Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2013

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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Page 87 of 171

MAINTENANCE Liebherr Cranes Keep Big Wheels Turning In a carefully choreographed maneuver, three cranes lifted, turned and positioned a 140-mt replacement wheel for one of the world's largest excavators With a 200-mt-capacity heavy-load transporter waiting in the wings, three large Liebherr cranes lifted this 140-mt bucket wheel off its assembly table. Mobile cranes owned by Breuer & Wasel are a common sight at the Hambach open-cast mine in Germany—in fact, seven units operated by the heavy load logistics company from Bergheim are permanently stationed there, at what is regarded as the largest brown coal open-cast mine in the country. During a recent maintenance event, one of the mine's bucket wheel overburden excava86 E&MJ • JUNE 2013 tors was scheduled to be fitted with a new 140-metric ton (mt) wheel, and three large Liebherr mobile cranes were sent to the site to assist the on-site fleet in this operation. Support from Breuer & Wasel was crucial during this procedure, as well as with a similar procedure involving the mine's other bucket wheel excavator three years ago. Replacement of the second excava- tor's bucket wheel was the culmination of a general overhaul of the giant machine, which took three months after 33 years of service. Weighing in at a total of 13,000 mt and standing 96 m high and 200 m long, 'Excavator 290' is among the largest machines of its kind in the world. Since 1978, the 18 buckets fitted to the excavator—which has a tractive force of 100 mt—have been digging through

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