Hydraulic Shovel Simulator in Surface Mining Excavation Engineering
Excavation engineering involves complex processes for primary and secondary extraction of materials. The shovel excavators bear varying mechanical energy input and stress loading across the working bench during excavation. These varying mechanical energy input and stress loading effects cause significant wear and tear and fatigue failure in equipment components. These effects further result in unplanned downtimes, reduced efficiency and high production costs. In addition, the mechanical and electrical control systems must be operated in efficient profiles to generate maximum outputs and efficiency from these excavators. Efficient technologies are therefore required to solve these problems in order to reduce production costs and increase efficiency. In this paper, the authors develop a rigorous simulator for a hydraulic shovel in a surface mining environment. The finite element model is used to capture the stress profile within the shovel components during excavation, such as, the bucket, stick and boom assemblies. The profiles are classified into normal, critical and extreme ranges, with appropriate corrective measures to avoid extreme loading conditions. The loading capability of shovel excavators can be examined by assessing its structural strength against all possible maximum loads working on the equipment. The dynamic model is used to define efficient profiles of the critical structural components of hydraulic shovels during digging operation. This assessment is used to locate the maximum possible loads and the critical sections of the structures. The method presented in this paper forms the basis for developing comprehensive simulator models for efficient shovel operations in constrained mining environments.
S. Frimpong et al., "Hydraulic Shovel Simulator in Surface Mining Excavation Engineering," Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publication Series, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Jan 2003.
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