Australian Certified Winches (ACW) has turned to Hydraulink to provide and install hydraulic hoses and fittings optimised by expert hydraulic engineering required for an innovative new underground winch developed for BHP.
BHP tasked ACW with designing a winch that could haul double the capacity, 100 t, within the same physical space as their previous 50 t winch, for one of its major Australian underground mining operations.
Grant Barrett, Director, Australian Certified Winches, said: “The solution was to integrate two 350,000 Nm wheel drives inside the winch drum.
“The winch is to be used to remove longwall machines once the longwall is finished and being moved to another seam. Current methods involve the use of hydraulic cylinders, but these can be limited in stroke length, meaning a lot more time re-rigging the haul rope. The winch has 300 m of rope, allowing for a continuous haul,” Barrett said.
ACW focuses particularly on ensuring winches are suited to the task and have the correct documentation and certification to operate under any appropriate regulations, according to Hydraulink.
“The new winch has an onboard closed loop hydraulic system that is driven by the underground emulsion fluid, so we needed expert hydraulics assistance in engineering the winch for underground use,” Barrett said.
“So, we contacted Hydraulink, and their team ensured all hydraulic hoses and fittings were MDG-41 compliant – including all testing and reporting – which is a requirement for any machinery being used in underground mining applications.”
Mechanical Design Guideline 41 (MDG-41) outlines safe working practices for the manufacture and assembly of high-pressure hoses and fittings, including hazard identification, assessment, elimination and reviewing of risk.
As a leading hydraulic hose, fittings and service specialist with more than 400 service points across Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, Hydraulink regularly supplies hydraulic components that comply with local standards, it said.
Adrian Burgess, Area Sales Manager – Queensland, Hydraulink, said he was delighted to be able to help ACW on this innovative underground mining project.
“I was impressed with ACW’s standards and safety compliance focus, and the solution they came up with for this new winch was an outstanding piece of engineering. We were happy to be part of this project and to work side by side with another company that values safety as highly as we do,” he said.
He added: “To make service and maintenance simpler in the future, we’ve set up all the hoses and parts used in this winch with individual part numbers in our system. If ACW need to replace a part in the future, we’ll have all the specifications on file, ready to go.”
The new winch has now been factory tested using a 150 t load cell and shackles, where it pulled 120 t with ease, Hydraulink said.