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Mine Expo Review

The Mining Journal

November 26,2001

mining Equipment

MINExpo 2000
This MINExpo review is published in MINING Magazine's January 2001 issue.
High technology, monsters and more at MINExpo
MINExpo in Las Vegas last October perhaps exceeded many people's expectations. There had been concern that with some of the problems of the industry, visitor attendance at the world's premier mining exhibition would be low. However, the fears turned out to be unfounded with registrations exceeding 36,500, including many international visitors, especially from Latin America. The first two days were very busy and if MINExpo needs to do anything to improve, it is to find a way to even out visitor attendance over the full show. Wednesday and Thursday of the week saw the visitor stream tail off markedly.

There was certainly plenty of new technology to hold visitors' interest, some of which was covered in our preview (October 2000, pp.MNA36-46). Two overwhelming trends were evident in the new equipment on show - even larger capacity machines, for both surface and underground mining, and the growing application of high technology.

Caterpillar's booth was a good example of both trends. It saw the official launch of the huge 797 truck, covered in Mining Magazine's pages extensively already, displayed Elphinstone's 14 t capacity R1700G LHD, and launched MineStar, the new 988G wheel loader and the 5110B mass excavator (see Panorama this month). MineStar has been developed with technology alliance partners Aquila Mining Systems, Mincom and Trimble. This integrated information system is designed to link mining machines in the field with business applications in the office - including planning, production reporting and maintenance. It has modules that provide for machine and material tracking, off-highway truck assignment, machine health and production along with business enterprise connectivity. MineStar uses the latest information technology to reduce mine support cost, improve training and ensure smooth implementation. The onboard and off board systems use Internet standards to give users an interface similar to what they have on their desks now. The products are Web-enabled for easy distribution of information throughout mines and company offices.

MineStar's first application is in one of the largest coal mine's in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, US, where it is working with a fleet of more than 40 machines. It employs several technologies including GPS, high capacity wireless mobile communications, onboard computers and powerful office software. MineStar builds on the technology used in Caterpillar's CAES - Computer Aided Earthmoving System (at Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine: MM, November 1998, pp.MNA12-21), and Vital Information Management System (VIMS). Mines can select all or some of the complete MineStar suite of information technology products:

FleetCommander assigns trucks to maximise production and loading machine utilisation and to minimise truck wait time in small, medium and large fleets. FleetCommander's advanced algorithms allow the tailoring of truck assignments to business needs;

Machine Tracking monitors machine location for the entire fleet and incorporates a playback function to analyse dump movement and haul road congestion;

Material Tracking monitors material movement and direction and alerts operators and planners to incorrectly routed trucks. It can be linked to CAES for electronic tracking of material from mine planning all the way through to processing;

MineStar Health reports machine and fleet health in real time to a service centre, for improved maintenance;

MineStar Production provides constant productivity data from trucks, loading tools and other earthmovers;

CAES gives machine operators a real-time, 3D site plan to complete earthmoving and ore loading tasks in the most efficient way. Near real-time site information is available for updating the mine plan;

Aquila Drill Management provides operators with an onboard graphical drill pattern along with drill positioning and control for maximising production. It also provides material recognition data to the mine plan for improved blasting pattern design; and

MineStar Business Enterprise integrates data for improved mine and business planning, including financial planning and human resource needs

Komatsu Mining Systems also had plenty to show that was large, in some cases the largest, and high-tech; for example, bundling all its 'smart' mining systems into a single productivity-focused package. Intellimine is the name given to its integrated IT solutions, incorporating products from Modular Mining Systems. Modular's executive vice president, Mark Baker, commented that to be successful in this decade "mine operators will need as much actual intelligence as possible about their equipment in order to ensure its reliable, cost-effective performance." Intellimine embraces Modular's world-renowned Dispatch system, GPS applications and Komatsu's Maintenance Solution System. Mark Baker noted that: "Equipment maintenance accounts for as much as 30% of the direct costs in a mining operation. Intellimine will provide mine operators with more cost-effective solutions than traditional run-to-failure, or preventative and predictive maintenance approaches can."

Also, further development of Komatsu's Vehicle Health Monitoring System (VHMS) through a new program, called Komatsu WebCare "will integrate mine site technologies with Internet and satellite communications technologies in order to help our customers achieve 'reliability-centred maintenance. This means maintenance is done when appropriate based on real-time operational data and statistics gathered from Komatsu machines operating around the world. This equipment intelligence will be transmitted to Komatsu's all-new Global Solutions Center, which will provide 24-hour-a-day support for customers worldwide, including proactive identification of service and component life issues before they become more expensive and time-consuming to fix."

The final component of Intellimine is autonomous haulage systems. Komatsu has two autonomous truck fleets running in Australian mines and has also been testing autonomous versions of its large 930E-2 truck, proving that the system can deliver higher truck utilisation, consistent truck speeds and safer truck operation for greater efficiency and reduced costs. Mark Baker expects autonomous trucks to be commercially available in "a couple of years." Darryl Webb, vice president - product marketing with Komatsu Mining Systems, confirmed that the autonomous truck is a very high priority.

Leica Geosystems unveiled a new, improved version of its successful Dozer 2000 GPS-based machine guidance system. Among the major enhancements are a new high-accuracy GPS sensor, ruggedised flat-panel computer display, upgraded operating software, wireless data transfer and tilt sensor interface.

Dozer 2000 is one of the first Leica products to take advantage of the high-precision MC500, a new ruggedised dual-frequency GPS receiver, incorporating the highly acclaimed ClearTrak signal processing technology. ClearTrak, Leica reports, provides unsurpassed signal reception, satellite tracking, multipath mitigation and jamming resistance. The MC500 provides outputs in Leica's proprietary data format as well as the CMR and RTCM formats, ensuring compatibility with any Leica dual-frequency survey receivers as well as those of other manufacturers.

