According to Caterpillar, the new snubber design - a sealed, oil-immersed clutch pack - eliminates a daily maintenance touchpoint and delivers longer life than the standard snubber.
Additionally, the wet disk snubber can be rebuilt three times before replacement is needed, and the rebuilds are simpler and faster than standard snubber rebuilds. The manufacturer also said the snubber has a 12,000-hour product life before rebuild, aligning with dipper service life.
The snubber plays a critical role in truck loading as it provides controlled resistance to the motion of the dipper door. During opening, the damping torque slows door velocity to prevent collisions with the truck body; while during closing, the damping torque prevents the door from slamming against the dipper body and structure.
Caterpillar said the wet disk snubber results in reduced maintenance time and costs, improved reliability, enhanced safety and lower total cost of ownership.
During field validation at a Wyoming coal mine, the wet disk snubbers also reduced frequency of repairs to the dipper door and latch keeper, the company added.
The wet disk snubber is retrofittable and available for both latched and LatchFree Cat dippers installed on Cat 7495, 7495 HF and 7495 HD electric rope shovels.
The snubber upgrade can be retrofit in about two days and is typically completed when the dipper is being rebuilt.