Tag Archives: Cat 7495

Caterpillar reduces TCO, improves availability on electric rope shovels

Caterpillar says it has carried out multiple design enhancements to the lower structures on its Cat® 7495 and 7495 HF Electric Rope Shovel (ERS) models that increase machine reliability and significantly lower overall total cost of ownership.

These upgrades cover the track (crawler) frames, swing rack and rollers, propel gearboxes and rotating undercarriage.

Combined, the design advancements can improve total cost of ownership by up to 6% per operating hour and improve physical availability of the ERS by up to 0.63%, Caterpillar claims. All updates are found on current-year models and can be retrofitted independently in the field to allow existing customers to realise the gains.

Starting with the track roller frame where a re-engineered bolt-on design for track link sliders eliminates the need for casting welds. This sees Cat rope shovel customers benefitting from an up to a 22% cost-per-hour reduction with extended wear life and no maintenance. At the same time, integral wear indicators provide visual reference to help service technicians plan for slider maintenance.

Track frame life is enhanced with increased frame thickness, lowering stress in the plate for improved reliability. A new super bolt arrangement features shorter middle bolts, improving joint stiffness and maintaining pre-load. Access for cleanout has been improved with a three-hole track frame bell housing, Caterpillar says.

Distributing shovel weight more evenly to the crawler side frame, the updated tapered shear ledge reduces end loading as the ERS pitches forward during digging. New lower side frame stiffeners maintain increased track clearance to the tracks, while improving rock protection.

Saving approximately 100 hours of field assembly time, the bolt-on motor base eliminates field welding and improves motor bolt access, according to the company. Set screws simplify locating the base on the crawler and simplify motor alignment.

The swing rack on the ERS absorbs the stress from every load.

The 7495 and 7495 HF models now have a single-piece swing rack casting (below) that eliminates previous vertical welds to improve ERS durability. The number of core holes have been reduced from 20 to four, positioned strategically in low-stress areas of the swing frame and located out-board to increase web strength. Improvements to the weld joint between the swing rack and car body further reduce stress, Caterpillar says.

An updated single-piece roller path increases roller life and eliminates seams to improve ride and prevent rollers from coming loose. Five symmetrical roller segments are now pre-assembled, improving alignment quality and installation efficiency, it says. The upgraded thrust rail design improves access for inspection and retightening, while adding support to the thrust rail during operation.

The redesigned propel system on the 7495 and 7495 HF models eliminates the need to remove the propel transmission when servicing the drive tumbler and propel shaft, since they are now replaced from the out-board side of the machine. This significantly improves serviceability of the drive, decreases maintenance downtime by as much as 75% and lowers operating costs by as much as 10% versus the previous design, according to Caterpillar. The component’s design updates extend rebuild life to up to 30,000 hours.

Sealed and continuously lubricated tapered roller bearings more evenly distribute thrust to improve propel durability, while fresh grease flows equally through both sets of bearings, eliminating potential contamination from bearing surfaces, the company says. Propel gearcase metallurgy has been optimised to improve toughness, while improved microgeometry enhances gear mesh to reduce contact wear, it added.

Compatible with all ERS machines equipped with 2,006-mm track pads, a new track pad design improves structural support and steel chemistry, while a proprietary heat treatment process increases hardness by 15% and toughness by 30% to improve roller path and drive lug wear, according to Caterpillar.

The track pin design features improved alloy composition and higher toughness. A new track pin removal pocket for 7495 HF models offers an easy-to-use pin removal solution that features a weld-free integrated vertical surface to keep the cylinder stabilised during pin removal.

Cat improves efficiency and cost per tonne with 7495 mining shovel upgrades

Caterpillar has updated its 7495 and 7495 HF electric rope shovels with the result being an up to 10% increase in operating efficiency.

Drawing from more than a century of rope shovel innovation, the 2021 Cat® 7495 and 7495 HF Electric Rope Shovels (ERS) combine multiple standard feature upgrades to improve machine productivity, while component enhancements, increased frame durability and improved serviceability help reduce cost per tonne of material moved by as much as 15%.

