Development of Road Header Roof Bolting Module

Farrell, Sean C.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2014
In underground mining and tunneling, machine design is predominantly dictated by mine conditions and individual customer desires. In partnership with Australian companies WDS Limited and Cram Fluid Power, the engineering department of J.H. Fletcher & Company was tasked to design and manufacture roof bolting modules to be mounted off both sides of a roadheader, providing in-cycle bolting. The objective was to produce a boom and bolt module that would allow an operator to bolt from a remote location, eliminating the need for miner to work in unsupported ground. The bolt module needed to operate in front of the cutting boom, but retract to a parked position out of the way during the cutting cycle. Due to Australian electrical approval requirements, it was desirable to design the module with minimal use of electrical controls. The need for multiple, complex, drill steel and bolt handling steps led to the need for a custom hydraulics package to automate several of the movements. The result of the design is dual drill and bolt modules mounted to a multistage boom with over 24 feet (7.31 m) of extension. Each unit rotates and tilts to meet the bolt pattern requirements in conjunction with the stow and load requirements. The bolt module builds on previous designs incorporating a modular assembly with each sub-component designed to be replaceable and adjustable independently from other machine components. Each major component is painted a different color to help the operator make the connection visually from the module to the operator?s control valves. Hydraulic package valves were designed to automatically control several of the sub-components during the drill cycle, reducing the number of steps a drill operator would, otherwise, have to do manually. This design removes the operator from working in unsupported roof and away from other inherent hazards, putting them at a safe distance on the operator?s platform. The cutting and bolting equipment has been combined into one machine, which is advantageous in single entry drifts because there is no need to place change equipment. The hydraulic package valves eliminate the need for any electronics, thus avoiding any electrical regulations with respect to the controls. The addition of these modules to the roadheading machine increases miner safety and streamlines production while meeting the ground control support requirements.
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