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A closer look at the P&H 4800XPC electric rope shovel

The new P&H 4800XPC electric rope shovel from Komatsu is in the largest machine payload class.

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Designing a piece of equipment this large is no easy task: it required the expertise and support of many stakeholders both internal and external. Development on the 4800XPC began in 2011 with extensive VOC (voice of customer) research across five major mining regions. Customers had input on what they would like to see out of a new machine. From there, it was up to the product and engineering teams to find a way to incorporate that information into a piece of equipment that would satisfy those criteria. Now, the vision that began nearly a decade ago has been brought to life and the 4800XPC is commercially available.

The engineering team built off the innovative design of the P&H 4100XPC and additionally applied fresh thinking on a larger scale to create the 4800XPC. Of course, they didn't simply make a bigger version of the previous model, they applied a smart design strategy that integrated the effective components of the previous machine and added structural and technological advancements to create something new.

Using elements of the 4100XPC allowed the team to smartly evolve the machine design to achieve the 4800XPC by essentially benchmarking off a best-in-class machine. By employing the 4100's solid foundation, they were able to push the envelope of what was possible while mitigating the risks that can come with applying groundbreaking ideas.

One of the new features on this machine is the adaptive controls system, which helps the 4800XPC to be more efficient when it comes to optimizing power and improving energy usage. It should be noted that the system does not reduce the amount of energy needed, but rather, makes better use of the energy provided to generate more efficient and productive shovel movements. The result is a more efficient dig cycle and a lower cost per ton for materials mined.

Another exciting addition is the 4800XPC's next generation dipper. Its innovative design, combined with the Adaptive Controls and smart machine geometry changes, allows operators to increase their production by as much as 20 percent and lower cost per ton by up to 10 percent compared to previous iterations of electric rope shovels. The larger payload is a big reason for this improvement, but it isn't just about the size, it's about what users are able to do with it. The 4800XPC can load trucks in three passes as opposed to the traditional four-pass load. To make proper use of these capabilities, it is imperative that the mine is equipped with enough trucks to enable the machine to continuously load and have them running at a speed that keeps up with the shovel.

Thanks to its upgraded swing system and the addition of adaptive controls, this massive electric rope shovel can achieve dig cycles that are as fast, and in some cases, faster than the 4100XPC. Komatsu's engineering teams have found a way to revolutionize the loading process for its customers and managed to provide operators with a shovel that allows them to maintain their speed, which means there could be even more opportunities for increased production in the future.

Even after all the improvements listed here, the team still knew it could do more for its customers, which is why they turned their attention towards making maintenance simpler and easier to perform. To accomplish this, they equipped the machine with a new latching mechanism that was less maintenance intensive and more responsive (one push latch operation).  This new approach combined with new dipper geometry minimizes the damage to the crawler shoes and connecting pins over time.

The 4800XPC also features some very defined dipper body style changes. Weight plays a significant role in the function of a machine this large, both in the effective reach of the equipment and in the counterweight needed to provide the proper dynamic stability. This means the engineering team had to remain constantly vigilant regarding the weight of the dipper because every additional pound of dipper weight must be accounted for in counterweight to maintain the dynamic stability of the shovel.  The next generation dipper allows the shovel to be very efficient with its weight distribution and the geometry modifications to the design reduce the frictional resistance of the dipper to the bank as the shovel works through the face. Applying these solutions means customers can expect the 4800XPC to provide them with more efficient cutting power, longer lasting parts and less upkeep.

With it's incredible mix of size, payload capacity and the ability to convert operations to a three-pass load, the 4800XPC is ready to help customers optimize their sites and extract materials at the lowest cost per ton.