Posted by Paul Moore on September 24, 2021
International mining sat down with MMD at MINExpo 2021 for an exclusive update on its Fully Mobile Surge Charger (FMSL) – its innovative in-pit solution that acts as a mobile storage bunker between the excavator and a continuous flow of trucks. It is designed to be capable of an average fill rate of about 70 seconds for a 400t class truck.
The first unit in production shows impressive results so far. It delivers the expected benefits by almost eliminating the time to track down unproductive trucks. Louis Steyn, vice president of MMD said I AM: “With this smart solution, trucks are loaded much faster than loaded directly by an excavator, and loaded in a way that is also safer and reduces wear and tear on the truck fleet. It transforms transport truck loading, making the process faster, more efficient and safer than ever. “
In a traditional truck and excavator operation, the truck approaches the excavator, then stops and backs up to load. The optimum loading point is difficult to reach most of the time because the truck driver and the excavator operator assess the sweet spot. Working between excavator and trucks, the FMSL’s consistent hopper position and generous target allow the excavator operator to dig and load faster and more continuously with the freedom to worry about factors. truck filling or material spills. Add to that the simple, guided truck drive-thru operation, and truck and excavator operation immediately becomes much more repeatable and efficient.
Trucks approaching the FMSL are first identified by RFID. After detection, the many sensors on board the FMSL guide each type of truck to the optimum prescribed loading position. The regulated material loading starts automatically and the payload is intelligently monitored to provide a consistently high fill rate.
Simulations have shown the potential of FMSL to offer up to 40% improvement over the performance of truck and excavator systems, up to 95% excavator utilization and up to 98% payload average target.
The FMSL also represents a major advance in mining safety; Not only does this eliminate complicated reversing maneuvers in the loading area, but also the constant flow of material from the hydraulic loader onto the truck bed is less aggressive, reducing shock and operator fatigue. These two factors, combined with optimum material loading, also reduce damage and wear and tear on truck components, such as the truck body, wheels and tires, suspension, chassis and drivetrain. Having limited control over the payload of the truck also helps to avoid overfilling the truck and the potential for kickback, dumping and other associated hazards.
The large material storage capacity provided by the hopper allows the excavator to reposition itself without interrupting the production of the truck fleet. The safe movement of the FMSL is done either by the excavator operator or by remote control. Additional protection systems such as geofencing and collision detection provide total safety.
Because the FMSL effectively decouples truck and excavator operations, it also makes it easier to load a variety of truck types and capacities from a single excavator, overcoming a long-standing problem of truck / excavator mismatch. . Steyn notes: “The traditional restrictions of being pass along and attached to a small fleet of expensive ultra-class trucks are no longer a problem. The FMSL offers the possibility to larger fleets of smaller, more economical and more environmentally friendly trucks, promoting the use of alternative fuels. This approach can also generate greater system flexibility and mineral / waste management.
For the future, the combination of FMSL with autonomous systems, where a truck can spot perfectly every time, opens up its potential even further. Steyn adds: “The FMSL is already smart and autonomous, so combining it with AHS trucks will be relatively straightforward and will promote a truly fully autonomous mine of the future. “