Arch deploys Komatsu Joy 7LS5 longwall shearer at West Elk mine

A Komatsu Joy 7LS5 shearer recently began production at Arch Resources’ West Elk thermal coal mine in Colorado, making it the sixth operating Joy 7LS5 shearer in the US. Komatsu states: “The reliable 7LS5 model shearer was introduced in 1999 to Peabody Energy Shoal Creek mine as a solution in mid-to-high seams in some of the most challenging conditions in the world.”

Some 23 years later, this machine is still in operation, a consistently dependable unit for that mine. Currently, Joy shearers are operating at all the underground longwall mines in the US. The 7LS5 shearer mines coal seams from 2 to 4.5 m and has a maximum machine height of up to 1.9 m with a weight of 81.7 t. It has a haulage pull of 800 kN, pump motor power of 20 kW, haulage motor power of 2 x 110 kW, lumpbreaker motor power of 130 kW and maximum cutting motor power of 2 x 750 kW.

Joy shearers are designed to be robust, provide high availability, and feature a modular design. The body consists of a controller case and two haulage cases to form a rigid structure with no underframe. The two ranging arms feature gears designed and produced by Joy using propriety processes that Komatsu says play a crucial role in maximising performance.

The Faceboss control system, featured on Joy underground mining equipment, helps maximise productivity and features a powerful tool set including advance diagnostics and user friendly, multi-lingual displays. Optional features like advanced shearer automation assists operators in maximising productivity by programming cutting profiles and gate end turnarounds.