Planar Kinematics of Dragline Digging for Efficient Machine Control


Overburden excavation is an integral component of the surface mine production chain. The walking dragline is the most economic production equipment for overburden excavation in strip mining. Draglines are capital intensive, and thus, investments in multiple units severely impact the economic viability of projects. The use of few dragline units results in highly concentrated production focus, which must be efficiently managed to derive the potential economic benefits. Efficient use of draglines requires a thorough knowledge of the powered functions, the 3D rotational and translational motions and machine-formation interactions within the operating environment. Dragline kinematics and dynamics are required to understand and characterize machine performance and efficiency. In order to sustain the high productivity in difficult operating conditions, the dynamics of the dragline must be modeled and analyzed based on comprehensive kinematics. This paper investigates the planar kinematics of the front-end assembly and its interactions with the formation during excavation using the “Vector Loop Analysis” formulation with comprehensive simulation modeling in MATLAB Simulink. The kinematic models are used to examine the translational, rotational and angular displacement, velocity and acceleration components of the dragline front-end assembly along defined bucket trajectories during excavation. The results are the precursors for comprehensive modeling to examine the load deformation, torque requirements and dragline stress loading profiles for improving machine health and longevity.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Overburden Excavation; Surface Mine; Walking Dragline

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 Society of Manufacturing Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2006