Leica Geosystems recently entered into an agreement to provide advanced GPS machine guidance systems to Laser Alignment, for inclusion into a full machine control system for a variety of earthmoving machines. The latter's chief executive officer, Dennis Nardoni, said, "We are particularly impressed with the proven reliability and accuracy of Leica Geosystems' GPS guidance system. Combined with our latest construction laser and machine control products, we have a system to provide new and existing customers with excellent productivity improvements from their machines".

There was considerable interest in the launch of the Quadrem e-commerce website ( covered in detail last month. Another new mining portal is X-lode which provides critical maintenance data to support operations and procurement. NRX Global ( aims to build a global Internet-based mining community with X-lode.

Surface drilling
The new Pit Viper 351 from Ingersoll Rand (IR) is believed to be the largest blasthole drill (with an 8.23 m long undercarriage) in the world and the most powerful ever produced. It will drill 270-406 mm diameter holes to a depth of 20 m in a single pass. The revolutionary distributed electrical control system enables full computer control of the electronic and hydraulic systems, making the Pit Viper 351 one of the most advanced rigs in its class. Designed in conjunction with Aquila, the network allows seamless integration of Aquila's drill monitoring, rock recognition, automatic drill control and GPS navigation systems.

The Pit Viper is powered by an 1,120 kW engine, either the Cummins QSK45 or the Caterpillar 3512. An electric version is also available. A patented hydraulic cylinder/cable feed system generates some 57 t of bit load, while the hydraulic rotary head produces in excess of 245 kW. An IR compressor delivering 6,450 m3/s at 7.6 bar, the largest ever installed on a blasthole drill, provides superior hole cleaning and improved bit life. Innovative rod handling and breakout systems allow for deeper drilling to a depth of over 40 m.

Continuing IR's tradition of superior structural design, the Pit Viper 351 has a heavy-duty, I-beam mainframe and a tower constructed of rectangular hollow steel tubing. The size of the unit and open deck plan offer excellent serviceability.

For the exploration, and other, drilling sectors, Atlas Copco Craelius has launched a new website -, an international meeting place for drillers around the world. It provides an information service, special offers on products in the Bargain Corner, a Factory Outlet facility selling excess stock and solutions to problems. The site will include case stories, product facts and a question box.

Under the TERRA concept, in conjunction with the launch of an advanced series of roller bits that drill faster and last longer than ever before, Sandvik Tamrock Tools introduced a consulting service designed to boost productivity and slash the cost of rock drilling. Sandvik reports that TERRA's holistic approach to marketing is already "giving breathtaking results. One experienced customer in Australia, for instance, reports a productivity rise of no less than 100%, which has fractionalised his total drilling cost."

The purchase price of a drill bit has very little to do with the total cost of rock drilling. What is far more important is how fast the bit drills, how long it lasts and, crucially, the ratio between gross penetration rate and net penetration rate. In other words, what proportion of operating time, and thus cost, is spent actually drilling blastholes.

"To ensure that the drill bit spends as much time as possible doing its job," says Sandvik Australia business-line manager Harry McArthur, "you have to look at the bigger picture. Our objective is to identify all parts of the overall drilling operation that might be impeding the progress of the bit. What we offer the customer is a consulting service aimed solely at raising productivity, since that is where the biggest cost savings lie dormant. We succeed in raising productivity not only through determination of the most cost-effective bit for the rock conditions, but also by identifying and eliminating logistical and operational bottlenecks, scrutinising maintenance routines, setting the rig parameters optimally, highlighting unhelpful work practices and training operators to exploit existing machinery in the most productive way.

The hardware behind Sandvik Tamrock Tools' consulting service is the TERRA series of performance-boosting, cemented-carbide button-type roller bits. They come in four super base-variants, each with exceptionally broad rock-index capabilities, and in diameters from 171 to 381 mm.

Smith Bits, part of Smith International, released its new Charger QX2 blasthole bit. It is a redesign of the successful Charger QX with an optimised seal cleaning system and dual radial bullet-shaped seals (offering maximum protection to bearings). The backflow valve system has been completely redesigned to prevent cuttings from damaging the seals. This tandem system will extend bit life and lower drilling costs. The QX2 offers three new sculptured chisel and conical inserts. The sculptured wedge incline chisel with vector characteristics optimises performance in medium-soft to medium formations. The semi-round top conical is, Smith reports, a unique conical shaped insert for medium to medium-hard formations. Finally, in medium hard to semi-abrasive formations, the sculptured wedge incline chisel gage insert slows the rate of gage rounding.

Surface loading
Something of a surprise came from LeTourneau with its massive new L-2350 wheel loader. With a standard 40.5 m3, 72.6 t bucket capacity, a 7.3 m lift height and 3.8 m reach, it is now, clearly, the world's largest wheel loader. Holding that honour among mechanical drive wheel loaders is Komatsu's WA1200-3 with a standard bucket capacity of 20 m3.

The L-2350, like the L-1350, is controlled and monitored by the LeTourneau Integrated Network Control System (LINCS), which provides the most intelligent computerisation available, LeTourneau claims. The information it provides includes bucket weights, cycle times, preventative maintenance data, self-diagnostics and more. LINCS manages all loader systems (including hydraulics, electrics, traction drive and engine) through the interactions of the Master Control Module (MCM) and multiple Remote Control Modules (RCMs). The MCM combines ruggedised industrial hardware with a Pentium class microprocessor to direct the entire system from the cab. The RCMs are distributed around the machine providing the MCM with the hands and eyes needed to control and monitor the machine.

LeTourneau's L-2350 is a 1,715 kW wheel loader, the largest in the world.

The WA1200-3 powered by Komatsu's SDA16V160 electric-controlled engine will load 216 t trucks in just six passes. Its modulated clutch system offers adjustable travel speed, traction control and tyre specification settings for multiple applications. The Precise Dial Control of Travel Speed setting offers the operator variable travel speeds for tight 'V' cycles, decreasing cycle times and increasing digging capabilities and tyre life. The Traction Control setting features a traction power selection of 20 to 100% to accommodate various application conditions. The Tire Saver setting controls tyre slip, preventing wear and prolonging tyre life.

