Komatsu focuses future of electric rope shovels on AC-powered offerings to provide customers improved productivity, sustainability

OEM now offers all size classes in AC, will continue supporting existing DC models

September 13, 2021 — To provide customers up to 6 percent improvement in productivity compared to DC-powered models, Komatsu is now offering all of its P&H electric rope shovels as AC-powered machines going forward. The production improvement gains are measured by comparing machine performance data. Furthermore, several Komatsu customers have reported that they can regularly achieve higher productivity with the company’s AC models.

Working with its customers to better meet the needs of the evolving mining market, Komatsu reports the following advantages of AC machines over DC machines:

  • Improved productivity: faster cycle times, no transfer-to-propel delay
  • Less power used: higher efficiencies with AC motors and power converters result in lower electricity (kilowatt hour) usage per ton moved for a more sustainable product offering for today’s mines. With increased productivity and availability, the AC platform is consistently shown to be a higher-performing machine.
  • Lower maintenance and repair cost: reduction in parts/components costs (e.g. motors – no brush inspections or change-outs, no commutator stoning or skimming), and a reduction in labor cost
  • Increased availability: field observed mechanical availability increase of one to two percent. This increase is primarily driven by increased MTBF (mean time between failure) of the electrical system. AC motors and drives require fewer static maintenance checks, resulting in more efficient planned maintenance, and an overall improvement in maintenance labor ratio

Now that AC models are available in all size segments for customers, Komatsu will focus its OEM production and development efforts on the higher-performing AC line of electric rope shovels. The company will continue its global support of the existing DC shovel market, however, providing customers around the world with innovative service, parts, technology advancement and all aftermarket services. Where possible and supported by DC technology, product upgrades, including Centurion upgrades, will continue to be provided for the more than 400 DC-powered Komatsu shovels in the field.

“With over 100 P&H AC shovels operating globally, we are confident in our shift to the AC shovel platform,” said Brian Fox, VP Mining Products, Komatsu Mining. “However, we remain fully committed to working with our customers to keep their existing P&H DC shovels running far into the future.”

About Komatsu
Komatsu develops and supplies technologies, equipment and services for the construction, mining, forklift, industrial and forestry markets. For a century, the company has been creating value for its customers through manufacturing and technology innovation, partnering with others to empower a sustainable future where people, business and the planet thrive together. Front-line industries worldwide use Komatsu solutions to develop modern infrastructure, extract fundamental minerals, maintain forests and create consumer products. The company’s global service and distributor networks support customer operations to enhance safety and productivity while optimizing performance.

Source: https://www.komatsu.com/en/newsroom/2021/ac-powered-electric-rope-shovels/

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