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Underground soft rock mining Press release Company

Komatsu longwall solutions demonstrate the advantages of automation

2 min read / September 13, 2021

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A Joy longwall system mines for industrial minerals underground.

Solutions designed to help solve production challenges

September 13, 2021 — Soft rock longwall mine operations face challenges when it comes to increasing production. To help address those challenges, Komatsu is developing, and at MINExpo 2021 will showcase, systems and components that can enable less human intervention and help customers move to a remotely managed longwall face with equipment automatically making low-level changes and providing advice.

Longwall mining solutions that will be on display at the Komatsu booth (#7027) include:

  • RS20n control — Set to launch in 2022, this electronic control system will be the first 1Gb/s 2-wire communication on the market for full control and monitoring capabilities. The Joy RS20n is a roof support electronic control system that builds upon the Joy RS20s system. This system enables PRS operators to control their powered roof supports with the automation-enabling Joy RS20s system. The system helps move people away from the mine face, while helping improve PRS performance.
  • OptiDrive VSD — A variable speed drive for the armored face conveyor that provides speed control of the chain dynamically and adjusts to production conditions to enable optimal capacity, reduced AFC wear per conveyed ton, and increased efficiency. Already used in Australia, OptiDrive will be introduced to the North American market at MINExpo.
  • J525H shearer ranging arm — This powerful ranging arm model has broken production records, including a 1.5 million-ton month in the United States, in a 2-meter seam.
  • J7500 shearer ranging arm — Designed for more horsepower, improved tailgate cut-past with longer length and reliability advancements over previous models, a prototype of this next-generation ranging arm is estimated to be available for testing in about a year.
  • Concept shearer drum 3D scale model —This developing design features a more efficient cutting action, increased cutter width and a design to reduce sleeve change time.
  • Trapping shoe insert —This aftermarket product is designed to reduce maintenance costs and downtime when replacing shearer trapping shoes. These inserts help extend the time between shoe replacement and feature an innovative slip-in design enabling them to be replaced relatively quickly anywhere along the face.

Komatsu partners with customers to create complete custom-engineered and remotely managed longwall systems to meet the challenges of longer faces and tougher conditions, while also controlling costs. Joy longwall systems are setting production records in mines around the world.

Located in Central Hall C3, the Komatsu booth (#7027) at MINExpo 2021 will feature the company’s unified and expanded mining offerings. Additional solutions will be highlighted at neighboring booths for Modular Mining, a Komatsu technology brand (Booth #7671), and Immersive Technologies (Booth #7583) and Hensley Industries (Booth #5401), both Komatsu subsidiaries.

Learn more about the company’s longwall offerings.

About Komatsu
Komatsu develops and supplies technologies, equipment and services for the construction, mining, forklift, industrial and forestry markets. For a century, the company has been creating value for its customers through manufacturing and technology innovation, partnering with others to empower a sustainable future where people, business and the planet thrive together. Front-line industries worldwide use Komatsu solutions to develop modern infrastructure, extract fundamental minerals, maintain forests and create consumer products. The company’s global service and distributor networks support customer operations to enhance safety and productivity while optimizing performance.