Caterpillar China manufactures first complete longwall armored face conveyor
Caterpillar (Langfang) Mining Equipment Co. has announced the completion of its first full armored face conveyor (AFC) system for longwall mining. The achievement is a "milestone in the facility’s evolution as a key mining equipment manufacturing plant for Caterpillar and the region”, which had previously only manufactured line pans for AFC systems.
Langfang premium longwall products will now serve mining companies worldwide.
“The LTCC mining method enables recovering thick seams economically by cutting the lower portion of the seam as is normally done and then recovering coal that caves as the face moves forward,” Caterpillar said in a statement.
The new 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 premium face conveyor, composed of Cat PF6 line pans, includes an innovative modular design that separates wear-resistant hardened steel parts and the substructure made of high-strength steel. The front AFC has transport capacity of 2,500 tons per hour, and the rear AFC has capacity of 3,000 tons per hour. Each of the conveyors has a total installed power of 2 x 1050 kW. The beam stage loader, which is a CAT BSLPF6, has capacity of 3,5000 tons per hour and 600 kW installed capacity.
The new Cat® AFC system has been delivered to the Datong Coal Mine Group (Tongmei) and will be used in the Dongzhouyao mine in Shanxi Province. The new AFC system marks the 39th delivered to Chinese mines by Caterpillar and its predecessors in the longwall equipment line.
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.
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.