Automation and Control of Longwall Mining Systems

Smith P,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
The past 20 years have seen the replacement of hydraulic control of longwall mining systems by the neater. smaller and better controlled electronic units.Early problems of moisture and other effects on reliability were overcome to see electronically controlled supports chosen for Corrimal Colliery ten years ago. Lessons from Corrimal and elsewhere, with following improvements and sophistication led to wider use as exemplified by Meco and other electronically controlled supports used in more recent installations in New South Wales, Queensland, USA and Czechoslovakia of the total of over 80 electronically controlled support installations worldwide in the past decade. Present work is toward a fully "integrated face" of British Coal by 1993, incorporating the Meco automatic face straightening system already due for practical use in the UK later this year. However the manless face still appears to be some way off although the present minimum crews and close monitoring, including early warning, are promising stages.
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