Publications / 2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada

Rapid Roadway Development

Luke Meers, Stephen van Duin, Matt Ryan
Pages 140-149 (2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada, ISBN 978-1-62993-294-1, ISSN 2413-5844)

Roadway development rates in Australian underground coal mines are failing to keep pace with modern longwall systems and are unlikely to sustain further improvements in longwall productivity into the future unless step change improvements to roadway development equipment and practices are made. Bottlenecks which limit and constrain improved production and impact the safety of operators have been identified through a series of industry surveys, with the manual installation of strata support materials, consumables delivery, coal haulage and monorail installation being highlighted as major areas to improve development performance. This paper looks at research being carried out at the University of Wollongong in designing an integrated system approach for the fully automated handling and installing of development consumables, and the systems required to support these activities. A series of hard automation manipulation devices have been demonstrated in surface trials and the results indicate that rapid roadway development can be achieved.

Keywords: Automation, robotics, manipulation, roadway development, roof support, monorail, consumables, mining