Coal Age

JUL-AUG 2017

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20 July/August 2017 longwall mining continued sors on the face," Faykus said. "All ram and leg sensors are operating properly, which makes my job very easy when everything in the system is healthy." The operators also rely on a mine- wide monitor, which displays alarms and status information for the mine as a whole along with the longwall. The system relays information on the power car, emulsion pumps, roto-jet pumps, emulsion and water supply statuses, un- derground and overland belts, longwall communication network, longwall meth- ane monitor network, mine-wide CO sta- tus, etc. "As we have issues, the operator in the command center will go through the screens and quickly determine the source," Faykus said. The Run Screen (See p. 22) provides the operators with an overview of the longwall status. They can see the motors and amps and the headgate status in- formation, whether the shearer is being controlled remotely, if the methane (CH 4 ) at headgate and tailgate are less than 1%. They can also see the emulsion pressure and tank levels. Tabs along the bottom of the display let them drill down for more information. Tunnel Ride developed a graph (See Longwall Graph, p. 23) for the face profile to be used in conjunction with automated operations, the Joy screen and the cam- eras. "It provides a real-time view of the face remotely," Faykus said. "It's a quick reference for the operators to cut bottom and manage the rolls on a face and they mark shields for high and low spots or any other issues." The top gray line on the graph is the pick height of the leading drum. The yellow dot is the leading drum. The orange and white lines at the bottom represent the trailing drum pick depth and the white is the shear- er map of the panline as it comes across the face. This view shows that the headgate is at a lower elevation than the tailgate and it's easy to see all the rolls in between. "As they are mining and the shearer ap- proaches an area, they can see that they un- dercut it on the last pass," Faykus said. "On the bottom graph, the pitch is represented in colored segments of 2°. Anything above the line is positive and anything below the line is negative." Using this along with the cameras and the Joy graph, they are able to mine re- motely, successfully and productively. The Importance of Cameras The Tunnel Ridge shearer has eight cam- eras and two lights and the AFC has four cameras — two on each end. While mining through the tailgate, the operators would refer to the shearer mainframe tailgate view. "The operators look at the cut line to see how they match up with the top," Co- law said. "They can also see the condition of the face and whether a binder [parting] is present. And they have a pretty good in- dication of the shields too." As the shearer cuts toward the head- gate, they can see anything coming up the panline. They can view the shields in rela- tion to the drums. They know they need to stay in front of them to prevent any colli- sions, Colaw explained. As mentioned earlier, methane is monitored on a run screen in the com- mand enter, but they also keep any eye on the methane monitor with a camera. They also use that view to monitor the ca- ble handler, the Bretby. They can also tell if anyone is present around the shearer. "At first, we thought we were sacrificing a camera for this view, but it is really helpful because it allows us to make sure the Bret- by is intact," Colaw said. During the remote cut out of tailgate, the operators can see the roof straps as they break through. The operators recognize the edge of the block, Colaw explained, and they will note that and shear down as they approach it to avoid roof supports in the gate entry. "If they are able to, they tram out, roll the cowls and shear down and come off the gate," Colaw said. "As the shearer comes out of the tailgate, they can see how well they did if none of the [sec- ondary roof supports] are disturbed. "When they are cutting bottom of the tailgate, they will use the Joy remote screen to check the pick heights as they are coming out of the gates," Colaw said. "They will look at the cameras to see if the shearer is kicking up any rocks. They really use everything available to them to control that gate." They use the headgate mainframe view to look at cut lines to see a difference compared with the last cut in conjunc- tion with the remote operating screen to determine if they are within the target range recommended by Joy. "When they are cutting bottom and trimming humps, they shear down and, if they don't see any rocks, they know they can shear down on the next pass to try and find the bottom." Embracing the Technology "One of the biggest challenges for us was the integration of the people with the technology; it was also one of the main keys to our success," Colaw said. "Our peo- ple accepted the challenge and learned to embrace the technology." Discussing some of the things they learned, Colaw immediately referred to The Joy home screen offers a quick overview of the motors, shearer location and speed as well as DCM information.

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