Custom Fluid Power can improve the safety and efficiency of underground machinery. Custom Fluid Power upgraded an old air track drill rig that completed bolting projects (strata roof control) and repair in underground coal mines.
The existing machine required a large volume of high pressure air, the supply of which could not be provided in the areas where the machine operated. This could cause the machine to be inoperable, resulting in costly downtime and safety concerns. The machine did not have a braking system or an appropriate steering system. Custom Fluid Power reduced the air requirements by replacing the pneumatic traction motors with Sai hydraulic motors.
The existing air motor driving the hydraulic pump was replaced with a tandem system and actuators were fitted to the tramming valves to allow the valves to be operated from a pneumatic pendant. These changes enabled easy repairing and servicing of machines without the use of electrics.
A pneumatic pendant was constructed to operate the tramming function, allowing the machines to be trammed remotely and removing the operator from a dangerous interaction zone behind the machine. The pendant was fitted with a two-hand control module, reducing the chance of unplanned movement. Another key area was the addition of hydrostatic braking through the use of a Sai F21 brake and a Custom Fluid Power manifold. The steering of the machine was improved, resulting in increased efficiency and safety.