To provide customers with an up to 6% improvement in productivity compared to DC-powered models, Komatsu is now offering all of its P&H electric rope shovels as AC-powered machines going forward.
The production improvement gains are measured by comparing machine performance data. Furthermore, several Komatsu customers have reported they can regularly achieve higher productivity with the company’s AC models, the OEM says.
Working with its customers to better meet the needs of the evolving mining market, Komatsu reports the following advantages of AC machines over DC machines:
- Improved productivity: faster cycle times, no transfer-to-propel delay;
- Less power used: higher efficiencies with AC motors and power converters result in lower electricity (kilowatt hour) usage per ton moved for a more sustainable product offering for today’s mines. With increased productivity and availability, the AC platform is consistently shown to be a higher-performing machine;
- Lower maintenance and repair cost: reduction in parts/components costs (eg motors – no brush inspections or change-outs, no commutator stoning or skimming), and a reduction in labour cost; and
- Increased availability: field observed mechanical availability increase of 1-2%. This increase is primarily driven by increased MTBF (mean time between failure) of the electrical system. AC motors and drives require fewer static maintenance checks, resulting in more efficient planned maintenance, and an overall improvement in maintenance labour ratio.
Now that AC models are available in all size segments for customers, Komatsu will focus its OEM production and development efforts on the higher-performing AC line of electric rope shovels.
The company says it will continue its global support of the existing DC shovel market, however, providing customers around the world with service, parts, technology advancement and all aftermarket services. Where possible and supported by DC technology, product upgrades, including Centurion upgrades, will continue to be provided for the more than 400 DC-powered Komatsu shovels in the field.
“With over 100 P&H AC shovels operating globally, we are confident in our shift to the AC shovel platform,” Brian Fox, VP Mining Products, Komatsu Mining, says. “However, we remain fully committed to working with our customers to keep their existing P&H DC shovels running far into the future.”