • Group had various opinions of drug testing.
  • Wade Hart RTEA:  “Take 5” program uses positive reinforcement with random checks.

New Innovations: 

  • P&H:  AC shovel and dragline.
  • Machine health monitoring (wireless).
  • Fault data.
  • Condition (temp, vibration).
  • Arc Flash (provided by vendor).
  • GPS technology for pit coverage. Two way communications (mesh).
  • Comm. Profiling (non-contact).
  • High efficiency motors.
  • Copper Bar monitoring.



  • 793 armature meltdown.
  • Energy conservation. High bay fluorescent lighting.


  • New people.
  • School for new workers.
  • Information regarding work force.
  • Job fairs.


Future Presentations:

  • LED lighting (Dialight).
  • Fluorescent lighting (high efficiency).
  • GPS technology.



  • Parts Pool.
  • Scheduling of WMEA (Automation Fair).
  • How do we get more miners involved.


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Group 3 Discussion


  • Discussed fatality at San Miguel mine.  An oiler appeared to be struck bya shoe of dragline while moving power.  May have been other contributing medical factors of the victim. This led to a discussion of various locations boom radius and boarding policies.
  • Reviewed the electrical fatality at a Peabody location where an electrician was electrocuted by a generator back feed on a dragline.  A Peabody representative in the group reported that they are implementing the following :
  • Using a device called a V-watch.  It attaches to your shirt and alarms when in the presence of high voltage.
  • Using a Kirk Key system.
  • Other companies using self grounding switches on switch skids.
  • Rio Tinto reported using FR clothing and “Bee suit” for certain electrical tasks.

New Innovations:

  • Dust capturing system that is on the market for capturing dust when blowing out components. Could possibly be utilized on MG set blow downs.
  • Caballo Mine (Peabody)  installing Modular Mining system.


  • PH testing a variety of DC contactors on order to find a more robust and reliable component.

Future Meeting Topics:

  • Relay Testing and transformer maintenance.
  • Arc Flash.

Meeting locations:

  • Fairbanks
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Group 4 Discussion


  • Startco has a new motor protection relay that is remotely adjustable and has a remote tripping device to trip a breaker etc. ahead of the contactor.  You can set motor protection low while working on the system.
  • DCS: Everyone needs to get involved in Arc Flash education and getting protection equipment.  Started covering in MSHA retraining.
  • RioTinto:  there has been a lot of talk about AC arc flash but nothing on DC equipment or protection.
  • Laren:   is everyone doing pencil volt neutral to set neutral on generators.  This is not a safe way and it is not recommended due to rotating equipment and voltage that are present.
  • RioTinto:  take a few minutes to look at the job.  Don’t rush into something and get into trouble.
  • Laren:  Mine hired a OSHA inspector.  He does mine inspections and reports back to the mine.  Decides what applies-different point of view.

New  Technology:

  • RioTinto:  Getting new AC drive haul trucks.  Going to need training for electrical group.  Getting upgrade on 2300 to Centurion drives.  Improves efficiency and gets rid of oil fire hazard.
  • Laren;   IMPRO seals on pillow block bearings.  Starting to use on motors.  Keep oal dust out of motors.  Made with a bronze bushing.
  • Laren:  is everyone doing double tests on motors?  This is a power factor test is done on transformers and could tell motor efficiency.
  • Rio Tinto:  Looking into upgrade VCB and substation to they will auto ground.  Line power type of equipment.
  • DCS:  reported some problems with this if the vacuum bottles failed closed and the switch goes grounded.  The older bottles usually failed closed.
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Group 5 Discussion


  • Guy – small town drivers need to pay attention in the city changes in environment require extra attention to maintain safety.
  • Jeff – Arc Flash at Safford mine using a 600v meter on a 4160v substation.
  • Chet – San Miguel fatality due to an employee running into the shoe of a dragline resulting in a severe head injury.
  • Bill – An apprentice in Robinson, NV reached into an open substation and was lucky to get away with only a burned arm.
  • Mike – involving the wives could help to promote safety at work.

Problems and Solutions:

  • Jeff – recruiting and training employees is a huge problem.
  • Greg – Barrick has an apprentice program that is helping them train qualified employees.
  • Guy – paying the employees a living wage so they can afford to live in Gillette during their training period will help make it possible for employees to come in from out of town.
  • Greg – contractors on the mine are sometimes not watched and can be dangerous due to lack of training and communication it is too easy to assume they know what is expected and safe.

