The main aim of the project is to develop solutions aiming at as large as possible decrease of bucket wheel excavators failure frequency during operation in difficult mining conditions including unmineable inclusions and geological structures with excessive mining resistance. It is planned that developed solutions will refer not only to operating bucket wheel excavators but also to newly constructed. It is necessary to elaborate new solutions because currently applying rules and regulations referring to excavators construction do not include sufficiently mining conditions occurring during exploitation of such structures.

The main aim of the project will be obtained by:
Development of conditions to be laid down during construction of mining units in order to decrease dynamic loads during operation of buckets in structures with excessive resistance as well as decrease of impulse loads resulting from encountering of unmineable inclusions without decrease of operation efficiency and as much as possible adjustment of load carrying stricture of the machine to resulting from previous experiences dynamic loads during operation in such conditions.
2. Development of constant monitoring of effort degree (immediate and fatigue) of load carrying structure of bucket wheel excavator enabling proper control of machine operation as well as prevention of possible failures. The monitoring system will be installed on load carrying structure because possible failures in this area have the worst consequences.

WP 1

Optimal adaptation of currently exploited and new bucket-wheel excavators for mining of overburden including interlayers with excessive mining resistance and unmineable inclusions...

WP 2

Monitoring system of bucket wheel excavator load carrying structure efforts and method of diagnostic signals analysis for current assessment of threats of load carrying structure damages as well as constant control...

WP 3

Real-time mine-face inspection system, based on geophysical methods, capable to detect hard rock inclusions and geological formations which are difficult to be excavated by bucket-wheel excavators...

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The main objectives of WP3 are:
  1. To gather, compile and evaluate information about current geophysical methods used for the characterization of the geological formations in respect to their diggability by surface coal-mining equipment and particularly by bucket-wheel excavators.
  2. To assess the capability of the most appropriate geophysical methods (derived from the previous review) in varying geological and mining conditions by performing field tests using conventional geophysical instrumentation in the coal-mines of the beneficiaries companies.
  3. To develop specialized hardware (based on existing geophysical instrumentation), installed on the bucket wheel slewing boom, and dedicated software for acquisition, transmission and processing of the obtained measurements.
  4. To build an expert system which can inform in advance the BWE operators for the occurrence of hard rock inclusions or difficult or even non-diggable geological formations. The reasoning of this expert system will be based on data obtained from the geophysical instrumentation installed on BWE, on visual inspection of the mine’s face and on existing experiential knowledge regarding mining with BWE.
  5. To develop method for decrease or even exclude the influence of abnormal impulse loads generated during exploitation of stones and large fractions of solid rocks.
Expert system-aided operation of the bucket wheel excavator is expected to contribute to fewer faults and damages due to changing geological and mining conditions, to reduced amount of idle and break-down time, to less equipment wear, to increased production rate, to significant energy savings and finally to cost savings.