The Komatsu WA1200-3 has a Remote Boom Positioner that allows the operator to set maximum and minimum bucket positions, promoting smooth component movement and preventing spillage.

Komatsu's new PC4000 mining shovel was reviewed in detail in our August issue (p81).

In electric rope loading shovels, P&H had its new 2000 Plus Concept Cab exhibited for critical comment and suggestions and announced the 4100BOSS for oil sand mines (dipper capacity 47.5 m3 ), based on the 4100XPB discussed in our preview. Sleek on the outside and ultra functional inside, the new shovel cab was unveiled as tomorrow's control centre for the 'loading manager' - known today as the operator. Its innovative safety features and control enhancements were presented in a working model. Augmenting the optimum visibility from within the cab are strategically located voice-activated cameras centred on the blind spots. A simple command - such as 'right rear crawlers' - immediately brings that area into view on a monitor. The operator can further scan a blind spot by moving the camera with a joystick control. The unique heads-up-display system provides ready access to time-critical information without distracting from production activities.

Bucyrus International Announced the 795B electric shovel, providing up to 125 t of capacity per pass. Thus it will three-pass load 327 t trucks and three-pass, rather than four-pass, load trucks up to 360 t capacity. Looking to the future, it will be able to four-pass load trucks up to 490 t capacity. Not only did Bucyrus use customer input in the design of this shovel, uniquely the company collected a list of do's and don'ts from retired electric shovel engineers. Also unusually, all the designs were audited by independent third parties.

This innovative new shovel is to be available in the second quarter of 2001 and Bucyrus will be aiming for availabilities of 95% on maintenance and repair contracts (MARC). It will be able to cut bank heights up to 22.8 m and will offer a cutting radius of 26.6 m. The patent applied for latchless dipper will providing soft dumping, reducing truck and operator impact. The 795B takes proven technologies such as Hook Rollers (from the 680W dragline) and Knee-Action (Pivotable Knuckle) Front End (used on stripping shovels) and brings in new technologies to electric rope shovels to produce an innovative machine. New is the use of hydraulics for the crowd and dipper door control functions. Used for the crowd, this eliminates boom stresses and the maintenance challenges associated with traditional crowd machinery. The hydraulics on the dipper door provide for the 'soft dump'.

An artists's impression of the innovative Bucyrus 795B mining shovel. (N.B. This is a jpeg saved in the JAN folder)

The 795B uses Siemens drives throughout and offers the benefits of an AC electric drive system. It employs an IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors) system as used on the 495BI and 495BII shovels. The Acutrol Series III/IGBT AC drive system for electric mining shovels and draglines was introduced in Las Vegas. Using an Active Front End (AFE), controlled by IGBTs, the system acts as a voltage stabiliser, a particularly important feature for open pits that typically have weak power distribution systems. Siemens reports that the Acutrol III/IGBT drive represents a breakthrough in compatibility with mine distribution systems. AFEs convert incoming AC power into DC power, replacing the typical SCR thyristor rectifier.

Unlike regular SCR rectifiers, AFEs allow an adjustable power factor, between 0.8 leading and 1.0, without reactive power compensation equipment. During operation, the shovel pulls 'active' power from the line, reducing line voltage. The leading power factor allows the drive to compensate this voltage drop with a voltage increase from the 'reactive power' fed back into the line at the same time.

Caterpillar's new 988G wheel loader features a fabricated box boom, new engine and new power train. It handles buckets ranging from 6.3 to 7.0 m3 and can easily load 36-63 t trucks. It has the versatility of a material handler and is highly productive in stockpile work as well as face loading. The Cat 3456 EUI engine boosts the power by 10% to 354 kW and increases torque rise by 24%.

The cab of the Cat 988G is 38% larger than the previous 988 cab for enhanced comfort and increased viewing area. It has fingertip implement controls that promote consistent operation during extended work shifts.

The news from Hitachi Construction Machinery was that it is taking over sales, distribution and product support for Euclid trucks throughout the world. The trucks are being incorporated into the Hitachi product line to match the existing line of excavators. These trucks have now become the EH Series. Thus, the new EH4500AC, currently the largest truck available from Hitachi, was introduced at MINExpo, matched to the Hitachi EX5500 shovel. The truck has a payload capacity of 255 t and is loaded in four passes by the shovel, which has a bucket capacity of just over 27 m3. Hitachi reports that the EX5500 has turned out to be one of its most successful product launches, with a total of eight flawless start-ups delivered to mines throughout the world to date. The EX5500 mining shovel averages 3,400-4,000 t/h. It is also available in a backhoe configuration, with a 29 m3 bucket. The EX5500 weighs approximately 515 000 kg and is powered by twin Cummins KTA50-C engines, conservatively rated at 1,940 kW.

On the EH4500 hauler, the AC drive technology is a combination of Siemens controls, inverter phase modules and wheel motors-tied to Euclid and Hitachi-designed systems for power generation and planetary gear wheel drives. The resulting package provides mechanical drive-like start-ups, higher top speeds and better gradability. Maximum speed is 62 km/h. Hitachi claims the braking system for the EH4500 is unmatched in the industry. AC technology to zero speed retardation is achieved through the AC wheel motors, controlled by a Siemens resistor package.

The model shown at MINExpo was configured for trolley assist. Trolley assist for the AC trucks is much more forgiving of power drops or surges than with DC-powered systems. The EH4500 with trolley assist is already proving itself at the Grootegeluk Coal Mine in South Africa (MM, August 2000, p63). Demonstration tests of the EH4500AC with trolley assist achieved 30 km/h on a 10% grade with greatly reduced diesel use.

Trolley assist is once again raising great interest as fuel costs rise. While the latest diesel engines operate at about 2,050 kW, Siemens AC drives provide up to 4,100 kW. "Only on a trolley line can the full power of the drive system be utilised, increasing speed on grade by up to 80% or more," said Walter Koellner, Siemens marketing manager for the mining group. "Depending on the mine profile, this may mean the same amount of material can be moved with 20% fewer trucks."

