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FAMUR: On the Right Track

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Global Mining Review,

The process of installing longwall system equipment is a very important step in the exploitation of hard coal seams. It involves preparing the headings for production in the shortest possible time. All necessary equipment, such as powered roof supports, armoured conveyor pans or the longwall shearer are installed into the face for future operation. For this to happen, the machines intended to form longwall systems and be used in underground mines must ensure a high degree of failure-free and uninterrupted advancement of such works in order to keep the continuity and efficiency of the entire process. Therefore, this equipment should meet both high technical and safety requirements that are crucial while transporting heavy elements.

In order to meet the expectations of its customers, FAMUR’s engineering department developed the concept of an entire system that intended to transport and install the powered roof support shields in the longwall. The relevant construction documentation was then prepared. Just 6 months after the first design assumptions had been made, the equipment was manufactured and assembled in the company’s assembly bay.

The first FRTS-900 unit was developed as part of cooperation between FAMUR and its Kazakh customer. The company designed, manufactured and supplied the railway transport system intended for transporting powered roof support shields and supporting its installation in the longwall. The level of safety was increased and the cost of equipment operation reduced as a result of the decreased longwall system installation time.

The railway transport system is designed to transport equipment and materials during the longwall system installation and decommissioning processes. This equipment includes powered roof support units with 1.5 m centre pitch and other elements of the longwall system, for example, shearer components. At the same time, through the integration with the unloading wedged-shape pad, the system provides the possibility to unload the powered roof support shields from the transport platform, rotate them and install them along the face. The system’s technical specifications mean the maximum possible load for the largest longitudinal inclination, i.e. 35°, is 29 500 kg. This enables it to be used in the extreme mining conditions. In addition, its modular design enables its adaptation to the existing mining conditions and transport requirements. With lower longitudinal inclinations, the transport weight capacity increases.


A complete FRTS-900 railway transport system with the following components was supplied to the customer:

Shunting locomotive FFST-900

Intended to move the transport set on the tracks. It is composed of a power supply platform and drive cars – with two and four motors. The drive cars are used to move the transport set along the tracks of the system. Drive car – type I (four motors) – is the basic drive unit of the shunting locomotive. Drive car – type II (two motors) – is a car that can be additionally connected to a shunting locomotive in order to increase the pulling force in case of more demanding mining conditions and higher transport requirements.

Transport (load-bearing) platform 320kN

Designed for transporting materials and equipment by self-driven floor-mounted locomotives of up to 320 kN. Additionally, depending on the requirements of the user, platforms with different capacities can be used, i.e. 60 kN, 120 kN, 220 kN and the aforementioned 320 kN.

FPR-900 track (railway)

Composed of repeatable sections of straight and curved rails of 900 mm wide which are adapted to the track route. The track curvature radius is 4500 mm in the horizontal plane and 10 200 mm in the vertical plane.

The running/travel surface is formed by two inward-facing C-sections, connected with beams. A toothed bar (rack) is installed inside the rail structure, in the central part of the track, for the pinions mounted on the motors of the drive cars.

Unloading wedge-shape pad

This is designed to unload powered roof support shields from the transport platform. The wedge-shape pad placed behind the last track of the railway forms a chute on which, by means of winches or reels, the equipment being transported on the platform can be moved to the heading floor.

Before shipping any equipment to a customer, factory tests are carried out to check the correct operation and interfacing/working of individual units including, but not limited to, the trial run of the set under load along a slope.

To read the rest of this article, please download the full March/April issue from Global Mining Review here.

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