Cat cuts electric rope shovel downtime

Caterpillar says it has developed a propel drive system upgrade for Cat® 7495 and 7495 HF electric rope shovels that improves maintenance access, decreasing downtime by days.

The upgrade, which has operated successfully for thousands of hours in field validation, reconfigures the crawler undercarriage to allow drive shaft and tumbler replacement from the outboard side, Cat says. Improved component design, meanwhile, extends durability and increases component life to further reduce costs.

“The new design slashes maintenance time and enhances safety by enabling access to drive components without removing the propel transmission,” the mining OEM said. “Additionally, Caterpillar engineered the upgrade to be a direct replacement. No machining of the crawler frame is required for installation.”

The new robust design sees thrust loads evenly distributed on large tapered roller bearings as opposed to bronze thrust plates, while the bearings are sealed and continuously purged with fresh grease to keep them free of contaminants, Cat says. The result is increased durability in harsh environments and alignment with 25,000 h planned rebuilds.