Big haulers
Big trucks were very much in evidence with Terex Earthmoving showing the new 327 t payload Unit Rig MT 5500 equipped with an innovative new AC powered electrical drive system. Liebherr's T282 is now rated with a maximum payload capacity of 364 t. Even Belaz suggested that its largest model, the 7570, would have a 420 t payload and would be powered by two 2,014 kW engines.

Komatsu introduced the 930E-2E, a special edition of the 930E-2. Its design incorporates field and technical experience of over two million hours on more than 200 930Es operating around the world. The 930E-2E offers another option for extreme applications where additional power is required. It offers a 2,610 kW engine, superior retarding, faster cycle times and VHMS. It also features BASS (Blind Area Surveillance System) which provides operators with virtually unparalleled visibility of the area surrounding a machine.

The three Liebherr T282s out in the field have now accumulated over 30,000 operating hours between them, averaging 85% availability, which is high for field test units. Two are in the Powder River Basin (PRB), one at the Jacobs Ranch mine (hauling overburden) and one at Black Thunder Coal (hauling coal). The third is operating for Klemke Mining hauling both overburden and oil sands in one of the Alberta, Canada, oil sand mines. Klemke has recently ordered three more T282s. The best performer to date has been the Black Thunder machine with around 96% availability over close to 15,000 hours.

Liebherr is currently the only manufacturer marketing two 'Ultra Class' trucks (over 300 s.ton capacity). The other being its innovative TI272 (MM August 2000, p60), now rated with a 290 t and with the potential to grow into higher capacity tonnage payloads. Three have been put onto mines, all hauling overburden, since its introduction in October 1999, amassing over 5,500 operating hours - one at North Rochelle in the PRB, one at Thambazimbi in South Africa and one at Mt Owen in Australia. Liebherr reports that "Improvements have been made rapidly - computer modelling is an excellent tool but not a complete substitute for field experience. Fewer modifications to our revolutionary weight saving structural system have been required than expected. The company reports it is very pleased with technical results and especially pleased with the TI272's productivity. Liebherr sees a productivity advantage of at least 12%; "In deep pit applications, the advantage over heavier trucks will be as high as 15%. Actual results will depend on specific mine conditions. In general, the steeper the haul profile the better."

The Liebherr T282 has an AC drive system capable of using up to 4,030 kW of power. It is trolley ready and can also use additional power from a trolley system.

From now on, the standard power unit on Liebherr's T282 is Cummins' new QSK78 which delivers 2,610 kW. One of the most important features of this engine is that it delivers full power at altitudes up to 3,660 m. Komatsu and Cummins announced an exclusive agreement joining the two in the sale, distribution, service and support of engines for mining equipment. It was their 50/50 joint venture company, Industrial Power Alliance (IPA), that designed the new, 78-litre, QSK78, known as the SSDA18V170 when powering Komatsu's 930E-SE 290-300 t payload capacity truck.

Cummins QSK78 "delivers an extremely valuable 'one-two' punch as the largest and most environmentally friendly diesel engine for today's mining industry, said Mark Levett, vice president and general manager - high-horsepower business at Cummins. The key to its performance advantage is in its design - two-stage turbocharging with intercooling and aftercooling features to provide the engine with cool, highly compressed air at high altitudes for higher efficiency, lower emissions and smoke control. The engine features Cummins CELECT full-authority electronics and Quantum System electronic engine management, a Prelub system, ELIMINATOR advanced oil filtration and the CENTINEL advanced engine oil management system.

Cummins also unveiled where engine and equipment information, such as hours of operation, fuel consumption and faults alerts can be viewed from off-site locations. The aim of this interactive Internet portal is to provide customers with the information they need to obtain the lowest operating costs from Cummins-powered trucks, loading equipment, drills and other mining machines.

Cummins also announced that it would expand its offering of engines approved for use underground in response to customer needs. Thus, the QSK19, approved at 485 kW, become the first Cummins engine to be tested and approved for underground mining. This is just the start, the company plans to expand its line of approved electronic engines with the QSB5.9, QSC8.3, QSM11 and QSX15. The B3.3, B3.9 and B5.9 mechanical engines will also be tested and approved.

Temco Mining launched a new lightweight dump body made with abrasion resistant plate for haul trucks carrying 216 t and above. The company reports that T-MAX incorporates load containment haul capacity increase up to 24% and gross vehicle weight reductions of 14%. Thus, payloads are increased while wear and tear on operators and trucks is reduced.

New tyre technology
Many new tyre developments were on show to support the new equipment. These included Bridgestone's 46/90R57 VELS low-profile haulage tyre and a new high-speed tyre solution being developed by Michelin Earthmover, along with the 44/80R57 XDR. Goodyear exhibited a system that can capture and remotely display tyre air pressure, temperature and identification. The company also showed a first-of-its-kind two-piece tyre that allows operators to independently change tyre and body packages in the field. There was Goodyear software that can predict the impact of load, speed and distance on tyre performance and EMTrack 4.0, a computer-based tyre management system. Goodyear also has a new range of underground mining tyres.

Because the products and services offered by Michelin have grown significantly, the company exhibited from four booths. There was an interactive demonstration at the MEMS booth of its Michelin Earthmover Management System (MEMS), the fully-functional electronic tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system. In the Underground Mining, Michelin displayed the productivity advantages that its radial tyres can deliver in abrasive environments.

The architecture of the Michelin 44/80R57 XDR allows the tyre to operate at lower air pressure, which extends tyre life and boosts vehicle performance. Michelin's 63-in tyre, also on display, is designed for haul trucks of 360+s.ton and utilises similar low-pressure. In developing the 44/80R57 XDR, Michelin has taken its low-pressure technology one step further by combining it with the benefits of the XDR's innovative tread design. Since its introduction in 1999, the XDR design has met great success in the field, delivering up to 20% longer tire life. With tread up to 15% deeper than most E4 radial tyres and thick, square shoulders, the XDR provides maximum protection in severe mining conditions. Deep, longitudinal grooves improve traction. Unlike most haul truck tyres, the XDR features independent blocks that run along the centre of the tread line. These blocks come together as the tyre rolls to spread the ground contact pressure evenly and minimise the rate of tread wear.

