Winching solution keeps underground mining moving safely

Thursday, 12 March, 2020 | Supplied by: Hydraulink


Australian Certified Winches (ACW) is an Australian-owned company that provides winches and winching solutions for the mining, marine, utilities and construction industries. Australian mining company BHP asked ACW to design a winch capable of hauling double the capacity (100 tonnes) within the same physical space as its previous 50-tonne winch, for underground mining operations, and which also conforms to the specific safety standards that winches used in underground mining must adhere to. ACW used Hydraulink to provide and install hydraulic hoses and fittings that were optimised by expert hydraulic engineering, for a new underground winch. Hydraulink is a multinational brand that provides hydraulic hose and fitting solutions across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia–Pacific Basin. Hydraulink manufactures and distributes hydraulic hoses, fittings, couplers, tube assemblies, adaptors and accessories for a range of industries, including the mining, marine, transport and agriculture industries.

“The solution was to integrate two 350,000 Nm wheel drives inside the winch drum. The winch is to be used to remove longwall machines once the longwall is finished and being moved to another seam. Current methods involve the use of hydraulic cylinders, but these can be limited in stroke length, meaning a lot more time re-rigging the haul rope. The winch has 300 m of rope, allowing for a continuous haul,” said Grant Barrett, Director of ACW. ACW primarily ensures winches are suited to the particular task, and that its clients have the correct documentation and certification to operate under any appropriate regulations. ACW provides mining process winches, designed to retrieve minerals from the ground to stockpile, and mining transport winches, designed to move the material to local refineries and overseas. Some winches used in underground mining must adhere to specific safety standards, such as MDG 33 and AS 61508; such winches are known as winders, and are used to hoist materials at high speed.

Factory testing (pictured) of the new winch confirmed it could easily pull more than the required 100 tonnes.

“The new winch has an onboard closed loop hydraulic system that is driven by the underground emulsion fluid, so we needed expert hydraulics assistance in engineering the winch for underground use. So we contacted Hydraulink, and their team ensured all hydraulic hoses and fittings were MDG-41 compliant — including all testing and reporting — which is a requirement for any machinery being used in underground mining applications. The service from Hydraulink was fantastic. They were responsive, practical minded, safety oriented and worked well with my team. I’ll be looking to them for any future Hydraulic hose, fittings, adaptors or service needs,” Barrett said. Mechanical Design Guideline 41 (MDG 41) identifies safe working practices for the manufacture of high-pressure hoses and fittings, including hazard identification, assessment, elimination and reviewing of risk.

As a hydraulic hose, fittings and service specialist, Hydraulink frequently supplies hydraulic components that must comply with local standards and safety compliances. “I was impressed with ACW’s standards and safety compliance focus, and the solution they came up with for this new winch was an outstanding piece of engineering. We were happy to be part of this project and to work side by side with another company that values safety as highly as we do. To make service and maintenance simpler in the future, we’ve set up all the hoses and parts used in this winch with individual part numbers in our system. If ACW need to replace a part in the future, we’ll have all the specifications on file, ready to go,” said Adrian Burgess, Area Sales Manager (Queensland) of Hydraulink. The winch supplied by WCA was factory tested using a 150-tonne load cell and shackles. Testing revealed that it was capable of pulling 120 tonnes with ease.

Top image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/donvictori0

Online: www.hydraulink.com.au
Phone: 1300 36 37 34
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