The mining equipment market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a faster pace in the coming years. VG Sakthikumar elaborates more on the trend and Schwing Stetter's solutions for the mining industry.
India is a land of varied geographical terrains, and the applications and scope of construction in the mining industry is immense. The coal industry is huge too, as India holds the world's fifth largest reserves and is the third largest producer. A recent mining equipment market report expects the global mining equipment market to reach $88 billion by 2023, with Asia-Pacific expected to grow the largest. One of the highest revenue generators and the most essential services sectors of the world, the coal and mining sector have always needed sharper technologies and more advanced equipment to solve the operational problems involved.
Robert Gilmour LeTourneau, the dean of earthmoving, had envisioned stronger, bigger and supremely efficient machines by the advancements of technology. The Government of India fully understands what it takes to improve the infrastructural development and has been pushing for the improvement of existing and new mines by adopting latest mining technology and equipment.
Mining products from Schwing Stetter
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Schwing Stetter has a variety of products for application in the construction of roads, irrigation, ports, tunnels, ready-mix concrete, railways, metro rail, power plants of all types, real estate requirements and other community building constructions. For the mining industry, Schwing Stetter has a series of products like sludge pumps, muck pumps, waste-water treatment plants and shotcreting machines.
Schwing Stetter is a master of designing and manufacturing of sludge and muck pumps. While sludge pumps and muck pumps help in transporting sludge in various mining applications from the site to the dumping ground, Schwing Stetter's wastewater treatment plants help treat wastewater for reuse in construction. Mining tunnels could be tricky with many logistical challenges in the way of accessing the locations. Shotcreting machines from Schwing Stetter help apply concrete in the targeted locations by spraying wet concrete to form tunnel walls. Schwing Stetter sells and services XCMG products in India and offers wheel loaders and motor graders for mining applications currently.
Beyond wheel loaders and motor graders, the company will be introducing mining dump truck, tipper, coal cutter, boring machine, deep well drilling rig and rock core drill for mining applications shortly.
Innovative sludge pump applications
Schwing Stetter helped a major China coal mine in its underground backfilling project by helping them attain high yields in coal by means of a newer technology. A huge improvement from the room-and-pillar mining technology that wasted about 50 per cent coal, this new technology used Schwing Stetter's hydraulic piston pump and horizontal mixing plants to pump sludge that consisted of river sand, fly ash and low cost cement to refill open mining areas. Schwing Stetter's scope of delivery spanned the entire process of providing the main hardware, mounting, commissioning, test runs and staff training, which was a major success in the first-of-its-kind project in China.
Also in India, Schwing KSP 110 pump is being used to pump the fly ash and bed ash sludge to ash pound, which is generated from the thermal power plant. The advantage of transporting the fly ash through pipe line for 1.5 km is cost-effective and environment-friendly. It is used for constructing roads.
Himalayan tunneling application
There have been several instances of successful applications of Schwing Stetter's winning range of machines put in use in various demanding projects, including the nationally important project of building a railway line in the Kashmir Valley. When the biggest and the most prestigious mountain valley rail project since independence, the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project that spanned 345 km began, Schwing's range of machines helped scale up the job and finish it with perfection. The project involved construction of terrain passes through Himalayan ranges, which threw open lots of geological surprises and logistical problems. Schwing Stetter's shotcreting machines have guns with dual mixing chambers and positive displacement delivery mechanism that helped shoot wet concrete containing up to 3/4 inch aggregates to aid tunnelling and special underground constructions. With only a small portable plant required for manufacture and placement, the range of machines offers remarkable efficiency and value-for-money. Apart from shotcreting machines, batching plants, transit mixers and concrete pumps from Schwing were also used in the project and have demonstrated remarkable longevity, efficiency and non-stop working.
This is the age of automation, which when imparted in the mining systems, not only saves manpower that is involved in high-risk environments but also makes it all efficient, quicker and cheaper for the bulk-hauling operators. Going forward, with better technological intervention by employing evolved and powerful machines in the mining industry, the industry can not only make economies prosper but also handle the environment better.
VG Sakthikumar is Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales and Services.