SCSC2003 Abstract S988

Performance Simulation of Shovel Excavators for Earthmoving Operations

Performance Simulation of Shovel Excavators for Earthmoving Operations

Submitting Author: Mr. Yafei Hu

Cable and hydraulic shovel excavators are used widely in surface mining operations of Oilsands in northern Alberta, Canada. As primary production equipment, shovel excavators face significant challenges from the complex geological formation and unstructured mining environments. For example, the shovel excavators bear varying mechanical energy input and stress loading across the working bench when they are in contact with production faces during excavation. These varying mechanical energy input and stress loading effects cause significant wear and tear and fatigue failure in equipment components such as buckets. These effects further result in unplanned downtimes, reduced effeciency and high production costs. In oil sands production, shovel excavation accounts for 14% of the total production costs. In addition, space limitation, soft overburden and weathered soils and rocks and operator inefficiencies result in low shovel production. Efficient technologies are therefore requi
red to solve these problems in order to reduce production costs and increase efficiency. Toward this objective, computer simulation of shovel excavation is finding extensive applications in the mining industry with the ultimate objective towards high-capacity, low-cost operations.

In this paper, the authors simulate the performance of two shovel excavators: cable and hydraulic shovels. Using the same bucket capacity for the two shovels, the performance is defined based on the unit energy to generated by the ADAMS simulation software for each shovel for face loading along the same prescribed digging profile. The ADAMS software allows complete characterization of the performance of shovel excavators, including the angle changes and interaction forces between adjacent links, which may be used to assess the performance of each link during the excavation process. This paper makes a significant contribution in providing comprehensive methodology for shovel performance comparison in a technical operating environment. The performance indicator is useful in the selection of either cable or hydraulic shovel in specific surface mining operations. The main novelty of this study is the use of ADAMS to simulate the performance of the cable and hydraulic shovels bas
ed on energy consumption for a given digging path. Once the dynamic environment for the two shovel excavators is defined and modeled, this software allows fast, efficient and accurate dynamic simulation and performance evaluation.

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