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Cat EL3000 Longwall Shearer Delivers High Production in Mid to High Seams

Mon November 12, 2012 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Cat EL3000 represents the next generation of Cat longwall shearers. The powerful control system with Ethernet communications suits the shearer to advanced automation and monitoring, and the design is easily upgraded during rebuilds to take advantage of the latest performance enhancing features. The future-proof design ensures long service life, according to the manufacturer.

At the core of the EL3000 is the one-piece mainframe that ensures durable performance and provides maximum protection for modular components, yet it is designed for ease of maintenance. The Jumbotrack haulage system also delivers high performance and long service life. The two-piece trapping shoe, which attaches the shearer to the haulage rack system, allows easy wear part replacement at any location along the face for maximum uptime.

The EL3000 shearer mines seams of 106 to 213 in. (269 to 541 cm) in height with cutting power of as much as 2 x 1,150 hp (860 kW). A range of cutting motors is available to suit all mining conditions. Haulage motors have power of as much as 2 x 200 hp (150 kW), and the pump motor has 100 hp (75 kW) to provide a total installed power of more than 3,000 hp (2,295 kW). The high level of installed power delivers production capacity of more than 5,500 tons (5,000 t) per hour.

Control and Monitoring

Caterpillar has developed a distributed automation system for the control, monitoring and protection of the shearer. Its modular design allows it to be configured to meet individual control needs, from basic monitoring and protection to advanced automation and data transmission. The PMC® Evo-S control system with Ethernet communication and backup functionality allows the shearer to be operated even if the overall control system is not functioning. Remote control and diagnosis are possible for all components.

VibraGuard is an available condition monitoring system for Cat longwall shearers. The system collects data and transfers it to a surface control center computer for detailed analysis and evaluation. It enables trained personnel to predict machine component wear, avoid unplanned downtime and set alarms to warn the operator if monitored machine components run the risk of damage. This comprehensive protection promotes long component life by identifying small problems before they become big ones, and it contributes to high shearer availability by reducing unplanned downtime.

The PMC system with Ethernet bus offers additional benefits. It results in a vast reduction in wiring and a great increase in flexibility. There are no interfacing problems, as equipment connected to the network only needs to be able to communicate via Internet Protocol. Commissioning, maintenance, upgrades and troubleshooting are much easier and faster, and equipment is self-configuring. The few cables that are used are standard Ethernet cables rather than application-specific cables. Flameproof housings are no longer required, simplifying installation and speeding up maintenance, according to the manufacturer.

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