EXALON Conveyor Rolls from Caterpillar Deliver Extended Life and Operating Benefits to RoxCoal
In 2008 RoxCoal, Inc. started switching from steel conveyor rolls to Cat® conveyor rolls made with EXALON, a proprietary polyethylene formulation, in their underground coal mines. The central Pennsylvania operator now operates three room-and-pillar mines with all five continuous miner sections equipped with EXALON rolls—and there are no regrets.
"We would never go back to steel rolls," said Joe Hoffman, Mine Manager for RoxCoal and a 22-year employee of PBS Coals, Inc., the parent company. "Eighty percent of the box of (50) spare plastic rolls we bought in 2008 are still in the box. What you save in labor costs over the years more than makes up for higher initial costs."
With more than 10 miles of belt conveyor structure in the three mines, extended conveyor roll life pays many dividends. Since RoxCoal has not had failed rolls, they have reduced downtime for replacing rolls, and they have reduced belt damage and the cost and lost production associated with repairs. EXALON rolls have the additional advantage of acting like a slider bed rather than a metal belt cutter if a bearing ever does freeze.
The reduction in belt repairs also means fewer spares must be purchased, and less repair activity reduces exposure of miners to injuries. Another health and safety benefit is the lower noise level generated by the EXALON rolls, which do not sound off every time a belt splice passes over them. EXALON sound dampening reduced noise levels as much as 20 percent in tests done by Caterpillar.
"You don't even hear the beltline when you are in the next entry," Hoffman said.
EXALON rolls are fully conductive and are MSHA approved for flame resistance. The rolls also resist the buildup of material and static. EXALON has been tested against the bulk materials handling industry's leading steel conveyor rolls and is proven to last significantly longer, especially in highly corrosive and/or abrasive environments. RoxCoal is just one example of how EXALON rolls deliver.