The critical path for most longwall installations is gateroad development. In both single- and multi-entry gateroad development, when the roof is weak and early and dense installation of roof bolts is required, roof support becomes the primary bottleneck and the longest cycle time event. At the same time, today's economic conditions require operators to watch costs without impacting productivity and safety.
The solution that everyone has been driving towards is a true simultaneous cut-and-bolt machine for gateroad development. the machine required is one that can bolt close to the face and ideally handle dense bolting patterns for both the roof and ribs, as well as maintaining a high reliability, while continuing to meet the roadway development requirements.
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