The CJD manages for a portal extension solution
CJD Equipment enabled the expansion of a gold mine portal in Western Australia, modifying a Volvo ECR235E excavator to work underground with a rock crushing tool and all the clippings.
The task was made exceptionally difficult by its underground nature and the limestone that had to be removed.
CJD key account manager James Daniels said a traditional method was not going to suffice in this scenario.
“They had a new development on site where they basically needed a new way to expand their portal,” Daniels said..
“They couldn’t blow up the rock because it was limestone, which would fragment and become unstable. Rather than do that, they decided to tackle the face and see how far they could go before they hit a harder rock.
The modified Volvo ECR235E excavator was chosen for its reduced swing radius which suited the tight underground working conditions.
It was fitted with a bulldozer blade, grinding wheel attachment, and a dust suppression system along the shovel arm.
Daniels says CJD has learned to take advantage of the opportunity to provide interesting and efficient machines.
“Much of our work is bespoke, and we now have a fine art of it, especially in underground mining. We take this responsibility strongly and do a lot of good, interesting work with these clients, ”says Daniels.
“Our team at the Guildford workshop have been instrumental in our organization. “
Once the machine was chosen and the basic design accepted, the customer provided CJD with a list of specifications to meet their needs for the mine. These included isolators, emergency stops and fire extinguishers.
While the ECR235E is already well-equipped at the factory, with the crankcase drain and X1 and X3 hydraulic pumps standard on this model, CJD has spent a lot of time on non-standard components.
A Simex stone grindstone supplied by Total Rockbreaking Solutions was the most important piece of the puzzle.
One problem, however, with installing a grinding wheel on an underground excavator is adding dust suppression measures to a machine that would typically not have this feature.
“We had to run a hose through the back of the machine with a valve, pass it through the cab to allow the operator to turn it on and off, then lower it all the way down. boom to the front where the grinding wheel was running, ”Daniels said.
Another problem with the grinding wheel was the hydraulic capacity to keep it functional, which was aided by the power offered by the excavator’s two-pump system.
All that remained was to manage the weight of the grinding wheel, as it had issues with overbalance and prompted extensive testing to ensure 360 degree stability.
To counter this, a bulldozer blade is mounted on the back of the excavator, which is used to put the machine in a horizontal position, regardless of the inclination of the work.
Daniels said the testing went smoothly and the customer was impressed with the end product.
“We took him to a site north of Perth where we were able to crush some rock and everyone was very impressed. The customer had a number of people in the test – their training and area managers and an operator, ”he said.
“We even left it there for the weekend for the customer to have fun with. Their operator said it was fantastic and did everything he imagined he would do. “
The operator reported quiet driving and ergonomic controls, two attributes Volvo is proud to design.