Sustained feed support is the key to ensure optimum capacity utilization of processing units at sites to attain desired production output. The hauling and loading operation will have to synchronize well with the rate of plant utilization to meet the rated production output wherein the equipment features ensure that there is minimum spillage during the entire process of loading-unloading the stockpile materials to the feed unit. Higher and sustained productivity is essential even if the equipment is performing an independent function of clearing the overload or transportation of the materials at road and rail sidings or at port berth side. The performance of loading and hauling equipment at sustained levels is pivotal, as it is the major machinery in the entire mining and quarrying production chain. Inconsistent productivity than the rated levels may disrupt the entire production chain resulting the production cost to unprecedented levels.
Case for having higher and sustained uptime of loading equipment is more at Indian mining sites like coal and iron ore supporting the core industries such as power and steel with strong linkages to the growth of the economy, where one of the major reasons, according to the mineral raw materials supplying sources behind rising production costs is because of lower equipment uptime. Dearth in availability of new advanced equipment, backed by necessary technical support in terms of training, maintenance and parts support for the newer technologically advanced equipment are the added causes.
With a vision & commitment to its stakeholders in offering cost competitive products, LiuGong India will roll out its new Wheel Loaders CLG 816 with payload capacity of 1½ ton from its newly commissioned Pithampur plant near Indore shortly. The loaders will find its application primarily in municipal works, mini batching plants, bail handling and mini crushing plants etc.
Further Mr. Sapru exemplifies, "Our wheel loader range comes with various capacities for diverse materials handling requirement." The wheel loaders are our in-house production from our Indore factory. The products have passed our in-house stringent tests besides the field tests & conform to Indian environmental & emission norms. Customising a product based on application needs is a trend where customers have started using product for right applications. So there is a drift from other category machines towards wheel loaders as it is a multi utility product. This shift is really evident in the loaders segment. The design offers exceptional visibility to the bucket edge and its ergonomics. Its features also include priority steering; unload systems, caliper disc/ wet disc brakes, an electrically raised engine hood and low brake pressure warning signal, deluxe operator station. All operator controls are located on a single-lever pilot joystick control. For operators comfort & safety feature includes backup alarm, an enclosed FOPS/ROPS cab, standard heating, air-conditioning, a fully adjustable seat and boom hoist cylinder braces.
We have in place proven wheel loader CLG 856 BS-III loaders with 5 ton payload capacity powered by US cummins engine. The equipment finds in use in various its application besides coal and iron ore handling with a standard bucket size of 3.0 cum with optional bucket size of 1.8 - 4.5 cum & with a gross power of 220 hp at 2,200 rpm. The wheel loader is manufactured at LiuGong's Pithampur plant with 40% being indigenised & the other components are sourced from abroad.
Mass selling newly launched wheel loader CLG 835 BSIII is completely being manufactured at Pithampur (Indore) plant & fitted with LiuGong's in-house transmission systems and engine from cummins India delivering gross power of 125 hp at 2200 rpm. The loader has a payload capacity of 3.2 tons with heavy duty bucket of 1.5 cum and coal bucket of 2.5/3.0 cum and general purpose bucket of 1.7 cum/2.0 cum.
LiuGong also has wheel loader offering for special applications comprising CLG 842 with 4 ton payload capacity, CLG 862 with 6 ton pay load capacity and CLG 888 with 8 ton payload capacity. The loaders are suitable for coal, stone aggregates, fertilizer and timber handling applications. The special application wheel loaders are imported from LiuGong's plant in China. The products in our offerings are the "State of Art" products complying with advanced technical features/ latest generation & fuel-efficient engines. The products are built with the internationally known components which enhances the productivity & life. Our in-house R&D adds in meeting the stringent conditions & product customisation for different applications in time. "Whenever it comes to the very stringent & difficult conditions everybody thinks of LiuGong".
According to Mr. Sapru, "To provide backup technical support to the wide range of wheel loaders, we have in place a complete training facility at Pithampur for the customers. Besides, we also provide full fledged operators training while service support in terms of maintenance backup is provided by our 16 dealers having 30 sales and service outlets across the country together with LiuGong Product Support Department. Parts support to any working locations of the loaders is rendered through our Pithampur and Chennai warehouses, besides dealerships outlets."
LiuGong India Plant has an installed capacity to annually produce 3000 units of earthmoving equipment. LiuGong India has converted its warehouse at Pithampur into central warehouse owing to its strategic location so as to logistically enhance support for its equipment working in various parts of the country."
JCB offers 3 Wheel loader models (two variants of 430 ZX, 432 ZX). The two models of 430ZX are 3.3 tonne payload and the 432ZX is for 3.6 tonne payload for the Indian market. Out of the two 3.3 payload variants of 430 ZX; the first one comes with JCB common rail BSIII complaint 130 hp engine, the second one comes with Ashok Leyland BS-III complaint, 130 hp turbo charged engine.
Mr. Vedhakumar claims, "Our wheel loaders score on higher performance as compared to contemporary products offering based on its host of advanced technological features. The major features according to the sources are, 'precision fuel delivery' supported by Cat ACERT™ engines that can match engine output based on the job requirements with the highest possible efficiency. The other feature, 'engine idle management software' ensures the engine should run at the minimal rpm when the wheel loader is idle, adds value to performance. This system reduces fuel consumption by up to 40%, apart from emission. The idle speed can be adjusted to the working conditions or the tools used. In addition, other noted feature is 'planetary transmission'. It allows the operator to choose manual or auto shift mode, allowing higher cycle time and productivity." All models of Cat H-Series wheel loaders are equipped with planetary transmissions.
