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MINExpo 2012: excavators and wheel loaders

World Coal,

There were a number of new shovel and wheel loader developments announced at this year’s MINExpo 2012.

Caterpillar announces new shovel developments

Caterpillar announced the new Cat® 6120B H FS, which the company claims to be the largest hydraulic mining shovel ever built, at the show. It delivers three- or four-pass loading of ultra-class mining trucks, handling dipper sizes of 60 – 85 yd3 (46 – 65 m3). The use of hybrid technologies reduces fuel usage by storing energy created by the shovel during swing deceleration and boom-down movement in large capacitors. The stored energy is then used to help power the hydraulic system when the machine requires peak power, e.g. when digging. A prototype has been constructed at the Caterpillar manufacturing facility in South Milwaukee, Wisonsin, and will undergo testing and field trials with further information announced as development progresses.

Caterpillar also featured the Cat® 6030B FS hydraulic shovel at its stand at MINExpo 2012 – the first of the B Series machines in the company’s hydraulic shovel product line. Available in backhoe and front shovel configurations, the 6030B on display at the show featured two C27 diesel engines, producing 1530 hp. (1140 kW). It also includes the companys’ C95 ground engagement tools (GET) with hammerless design for simplified removal and installation of bucket teeth.

On the electric rope shovel front, Caterpillar announced developments to its 7495 and 7495 HF models, most notably the development of an off-grid power supply technology that reduces the amount of generator power required to run the shovel. The system will capture regenerated power from the shovel and use it during time of high power demand – reducing the maximum amount of power required from the generators and enabling mining companies to power the 7495 or 7495 HF with just 4 MW of installed power. The technology is currently being validated at Caterpillar’s proving grounds in Arizona and is expected to be commercially available in 2013.

Joy Global introduces new shovels and a global alliance with ESCO Corp.

Joy Global introduced a new hybrid shovel in Las Vegas. The P&H 2650CX diesel-electric rope shovel has been designed to deliver a 15% total cost of ownership reduction when compared to large hydraulic excavators through a combination of reduced fuel consumption, improved availability and decreased maintenance and repair costs: “Fuel consumption will be reduced by as much as 25% through using proven power regeneration from our electric motor and drive systems technology from our P&H Letourneau-Series wheel loaders,” stated John Koetz, vice president of product marketing & engineering at Joy Global Surface Mining. “The drive system used will be approximately 50% more efficient than comparable diesel hydraulic systems.” The first machine is expected to be placed in mine in the Q4 2013.

Joy Global also introduced the P&H 4800XPC, the company’s largest electric mining shovel designed to three-pass load 400 short t ultra-class trucks. Its design includes the new, patents-pending Adaptive Control technology that optimises shovel power usage in different phases of the dig cycle through a series of seven advanced control functions. According to company estimates, the new shovel could increase production by as much as 20% compared to the P&H 4100 XPC AC with the potential to move over 9000 tph. The first machine is expected to placed in a mine in Q4 2013.

As well as the new equipment, Joy Global announced a business alliance with ESCO Corp. for the development of new lip systems for P&H shovel dippers. As part of the alliance, Joy Global will offer ESCO’s proprietary lips and GET systems as standard on new P&H shovel dippers and loader buckets; ESCO will provide aftermarket service on all lips through its distribution network.

Liebherr hydraulic excavators

Liebherr introduced two new hydraulic excavators at MINExpo 2012: a face shovel version of the R 9400 and the new R 9150 small mining excavator. The company also highlighted the strategy to increase the use of Liebherr components, such as cylinders, gears engines and other hydraulic components, in Liebherr machines. As part of this, the company announced the development of a GET solution for its mining backhoe and face shovel bucket design. The “Z Tooth System” is available in three profiles (CL, CR and P) to cover a range of application types from well-blasted material to very hard ground and it compatible with the R 9100 up to the R 9400 models.

Liebherr also highlighted the growing geographical reach of its support network for mining excavators, opening offices in the coal regions of Mozambique and Colombia over the past three years. Coal remains the largest market for Liebherr excavators, accounting for 48% of sales, while Australasia-Oceania makes up the largest geographical market based on transaction price, followed by Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

Komatsu showcases PC4000 hydraulic shovel

Komatsu showcased its PC4000 hydraulic shovel at MINExpo 2012, featuring a Komatsu SDA16V160E-2 diesel engine, which offers a rated power of 1875 hp. (1400 kW) and meets Tier 2 regulations, and four circuit advanced Hydropilot hydraulics. It is recommended for use with trucks ranging from 150 – 240 short t.

ESCO Corp. introduces Nemisys lip system

Away from the big equipment manufacturers, ESCO Corp. introduced its Nemisys lip system for large mining buckets at MINExpo 2012. The new system features a cast or plate lip with shrouds and a three-piece tooth system, and is currently available for hydraulic mining excavators in the 300 – 800 t classes.

Testing of the new system indicates, that compared to legacy systems, the lip design and ground engaging teeth require an average of 10% less force to penetrate; teeth have up to 19% more usable wear metal; and the system weighs an average of 7% less. The system will also be made available for cable shovels and draglines with roll out between now and October 2013.

Wheel loader news

On the wheel loader side, Liebherr displayed its L586 wheel loader at the show, while Caterpillar announced improvements to its 994H and 993K wheel loaders, including a new cab and new Vital Information Management System. Finally, Joy Global introduced the new L-2350 Super High Lift– the latest addition to the P&H LeTourneau Generation 2 wheel loader series.

In super high lift configuration, the L-2350 stands at 15.85 m high at full-extended height (9.53 m/31 ft. 3 in. dump clearance) and can now load ultra-class rear dump coal haulers. It includes a proprietary electrical drive system that, according to the company, optimises energy conservation, increasing fuel efficiency and extending diesel engine life by up to 40% compared to conventional mechanical drive loaders. The drive system also allows for bi-directional power flow and recaptures all braking energy for use during the standard loading cycle. 

Written by Jonathan Rowland.

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