Komatsu brings out AC-drive 730E-8 mine truck
A new AC-drive version of Komatsu’s 181-tonne 730E-8 mine truck is promising faster acceleration and higher top speeds, while delivering more reliable performance and easier maintenance.
The 730E-8, which is powered by a Tier 4 compliant 1492 kW engine, has a top speed of 64 km/h — 15 percent higher than its predecessor — and can handle effective gradients up to 12 percent.
Its GE35B AC-drive wheel motors, designed collaboratively between Komatsu and GE Mining, have no brushes, eliminating flashover, and a higher thermal capacity.
A 2760 kW retarding system provides advanced braking capacity, giving the ability to handle steep continuous descents and sharp switchbacks. This electric dynamic retarding, Komatsu says, enhances productivity and operator confidence, while eliminating the need for excessive mechanical braking effort.
In addition, the AC control system offers independent control of the rear wheel motors, improving traction in wet and slippery conditions and reducing tyre wear.
Komatsu Australia National Product Manager, Mining, Michael Hall says this diesel/electric AC powertrain is more efficient, offers better operating characteristics and is more cost effective than a comparable DC powertrain.
In addition, Hall adds, the increased reliability of the AC powertrain, plus its easier maintenance, translates into industry-leading availability for the 730E-8.
"Our 730E DC truck has delivered 90 to 94 percent availability to mines around the world, over hundreds of thousands of operating hours," he says. "In comparison, the industry average for this class of truck is well down in the 80 percent range.
"That additional availability — which we expect to be even higher with the AC-drive 730E-8 — translates into an additional 36 weeks, or nine months, per truck over a 10-year operating life."
Hall says that, with miners frequently moving to smaller ore bodies in more remote locations, the new AC drive 730E-8 has been designed to be quickly deployed into difficult projects and then moved to the next opportunity as necessary.
The truck has a ‘bolt-together’ design to make field assembly and disassembly less complicated and reduce the need for large numbers of skilled technicians in the site assembly process.
"The simplicity of its design makes it easier to train service technicians and complete regular maintenance tasks, with fewer hoses, bearings, pumps and wear components than most other mining trucks," Hall says, adding that this includes an easily removable powertrain module.
Brief specs of the 730E-8 are: Payload, 181 tonnes (200 US tons); body capacity, 111 cu m; engine, Komatsu SSDA16V159 QSK50 rated at 1492 kW; maximum loaded speed, 2 percent grade, 62.6 km/h; braking system, 2759 kW electric dynamic retarder plus dry disc brakes front and rear; turning circle diameter, 27.1 m; tyre options, 37.00 R57 (standard), 40.00 R57 or 42/90 R57 (optional).
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