Future Meeting topics:

  • Guy – have some trade schools present.
  • Mike – work on increasing attendance from the mining community.
  • Bill – post the agenda sooner to help attendance.
  • Guy – Plant modifications and upgrades.
  • Garnett – Fire Alarm systems.
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Group 6 Discussion


  • Jeremy Schantz: .Eaton MSHA bulletin POG-2 recommendation factory service for low/medium voltage molded case breakers.  Purpose is to eliminate 3rd party repairs that may not bring rebuild up to OEM specifications.  Eaton provides that service. 1yr. warranty.
  • Rio Tinto Energy America continues to progress with Arc Flash.  No DC calculation yet.  Will start on AC side of mobile equipment.
  • Jack Easton of Americable talked about the use of site to site monitoring system in regard to the Crandle Canyon accident in Utah.  They have fire proof cable to meet this need.

Topics for future meetings:

  • BI presentation on the AC gearless dragline in November 2008; possible presentation on crowd system that eliminates the need for crowd ropes.
  • TMGE: Bill Horvath:  selecting proper frequency drive for large pump motor applications:  also a presentation on the 1st IGBT control with end user to assist in presentation
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Group 7 Discussion


  • Falkirk has been placing Arc flash labels on breakers and have gotten their electrician totes that hold the various levels of Arc Flash gear.  Also to limit access to M-G set they have fenced them in and chained of the middle section a key under glass is there for and emergency situation.
  • Don Patterson would like all to review your storage methods for rotating equipment there have been several catastrophic failure on rotating equipment not stored properly.  Moisture can get into glass banding go through freeze thaw cycles and degrade in a matter of hours after installation the equipment fails.  He suggests a dry warm environment and if you are not sure cut and test banding it is destructive testing but what it prevents is worth it.

New Innovations:

  • DCS has new Ac system running on a Dragline it utilizes IGBT’s and they are putting it on another dragline a 680 in California they are utilizing OEM as a manufacturer.
  • Americable now offers its “Mine Cable Safe Program” They will come out inspect all cable and applications and give you detailed reports with suggestions on what they see could cause a potential problem, they will then come back for a consult and make sure the mine repairs and changes will suffice.  They will also watch and train personal on cable handling.


  • A rock quarry is looking for a high voltage internal connection.  They are looking to replace high voltage bushings with a different style connection to get rid of exposed high voltage parts.  Also they are looking for a UL listed rabbit box if any one has any ideas Don Patterson can get you in touch with the quarry.

Future Meetings:

  • Dallas, Honolulu

Future Topics:

  • GE will have some new innovations coming in the next several months.
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Group 8 Discussion


  • Rich Hall mentioned that his company now has six employees with the 24 hour MSHA training. He also demonstrated a breakaway lanyard for items that are hung around your neck, such as name tags.
  • Rich related a story of one company that had a trench fatality where the protective liner was not braced properly.  Not long after that fatality another operation was been done in a properly braced trench and the employee (same company) went beyond the protective enclosure and was also fatally injured by the walls caving in.
  • Max Hogan of Luminant asked what folks are doing in the HV rooms of draglines regarding arc flash protection.   Is anyone using arc blast chutes to control the direction of an arc blast?  If anyone has any ideas, please see Max.
  • Jace Rush with P&H mentioned that an accident occurred when an employee was running along side a small back hoe.  He tripped and fell into the machine, resulting in his left leg being amputated.

New Innovations and Technology:  

  • Toshiba has a new VFD that is rated for outside applications with no air conditioning needed. It is the G9 series which replaced the G7.   Horsepower range is 1 to 400 HP
  • A New P&H 4100 BOSSC AC shovel is being built in Canada.
  • Commutator profiling @ speed and voltage – we will see a presentation this morning
  • Americable has TPU cable available in several colors
  • Energy scavenging, which we saw a presentation on yesterday.

Future Meetings & Presentations:

  • The group felt that the meeting locations mentioned for future meetings are acceptable.
  • The discussion centered on how to attract more of our Canadians friends to our meetings.  One suggested assisting with the Edmonton meeting that we orient some of the presentations to pertinent oil sands issues.
  • Another suggestion to boost miner presentation is to move the Nov meeting so as not to coincide with the Rockwell Automation fair.
  • Rich Hall volunteered to do a presentation on how electrical adjustments affect machine performance.  This would be a follow up to a presentation the he did a year ago or so.


1570 Dragline Relocation – Coal Creek – Nov 07

Arc Flash Hazard Analysis and DC Arc Flash – Nov 07

C-Series Shovels and Centurion Technology – P&H – Nov 07

DC-EXX IGBT Dragline Excitation & Control – Nov 07

Machinery Health Monitoring and Power Scavenging; RLW, Inc. – Nov 07

Maintaining Medium Voltage Switchgear – Nov 07

Remote Racking – An Alternative to PPE As It Relates To Arc Flash Protection – Nov 07

Event Details

Start date: 11/01/2007