Turning back the clock: Refurbishing the multi-bolter for modern mining

The multi bolter is undergoing an overhaul at the CRAM Fluid Power workshop in Unanderra, New South Wales.

The project will also include major design modifications and bespoke safety improvements.

Built around 1990, the machine has operated in various underground coal mines along the east coast, installing roof and rib bolting systems. Despite being over 30 years old, it continues to operate – a testament to the quality of design and manufacturing techniques when it was first assembled.

All equipment and components that come into a CRAM workshop for overhauling undergo a pre-repair inspection and testing regime. As the multi-bolter was stripped down and inspected, the full extent of the project was revealed.

Along with a variety of damaged components it was found that the track and drive system, including the track guides, were in serious disrepair and a multitude of stress fractures in the track frames were exposed. Therefore, the undercarriage would be sent to CRAM Mining and Undercarriage workshop in Rutherford, NSW, for an overhaul.

During the pre-repair inspection, the chassis of the machine showed evidence of minor to moderate stress related issue; however, nothing severe was found.

Along with the mechanical overhaul, the job would include the stripping, removal, and replacement of track guides, repairing and welding of the track frames and the machine’s chassis. As the project progressed, an increasing number of parts and components were found to be damaged. Part of the job then involved determining what could be re-used and what would have to be replaced.

Given the age of the machine and the availability of new or refurbished parts was remote and likely to hinder progress on the job, the decision was made to manufacture, in-house, any parts that could not be sourced.

Read the full article here.

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