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The importance of high-quality GET

World Coal,

Jose Luis Garcia, Raquel de Oliveira and Redha Rahim, MTG, discuss the importance of quality ground engagement tools in coal miners.

MTG’s GET products are used in mines all over the world, helping to efficiently extract coal. Australia and Indonesia are currently the regions with a most dynamic use of MTG GET for coal extraction: the company’s teeth, adaptors and bucket protectors are locally present in most of the biggest mines and exploitations. Other regions where its products are extensively present are the US, South America, Russia and Africa.

The importance of high-quality GET in coal mines
With the recent drop of coal prices in parallel with increased difficulties to extract the mineral, it is now more important than ever for producers to incorporate technologies that allow the extraction to be profitable. The fact is simple: access to coal deposits becomes harder the more coal you extract from a mine. Even mines that were easy to operate in at the beginning can end up demanding very specialised equipment for heavy applications once the access to coal deposits gets tough.

Therefore given the intrinsic characteristics of coal mines, high-quality GET wear parts that can ensure a robust fixation system with maximum penetration are essential to minimise costs in the long run. Even if the abrasion level is medium, miners still need GET to last longer, self-sharpen, penetrate better and have a safer install and dismantle process.

Case study: coal mining in Indonesia
For instance, MTG faced a case in Indonesia where a coal mine was having trouble achieving optimum penetration with a Komatsu PC3000 excavator on extremely abrasive terrain. The average life of the teeth installed on the bucket was approximately 300 hours, but after 250 hours the teeth had already lost almost entirely its penetration capacity. On top of that, the GET model the mine had installed needed a hammer for extraction and was worn out in deformed ways, so it took hours to change the whole set of GET.

MTG offered to help improve this machine’s performance by installing its hammerless solution: MTG Systems StarMet. The tooth model chosen was the MA500V, which is especially designed for applications requiring optimum penetration.

Figure 1. MTG Systems StarMet.

As a result of the change to the MTG teeth, tooth wear life went up to an average of 351.6 hours, an increase of 17.2%. Meanwhile, productivity increased by 25.5%. This is because by being self-sharpening, the MTG teeth maintained their penetration properties until the very end of their wear life, so the machine could extract more coal during the last period of the teeth life than it did before. Additionally, by having the right shape for the application – and in this case for being lighter than the GET the machine had previously installed – MTG’s products contributed to fuel savings by 4.5%.

Figure 2. MTG Systems StarMet teeth are self sharpening, maintaining penetration until the very end of their wear life.

When the teeth was completely worn out, MTG’s hammerless system allowed the entire set of teeth to be replaced in minutes and therefore with a considerably lower machine downtime, using less manpower and in a much safer way for the operators.

Figure 3. The hammerless system allows teeth to be replaced quickly and more safely.

Ensuring productive coal mines
Most coal mines all over the world have seen a great part of their margins drastically cut in the last decade after coal prices dropped while extraction costs continued to raise. To keep the process profitable, miners are often tempted to choose low-quality GET products based on prices and often face productivity decrease as a result. At MTG, we know that a more productive machine is always more profitable, so for us it is essential that our products guarantee, optimise and even improve the productivity of the machine where they are installed.

Such productivity could be measured by an increase of work hours with no breakage, by minimised machine downtimes, by the safety offered to operators by our locking systems and by reducing the fuel consumption by reaching an optimum penetration and resistance combination. These and other factors prove that investing in high quality GET alternatives is the best solution. Over time, an increasing number of mines have come to the same conclusion.

Helping to select the right product
In practically all of the mines where MTG products are installed, regardless of the region or country, miners agree that achieving an optimum configuration of the bucket protection, which combines the right levels of resistance, penetration and weight, is critical to reduce fuel consumption. To help miners reach an optimum bucket protection configuration, MTG produced the first iPad app in the wear parts for earth moving machinery sector: MTG Pro. This features a unique setup wizard tool to help users configure their buckets with MTG’s teeth and adapters, in just a few clicks – including product codes, images and references.

The app is fully and quickly accessible from any location and does not require internet connection to operate. It offers an easy and direct access to our support team, sales team and local distributors.

Undoubtedly, regulatory changes on coal export and import process in certain countries have been a challenge for miners and providers in recent years. MTG works in each region with local dealers, who are fully prepared to meet their regions’ import and export processes and who are in constant contact with mining groups to have updated access to relevant information, and therefore recent changes in coal law regulations. Over the years, MTG has proven to be fully flexible as to adapt to regulation changes guaranteeing the same quality of customer service all over the world.

MTG is currently living a global expansion phase, launching several new products and solutions to the markets worldwide that will help the company to continue growing as a GET provider for coal mining applications. The company has formed recent allegiances with countries such as Australia to introduce its systems and solutions for mining, and we foresee to a continued expansion to offer more mines high quality GET products and services.

Written by Jose Luis Garcia, Raquel de Oliveira and Redha Rahim, MTG.

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