Deep down in a coal mine, the foreman faced lengthy and costly dilemmas for two key maintenance applications. The first maintenance application was for removing and re-tightening the bolts during the servicing process for “Mining Heads” used on the industrial machines attached to the vehicles underground. The “Mining Heads” are used to channel through rock and extract the coal from the underground mine. 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.
The other key maintenance application challenge for the foreman was servicing the conveyor systems underground. The conveyors are used to carry the coal out of the mines and are loaded onto either barges or trucks. These conveyors can take up to 7 years to build, and can expand over 10 miles if needed. The rollers and expansions pieces of the conveyor system have to be serviced frequently and bringing these parts out of the mine was not practical and would be too costly.
The maintenance foreman was looking for simple, heavy-duty tool that would not require costly maintenance and not be an ergonomic issue for his staff to use. Selecting the right heavy torque tool for the job was crucial. The maintenance foreman tried 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.
Then the maintenance foreman tried a hydraulic wrench. The bulky compressor and laborious operation for the tool wasn’t the solution. The hydraulic tool operates through a hydraulic ram that extends and retracts, ratcheting the head. It was a long and tedious process that required the operator to be more activate and stand by the pump with a hand-held controller. The tool was heavy and took too long to set up and operate. The foreman needed a tool that was more portable and took less time to set up. Read the rest of this page »
Read the rest of this page »