Digitally controlled heavy lifting technology on display at this year’s Queensland Mining Exhibition is being used internationally to hoist massive loads at minesites. Recent applications in Chile involved placement of huge mining shovels that were positioned safely and without damage by four 500-ton jacks controlled by a combination of traditional hydraulics with a digital controller, sensors and actuators giving high precision synchronised lifting.
P&H MinePro Chile services some of the biggest equipment around. The company knows from experience the complexity, difficulty, and safety concerns that arise when doing a multi-point lift of heavy equipment. When MinePro needed a new hydraulic lifting system capable of high capacity and high accuracy that could be safely and easily controlled by operators, it turned to Enerpac (A Division of Actuant Corp) for a digitally controlled lifting system.
The hydraulic system configured for MinePro consists of four, 500-ton double-acting cylinders with an 1828.8 mm stroke, laser position sensors, hydraulic power unit, electrical controllers and operator interface.
MinePro has integrated this system into both bracket-type and large frame-type lifting apparatus designed to lift shovels in the P&H 2800 and 4100 families.
Shovel lift system
MinePro had to design the lifting structures to be particularly rugged, because copper mines in Chile are located at very high altitudes with frequent high winds and occasional earthquakes. An anti-vibration system is incorporated to absorb movements generated by earthquakes.
Synchronized lifting system
Hydraulic jacking is the obvious method for lifting the mammoth P&H shovels, but controlling the lifting process manually would have meant using a number of reliable people to individually control the jacks. It would also have meant a lot of radio chatter among the jack operators, since none of the lift points is visible from the other points.
The P&H MinePro-Chile Shovel Lifter incorporating synchronized lifting has delivered levels of safety and productivity that are now attracting the attention of other MinePro divisions, and distributor Hidromec has acquired a synchronized lifting system for service and rental use.