PRESS RELEASE: The tool achieves this through an advanced cutting tip and a full-sleeve retainer with a new washer system that acts as a bearing, improving rotation and increasing wear life. The result is more uptime and better productivity. The tool can also enhance safety, as better wear life reduces the time that miners are exposed to the longwall face to replace worn picks, sleeves and blocks. Its universal design fits grooved and ungrooved sleeves.
The Sleeve Saver's cap cemented carbide cutting tip is larger than standard tips, and its efficient low-energy profile (LEP) design requires less energy to cut material, generating less dust as well as contributing to overall longer wear life. The large, non-rotating, full-sleeve retainer protects the entire block bore, with a new washer system that acts as a sacrificial wear bearing, absorbing the wear associated with the pick's collar that otherwise would be absorbed by the face of the sleeve. The washer also helps to keep abrasive fines from entering the sleeve. The retainer design reduces likelihood of the drum ‘throwing' the picks. Superior tool rotation contributes to even wear of the tip for a longer lifecycle.
Average downtime cost for block and sleeve repair is US$400 per minute. As a result, Sandvik stated that the new Sleeve Saver longwall pick will not only save up to US$24,000 per hour in downtime costs for maintenance, but because it lasts longer than a standard pick, it will also reduce the amount of time miners are exposed to the unstable longwall face. Because it protects the entire block bore, it reduces the required frequency of welding on new blocks, which must be avoided in potentially gaseous underground coal environments.
Sandvik added that the Sleeve Saver is unlike any other longwall tool on the market, ultimately providing miners and mine owners with these benefits:
- Increased productivity - Less machine downtime for tool, sleeve and block change-outs means more uptime producing coal;
- Increased safety - Reduced dust generation and less exposure to the longwall for changeouts results in better safety;
- Lower maintenance costs - Sleeve Saver minimises wear on the tool and the entire block bore; and
- Longer service life - Sleeve Saver lasts twice as long as conventional tools in longwall applications, and provides up to 250% longer holder life, based on field and lab tests.
Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology tools for mining, tunnelling, trenching, foundation drilling, asphalt milling, ice scraping, grading and stump grinding are the toughest in the industry, thanks to the company's superior, patented carbide alloy tips. In all applications, it is the carbide tip that is the key to tool performance and wear life.
Sandvik's research and design team constantly works to develop advanced hard material alloys that function in the most demanding environments. The company's latest generation of patented carbide grades, manufactured using an innovative process technique with completely new raw materials, has made it possible to create new, extra-coarse, super-tough alloys with perfectly uniform grain structure. Not only does this allow them to match the tip's material grade to the application, but it also improves production performance and reduces downtime for tool change-outs.