Conveyor Cleaners Control Carryback

Several systems prevent coal spillage with quick and safe maintenance programs

Cleaners are an essential accessory for conveyor systems. Today, most manufacturers provide at least two types of conveyor belt cleaners, a primary (or precleaner) and a secondary cleaner in addition to many specialty type cleaners. These systems are used to control or eliminate the problems associated with coal spillage and carryback. Spillage, plain and simple, is a loss of saleable product that must be rehandled.

Allowing coal to accumulate is a safety concern, which can also lead to citations from regulators. Carryback is a primary source of spillage that can build up over time causing belt idlers and pulleys to wear and in a worst scenario could become a fire hazard. Carryback can also create an artificial crown on the return side of the conveyor leading to alignment issues. In general, carryback and spillage are signs of an unsafe workplace.

Conveyor cleaners need to be regularly maintained to work properly. Safety is important in maintenance considerations as well as reducing the amount of downtime associated with the maintenance program. After all, the conveyors serve as the production arteries, clearing coal from the face, and downtime on a mainline conveyor usually idles the entire operation.

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Conventional Power Stations Become More Flexible and Safe

Power producers are increasingly faced with the need to respond to fluctuating amounts of competitive sources being fed into the grid. For them to be able to do so, technical changes must be implemented in the operation of large-scale existing power stations. The change to “single-mill” operation at a power station demonstrates that even older power plants can be operated at low partial loads.

Last December demonstrated the degree of flexibility that is possible in the operation of conventional power stations today. A storm front caused the wind farms in northern Germany to feed excessive amounts of electricity into the grid. As a consequence, the power output of many conventional power stations had to be reduced by up to 40%. Through these measures, conventional power stations provide the level of flexibility required to ensure permanent load balancing. And, they have been doing so with great success. But how are these changes realized in practice? And what legal requirements must be observed in terms of licensing and approval?

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Diesel Update: New Engine Platforms and Updates Aim for Higher Versatility, Lower TCO

High-horsepower engine sales are stuck in the slow lane, but suppliers are adding new services and performance improvements to pave the way for future fleet expansion opportunities

Like an audience holding its collective breath while a performer prolongs a difficult note at the end of a song, mining-industry suppliers probably won’t take a deep breath until they hear a higher note of interest from mine owners in placing bigger orders for new production equipment.

In today’s business climate, hard rock producers are largely focusing on reducing operational costs, paring future project plans to an absolute minimum and preserving/extending the useful life of their current mobile equipment assets. One of the consequences of this focus is that trucks and other equipment are in some cases sitting idle — or on their way to an auction site — at mines around the world, and large fleet orders are few and far between. Although some commodity prices showed signs of recovery over the past year, any surge in large fleet purchases is probably still over the horizon for most mining original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

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New OTR Tires to Run Cooler, Longer as Suppliers Watch From Afar

Tire manufacturers now offer technologies that allow them to track tire performance in real time, allowing them to double as consultants

For better or worse, Industry 4.0 has unleashed a race among the companies that service the mining sector to innovate based on real-time data and with a view of the autonomous mines of tomorrow. In the tire space, that means increased focus on field results for products, now captured by embedded sensors and streamed by satellite to support teams and business coordinators. Live data mandates prompt responses, both in the field and on the drawing board. Manufacturers say there are numerous advantages to be gained from the instant notifications and burgeoning databases. They also say it is challenging to keep up with the pace of change it mandates. “With technology and the way the equipment keeps changing, and trying to keep up with everything, you almost have to keep adding to your tire line,” said Gary Pompo, manager, field technical services, BKT.

The latest tire releases promise to increase the life of the tire by reducing heat and improving its resilience. Suppliers back these promises with live data from test sites and the field. That ability has enabled them to also offer data management solutions. And that data can tell a miner more than just the air pressure of an exact tire at any given second. A few examples of such products and solutions follow.

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High Performance Remote-Controlled Plow Systems

 Longwall systems that employ plows have evolved and today represent an attractive alternative for automated mining especially with low seams

Nowadays technically efficient and economically viable underground mining systems play a more and more important role worldwide. Longwall mining systems present the most effective extraction method, capable of annually producing several million tons from a single mining system. The extraction of thick seams is fully occupied by shearers, which work effectively even under difficult geological conditions. In thin seams, however, plows deliver the highest efficiency.

Contemporary plow systems are designed to extract seams with a thickness below 3 ft to 6 ft, sometimes up to 10 ft (Ibbenbueren mine in Germany), and they stay in the seam without cutting the adjoining rock in the roof or floor. Modern plow systems are remotely controlled either from an entry or from the surface. Due to the principle of operation, remote-control capability, sophisticated power supply, and unique level of automation, the plow systems are capable of working very efficiently and safely. This article reviews some important high-performance plow applications worldwide and discusses the future developments for this mining method.

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Plastic Polymer Ventilation Tubing Beats Expectations in Full Mine Tests

 Previously tested as a hard rock product, HardLine Performance Ducting boasts that recent success proves fiberglass is finished

When the tests were run, the numbers were better than expected. And at first, the miners were skeptical.

Longwall Mining Services (LMS), vendor for the Engineered Performance Ventilation System’s (EPVS) HardLine Performance Ducting, wasn’t surprised. It was assigned a K-factor of seven, the number given during the elevator pitches and sales meetings. Yet in prior testing conducted by EPVS, the tubing returned Atkinson friction factors of 4.74 and 5.18.

To the miners, on paper all those numbers looked optimistic, even suspect. Deep underground, at the end of an almost 400-ft run, test results proved it. The fans would have to be turned down, something that at first wasn’t accepted by desk workers.

“Even to the point where we took that last air reading, they were still hesitant to believe what they were seeing,” Bryon Cerklefskie, vice president, sales and marketing, LMS, said. “It was a fun moment to have all the miners come out and stick their hard hats at the end of the tube or stand there and almost get sucked in because the increase of pressure and volume even at the end of a 390-ft run.”

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