Caterpillar at Longwall USA 2013: Increasing Production and Enhancing Safety

At the 2013 Longwall USA Exhibition and Conference, Caterpillar Global Mining displayed a range of advanced technologies for use in longwall mining. Center stage was a preview of the newest Cat® shearer model, the EL 1000, designed specifically for low- and medium-height seams. Currently in development, the EL 1000 will add depth to the already expansive Caterpillar range and will offer a precisely designed system with the power, production potential, controllability and safety features required to address future demands and varying geological conditions in this segment.

Preliminary specifications for the EL 1000 shearer indicate that the new model will accommodate seam heights from 63 to 126 inches (1.6 to 3.2 m), will deliver an estimated cutting power of 1,600 horsepower (1 000 kW), and will provide haulage power on the order of 2 x 134 horsepower (2 x 100 kW). Reflecting the basic design of proven Cat longwall shearers, the EL 1000 will feature massive, one-piece-mainframe construction, exchangeable modular components, advanced automation, and Ethernet communication.

As with all Cat Global Mining products, the worldwide network of Cat dealers will add significant value to the EL 1000, ensuring the highest quality product support—replacement parts, competent timely service and industry expertise. Cat dealers understand longwall operators' needs for reliable, continuously high production, and they have the capabilities to help accomplish that goal.

Cat MineStarTM System Operations Center
Also on display at Longwall USA was a virtual-reality, three-dimensional presentation of the Cat MineStar System Operations Center, depicting an operating mine. Cat MineStar System has a comprehensive suite of capabilities that extend into every aspect of mining operations, with the goal of enhancing safety, productivity and overall efficiency.

Cat Detect Personnel
Safety remains the focus of Cat MineStar™ System applications, and the new Detect Personnel system reinforces that focus. Integrated with the Cat PMC-R electro-hydraulic roof-support control system, which is built to reliably identify the presence of personnel in longwall faces through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), the Detect Personnel system is designed to avoid contact between personnel and moving equipment by monitoring safety zones and access authorization. A demonstration of system capabilities was a featured part of the Cat display.

Caterpillar represents the largest single source for complete longwall mining systems and components, including roof supports, plow systems, shearers, face conveyors, and CST drive systems, as well as a full range of supporting equipment, such as roof-support carriers, continuous miners, and belt conveyor systems

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