If the temperature or pressure of tyres becomes too great, they can fail prematurely. The new TAS Giant Tire Monitoring System from Fuller Brothers helps prevent this costly dilemma. The TAS measures tyre pressure and temperature using telemetry and digitally transfers the data to a receiver on the vehicle. This then translates the signal into usable data, which can be transmitted to the vehicle cab, hand held data capture units and/or station receiver units, allowing all mine tyres to be monitored.

Primarily for underground use, Trojan Softire Cores, a 100% reusable tyre filling system, is the patent of Trojan Tire. Trojan also markets specialty pneumatic tyres and Trojan Solid Rubber Tyres - Tuff-Haul brand. Trojan reports that use of its expertise and products can cut tyre costs by up to 40% and increase productivity.

Big trucks for underground also made their debut, including the MT5010 from Atlas Copco Wagner. This offers a 50 t payload capacity and the highest power engine in its class, the 485 kW Detroit Diesel MTU/DDC 8V2000, for remarkable speed, even on steep grades. Wagner highlighted a number of other new machines including the ST-8C 6 m3 Scooptram with an increased tramming capacity of 14.5 t. There was also the ST-2G Scooptram with a 4 t payload and the 6.5 t capacity ST700. Another new truck is the MT2000 with a payload capacity of 20 t. Powered by a 224 kW Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine, a loaded MT2000 can travel at 12 km/h on a 10% grade and 26 km/h on level ground.

The ST-2G offers increased performance and improved serviceability over its predecessor, the ST-2D. The Deutz water-cooled BFM1013EC engine delivers 67% more power and 60% more speed on a 1:7 grade, all while maintaining the same ventilation requirements as the previous ST-2D's air-cooled engine. The benefit is a cooler and quieter engine, resulting in improved fuel economy, lowered emissions and reduced operating costs. Other features of the ST-2G include Fail-to-Safe brakes, a tapered roller bearing articulation hinge, Rock Tough halogen floodlights and the new single lever dump and hoist control. The operator can now control all of the bucket and boom motions using one lever. The pilot operated control also eliminates linkage maintenance while providing the operator with effortless control.

Wagner claims its MT5010 has the highest power to weight ratio of any truck in its class. On a 10% grade, it can travel 12 km/h loaded and 23.4 km/h unloaded. Its dump box holds 27 m3 heaped and 25.5 m3 semi-heaped.

Atlas Copco says that its new COP 1838HF high frequency rock drill, developed specifically for underground drilling, combines "an outstanding penetration rate with excellent drill steel life." With a percussion frequency of 73 Hz, a 20% increase in the frequency of the popular 1838ME, the COP 1838HF out performs the ME version while using nearly the same energy in each blow.

Atlas Copco's COP 1838HF features a long slender piston, double reflex dampening, floating shank adapter, a built-in flushing head of stainless steel and two alternative hydraulic rotation motors.

Breaker Technology offers a variety of trackless underground support vehicles, including Anfo loaders, scalers, mobile rock breakers and shotcrete and utility trucks. It also offers pedestal mounted breaker systems and oversize hydraulic breakers.

The newest addition to Sandvik Tamrock's Axera jumbo family is the D05. Thanks to its narrower articulated jumbo design and wide 37o steering angle, the D05 can turn right-angled corners in drifts as narrow as 2.9 x 2.9 m. Tamrock reports that it is surprisingly powerful for its compact size, with large 1200 x 20 tyres, D45 HD Ford axles and a powerful 55 kW engine and is capable of tramming speeds up to 12 km/h.

The dedicated CB05 carrier was developed to support all the single-boom units in its size class: Axera (development), Robolt (roofbolting) and Solo (production drilling) 05. One carrier size for these different applications offers significant advantages to the customer in reducing inventory, reduced training requirements for operators and mechanics and better parts availability.

The autobalanced chassis of the Sandvik Tamrock Axera DO5 with its robust boom supports and X-Y co-ordinated boom movements provides wider boom coverage for enhanced productivity.

On the Toro side, the very successful 007 and 0010 LHDs have now been joined by the small but punchy 006. Designed for envelope sizes of about 3 x 3 m and powered by a Detroit Diesel Series 40E engine, its tramming capacity is 6.7 t. Toro also announced the 0011 with a capacity of 21 t. Two of these monster LHDs are currently undergoing field trails. They will operate in an envelope size of 5.5 x 5.5 m, depending on local regulations and offer bucket sizes of 8-10.7 m3. They are powered by a Detroit Diesel S-60 12.7 litre engine developing 354 kW. Both new Toros can withstand ambient temperatures up to 55oC. There was also a new low-profile LHD from EJC, the 115LP. This can operate in back heights as low as 1.6 m and has a tramming capacity of 5.5 t.

Operators position in the new EJC 115LP (Low Profile) LHD. This 105 kW machine comes with a standard 2.3 m3 bucket.

There was also an AutoMine autonomous LHD (MM, July 2000, pp.12-16) demonstration on the Sandvik Tamrock booth and a demonstration of its new OptiMine simulation tool. The latter focuses on the loading and hauling processes when undertaking underground mine design. It is primarily designed to serve as an aid in selecting equipment, optimising the fleet size and defining the parameters of traffic control and mine layout. The simulation is based on state-of-the-art virtual; technology.

OptiMine allows any conflicts in traffic to be detected and eliminated easily. The user can vary the input parameters to simulate various situations and determine the optimum solution. The capacities/machine(s), operating cost of the machine(s) and the volumes of ore in different locations can be monitored.

