Since the first EXCEL™ Wide Path™ undercarriage was installed in late 2013, this Engineering Innovation has proven to be a huge success for both our customers and EXCEL. And now, after more than four years of operation on a P&H® 4100™ electric rope shovel, it looks like the world’s first Wide Path undercarriage is still going strong.
This undercarriage operates within a copper mine in the Southwestern US. At the time, the mine was accustomed to getting 15,000-18,000 hours of operation out of undercarriages of conventional (OEM) design. Unfortunately, they were experiencing low-hour failures and accelerated wear. As such, they were forced to regularly replace costly components just to get through the normal lifecycle. They also spent dozens of unplanned downtime hours to “trim the toenails” between the track pads. And at $55,000 per hour for downtime, 20 hours of downtime equates over $1,000,000 in lost production!
Simply put, something had to be done. And that ‘something’ became the EXCEL Wide Path.
The EXCEL Wide Path originated in late fall of 2011 when a request was initiated for a custom P&H4100XPC™ undercarriage. The goal of the design was to account for the tremendous weight exerted by the 3,800,000 lb machine on the roll path during operation. The final Wide Path design reduced and more evenly applied pressure to the roll path of the shovel, increasing the life of its rolling components, and significantly extending the undercarriage’s overall life. The superior design and materials used in the undercarriage system also did not allow any contact between the frame and track pads. At the same time, this Wide Path undercarriage eliminated toenailing and had virtually no unplanned maintenance during it’s incredible (ongoing) 31,000+ hour run.
This first Wide Path undercarriage was officially installed on November 21, 2013.
Unmatched shovel hoursAt the most recent audit, the undercarriage achieved 31,121 shovel hours – nearly double the maximum hours expected from the OEM design.
This customer has several 4100XPC shovels, and due to the success of this innovative design, they plan to continue using EXCEL’s Wide Path system. Altogether, four complete undercarriage replacements have been purchased by this customer alone.
EXCEL has also provided Wide Path undercarriage solutions to operations in South America and other locations in the US. Across the board, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
The low maintenance and minimal reactive downtime customers have experienced with this undercarriage (opposed to the OEM) has made their life easy. Not only are they impressed with the product but also with EXCEL’s routine first-class support. The fact that multiple undercarriage sets have been purchased since this first article was launched prove that actions speak louder than words.