Longwall USA: Longwall Associates, Strata, Richwood

PREVIEW the products and services Longwall Associates and Strata products will be displaying at this month’s Longwall USA in Pittsburgh.

Angie Tomlinson

Longwall Associates

THIS year, custom longwall solution supplier Longwall Associates will again be front-and-center, immediately inside the main entrance of the Longwall USA show, waiting with a full staff to answer questions and discuss the needs of existing and potential customers.

The Virginia-based company will be displaying line pans, part of a complete OEM pan line set to be delivered to a Pennsylvania longwall customer in mid-2009. Additionally, it will be showing off sprocket rings from its line as well as a drum manufactured by sister company C&A Cutter Head.

The Longwall USA show, according to company spokesperson Shelley Campbell, has consistently been a success for the Longwall Associates team because of its diverse product offerings. The company offers both OEM and rebuilt systems that are ideal for all situations: low and high-seam operations, short and long production faces, and sound for the most extreme geological environments.

“Longwall Associates offers comprehensive coverage of OEM conveyor[s] with a host of programs designed to ensure [mines] continue to maintain optimum performance,” Campbell said, noting that its customized rebuilds can maximize the life of equipment, adding years or panels to a fleet's life cycle.

“Dedicated service engineers ensure your Longwall Associates equipment maintains the level of performance it was designed to achieve.”


STRATA Products (USA), Strata Safety Products and Strata Mine Services will once again be displaying together at Longwall USA.

Strata Products (USA) will be on hand to discuss the benefits of its roof support products, including timber and steel support props, as well as interlocking timber crib replacement systems.

Strata Safety Products will be introducing the newest addition to its family of products: Ventstop, an inflatable ventilation structure from Minvent Solutions.

Designed as a safe, cost-effective alternative to conventional ventilation control, it is highly effective in rapidly blocking off openings to control dust, fumes, smoke and heat. The Ventstop is fully portable and inflates using compressed air from mine lines or cylinders, together with a Venturi inflation system.

Strata Safety will be displaying and demonstrating scaled models of these products in the booth.

Finally, Strata Mine Services will be making the announcement of a newly established partnership with BASF Chemical Group. BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, manufactures Thin Spray-On Liners and leading edge injection resins for rock consolidation and cavity filling.

Samples and details will be available by speaking to any of Strata’s staff at the show.


WEST Virginia supplier Richwood is pulling back the curtain on a new release for the 2009 Longwall USA show – the LST Loading Station/Tailpiece for belt conveyor loading areas.

“The LST combines the best design and quality components for conveyor load zones from a single source, including the heavy-duty supporting structure, Combi-Pact impact saddles, RocKnocker Gravity V-Plow, Richwood canoe liners, Richwood return slide idlers and the customer-specified tail pulley and bearings,” company COO Kevin Maloy said, adding the LST combined its “best design and quality components” for conveyor load zones from a single source.

The new LST system was designed to provide mines with improved duty service as well as reduced maintenance requirements and simplicity of maintenance when needed.

“This new system incorporates all of the improvements that Richwood has retrofit into conventional loading station designs in the past,” Maloy told . “Conventional tailpiece designs have remained much the same for years while conveyors today handle far greater tonnage at much higher speeds and belt tensions.”

Richwood focused on the industry’s need for best practice operating and maintenance standards in today’s mining conditions in its plans for the new LST design. Each can be custom-designed to suit any conveyor operating conditions, delivered with all components in place and ready for service.

“The complete system design eliminates the common issues mining operations face with time-consuming retrofit projects, ensuring no errors or mismatches on individual replacement parts and on-time delivery of all components from our single source,” Maloy said.

One arterial focus of the LST’s design is Richwood’s Combi-Pact impact saddle, which prevents belt damage by providing a continuous support surface under the belt.

“When maintenance is necessary, the impact saddle design allows quick and easy replacement of the UHMW wear surface from beside the conveyor with the belt in place – a single clamp is removed and the worn segments slide off to the side. The new segments slide back on and the clamp is replaced,” Maloy said, noting that no other supplier offers such simple wear parts replacement.

Richwood says its impact saddles’ type and spacing can be customized for specific needs, and all exceed CEMA standards for load zone impact belt support.

Richwood Canoe Liners actually replace conventional aprons or skirtboards, a modification that provides long-term wear and sealing surfaces for material containment in modular sections for ease of installation and adjustment.

The liners bolt directly to the structure and are adjustable for wear; no other elements are needed. Available from 1.5in to 6in in thickness, they can be specified with ceramic dowels and bevels for high-wear situations.

The company’s return slide idlers replace conventional return idlers using the same high-quality wear surface as its Combi-Pact impact saddle to provide belt support on the tailpiece’s return side. The return slide idler eliminates frozen return roller issues in a tailpiece’s tight quarters, and the UHMW wear surface is also replaced from the conveyor’s side with the units in place.

Finally, the RocKnocker V-Plow keeps the inside cover of the conveyor belt clean, preventing damage to pulleys and belting caused by spilled material.

“The Richwood LST provides tailpiece components and structure from a single source ready to install, without the delays associated with retrofits,” Maloy said.