He further mentions, "our wheel loaders also feature best in class operator's comfort and ease of operations given their largest and most ergonomic cab in the industry. The standard air suspended comfort seat is fully adjustable to fit any operator's preferences and reducing any excessive machine vibrations on the operator. The standard electro-hydraulic controls provide the operator with an unmatched feeling and control of the implemented function. The electro-hydraulic fingertip controls are integrated and suspended with the seat platform to provide consistent and comfortable operation. At all times, the controls are in the same position relative to the operator."
Equipment integration is another major feature that allows higher cycle times to its wheel loaders, Caterpillar sources claim. According to him, "we offer wide range of purpose-built, high performance buckets, designed to function as an integral part of the wheel loader. The combination of the right bucket with the Cat wheel loader provides the best possible performance in a particular application. All Cat buckets are designed and built to exacting specifications. High-strength, tempered steel provides additional durability without requiring thicker, heavier plates, resulting in longer life and larger payloads. Choosing the correct bucket, can reduce cycle and loading times, lower operating costs by up to 20% and eliminate unnecessary stress and fatigue for the machine, bucket, and operator."
He adds, "Cat ground engaging tools further offer reliable tip retention due to superior retainer locks, quicker tip change-out due to a convenient twist-on design and increased tip life of 10-15% with sharper and better penetrating tips resultantly enhancing machine productivity and protect expensive structural components."
According to Mr. Muralidharan, "we are constantly innovating to make equipment fuel-efficient while reducing emissions and environmental impact – Opti Shift is a prime example of this. Volvo's unique OptiShift technology consists of two important features – A torque converter with lock-up and free wheel stator and Volvo's patented Reverse by Braking (RBB) function. The combination of this technology has reduced fuel consumption by up to 15% as well as increased machine performance of wheel loaders." Opti Shift was first launched as an option of Volvo wheel loaders in 2009 and since 2011, it has been a standard feature on the larger machines – the L150G, L180G, L220G, and L250G.
He says, "Higher equipment performance is complemented through onsite operator training and also at our customer center in Hoskote near Bengaluru. Our distributors provide onsite service which includes service mechanics, parts at customer site for key customers and fleet owners. For other customers, parts and mechanics are available through our distributors at the sites of their respective areas and territories."
Volvo supplies 3 and 5 tonne wheel loaders to the Indian market through its Chinese joint venture entity SDLG and Volvo's Swedish factory. The 3 tonne and 5 tonne wheel loaders can find their usage for handling stone aggregates, coal, limestone and sand.
According to Mr. Muralidharan, "L220G features an engine and driveline system that improves fuel efficiency, productivity, smoothness, serviceability and operator comfort. It is one of the latest wheel loaders from Volvo Construction Equipment to enter into the Indian market. The L220G engine is joined with a drive train, hydraulics and lifting systems that are all designed and produced by Volvo to work in productive harmony. The improvements in lifting and breakout forces coupled with the Volvo patented TP linkage ensure smooth, full buckets loading– resulting in faster cycle times and increased productivity."
Upgradation & Advanced Products
Dozco provides back support to the equipment through annual maintenance contracts on hourly basis where customers are charged according to the minimum equipment utilization. The company also provides operators training support through its engineers both at job site and classroom. DOZCO has a wide spread network of 19 branches with corporate office in Kolkata and central warehouse in Visakhapatnam to support its customers in terms of technical services and spares back-up.
The construction equipment conglomerate also intends to strengthen its footprint in the Indian mining, construction and aggregate sector, through its 'Heman' series of skid steer loaders. According to Mr. Nain, "the Heman series of skid steer loaders score high on productivity with higher tipping load at 1500 kg and competitive pricing as the equipment are being locally manufactured fitted with Indian Simpson engine and 90% local components." Terex has a network of 53 dealers with 10 outlets for extending support to its equipment. The company claims to have 25% share in skid steer loaders.
The spokesperson adds, "Hitachi ZW220 wheel loader with its powerful isuzu engine is ideal for mining and port application. ZW220 is packed with numerous innovative technologies and mechanisms. Total control of engine and pump torque is an industry's first. Three work modes and three driving modes help enhance operating ease and yield high production. What's more, lots of advanced designs give power and speed for loading and travel. The ZW220 will set a new standard of productive, easy-to-operate wheel loaders."
SR 150 comes with ISM 420T/ M3 engines having gross hp at 52 hp (39kw) @ 2900 rpm. Operating weight of the skid steer loader is 2400 kg with bucket cylinder of 18.5 kn. Tipping load of SR 150 is 1374 kg.
Present market size of skid steer loaders in India in terms of volume is estimated to be about 600 units which is expected to expand to 1100-1500 units by 2015.
Value in Extraction & Loading
According to Wirtgen officials, "optimum productivity in surface miners is ensured through its cutting tools and cutting drums, which is the most integral and critical component of equipment. Scheduled maintenance of the milling drums and rebuilding of the cutting tools is vital to ensure optimum productivity of the equipment. This is essential to reduce downtime of the miners. For high uptime of the surface miners, Wirtgen is well positioned to offer complete technical support by rebuilding the surface miners through its service support locations. Wirtgen has designed new variant of HT-15 tools, advancement from the earlier HT-14 one, which have minimum change over time and less prone to damage."
Wirtgen surface miners comprise their models SM2200 and its variants, SM2500 and SM4200 for coal extraction and other application. More than 120 machines are working across India in Coal and Limestone. These Surface Miners are compatible to work with 50-120 ton heavy haul articulated tipper trucks. Officials say, "Good numbers of machines are working at various open cast coal mines in India." The German construction and mining equipment company also has its largest 4200 surface miners for iron ore and coal application. The equipment which has cutting depths based on the characteristics of the mineral strata and is capable of a cutting performance of upto 3000 ton/hour. They can be used with 240 ton articulated tipper trucks, making it suitable for heavy mining applications.