Swedish mining company LKAB relies on AUMA electric actuators to secure the outlet of a process water lake at its mine in Kiruna. The LKAB mine is the world’s largest underground iron ore mine and has an annual production capacity of more than 26 million tons of iron ore. The mine and the town of Kiruna are located at the northern edge of Sweden, some 140 km north of the Arctic Circle, where the sun does not rise above the horizon for two months in winter and where temperatures go down to –40°C.
AUMA supplied two of its latest-generation multi-turn actuators to automate two gates located at the outlet of a reservoir dam. The existing actuators on the gates were replaced with the sturdier and higher-performing SA 14.6 actuators with AC actuator controls to ensure sufficient torque to operate the gates safely when the water level is high. The heavy gates are 1300 mm wide and have a travel of 1760 mm. To open and close them, the actuators are equipped with rising stems more than 2 m long.
Jan Strandberg, who has more than 20 years’ experience as a service engineer for AUMA actuators, travelled all the way up to the northern tip of Sweden to install and commission the actuators. “The dam is located in absolute wilderness – my car twice got stuck in the snow on the way to the client’s site,” Strandberg says. “But the customer is very happy now that the gates can be operated safely, especially in spring when the water level in the lake rises with the snow melt. The customer also appreciates the AC diagnostics capabilities, as the applied torques can now be easily monitored to ensure the gates and actuators do not get damaged by excessive torque.”
AUMA’s worldwide service network literally goes the extra mile to support customers even at the most remote locations. AUMA actuators are designed to withstand the harshest environmental conditions. They are available in extreme temperature versions, for example down to –60°C or up to +120°C.