New surface miner achieves maximum performance in soft rock

Louise Smyth

Erik Zimmermann reveals how a new surface miner achieves maximum performance in soft rock

The latest innovation in surface mining technology is a new machine that selectively mines raw materials up to a cutting depth of 350mm and has a uniaxial compressive strength of 35 MPa. Thanks to its 3.8m-wide cutting drum designed specifically for soft-rock mining, the compact surface miner achieves maximum productivity at low operating costs and is ideal for use in small to large mining operations.

Selective extraction makes it possible to mine raw materials with a high level of purity. The material, which is extracted in an environmentally friendly manner without drilling or blasting, is continuously deposited behind the Wirtgen 220 SM 3.8/220 SMi 3.8 machine in a windrow and then loaded onto trucks with other equipment. In this context, refraining from drilling and blasting makes it possible to conduct efficient mining operations close
to industrial sites and other infrastructure such as pipelines or high-voltage power lines, which ultimately results in the optimised exploitation of the deposit.

Powerful cutting drum unit

The cutting drum is designed specifically for demanding windrow applications in soft rock, such as coal or salt. Maximum cutting performance combined with the ideal use of engine power and low specific fuel consumption allows raw materials to be mined in an extremely cost-effective process. Six different adjustable cutting drum speeds ensure that the machine can be perfectly adapted to the material being extracted. This leads to a significant reduction in pick wear, minimal diesel consumption and increased productivity, which translate into an impressive daily output and low cost per ton of extracted material.

In surface mining, the continuous availability of the machine and its safe operation are of critical importance. This is why the surface miner’s components are designed to achieve a long service life, even under extreme conditions. For example, filters in all circuits and a pressurised hydraulic reservoir ensure maximum purity in the hydraulic system and, as a result, safe operations. The clean oil in turn prolongs the service life of the downstream components and thus increases the availability of the machine.

Spacious operator’s cabin

The 220 SM 3.8/220 SMi 3.8 also meets occupational safety requirements in surface mining thanks to the standard-equipped ROPS/FOPS operator’s cabin. The cabin features additional soundproofing and vibration isolation, allowing the operator to work for several hours without the risk of fatigue. The ergonomically designed and clearly arranged controls are integrated into the armrests of the driver’s seat, and all of the machine’s key functions are logically incorporated into the multifunctional joysticks. This means that the operator can operate the machine intuitively in just a few steps and fully concentrate on high-precision mining. The sophisticated, fully air-conditioned, large-capacity cabin also features generously sized windows, giving the operator a direct view of the cutting edge and with it, the results of their work.

The Level Pro Plus levelling system has a proven track record in road construction and mining and is intuitive and easy to operate. A flat or inclined formation level can be created with absolute precision thanks to side plate scanning and the cross-slope sensor. The machine is also ready to be equipped with GPS or laser control.

Erik Zimmermann is with Wirtgen

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