Caterpillar has released the LatchFree Dipper System, providing a solution to the most common cause of rope shovel downtime.
The system replaces the standard maintenance-intensive latch assembly with a durable steel link assembly mounted to the dipper back. The key to the design is the geometry of the locking mechanism. The unique arrangement makes it possible to locate the components away from the abrasive flow of material.
The system has been designed for a service interval of 3,000 hours, compared to the standard system that requires adjustment as often as each shift.
In addition to delivering greater uptime and lower maintenance costs, the system eliminates false trips—unplanned release of the dipper door—caused by dirt buildup or the need for shim adjustments, resulting in fewer delays, consistent production, and lower costs per tonne.
The system is currently available for cat electric rope shovels with dipper capacities as large as 49 cubic meters for 7495 Series shovels that meet machine configuration requirements.