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Bucyrus shows high-level longwall integration and automation for high productivity at Longwall USA 2009

Friday, May 8th, 2009

At Longwall USA 2009 – to be held June 16 – 18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA – Bucyrus will present complete highly integrated and automated longwall mining solutions under the motto “Bucyrus safeguards your business”. Exhibits will include the cutting-edge PMC® family of mining controllers, the revolutionary PF6 line pan, the Power Chain, and innovative Belt Systems products.
Longwall Automation
Excellent and integrated automation is the basis for the success of a longwall – the quality and reliability of the automation system are key factors in the success of the operation. Bucyrus is the only manufacturer able to provide a complete modular family of powerful controllers that integrate fully with Bucyrus longwall equipment: the Bucyrus PMC® family of programmable mining controls.
The PMC® family is a new generation of controllers designed to meet the control needs of a whole range of applications in underground mining and explosion-hazard areas. State-of-the-art microcontroller technology and increased computing power allow a completely new dimension of automation offering all the functionality you need for enhanced control of drives, roof supports, cutting systems and ancillary equipment. It also offers features for advanced networking, visualization and automation.
The modular family integrates fully with Bucyrus longwall equipment for one-stop shopping, quick commissioning, and no interfacing problems.
The PMC® range includes
 PMC®-R for roof support systems
 PMC®-D as drive control
 PMC®-V for visualization of the drive system
 PMC®-P node computer to act as interface between the Bucyrus controller network, third-party systems and the mine computer.
 VCU for visualization of all longwall operations at the surface or with an explosion-proof computer underground
All subsystems are linked via a high-speed network connected to a computer with powerful logging, analysis and visualization capabilities. Powerful networking, control and monitoring tools can also be integrated into the system, giving the operator a clear picture of current and past activity, and identifying problems before serious damage occurs and facilitating troubleshooting. This allows best use to be made of installed capacity, enhancing overall availability and optimizing performance of all subsystems for safer, smoother and more consistent production.
Visualization & Control Unit
Bucyrus has developed an advanced suite of visualization applications to provide a clear overview of the system and its performance, and to allow trending and analysis. These run on a Visualization Control Unit which is either an ExPC – a ruggedized Bucyrus PC for use in explosion-hazard areas – or a regular PC in a mining control center on the surface.
VShield allows visualization of all roof support control steps, messages and faults. It also allows convenient local or longwall-wide setting of roof support parameters. VPlow visualizes the plow system with solenoid switches and parameter settings of the UEL (overload-protected) drive controllers. VShearer allows setting and visualization of operational parameters and the status of a Bucyrus shearer. VDrive visualizes the conveyor gearbox controllers and allows parameters to be changed. Sensor values can be displayed graphically.
VLongwall is a higher-level program that allows switching between the various visualization programs, while VTrend visualizes operation over a selected time period and allows analysis of faults. All V software modules have a replay function for analysis purposes as well as export to common Microsoft Office applications.
This powerful visualization capability not only increases productivity, but also increases safety. For example, a minute-by-minute summary of roof support pressure change for entire face – presented as a waterfall chart – helps predict rockbursts.
AFC with PF 6 line pan
Eight out of ten of the world’s most productive mines use Bucyrus face conveyor
systems – with conveying capacities of up to 6,600 tons (6000 tonnes) per hour over face lengths of up to 1640 ft (500 m). Bucyrus AFCs cover all seam heights and capacities from plow systems to top-of-the-range shearers.
The innovative PF 6 plow line pans from Bucyrus define the new state of the art for underground face conveyor technology and form the backbone of the entire conveyor system.
The smart and totally new idea of splitting up the different functional areas in the PF6 allows the separation of wear parts from structural parts. Very hard, wear-resistant materials are used for parts subject to wear, while the structural parts are made of tough, high-strength steels. The pan design allows problem-free replacement of worn-out top troughs and means
The use of the proven PF profile in the top race means maximum contact surface between the flightbar and the profile, minimizing surface pressure of the flightbars in snakes and undulating seams. Special shaping of the bottom race – which almost doubles contact surface – reduces the wear of the flightbar shoulder, while at the same time substantially reducing friction. The curved transition at pan ends greatly reduces the noise level during operation of the chain conveyor. Extremely smooth rolled-steel surfaces and robot-assisted automatic welding ensure even greater efficiency and lower friction. The forged dogbone pockets and the designed breaking force of up to 4,500 kN guarantee safe operation of the conveyor at all times: As the dogbone always breaks first, the danger of damage to the conveyor or dogbone pocket is eliminated.
Power Chain
The faster you mine, the faster you have to move the coal away from the face. The new Bucyrus “Power Chain” provides high-reliability, high availability transportation with features ensuring low wear and long service life. With a breaking force of 2,370 kN for greater conveyor loading & carrying capacity, the Power Chain offers significantly longer service life and availability of chain, flight bar & drive sprocket than conventional systems.
The Bucyrus Power Chain was specifically designed to extend service life far beyond a single panel – and field trials indicate that the Power Chain may last three to five times longer than a conventional conveyor chain. The special flight bar design allows low-profile pan, drastically reducing surface pressure & chain joint wear. The design almost halves surface pressure at contact points – and reduced pressure means reduced wear. Counter-intuitively, greater contact surface results in less friction and wear. This is the result of reduced contact pressure and “lubrication” by coal dust. Two mines in the US completed their first panels without a single chain break: This reduction in unplanned downtime, combined with lower power requirements, results in lower operating costs. The Power Chain can be retrofitted to conveyors to increase their capacity. The Power Chain is another Bucyrus patent pending technology.
Belt Systems
Bucyrus offers world-class quality components for bulk material conveyor systems in underground and surface mining applications. Complete bulk material solutions with belt widths ranging from 18” to 96” are supported by a robust line up of 4”,5”,6” and 7” idlers both In-line and offset with CEMA C, D and E class ratings, along with custom-built Engineered Class Pulleys.
A new shaft-end configuration for the Bucyrus Steel Roll allows retrofitting to virtually any competitor’s frame with a unique retrofit adaptor. The end cap (bearing housing) has
been redesigned for increased strength and a close fit to the deflector cap. Our new automated assembly process includes three separate, metered grease inputs to insure every roll has plenty of grease for a lifetime of trouble-free operation. And Bucyrus idler PAL (Positive Automatic Lubrication) ensures life-long grease management system during both operational and non-operational periods. It keeps grease where you need it: In the bearing!
In most bulk material applications it is the shell life that determines the life of an idler roll. Bucyrus has developed EXALON®, a proprietary high-molecular-weight polyethylene which provides three times the abrasion resistance of a steel roll. And Bucyrus idler PAL (Positive Automatic Lubrication) ensures life-long grease management system during both operational and non-operational periods.
Each Bucyrus idler roll is processed through an automated assembly system which tests and records rotational torque, total indicator run-out, and axial end play. Upon acceptance, each idler roll is then permanently marked with a serial number and date of manufacture.
As a result of this identification, Bucyrus can offer a “3 Years to Life” warranty on all components excluding the shell life of each roll.
Scraper blades
Mounted on the face of the discharge pulley, Bucyrus scraper blades are used as the primary or secondary cleaner on conveyors. A lateral sight gauge allows precise scraper tensioning, which is achieved by grease, air or hydraulic means.
Bucyrus scraper blades are available in different hardnesses for different conditions and conveyor belt speeds. The wide range of models is designed to meet the specific requirements of each customer. Effective operation and maximum life are ensured when installed by Bucyrus service technicians.
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