Komatsu launch new AC drive version of its mine truck

Komatsu Australia have announced a new AC drive version of its 200 US ton 730E-8 mine truck.

Accoording to the company the new drive is "providing higher haul speeds and simpler maintenance requirements, resulting in higher productivity, reduced downtime – and more availability".

Komatsu Australia national product manager Michael Hall explained that "its AC drive system [is] lighter than either mechanical or DC transmission systems, provides faster acceleration and higher top speeds, and delivers more reliable performance".

With a payload of 181 tonnes, the truck is powered by a Tier 4 compliant 1492 kW engine, and has been designed to the standards as Komatsu's Ultra-Class mining trucks.

It has a top speed of  64 kilometres per hour – 15 per cent higher than its predecessor – and can handle effective gradients up to 12 per cent.

The new AC control system provides independent control of the rear wheel motors, giving the operator increased traction in wet and slipper conditions, reducing tyre wear, and aiding driver confidence in more conditions.

Its GE35B AC-drive wheel motors, a collaborative design between Komatsu and GE Mining, have no brushes, which eliminates flashover, and have a higher thermal capacity.

In addition to this, a 2760 kW retarding system provides advanced braking capacity, increasing the ability of truck to handle gradients and steep descents, as well as sharp switchbacks.

Regarding maintenance, Hall stated “our 730E DC truck has [already] delivered 90-94 per cent availability to mines around the world, over hundreds of thousands of operating hours".

“In comparison, the industry average for this class of truck is well down in the 80 per cent 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.

“Overall our diesel/electric AC powertrain is more efficient, offers better operating characteristics and is more cost effective than a comparable DC powertrain."

The 730E-8 has a bolt-together design that makes field assembly and disassembly less complicated, reducing the need for technicians and mechanics on site.

"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 said.

It also has an easily removable powertrain module.

Advanced monitoring equipment is also included in the machine.

"Maintenance requirements have also been streamlined through the use of Komatsu’s KOMTRAX Plus remote monitoring system, allowing the logging of data such as operating hours, component trends, machine utilisation (including idle time and fuel consumption) and production information for on-line analysis,” Hall said.

Advanced design has also flowed into the truck's cab.

"The new truck’s cab brings the same comfort features and operator controls used in Komatsu’s Ultra-Class trucks, including air-ride seats, easy-to-use instrument panel with automatic speed control and fully adjustable climate controls.” 

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