Monday, 9 February 2009
EICKHOFF Australia has
signed a licensing agreement for CSIRO's LASC
automation with plans to deploy the technology
in New South Wales by the second quarter of this
agreement was signed by Eickhoff Australia
managing director John Smallwood and CSIRO
Exploration & Mining chief Dr Mike
Smallwood (left) and CSIRO's Mike McWilliams
Developed by CSIRO under
funding from the Australian Coal Association
Research Program (ACARP), the LASC (Longwall
Automation Steering Committee) system includes
face alignment, horizon control, communications
and operator interface, and information systems.
Eikhoff is the third original equipment
manufacturer to sign the non-exclusive license
following on from deals in October by Joy Mining
Machinery and Inbye Mining Services.
Smallwood said the technology will first
be deployed on an Eickhoff shearer in NSW and
“more will follow very quickly”.
licensing agreement covers some hardware
elements, training, instruction on how the
system works and incorporation of the technology
into the OEM’s products.
director Mark Bennetts said as the technology
was incorporated into more mines, it would make
a large contribution to increased productivity
and a safer working environment.
McWilliams added an ACARP study of LASC
automation suggested that apart from the obvious
safety advantage, the reduced downtime realised
by incorporating the system into a typical
longwall operation would result in production of
an additional 435,000 saleable tonnes per year.
“Other benefits include a conservative
five per cent increase in cutting rate, scaling
up to perhaps 10-15 per cent. These increases go
directly to the bottom line, so they are good
for exports and good for Australia,” he said.
While Moranbah North (Joy shearer) and
Carborough Downs (shearer supplied by Inbye)
will be amongst the first longwall mines to take
LASC commercial, pre-commercial automation
systems have already been proven and found
success at Xstrata's Beltana, BMA's Broadmeadow
and Anglo’s Grasstree mines.
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