Particularly interesting for future underground vehicles was the Fuelcell Propulsion Institute's exhibit of what was claimed to be the first fuelcell underground vehicle, a mine locomotive. Fuelcells offer zero emissions, low noise, high power density, low temperature and pressure, and long life. Additionally, the PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) type, coupled with reversible metal-hydride fuel storage, is compact, exceptionally safe, simple and rugged. The hydride fuelcell loco at MINExpo was a 14 kW unit derived from an advanced battery vehicle manufactured by institute member R.A. Warren Equipment. Starting from commercially available PEM stacks, the entire loco power plant, including storage, was developed by member Sandia National Laboratories. Vehicle integration was performed by member Atlas Copco Wagner.

Vehicle evaluation is to involve extensive safety, performance and productivity tests in underground mines. Test participants include MSHA and institute members Barrick Gold, CANMET, Inco, Placer Dome and Stuart Energy Systems.

5DT, a world pioneer in Virtual Reality [VR] peripherals and training systems, showed what it claims is the world's first Virtual Reality Continuous Miner Training Simulator. This product, 5DT VR COAL, teaches the trainee miner operator how to control a miner in such a way as to increase productivity while maintaining a high safety standard. The training is performed in a safe and controlled environment. The trainee controls the miner in a virtual coal (or potash) mine with controls that accurately resemble those of a real machine. There is a series of training scenarios that vary in complexity. The trainee and instructor receive a complete training report at the end of each training session. The operator wears a Virtual Reality Head Mounted Display [HMD] to view the virtual coal mine, the virtual miner and a virtual shuttle car. The HMD also enables the operator to hear the different sounds in the virtual environment. This product was developed in partnership with Sasol Coal, one of the leading suppliers of coal in South Africa.

For remote control machine operation, Cattron offers the PVS800 portable video remote control system that gives the operator clear video pictures of the work zone, even when out of visual contact with the equipment. The monitor is easily mounted on a Cattron joystick controller, and other configurations are available.

Joy's three new machines, the 14CM27 continuous miner, the new 1122 Multibolter and the Integrated Mining Machine (IMM) were all noted in the preview article in October. The IMM, seen here, is designed to cut a full-face width, for a distance equal to most roof bolt centres, while simultaneously installing a full bolt pattern.

The Flexible Tramming Conveyor for Underground Mining (FTC-U) from RAHCO drew a lot of interest. This is a multi-car vehicle consisting of a hopper car, multiple intermediate cars and a discharge car. Each car is 4.6 m long. A roof bolting car is also available to facilitate continuous roof bolting. An onboard PLC allows site-specific programming of steering and tramming operations. Its nominal capacity is up to 1,500 t/h.

New coal cutting tool systems have been released by Kennametal. The Pro Point Tooling system is easily attachable to the tops of drum vanes. K225 is for extremely high horsepower machines and K175 is for medium to high power machines. The new QC118 is a fully heat-treated tool holder assembly with a heavy-duty, extra-strong base that welds tightly to shearer or continuous miner drums.

Also new is the RX3 Roof Rocket Tool, an innovative tri-blade premium-carbide tool for greater efficiency in roof drilling. Kennametal claims it drills holes up to 40% faster than existing products, it last up to 150% longer than standard styles and it gets optimum production at low thrust.

Magnum SR is a new drifting system developed by Secoroc to meet the demand for strong and reliable drifter rods and bits to take the pace and strain of the new generation of powerful drill rigs. Secoroc reports that Magnum not only delivers straighter holes but also has a considerably longer service life than any competing system. The key is a patent pending new design. While the rods and bits look conventional, their thread is actually conical in shape. The diameter at the end of the thread is 35 mm, while at its tip it is 32 mm. This means more material at the thread end to prevent breakage and less tendency for deviation when collaring.

Secoroc's new Magnum system.

Other haul systems
Syntron heavy-duty feeders and electromagnetic vibrating feeders, as well as surface and underground conveyor systems were featured by FMC. Syntron electromagnetic vibrating feeders are of rugged design. The range of 12 models offers feeding capacities from 75 to 1,600 t/h.

Edwin Lowe has a new concept for manufacturing idlers, based upon prefabricated bearing housing cartridges. Produced as separate cartridges, for all common idler and shaft diameters, they incorporate bearing, seals, grease, etc. - locked within the housing. They are simply mounted upon the shaft and welded upon the tube, giving quicker assembly, reduced lead times and other advantages.

Maglev 4 Mining is a new patented surface and underground haulage system that employs magnetic levitation and propulsion created by superconducting magnets to carry material. It can haul 100 t containers at speeds up to 160 km/h. It is reported to be a fully automatic, fast, low cost, environmentally safe and low maintenance system.

Mato exhibited its latest technology in conveyor belt maintenance. It featured its new hydraulic lacing system and the MR 30 series, hammer-installed belt splice. Mato also showed a range of belt scrapers, belt clamps, belt cutters and its highly rated U-Series belt lacing system. The latter is in service on conveyor belts up to 1,830 mm wide.

SFBT claims to be a world leader in steel cord belting technologies. It invented the high-angle Autostable Belt and the new fully enclosed Square Belt. SFBT uses special elastic steel cords, both longitudinally and transversely, in conjunction with superior grade rubber covers. In this way it mitigates bulk handling problems of impact, ripping, high angle troughing, tracking, flexibility, elongation, vertical/horizontal/compound curves, burn through and abrasion.

Ultra Tech, a long-time manufacturer of abrasion-resistant steel pipe for mining unveiled an aggressive, total-solutions approach for complete 'Mine Tough' piping systems. These solutions have been engineered for long wear life in applications such as phosphate matrix lines, mineral ducts, delivering hydraulic or paste backfill, slurry piping, tailing lines, pneumatic transfer and in-plant piping systems.

The products shown at MINExpo included: Ultra 600 (600 Brinell) induction-hardened steel pipe available in diameters up to 1,016 mm; DuWall induction-hardened steel pipe of double-wall construction for maximum durability; basalt and ceramic-lined systems; chrome carbide weld overlays and lined elbows; and various valves, couplings and other accessories.

