Coal Age

JUN 2018

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42 June 2018 product news World's Biggest Shovel Nears Release A new shovel, in development for more than a half-decade, is hailed as the largest in the world and described by Komatsu as an evolutionary successor to the smaller 4100XPC. It will load ultra-class haulers in three passes. It will outperform the com- petition, including predecessor competi- tion, in several metrics, Patrick Singleton, product director, shovels, Komatsu, said. "Looking at the combination of the adaptive controls, the next-generation dipper design, and the smart swing system improvements, the 4800XPC will deliver the potential for significantly improved productive performance as compared to the existing best in class 4100XPC AC," he said. "Of course, the structures of the ma- chine have been upgraded to enable this improved performance without experi- encing reduced life." The seed idea for the shovel was planted in 2003 with the rise of ultra-class trucks. "Loading tools typically lag new haul-truck-size class releases to ensure the truck-size class stabilizes from a market acceptance standpoint prior to designing the machine, which can fill it efficiently," Singleton said. "Our teams leveraged this interim period to ensure product reliabili- ty growth and customer purchases within this new truck segment prior to designing a machine to three-pass load it." Once the data revealed the ultra-class truck to be viable, development of the 4800XPC began in early 2011, with it start- ing to garner headlines over the course of the next couple of years. "The product development project began in February 2011 with an extensive Voice of the Customer initiative covering five major mining regions and more than 15 customers throughout those regions," Singleton said. "The program was tempo- rarily halted in 2013 as market conditions deteriorated; however, work continued on items that could be validated on ex- isting electric shovels and built into the broader product offering." The end result is "the largest loading tool-size class available on the market today," which is best matched with the 400-ton Komatsu 980 haul truck, Single- ton said. The shovel's design is based on its predecessor, the 4100XPC AC, which has a 120-ton nominal payload. "This will give the 4800XPC the distinction of building off a best-in-class design and should effec- tively give it a leg up on the competition almost immediately," Singleton said. The shovel features both structural and technological improvements that in- clude smart product upgrades, located throughout the design of the machine, he said. "P&H leveraged smart design, including beefing up components, where required, and driving a deeper integration with technology upgrades that differenti- ate the machine," Singleton said. According to company literature, some of the structural improvements in- clude a dipper design featuring a higher payload-to-weight ratio, improved fill fac- tor, and an improved latch system; a new equalizer that optimizes digging height, cutting force, dumping height and rope life; a direct drive crowd with integral fleeting sheave; an enhanced ring gear that resists fatigue and handles increased payload; and an optimized boom design. Some of the structural improvements have the "peripheral effect" of helping manage the flow of material out of the dipper, Singleton said. Heavy-duty snub- bers manage or dampen the motion of the dipper door as it opens and closes, which can help meter the flow of material out of the dipper, he said. "The shape of the dipper also changes the pitch of the dipper and helps to alter the dynamic flow of material out," Singleton said. "Although neither of these upgrades is designed for this purpose, both should assist with managing material flow." Komatsu reported the technological improvements include a bundle of adaptive controls that "optimize shovel power usage in different phases of the dig cycle," name- ly: Smart Crowd for "improved bank pene- tration;" Opti Toe, which "improves cutting force" and helps the operator stay in the dig envelop; Smart Retract for "smoother dis- engagement from the bank;" Active Load Compensation, which "optimizes machine torques and speeds;" and Extended Reach for "improved dump reach." by jesse c. morton, technical writer

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