Mining | Industry Spotlight

Up to now we have had industry spotlights covering bulk material handling, pulp and paper, and power generation; today we are going to look at mining, a profession that predates history itself.

Fabricated mining components at the port for shipping.

What is mining?

Mining can be defined as the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein seam, reef, or placer deposit. Metals, coal, oil shale, gemstones, limestone, chalk, rock salt, gravel, and clay – to name a few – are all recovered through this extraction process. In a wider sense, it can include the extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or even water. A rule of thumb is that if you cannot grow it through agricultural processes or artificially in a laboratory or factory, then you will need to turn to mining.

Mining throughout and before history

As alluded to earlier, evidence of mining practices has been found from some of the oldest civilizations of Man – starting with stones and ceramics followed later by metals that were available near the surface of the earth.  These practices have been observed in Ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, and Medieval Europe – none of which compare to the oldest-known mine found in Eswatini which has been radiocarbon dated to about 43,000 years old.

Types of mining

There are two common types of excavation: surface mining and sub-surface mining.

Surface mining

Surface mining, the most common form of mining today, is done by removing (stripping) surface vegetation, dirt, and, if necessary, layers of bedrock to reach buried ore deposits.  Techniques for surface mining include:

  • Open-pit mining
  • Quarrying
  • Strip mining
  • Mountain top removal (commonly associated with the mining of coal)
  • And landfill mining

Underground mining

Sub-surface mining consists of digging tunnels or shafts into the earth to reach buried ore deposits. It can be broken into classifications based on the access shafts and extraction methods that are employed. A few of the categories of sub-surface mining include:

  • Drift mining
  • Slope mining
  • Shaft mining
  • And shrinkage stope mining

Mining equipment

There are many heavy-duty machines used in mining. Bulldozers, drills, trucks, excavation stopes, sink shafts, trams, and lifts to name a few. This is where we get involved with the mining industry at Hammer Haag Steel. Over the years we have produced countless massive steel components for use in this industry.

Summary

The resources produced by the mining industry and the products that occur downstream are inextricably woven into the fabricate of our modern societies. To secure the future of mining, leaders in the industry, in concert with government oversight, are always trying to make the practice of mining safer and to reduce the environmental footprint it can have on the earth.

Power Generation | Industry Spotlight

The generating of power is inextricably linked to the conveniences lent to our modern lifestyles. Cell phones, streaming binges, nightlights, and reliable running water are all dependent on the power generation industry that we are going to be discussing today.


Industry Overview

Power generation operates by way of three primary sectors; the generation of the power itself, the transmission of that power, and finally the distribution networks that are established – including metering and sales teams. The industry can further be broken down into four sub-varieties: thermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind. Each of these variants require different equipment, but they all rely on the same overarching components to make them work. Hammer Haag Steel has gotten involved in this industry through our fabrication of these vital pieces.

Industry equipment:

  • Turbines
  • Generators
  • Condensers
  • And Pumps

Summary

The power generation industry is continuously evolving due to resource availability, an ever-changing political landscape, and the progress of technology towards a safer and more efficient means. One thing is certain, however, if you have a cell phone to charge, or a Netflix series to binge, this industry has a place in your life.


Suggested Hammer Haag Steel Video:

Industry Spotlight | Pulp and Paper

In this week’s industry spotlight, we are going to be taking a closer look at the pulp and paper industry. Here at Hammer Haag, we have been fabricating integral steel components and machines for our pulp and paper clients for years and have learned so much about their intriguing industry along the way.


What is pulp and paper?

The pulp and paper industry is comprised of companies that use wood as raw material and produce, pulp, paper, cardboard, and other cellulose-based products. Get a package from Amazon today? Pulp and paper. Print out a legal document? Pulp and paper. Clean up a mess with a disposable towel? You guessed it… pulp and paper.

