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Caterpillar manufactures first full AFC in China

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World Coal,

Caterpillar (Langfang) Mining Equipment Co. has produced its first full armored face conveyor (AFC) system for longwall mining - a "huge step" for the facility’s evolution as a key mining equipment manufacturing plant, the company said in a statement.

The new AFC system is designed for longwall top coal caving (LTCC) to mine a coal seam as thick as 8 m. Face length will be 260 m. The LTCC mining method facilitates recovering thick seams economically through cutting the lower portion of the seam as is usually done and then recovering coal that caves as the face moves forward.

The premium face conveyor is composed of Cat PF6 line pans. The innovative modular design separates wear-resistant hardened steel parts and the substructure made of high-strength steel. The design allows easy replacement of wear parts, without damaging the substructure.

The front AFC has transport capacity of 2500 tph, and the rear AFC has capacity of 3000 t. Each of the conveyors has a total installed power of 2 x 1050 kW. The beam stage loader is a Cat BSLPF6 with capacity of 3500 tph and 600 kW installed capacity.

The new Cat® AFC will be used in the Dongzhouyao mine in Shanxi Province and so has been delivered to the Datong Coal Mine Group (Tongmei). The first time Tongmei Group, the parent of Datong, gained an AFC was in 2004 from the company now known as Caterpillar. WesTrac China, the Cat dealer in northern and northeastern China, delivered the system and will provide service and support through its facilities and personnel based in the region.

The new AFC system marks the 39th delivered to Chinese mines by Caterpillar and its predecessors in the longwall equipment line.

Edited by Harleigh Hobbs.

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