COAL MINE REDUCES MAINTENANCE COSTS

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CASE STUDY: COAL MINE, USA

INITIAL SITUATION

The owner of the deepest coal mine in the U.S. faced lengthy and costly dilemmas for two key applications.

Firstly, the bolts for "Mining Heads", used to channel through rock and extract the coal from the underground mine, had to be removed and re-tightened during maintenance. Being the deepest coal mine in the US, 5 miles deep, bringing these Mining Heads out of the mine each time for service was not economical and would create too much down time. It would take 4 days to bring the Mining Heads to the surface and back. The other key maintenance application challenge was servicing the conveyor systems underground. The conveyors are used to carry the coal out of the mines. These conveyors can take up to 7 years to build and can expand over 10 miles. The rollers and expansions pieces of the conveyor system have to be serviced frequently.

Therefore, a heavy-duty tool that would not cause costly maintenance processes had been required. The maintenance staff had been using impact wrenches for both applications, but the tools were not ergonomically friendly to the operators and required a high maintenance budget. The Impact wrenches are destructive by nature with its "hammering" design.

SOLUTION

They tried a hydraulic wrench, but the bulky compressor and laborious operation for the tool didn’t fit the requirements. The hydraulic tool operates through a hydraulic ram that extends and retracts. It was a long and tedious process. The tool was heavy and took too long to set up and operate. The foreman tested the alkitronic CLD pneumatic torque multiplier. The torque multiplier was ergonomically safer and it eliminated the frequent costly repairs of the impact wrenches. The torque multiplier also increased the speed and productivity for the maintenance applications, as it was faster than the hydraulic wrench.

The CLD eliminated the cumbersome set up time and slow ratcheting process of hydraulic wrenches. Alkitronic torque multipliers provide precision torque control. That makes maintenance easier and safer. At the same time, application problems and tool costs can be reduced.

COAL MINE REDUCES MAINTENANCE COSTS

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