Megalift makes mining history16/04/2014
(source: Monthly Communication Paper, Shell Albian Sands, January 2014)
November 15, 2013, is a day the Shovel Maintenance team will remember fondly. It is the day that made mining history.
On that day, the team used the Shell-owned Megalift machine on an EX8000 Hitachi hydraulic mining shovel, marking an important advance for Shell Albian.
“It was the very first time this has ever been done in the world for that particular shovel”, said Dino Colbourne, Manager Shovel Maintenance. “The Megalift used to lift the shovel housing off of the body without removing all the hardware was an in-house design. No one in the world has the ability to undeck anything in the 8000-class shovels like we do.”
Shell Albian Sands has the largest EX8000 fleet in the world with seven shovels, including the first one ever made. The last Colbourne heard, there are only 19 of those anywhere in any mine.
“On top of that, you should see what it does for our mining production”, said Colbourne. “A maintenance job for a shovel used to take upwards of 25 days to complete, but this new system now takes just 10 days”.
“Dino has been central to the push for product advancement in research and development to change the way we look at undecking a shovel and improving the speed at which it can be done”, said Andrew Makowski, Shovels Planning and Support. “It has also reduced the amount of safety exposure to workers and freed their time for other maintenance activity.”
“This was a challenge for our mechanics, planners and leadership team to complete this job for the first time. Everyone put in extra effort to ensure the job was completed safely which resulted in adding a good 15 days of production on that shovel.”
The Megalift […] was built by Megatraction Equipment Inc. Each lift would have cost $700,000 through contractors if we didn’t own the Megalift. In three lifts, that translates to $2.1 million – in that sense, the machine has almost been paid off.
The Megalift has been used at site before to lift an electric Caterpillar 7495 HF (high float) shovel this past May. Another hydraulic shovel has since been lifted, as well, with another planned for January.
“Everybody was happy to be part of mining history when they saw how great the Megalift has been working for this new task”, said Colbourne, who wants to continuously improve its design. “I think we’re setting a standard for the way this type of work is being executed”.