Dan Wyatt, ERS Product Value Stream Manager, said: “Consistently, our customers tell us machine availability and productivity are primary contributors to their operation’s success. From the full adaptive control system for HydraCrowd™ to more innovative technology and data security, the advances made to the 2021 electric rope shovels reflect our commitment to meeting their needs.

“Many of these improvements are compatible with shovels in the field, so customers can realise these gains through upgrades to their existing fleets as well as new machine purchases.”

A new propel gear case for the 7495 and 7495 HF models nearly doubles the life of propel gear cases in some extreme operating conditions, Cat claims. Precise adjustments to gearing geometry and advancements in tooth hardening enhance gear case durability and productivity. The result is lower total cost of ownership of as much as $8/h when the drive system is replaced at one scheduled time.

Additionally, an ecology drain simplifies oil draining and enables kidney-loop flushing, which reduces abrasion-causing contaminants and oil change frequency.

Updates to the 7495 AC electric drive system deliver greater reliability, improved maintenance access, enhanced safety, and expanded high altitude and temperature capabilities, the company says. A liquid-cooled motion regulator cabinet efficiently dissipates heat generated by electrical components and enables operation at -40°C to +50°C and altitudes as high as 5,250 m without derating.

A faster propel transfer switch cuts lag time by 75% to improve productivity, while common motors in multiple applications means fewer parts to stock, improved parts availability and simplified maintenance, Cat says.

A reconfiguration of the crawler carriage allows drive shaft and tumbler replacement from the outboard side without removing the propel transmission. This slashes maintenance time by days while enhancing safety, Cat says. With this design, thrust loads are evenly distributed on large, tapered roller bearings rather than bronze thrust plates, increasing durability to align with 25,000-hour planned rebuilds, even in harsh environments.

Stress from every load passes through the shovel’s swing rack. This is where an enhanced design includes a single-piece rail casting that eliminates vertical segment cracks to increase durability. The rail provides a uniform path for roller movement, preventing rollers from coming loose and creating irregular wear patterns. The upgraded third rail improves access for inspection and retightening, in addition to providing added support to the thrust rail during operation. New swing girder bushings and girder-to-chassis shim designs offer improved access, reducing service time.

“All major rope shovel structures are built with high-strength steel and rugged castings, joined and thermally stress relieved to deliver reliable operation in harsh mining conditions,” Cat says. “Full penetration, profiled and ground welds are made at critical junctures, and MT, UT and X-ray inspections ensure weld quality. Structures are stress-relieved to prevent cracking, and white painted interiors facilitate inspection.”

Both the 7495 and 7495 HF ERS models now offer a full Cat bill of materials, streamlining the parts ordering process and improving parts availability, the company says.

Technology increases efficiency

Both the 7495 and 7495 HF come standard with Product Link Elite™, which transmits critical machine operating data such as utilisation, location and condition via cellular or site internet connection. Added router functionality helps to protect data security. Advanced productivity tools within Product Link Elite enable a cycle segmentation algorithm, and the combined data allows for advanced analysis of productivity, Cat says.

When linked with the available Cat MineStar™ Fleet, real-time machine tracking produces a comprehensive overview of all equipment assets to assist with fleet management and productivity.

Providing real-time feedback to improve loading efficiency, available MineStar Terrain uses guidance technology and an in-cab display to deliver precise dipper position guidance. Optional MineStar Health delivers critical event-based machine condition and operating data, while its advanced diagnostic and analytic tools improve service efficiency, the company says.

The standard Operator Assist – Enhanced Motion Control simplifies machine operation to promote high production while protecting the machine. This system is designed to yield more reliable crowd rope replacement schedules, full design life for hoist ropes, reduced wear on crowd brakes and longer life for hoist gear case components, according to Cat


A new adaptive control system (ACS) – a final piece of a multiphase enhancement initiative for HydraCrowd – delivers up to 25% cost savings on the ACS valve, resulting in up to 5% total cost of ownership saving for the entire system, Cat says. Lower initial costs, rebuildable elements and improved accessibility combine to reduce the time required for replacements. The new design also increases reliability without significantly changing the HydraCrowd maintenance schedule, according to Cat.