Ultra tech begins with a proprietary chemistry steel pipe and then, using a custom-designed induction hardening mill, processes the pipe to achieve extreme inner-wall hardness while retaining a ductile outer wall.

Belts need cleaning and Martin Engineering's new In-Line Secondary Belt Cleaner features slide-in/slide-out blade replacement to improve service procedures. It aligns four 100-mm wide blade segments into a unitary cleaning edge. The blade segments slide in place in a cartridge that in turn slides over a steel mainframe into a cleaning position on the return side of a belt.

Underground support
The Allentown Equipment Division of Master Builders has developed a new Robotic shotcrete Spraymobile. The MSV 2100 Spraymobile is a completely self-contained unit that can place up to 27 m3/h of wet shotcrete using a remote controlled articulating spray boom and automatic swing-tube type concrete pump, mounted on a rugged carrier. The unit also incorporates an on-board air compressor, an admixture dosing system and pressure washing for clean-up.

Allentown Equipment's (Master Builders) MSV 2100 features a unique shotcrete pump and hopper assembly that can be hydraulically positioned at various heights. The hopper has a 0.325 m3 capacity and features rear hydraulic controls, a bottom clean-out door, a vibrator style grate and backsplash.

New from DBT was a shield support with a width (spacing) of 2 m. This support was designed using the 3D CAD-Software ProEngineer and was tested at the company's own test centre prior to the exhibition. Customers from various countries around the world have shown interest in 2m wide shields. A 2 m long PF 5 face conveyor line pan suited for this shield support has also been designed and manufactured. As happened when 1.75 m wide shields were introduced some 15 years ago, DBT expects this new development to lead to a reduction in the number of shields required per longwall and consequent reductions in capital and ownership costs.

DBT also exhibited its new drive system CST 65 for high-capacity face conveyors. This, the company claims, is the world's most powerful drive system today. Up to 1,200 kW at a typical gear ratio of 33:1 can be installed per gearbox. This allows high-capacity face conveyors and long faces. This drive system has the same proven features as the widely used CST 30 and CST 45, such as no load motor start up, synchronized soft start and heavy load start up, accurate load sharing and excellent overload protection.

The newly developed class 35 drive frame with a solid sprocket was also presented. The sprocket forms one unit with the shaft and the bearings and may be exchanged underground without removing the gearboxes. For bigger drive systems such as the CST 65 a similar design has been in successful underground operation in Germany since January 2000. This proven design for smaller drive systems start work underground on a longwall in the US at the end of 2000. Customers from other countries such as Australia or Poland have also expressed interest in this new design concept for the tensionable tail drive.

Fletcher Mining Equipment claims that its Feedback is the world's first computerised sensing system designed to improve every aspect of roof control. Used on Fletcher's mobile roof bolters, it reads roof strata hardness while it drills, adjusting drill speed, feed, thrust, torque and vacuum automatically. Thus it increases drill penetration rates, lengthens bit life and controls cuttings and dust. It installs bolts and resins according to manufacturer specifications every time. This gives better bolt-to-bolt consistency. It can be retrofitted to current Fletcher bolters.

Tekflex is a tough, flexible strata support membrane developed by Fosroc for mesh or screen replacement. It has geomechanical properties, allowing it to support loose material between bolted strata through the application of only 3-6 mm of membrane. The product offers excellent adhesion and significant tensile strength even after elongation of the flexible membrane.

According to Baker Process, the Eimco Advent Integrated Activated Sludge System (AIS) is the first major breakthrough in biological treatment in over 50 years. It is the first successful integration of the aeration tank and secondary clarifier with no moving parts into a single unit.

Warman, Galigher and Ash Pump products are now combined in the Weir Slurry Group. The group's materials research scientists are developing new, cost effective wear materials for all slurry requirements. The group has foundries and elastomer moulding centres located on every continent. Standard interchangeable wear parts for engineered products are available off the shelf. Experimental materials are under test at actual mineral processing facilities.

There was, naturally, a good deal of interest in the (Nordberg) acquisition of Svedala. However, there was little the company could say while examination by the US and European regulatory bodies continues. Nordberg's new products were covered in our MINExpo preview (October 2000, pp.MNA43-45). Metso's strategy includes a major commitment to invest in customer support, according to Olli Vaartimo, president of Metso's Machinery business area and president and chief operating officer of Nordberg.

"The tens of thousands of Nordberg and Svedala machines operating around the world provide an excellent platform on which to develop new standards in customer care," said Mr Vaartimo. "The combined strength of our new customer support operations will enable us to get much closer to our customers and be more responsive to their changing needs."

Siemens' Silag-MTS material tracking system allows the flow of materials to be monitored and controlled online - from transport of the materials until they are loaded into vehicles. The operator is always provided with exact information on current stocks of different materials or the capacity utilisation of conveying and loading equipment. Access is even possible to specific individual batches. Silag runs under Windows NT and can be used either stand alone or as a component of an integrated automation system with the WinCC HMI system and the Simatic PCS 7 process controller. The open and scaleable material-flow system uses standard interfaces and can thus be adapted to meet different requirements and then integrated in the date processing system of the particular installation.

The Silag@Web intranet from Siemens makes all relevant information available online in the internal data network of mining installations.

P.R. Engineering manufactures the Birdsboro Buchanan line of jaw crushers but will recondition with warranty all makes and any size of jaw, cone and gyratory crushers. The company's refurbishing expertise extends to the milling circuit, including rod and ball mills, babbitting bearings of any size and trouble shooting.

MMD showed the range and versatility of its mineral sizers and feeders, used in hard rock mines, coal and even oil sands. It offers design and manufacture of turnkey primary and secondary crushing stations from 100 to 20,000 t/h.

The M Series is the new line of pressure filters from Larox, detailed in our July issue, page 35. The company has seen significant advance since the last MINExpo. It now offers a complete range of liquid polishing filters. These remove and recover solids in low concentrations from process liquids. The quality of the resulting filtrate increases production capacity while boosting the quality of plant and refinery end products. The Beta represents new valve technology with proven Larox quality. The company reports that it is a perfect replacement for ball, plug and diaphragm valves. The valve body is made of a very light, durable and impact resistant polyamide blend.

