In conjunction with a longer machine life and reduced cost of ownership, the new feeder breaker is aimed, primarily, at optimising bord and pillar operations.
PC Kruger, capital sales manager responsible for the Buffalo product line at FLSmidth in South Africa, said: “In essence, it will assist the underground mining sector increase and streamline productivity while reducing operational costs.”
The manufacturing facility for Buffalo feeder breakers is situated in eMalahleni, the heart of South Africa’s coal fields.
Kruger added: “The new Buffalo high capacity feeder breaker model was designed in partnership with various customers following an intensive analysis of underground mining operations and their key performance indicators. After four months of intensive detailed design and testing, we commissioned and officially launched the first prototype in May 2015.”
In parallel with this, product optimisation has been completely rolled out across the FLSmidth underground feeder breaker product line. FLSmidth stated that efficiency enhancement forms part of its global strategy.
Between June and September 2015, FLSmidth successfully delivered seven Buffalo high capacity feeder breakers to various mines around the Witbank coal fields. Kruger stated: “Our customers are satisfied the equipment meets and exceeds operational and safety requirements.”
Subsequently, FLSmidth is negotiating with various customers to supply and deliver another six units before the end of December 2015.
Additional benefits for the new underground modular, semi-mobile feeder breaker product range, incorporating tried and tested Buffalo parts, are widespread. Close proximity detection systems ensure customer satisfaction upon delivery. By utilising variable speed technology and on-board PLC control, a 20t shuttle car can offload in just 40 seconds. Spillage at transfer points is also minimised thanks to the mainframe’s design which is fit-for-purpose among different shuttle car suppliers.
Kruger noted that fire suppression systems can be incorporated and fitted at a customer’s request. The feeder breaker can also be converted or upgraded into a feeder breaker/sizer combination if an in-section sizing solution is required.