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Pave The Way For Innovation In Mining

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Coal,

For decades, draglines have been the workhorses of coal surface mining operations, tirelessly moving vast amounts of earth to extract this valuable resource.

Pave The Way For Innovation In Mining

These mammoth machines have played a pivotal role in shaping the mining industry and, while they have been in use for decades, innovation and technological advancements have been relatively scarce in their design and operation.

Applied Fiber has developed technology which has helped benefit the industry, and, combined with Bridon-Bekaert Tiger Blue Synthetic pendants, has been touted by a dragline superintendent as one of the best modern advancements for draglines.

While visiting mines and understanding draglines and their operations, it was learned that dragline owners have long been challenged with ongoing issues relating to maintenance and welding their massive boom structures. Metal fatigue from repeated cycling has been an accepted cost of doing business and is only addressed through downtime and welding maintenance, which add up to huge costs for the mines.

What if?

If the weight in the system could be reduced, and metal fatigue cycles lowered, what would that do to the performance of the dragline? What if capacity could also be increased?

The answers were clear… achieving these goals would have a huge, positive economic impact and production benefit to mines.

Applied Fiber recognised that reducing catenary weight of the massive boom support structure would help reduce the boom compression cycling, thus reducing the burden on the equipment. In addition, it was noted that a weight reduction in switching from steel mains to fibre mains would provide additional opportunity to increase capacity or reduce RSL.

It is within this context that fibre rope boom suspension pendants with advanced termination sockets designed for fibre have made their mark over the past eight years. These advanced terminations have allowed for the utilisation of high-performance synthetic fibres to help the draglines and electric rope shovels operate smoother than ever before, not only providing a reliable means to support to the massive boom, but also bringing a number of new benefits to the machine.

The advent and adoption of fibre rope boom suspension pendants signifies a willingness to embrace innovation, and promotes ideas to continue to advance mining technologies.

As draglines continue to play a vital role in coal surface mining, this innovation paves the way for the integration of new technologies and it is why many dragline and shovel operators are converting to fibre.

For example, Mike Bayens, Field Engineer at Bekaert, recently accompanied a maintenance superintendent to see the Tiger Blue Fiber pendants for himself at another customer’s mine in Australia. Upon approaching the dragline from a distance, the superintendent did not think the machine was running because there was virtually no movement in the pendants – usually steel pendants are very active and bouncy. He remarked the pendants are so still that there is hardly any movement, and wished he knew about them sooner.

By embracing this new technology, mining operations can unlock a host of benefits, including: enhanced productivity, reduced maintenance costs, and improved equipment uptime.

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Mining equipment news