Bluefield preview: Ampcontrol and Bucyrus

A PREVIEW of what electrical and lighting company Ampcontrol and original equipment manufacturer Bucyrus will have on show September 16-18 at the Bluefield Coal Show in southern West Virginia.

Angie Tomlinson

Burn Brite’s new Intrinsically Safe LED Lighting System has received IEC certification, supporting its position as an innovative alternative to traditional fluorescent lighting in hazardous mining environments. The company expects further international certifications to be imminent for both the LED light and the power supply.

Burn Brite, an Australian company which is part of the Ampcontrol Group, developed the low-profile system to take advantage of recent advances in LED technology and to fill the existing market need for Zone 0 operable lighting where flammable gases are present. In addition to longwall face lighting, the system is suitable for other applications, including area lighting on and around machines and roadways.

Consisting of lights, cables and an intrinsically safe power supply, the Burn Brite Intrinsically Safe LED Lighting System has been designed with safety and ease of maintenance in mind.

Housed in a high-impact strength, static dissipative and fire-retardant nylon enclosure, each light has six high-intensity, long-life LEDs to provide comparable light output to traditional fluorescent lighting systems. Each unit produces directed light equivalent to an 11-watt fluorescent lamp. By controlling LED current, extended LED life is possible, with 50,000 hours anticipated for this system.

The lights have been designed to be low profile for reduced intrusion into the headroom of the AFC walkway and can be mounted to ferrous metallic surfaces via the four high-strength rare-earth magnets. The enclosure is also encapsulated to prevent moisture ingress and assist in heat dissipation. It is rated to IP66 and requires no ongoing maintenance.

Ampcontrol said the flexibility of the system was a key feature.

“Three and four outlet junction boxes enable straightforward configuration of the lighting system and allow easy integration into existing mine lighting infrastructure. Powering the system is the Burn Brite intrinsically safe low-voltage power supply capable of handling up to four lights per unit.”

Featuring fully isolated output and wide operating voltage, the power supply unit is fully encapsulated, compact and lightweight. Available as either 120VAC or 240VAC input, the power supply employs high efficiency switch-mode power conversion and active IS protection. It is EMI-compliant, power factor corrected and the output current can be factory set to any value between 1.0 and 2.5 amps. The power supply is also designed to power existing longwall roof support control systems.


Bucyrus will use Bluefield to showcase advanced room and pillar equipment and innovative belt system products, including a 25M2 continuous miner, a 488D Un-A-Trac scoop, idler rolls, scraper systems, a combination drive, and a belt buddy.

The 25M2 is a mid-seam drum miner that cuts material from the solid face with chainless cutting drums. It sumps at the top of the seam and shears downward to the mine floor, and a centrifugal loading arm gathering head (3 or 6-finger CLA with replaceable tips) loads the mined material on the conveyor.

Bucyrus said the 25M2 featured a powerful variable frequency drive traction system with wide crawlers for maximum tractive effort and low ground pressure. It is powered by a 500hp cutter head and has total installed power of 888hp. The 25M2 has a load rate of up to 25 tons per minute and a traction speed of up to 85 feet/min.

Optional radio remote/machine control with graphic display is available, as is dust suppression with a wet-bed scrubber.

Bucyrus will also give details on the upcoming 25C continuous miner (for more information see Coal USA’s New Releases section).

The 488D Un-A-Trac scoop offers an alternative to battery-powered, low-seam utility vehicles when severe conditions are present. The 488D features a 156hp turbocharged, aftercooled engine mated to a heavy-duty, four-speed, Dana powershift transmission.

Dual 12-volt batteries provide function and maintain flexibility of the electrical system. The Bucyrus diesel-power pack can be provided in a fully permissible MSHA-approved version.

It has a lift capacity of 16t and features an ergonomically designed cab.

Bucyrus will also inform visitors on advances in VFD applications and its broad range of rubber-tired diesel, battery-powered utility vehicles, coal haulers, scoops, LHDs and roof support carriers.

Bucyrus will display two categories of idler rolls: steel rolls and Exalon rolls. Every Bucyrus roll is triple-tested for rotational torque, total indicated runout and bearing play, and the data is stored with a unique identifying data and serial number, allowing monitoring of roll life.

The steel roll employs a tapered roller-bearing retention method which positions the bearing while ensuring consistent, reproducible end-play.

It also features a grease retention method, positive automatic lubrication or Idler PAL, to ensure the bearing is lubricated at all times.

Exalon rolls are made of a high molecular-weight polyethylene which is fully conductive – and thus anti-static – and approved by the MSHA for flame resistance.

According to Bucyrus, Exalon offers extended life, decreased belt damage, reduced material accumulation, low noise and weight, and greater cost-effectiveness.

Another patent-pending development is the Retro-Loc, a device that allows rapid retrofitting of rolls to competitors’ frames.

Bucyrus will also have on show its wide range of scraper blades.

Personnel will be on hand to speak on the Bucyrus Combo Drive, which consists of a drive unit and a take-up, all within one base.

“This unique configuration allows for driving panels up to 1500ft and is ideal for small to mid-sized mining environments,” the company said.

Also on display will be the Bucyrus Belt Buddy, designed to facilitate the quick and efficient removal or replacement of both top and return idlers.

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