ACW task Hydraulink to provide innovative new underground winch for BHP mining project
Australian Certified Winches (ACW), has used Hydraulink to develop and install an innovative new underground winch for major mining leader BHP.
BHP tasked ACW with designing a winch that could haul double the capacity of their previous 50t winch within the same physical space, for one of its major Australian underground mining operations.
“The solution was to integrate two 350,000 Nm wheel drives inside the winch drum,” said Mr Grant Barrett, director at ACW, who has more than 25 years’ experience in designing and building industrial winches. The new 100t winch is to be used to remove longwall machines once the longwall is finished and being moved to another seam. Current methods involve the use of hydraulic cylinders, but these can be limited in stroke length, meaning a lot more time re-rigging the haul rope. The winch has 300m of rope, allowing for a continuous haul. The new winch has now been factory tested using a 150t load cell and shackles, where it pulled 120t with ease.
ACW focuses particularly on ensuring winches are suited to the particular task and have the correct documentation and certification to operate under any appropriate regulations. “The new winch has an onboard closed loop hydraulic system that is driven by the underground emulsion fluid, so we needed expert hydraulics assistance in engineering the winch for underground use,” said Mr Barrett. “We contacted Hydraulink, and their team ensured all hydraulic hoses and fittings were MDG-41 compliant – including all testing and reporting – which is a requirement for any machinery being used in underground mining applications,” he said. “The service from Hydraulink was fantastic. They were responsive, practical minded, safety oriented and worked well with my team. I’ll be looking to them for any future Hydraulic hose, fittings, adaptors or service needs.”
Queensland area sales manager Mr Adrian Burgess said Hydraulink was delighted to be able to help ACW on this innovative underground mining project. “I was impressed with ACW’s standards and safety compliance focus, and the solution they came up with for this new winch was an outstanding piece of engineering. We were happy to be part of this project and to work side by side with another company that values safety as highly as we do.”