Sandvik gets tougher

SANDVIK Mining had a busy time at Minexpo International last week, unveiling a series of product developments. A highlight for the coal industry was the US Mine Safety and Health Administration-approved MB610 bolter miner.
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The Sandvik MSHA approved MB610 bolter miner

Donna Schmidt

Promising to increase longwall gateroad development efficiency, the MB610 retains the line’s sump mechanism that enables cutting and bolting at the same time, permitting high-speed work.

The MB610, in addition to providing ample cutting stability at a weight of 112 short tons, also adds efficient dust and noise control at the face during the cutting process, addressing the concern of operator health and safety.

The cutter drum has a low cutting speed of 31 revolutions per minute, compared to the competition’s 60rpm.

“The lower cutting speed delivers high torque and higher cutting forces, as well as generating considerably less dust during the cutting process,” Sandvik said.

“Lower cutting speed also ensures low noise levels.”

The unit was developed specifically for the US market to meet a demand for maximum time between rebuilds. As most available machines need to be rebuilt every one to two years, the MB610 at least doubles that time.

It also features a low minimum tramming height of two meters so that the machine can move more efficiently around the site.

Sandvik officials said the MB610 offered a very low ground pressure of 25psi.

“The mine floor has to be kept in good condition during cutting, when the maximum forces are transferred to the floor,” it said, adding that the design of the unit included four auto-stabilizers – two front and two rear.

Additionally, cutter drum and loading pan movement design allows independent movement of the cutter drum and loading table, enabling the maneuverability to cut clean 90 degrees crosscuts in a short radius.

The Sandvik MB610 prototype was commissioned at Consol Energy’s Bailey mine in late October 2011, and the company said it had performed consistently since that time.

In fact, between November 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012, the machine cut and bolted 40,460ft (12,230m) of gateroad.

The first Sandvik bolter miner went online in 1991 in Australia.

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