Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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60 E&MJ • JULY 2018 OPERATING STRATEGIES A new shovel, in development for more than a half-decade, is hailed as the larg- est in the world and described by Komat- su as an evolutionary successor to the smaller 4100XPC. It will load ultra-class haulers in three passes. It will outperform the competition, including predecessor competition, in several metrics, accord- ing to Patrick Singleton, product director, shovels, Komatsu. "Looking at the combination of the adaptive controls, the next-generation dipper design, and the smart swing system improvements, the 4800XPC will deliver the potential for signifi cantly improved productive performance as compared to the existing best-in-class 4100XPC AC," he said. "Of course, the structures of the machine have been upgraded to enable this improved performance without expe- riencing reduced life." The seed idea for the shovel was plant- ed in 2003 with the rise of ultra-class trucks. "Loading tools typically lag new haul-truck-size class releases to ensure the truck-size class stabilizes from a market acceptance standpoint prior to designing the machine, which can fi ll it effi ciently," Singleton said. "Our teams leveraged this interim period to ensure product reliabili- ty growth and customer purchases within this new truck segment prior to designing a machine to three-pass load it." Once the data revealed the ultra-class truck to be viable, development of the 4800XPC began in early 2011, with it starting to garner headlines over the course of the next couple of years. "The product development project be- gan in February 2011 with an extensive Voice of the Customer initiative covering fi ve major mining regions and more than 15 customers throughout those regions," Singleton said. "The program was tempo- rarily halted in 2013 as market conditions deteriorated; however, work continued on items that could be validated on existing electric shovels and built into the broader product offering." The end result is "the largest loading tool-size class available on the market today," which is best matched with the 400-ton Komatsu 980 haul truck, Single- ton said. The shovel's design is based on its pre- decessor, the 4100XPC AC, which has a 120-ton nominal payload. "This will give the 4800XPC the distinction of building off a best-in-class design and should ef- fectively give it a leg up on the competi- tion almost immediately," Singleton said. The shovel features both structural and technological improvements that in- clude smart product upgrades, located throughout the design of the machine, he said. "P&H leveraged smart design, including beefi ng up components, where required, and driving a deeper integration with technology upgrades that differenti- ate the machine," Singleton said. According to company literature, some of the structural improvements include a dipper design featuring a higher payload- to-weight ratio, improved fi ll factor, and an improved latch system; a new equaliz- er that optimizes digging height, cutting force, dumping height and rope life; a direct drive crowd with integral fl eeting sheave; an enhanced ring gear that resists fatigue and handles increased payload; and an optimized boom design. Some of the structural improvements have the "peripheral effect" of helping manage the fl ow of material out of the dipper, Singleton said. Heavy-duty snub- bers manage or dampen the motion of the dipper door as it opens and closes, which can help meter the fl ow of material out of the dipper, he said. "The shape of the dipper also chang- es the pitch of the dipper and helps to alter the dynamic fl ow of material out," Singleton said. "Although neither of these upgrades is designed for this pur- pose, both should assist with managing material fl ow." Komatsu reported the technological im- provements include a bundle of adaptive controls that "optimize shovel power usage in different phases of the dig cycle," name- ly: Smart Crowd for "improved bank pene- tration;" Opti Toe, which "improves cutting force" and helps the operator stay in the dig envelop; Smart Retract for "smooth- er disengagement from the bank;" Active Load Compensation, which "optimizes ma- chine torques and speeds;" and Extended Reach for "improved dump reach." The controls are designed to help the shovel be more effi cient, but not clip power usage, Singleton said. "By under- standing the dig cycle inherently through holistic management of the machine, we help to increase shovel performance, such as higher hourly production rates and lower cycle times, and eliminate damaging or time-wasting events, such as boom jacks," he said. "Inevitably, by increasing production without signifi cant- ly increasing energy usage will lead to a World's Biggest Shovel Nears Release By Jesse Morton, Technical Writer

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