A new roll for pulp and paper

For many years, the primary output of the pulp and paper industry was graphic paper – also known as communication paper – and this was further broken up into the subordinate varieties of printing and writing papers as well as newsprint. But unless you have been living under a rock – and my sincerest commiserations if you have been – you know that the rapid emergence of new electronic technologies have drastically reduced the need for graphic papers. We are not sending handwritten love notes anymore; magazines and newspapers are switching to a 100% digital format at a rapid rate; most people take notes on their phones these days. Considering all of that, no one could blame you if you were to assume that the pulp and paper industry has been slowly dwindling down to nothing along with its former champion product, but that is where you would be wrong.

As the market for communication papers has steadily decreased, the adjacent market for packaging materials has been stably on the rise. Don’t believe me? Then look inside of your recycling bin and count the Amazon boxes nestled therein.  Amazon alone averages north of 400 million packages being delivered every day and with the continued growth of this e-commerce giant – and its “competitors” – this average is likely to continue growing over the next few years.

Featured Video

The future of this industry

Pulp and paper as a whole has shown to be a notably adaptable industry over the last century. As markets and tastes change the pulp and paper manufacturers change right along with it. With the boom of package papers projected to continue, and the ever-present need for industrial and consumer cellulose-based products, it is looking like the future is bright in the pulp and paper industry.


Where do massive steel structures come from?

How do sheets, rolls, and bars of lifeless steel transform in to massive, complex structures that can facilitate immense workloads? How do precision steel fabrication shops produce towering constructions at impressively fine tolerances?

Here at Hammer Haag Steel our team has over a decade of hands-on experience with steel fabrication. We have worked with clients from around the world and from a notably flush spread of diverse industry backgrounds. As you can imagine, we have refined our systems, techniques, and quality control protocols over the years. Today we are capable of servicing virtually any technical request, which has given rise to an unofficial company motto of, “If you can design it, we can build it.”

“If you can design it, we can build it.”

Unofficial Hammer Haag Motto

In the video below, you will get a glimpse into the various stages of the HHS fabrication process. You will see:

  • Pre-fabrication
  • Fitting and welding
  • Machining
  • Blast
  • Paint
  • Electrical and mechanical assembly
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Trial fit-ups

The above video shows our general process, but there is one invisible secret ingredient that ensures our fabrications achieve the highest of industry standards. The HHS quality control team tracks every piece along every step of the process to ensure it is being built and assembled to code and within tolerances. The attention to detail is then carried through to the mechanical and electrical assembly, trial fit-ups, and finally shipping.  

Large or small? We can make it.

We regularly receives inquiries asking about the scope of projects we take on here at Hammer Haag Steel. To put it best, I will use the words of our founder, Constantin Haag, who said:

Here at Hammer Haag, our only limitation is our client’s imagination

Our team has over a decade of experience taking on projects of all sizes and varieties of complexity. Our highly skilled and immensely adaptable crew in combination with our sizeable shop and line card allow us to conform our capabilities to directly fit the needs of clients.

  • THERE IS NO PROJECT TOO BIG.
  • THERE IS NO PROJECT TOO SMALL.
  • IF YOU CAN DESIGN IT, WE CAN MAKE IT.

Featured Project Video:



Industry Spotlight | Bulk Material Handling

This week’s spotlight comes from the bulk material handling industry. Bulk material handlers are an essential component for many of the modern conveniences we all enjoy. According to Processing Magazine:

“The main function of a bulk material handling system is to continuously transport and supply bulk materials to units in processing plants. Some secondary functions include storage and blending.”

When fabricating premium steel machines and components for the purpose of bulk material handling, it is our job to ensure quality and precision is maintained through the entire fabrication process. Industry in the US and worldwide depends on reliability of its bulk material handling equipment.

Featured Project Video:

The handling of bulk powders, granules, flakes or pellets is essential, which is why we take pride in work we do in this arena. In the above video we follow the various elements of a relevant BMH project from pre-fabrication all the way through shipping and logistics.

Have more questions? Let us know.