After the mine operators turned to Komatsu about partnering on solutions, Komatsu obtained stone samples from the mine. These were tested and calibrated at the Komatsu materials laboratory in Franklin, Pennsylvania, United States. The calibrated values, along with the equipment parameters, were entered into a Komatsu-specific cutting program that assesses options and outputs various information, including ideal cutter lacing patterns, drum speeds, pick types and energy consumption. The program graphs breakout patterns and forces on the individual picks, helping assess energy consumption, pick life and vibration on the equipment.
Based on these, a new type of cutter scroll was designed to better suit the mine’s material, with reduced speed drums and a different cutter pick. Komatsu went a step further when it noticed increased wear on machine components and introduced improvements to the cutter gearcase, cutter drums, and associated components. Together, these adjustments were focused on improving the miner’s life cycle and reducing operating costs.
The upgraded stone cutting technology was introduced to the mine for a trial. After using the new technology for 12 months, the mine returned the cutter head to Komatsu for evaluation.