J. Brodny
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018


The effectiveness of the currently used hard coal mining technologies results from the mechanisation of this process. Exploitation through long faces with high performance rate is possible thanks to the application of longwall shearers and automated longwall systems. These systems allow for quick and effective mining of the body of coal and transportation of the extracted material from the face region. Their role is also to ensure safety for the working crew. The basic constituent part of the system is a longwall shearer. In practice, depending on the applicable requirements, there are many types and kinds of these machines. However, in each case, the purpose is to make the best use of the machine, because it is the operating efficiency of the shearer that determines the effectiveness of the entire coal production process. The article concentrates on analysing the work of a shearer in terms of its availability. A methodology has been presented for determining the availability of a shearer based on the temporal courses of its advance speed. These speed values are registered by industrial automation systems that the machines are currently equipped with. The research encompassed a longwall shearer used for mining the body of coal in one of the hard coal mines. The objective of the research was to determine the actual working time of the shearer during the period considered. It was assumed that the shearer’s availability would be defined as the time in which its advance speed was different from zero. Based on the courses registered, the availability of the shearer under analysis was determined for 30 working shifts. The results obtained demonstrated that, for many shifts, the shearer’s availability was low and amounted to less than 50% of the normative time in which the shearer should be operating. The presented methodology for determining availability and the results obtained should provide an essential source of information for the maintenance department of a mine. The Author of the paper hopes that this will contribute to the improvement of the shearer’s operational parameters and subsequently also the effectiveness of the entire coal production process.

Keywords: availability, effectiveness, shearer, mining machines, mining production.

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