Tag Archives: MineStar Fleet

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

HydraCrowd

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.

Caterpillar and the next generation of productive hauling

Caterpillar says it is leading the way in the next generation of productive hauling through game-changing efficiency advancements with the Next Generation of Cat® Mining Trucks.

The 785 large mining truck was Caterpillar’s first entry into the mining industry more than three decades ago and, the company says, has been a top performer on sites around the world ever since. It is fitting, therefore, that it is the first of a new generation.

Designed by operators, for operators

“Where does the next generation of productive haulage begin? It all starts with operators, who work in an environment designed for them by other operators,” Cat says.

Truck operators provided input, worked alongside Cat’s large mining truck design team and shared feedback to help create a state-of-the-art environment on board the 785 designed for efficiency and ergonomics, and equipped with features that increase comfort, automate functions and boost confidence, from the smallest operator to largest operator around the globe, the company said.

The next generation operator experience is safer, more consistent, more predictable and more intuitive, shortening the learning curve and boosting productivity of less experienced operators, according to the company.

The new speed coaching feature gives operators real-time feedback on how to operate the truck to maximise its productivity, Cat told IM. In field trials, the new AutoHoist controls, meanwhile, have shown reductions of up to 12 seconds in the dumping cycle. “This feature can also reduce fuel burn during this portion of the haul cycle,” the company said.

Features such as Hill Start Assist, Anti Roll Back, Enhanced Traction Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Anti-lock Brake System, Machine Speed Limiting and Cruise Control improve machine responsiveness and controllability, while improving cycle times and reducing operator fatigue, the company added.

Serviceability and reliability

In addition to enhancing the operator experience and efficiency, the next generation truck platform delivers significant improvements in serviceability and reliability, according to Cat.

“We’ve worked to reduce key contributors to downtime with features like the new modular HVAC (heating, ventilation and air condition) system, which improves reliability and consolidates components so the entire system can be removed and replaced quickly,” Cat said.

Field studies have shown this modular element alone can improve physical availability by up to 0.5%.

New “Remote Flash” and Remote Troubleshooting capabilities reduce downtime and maximise machine availability, according to Cat, providing the ability to troubleshoot the machine remotely or update the software of an electronic control module on an engine or machine through cellular service.

“A manager in the back office can securely push machine software updates over the air to the truck,” Cat explained. “This feature reduces machine downtime and technician time, allows updates to be performed when most convenient, and keeps the machine up to date with the most recent software.”

Connectivity and technology integration

Mine sites have access to real-time information and analytics that improve their total cost of ownership, the company claims, with these next gen pre-production machines “quantifying the full value of new features” at multiple customer sites right now ahead of the start of manufacturing in the March quarter of 2021, Cat says.

Cat says it will be easier to integrate Caterpillar and certain third-party current and future technology solutions on the next generation platform, with offerings such as Cat MineStar™ – which includes fully autonomous haulage with Command – able to deliver a step change in productivity, efficiency and safety.

This integration can provide valuable data and analytics to enable near real-time decision making, maintenance troubleshooting, and the ability to predict and proactively prevent failures, according to the company.

Included on the truck is an improved payload monitoring system that comes with more accurate measurements, improved monitoring and an improved interface, according to Cat.

“Information is more accurate and the system provides access to more data,” the company said of this system. “The new system also provides accurate dipper counts, reduces false loading triggers and overload detection, while carryback calculations are more accurate.”

The system also provides detailed haul cycle segmentation and remote access through telematics, Cat added.

The backbone of advanced connectivity on the Next Gen truck platform is the ability to communicate through dual mode cellular 4G/LTE and Satellite, or local Wi-Fi networks – “whatever benefits the mine plan”, Cat says.

“Next generation connectivity delivers faster data transfers, better access to data, consistent and reliable data communication, more insightful and actionable data, improved data analytics and new diagnostic capabilities,” the company explained.

“The NextGen telematics systems can collect and transmit information securely into locally-hosted or cloud-hosted applications, such as Cat MineStar Fleet, MineStar Edge, and Health Equipment Insights. These applications boost productivity and improve maintenance and machine life.”

Built on a solid foundation

With nominal rated payload of 138 t or higher with optional larger tyres, the 785 has delivered lowest cost per tonne in a wide range of mining applications ranging from flat hauls to deep pits, and solid roadways to challenging underfoot conditions, the company said.

Its 3512E engine offers selectable power options so miners can either match the speed of their current fleet or speed up their cycle times, according to the company. The optional Tier 4 engine has shown a reduction in fuel usage by as much as 9%, while advanced electronic transmission controls deliver faster cycle times, faster acceleration, less spillage and reduced haul road maintenance, on top of improved engine and powertrain life. Longer-life components, extended service intervals and easier maintenance contribute to higher mechanical availability.

“The individual features, components, software and systems that make up the Next Generation 785 have one very important thing in common: they are all manufactured by Caterpillar and supported by the Cat dealer network.

“This integration ensures that the entire truck, from tyres to transmissions, engines to electronics, can be fully optimised to deliver the lowest cost per tonne in any manned or autonomous site applications in the world.”