The new circulation filter employs two smaller, easily accessed filters that do not require roof panel removal for replacement. More affordable than the previous single-filter design, the new configuration also reduces replacement time, Cat says.

A new filter placed at the pump drive transmission improves filtration of the lubrication fluid, helping to extend the life and reliability of the system by reducing contaminants and decreasing wear. The new pump drive transmission filter assists in reducing unplanned maintenance events to decrease downtime.

Cat 7495 electric rope shovel on its way to Kinross Gold’s Paracatu mine

A Cat 7495 electric rope shovel originally built in 2012 is on its way to Kinross Gold’s Paracatu gold mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Paracatu, an open-pit mine with ore processed in ball and SAG mills, is Brazil’s largest gold mine, according to Kinross. It achieved record annual production of 619,563 gold-equivalent ounces in 2019, surpassing its 2018 record.

Kinross started an asset optimisation program in 2018, which completed in late 2019 with the successful implementation of a grade control program that led to better characterisation of the orebody, an improved ability to predict and react to ore variability, and better mill efficiency with improvements in throughput and recovery, it said.

Cat said the shovel’s ballast box and revolving frame left Green Valley, Arizona, USA, last week on two heavy haul trucks – one pulling and one pushing the 120 t load. At 61 m long and 5 m wide, the load is being escorted by a team responsible for removing and replacing power lines, traffic signals and signage along the way, it said.

Late last year, Cat updated the AC electric drive system for Cat 7495 and 7495 HF electric rope shovels to, it said, deliver even greater reliability, improved maintenance access, enhanced safety and an expanded ability to perform at high altitudes and in extreme temperatures.

Back in 2018, Kinross welcomed its second Cat 7495 electric rope shovel to its Round Mountain mine, in Nevada, as part of its Phase W expansion plan.

Cat’s 7495, 7495HF shovels receive an AC drive boost

Caterpillar has updated the AC electric drive system for Cat® 7495 and 7495 HF electric rope shovels to, it says, deliver even greater reliability, improved maintenance access, enhanced safety and expanded ability to perform at high altitudes and in extreme temperatures.

The updated system also is designed to easily integrate with advanced technologies.

Caterpillar and our predecessor in shovel design and manufacturing, Bucyrus, have supplied more than 300 AC electric rope shovels, said Dale Blyth, Product Manager, Electric Rope Shovels. The most recent advances in AC drives are integrated in this update and demonstrate how we apply our experience to help customers lower cost per tonne and bolster safety.

Updates include a liquid-cooled motion regulator cabinet for more efficient dissipation of heat generated by electrical components.

The company said: “The new system enables shovels to operate at temperatures of -40 degrees C/F to +50 degrees C (122 degrees F) and altitudes of 5,250 m (17,220 ft) without derating.

“The reliable system also eliminates airborne contaminants in the cabinet and lengthens service intervals – for reduced costs and greater uptime. Additionally, a new, faster propel transferswitch cuts lag time by 75% for improved productivity.” 

New technologies enable consolidating two cabinets in the machinery house to create space for easier maintenance access, while the updated maintenance station is designed for integration of current and future technology solutions, including Cat MineStar.

The drive system design uses common motors in multiple applications, according to Cat. “That means fewer parts to stock, improved parts availability and simplified maintenance.” 

The new motors also have higher power densities, smaller frame sizes and optimised footprint, which aids access, it added.

The Cat rope shovel electric drive system still features elements such as fuseless insulated-gate bipolar transistor modules. And, the on-board maintenance station continues to aid technicians in identifying faults and resolving issues.

The new electric drive system will be on all new production 7495 and 7495 HF shovels beginning in late 2020.

The system is not intended for retrofit, though some elements, such as the fast propel transfer switch, are available as upgrades to machines already in service, according to Cat.

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.