KEECO's Silica Micro Encapsulation (SME) encapsulates metals in an impervious microscopic silica matrix (essentially locking them up in very small sand-like particles) which prevents the metals from migrating or otherwise adversely affecting human health or the environment. SME usually achieves control of contaminants in a single step, without the need for pre-treatment with chemicals or post-treatment flocculation or filtration. Its physical/chemical components include an initial exothermic reaction and pH adjustment followed by an electrokinetic reaction and metal hydroxyl formation which leads to silica encapsulation. Contrary to conventional treatment processes that typically degrade over time, the SME silica matrix continues to strengthen and tighten, further isolating contaminants from the environment.

SME is a very robust technology, demonstrated to work effectively on heavy metals (such as chromium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc), metalloids (such as arsenic), and radionuclides (such as uranium). It can be applied to wastewater, sediment, sludge, soil, mine tailings, and other complex media.

The underground environment relies on DrägerTubes every day for the accurate detection of hazardous gases. Today they can detect over 500 gases and vapours - an international standard for fast, simple, accurate and economic measurement of toxic atmospheres in underground mines. The Accuro hand operated pump employs a unique scissors mechanism to compress the bellows and ensure a completely even pump stroke delivering a smooth and precise 100 cm2 air sample through the DrägerTube.

Pyott Boone offers a system based on Windows 2000 or NT that provides a platform for total monitoring of a complete line of smart gas monitoring products. These Smart Remotes allow digital calibration, eliminating time consuming manual adjustments.

Rammer unveiled the latest additions to its comprehensive line of pedestal boom hydraulic breaker systems. The XM series has been designed for optimum performance and durability, features proven Rammer hammers mounted on standard two-piece booms and can help increase crusher throughput by more than 20%. There are six standard and three heavy-duty (HD) configurations.

Powered via an efficient Rammer power pack, the new XM series booms are mounted via a durable pedestal that is supported on polyurethane cushions for reduced vibration.

Ansul introduced two new large-capacity dry chemical fire suppression systems to meet the growing need for fire protection on large equipment. The larger capacity tanks are designed for use with Ansul's LVS Liquid Agent Suppression System, creating a 'twin-agent' protection scheme. This combination offers the rapid flame knockdown and pressure-fire extinguishing capabilities of Foray Dry Chemical plus the superior cooling of LVS Wet Chemical. Both the LTA-101-125/250 and LVS systems interface with a Checkfire control module providing automatic detection, alarm, time delays, equipment shutdown and system release functions.

Linatex previewed two very interesting new wear products. One is a vulcanisable form of Linatex Premium Natural Rubber. This allows the unique rubber properties of Linatex to be applied both to geometrically complex parts and in traditionally difficult bonding conditions. The second new product is an oil and chemical resistant form of Linatex, giving added strength resilience and abrasion resistance.

Columbia Steel's new Dogbone links in lower and upper hoist chains are shown here being used with the new Triple-Pitch drag chain. These new products, along with the EZ Ring tooth point system for shovels, were in our October preview.

Flexxaire Manufacturing offers what it describes as the "next generation in variable pitch fan systems." FX series fans are available for most equipment and use a small hydraulic cylinder (9 cm2)housed inside the fan hub to control the pitch of the blades. As a result of the smallness of the hydraulic cylinder, FX series fans require very little flow and can be operated with the machine pilot pressure system. It is a maintenance-free unit, with the exception of oil changes every 6,000 hours, and now fits in the same envelope as the standard fixed pitch fan.

Miller Electric's new products were detailed in the October preview. Plasma cutting was just one of these. The advantage are that it is a faster, cleaner metal cutter than torches and saws. The Auto-Line on this Spectrum 2050 automatically links it to any power input in the world. The Spectrum 2050 makes a quality cut on carbon steel up to 23 mm.

Falk has introduced Falk Powered, a programme in which customers identify or request that Falk components be used on the equipment that they are purchasing. Also to provide customers with power transmission product, application, technical and industry information, Falk has formed Club Gear Head, an Exranet Website exclusive to registered users.

Pumping advances
Ready 24 is the latest drainage pump from ITT Flygt. This 2.4 kW pump, which weighs less than 18 kg and is less than 200 mm in diameter, can cope with everything from muddy water to corrosive liquids and gravel. It is the latest in Flygt's Ready line and can handle up to 12 litres/sec and pump at heads of 23 m.

The new PumpSmart process system from Goulds Pumps (also within ITT Industries) features advanced technology to reduce significantly all major contributors to life cycle costs, including operating, maintenance, installation and initial capital costs. It works with any standard centrifugal pump. The microprocessor based controller continually monitors and reacts to both the system and pump conditions, and matches the pump output to the exact system requirements. In addition, the exclusive failure prevention feature protects against the most common causes of premature pump failure -- cavitation, closed valves, dry run and low flow operation. By integrating the functionality of flow control valves, flow meters and starters, these items are eliminated, saving on initial costs, installation costs and maintenance. PumpSmart provides continual quantitative measurement of results which include reduced life cycle costs, higher efficiencies and increased productivity.

Following the successful introduction, two years ago, of the Tuff-One - the smallest pump in the range, Grindex used MINExpo to announce TUFF-Two, with wide ranging applications. It offers exceptional portability and outstanding performance for a pump of its size. Weighing only 19 kg, it can handle more than 520 litres/min) at heads of 20 m over extended periods. It can also handle solids in suspension up to 7.5 mm in diameter. Available in three-phase or single-phase versions, the Tuff-Two, like all Grindex pumps, is designed and built for reliable performance. Its durable corrugated aluminium case and stainless steel stator housing give protection in tough conditions. Double mechanical seals prevent ingress of moisture and temperature guards in the stator winding protect the motor from over-heating. For extra durability both the impeller and diffuser are made from polyurethane. RFP Template for your equipment purchases.