Longwall systems supplied to four mines

24th April 2013

Cat roof supports for Bailey Mine displayed at MINExpo.jpg Caption: Cat roof supports for Bailey Mine displayed at last year's MINExpo in Las Vegas, USA Cat roof supports for Bailey Mine displayed at MINExpo.jpg Caption: Cat roof supports for Bailey Mine displayed at last year's MINExpo in Las Vegas, USA

US$300 million is being invested in mines in the USA’s Appalachia region

Consol Energy Inc has placed orders for Cat longwall equipment, including more than 1,100 roof supports and totalling nearly US$300 million.

In addition to roof supports, the four northern Appalachia mines - Bailey, Bailey Mine Extension (BMX), Robinson Run and Shoemaker - will get two armoured face conveyors, a shearer and three shield haulers.

Consol also is equipping all four longwall systems with the Cat PMC-R electro-hydraulic control system for advanced automation and Cat Detect Personnel, a personnel proximity detection system designed to enhance the safety of miners working around longwall systems. Delivery of equipment started in the fall of 2012 and will be completed in summer 2013.

In addition to the four mines receiving complete roof support systems from the Caterpillar facilities in Lünen, Germany, Consol’s McElroy Mine will receive 60 roof supports to be used in extending the longwall face. Also, the Enlow Fork Mine as well as Shoemaker will upgrade to Cat PMC-R electro-hydraulic control systems. After retrofit of the old systems, Consol will operate a total of nine faces with PMC-R control systems. Of these, Consol will equip seven longwalls with Cat Detect Personnel.

All of the Consol mines getting new equipment are mining the Pittsburgh 8 Coal Seam in south-western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. The Bailey and BMX mines in Pennsylvania will take delivery of 25.4-tonne roof supports with 380mm diameter props. The roof supports will operate on 1750mm centres and have an operating range of 1.295 to 2.743 metres. The Shoemaker and Robinson Run mines in West Virginia will operate 22.9-tonne roof supports with 345-mm diameter props, with an operating range of 1.245 to 2.743 metres. All four mines will have identical face end supports weighing 29.8-tonnes and having an operating range of 1.295 to3.048 metres.

The PMC-R electro-hydraulic control system operating each longwall has sufficient computing power and data transfer speed to allow adding remote and semi-autonomous face operation. All roof supports will be readied for the retrofit installation of the Cat MotionMonitor system. MotionMonitor employs several strategically placed inclinometers that supply angularity data to the PMC-R system.

With this data the system can calculate the geometric attitude (pitch, roll and yaw) of each roof support.

By monitoring the angular rate-of-change during times when the roof support has not been given a command to move, the system also can be used to detect unexpected movement of roof supports as well as roof convergence. The detection of unexpected movements helps in preventing equipment collisions and enhances prediction of impending geologic activity such as rock bursts.

All roof supports will be equipped with Cat Detect Personnel. This system has identifies the presence of personnel and transmits this information in real time to the local roof support control system to allow appropriate action to be taken to prevent injury.

Video 1: Inside Bailey Coal Mine in Wind Ridge, Pa, USA, which serves up 45,000 tons of coal per day

Video 2: The principles of longwall mining


Bailey Coal Mine in Wind Ridge Pa. serves up 45,000 tons of coal per day

Principles of Longwall Mining







twitter facebook linkedin © Setform Limited