Joy, 4FCT, Continuous Haulage System

Continuous haulage

Joy Flexible Conveyor Train

  • True continuous haulage system with flexible conveyor and traction system
  • Operated by a single operator using remote control
  • Infinitely variable control of conveyor belt speeds
  • Distributed chain traction system along length of machine for superior traction
  • Multiple dynamic move-up (DMU) options available
  • Eliminates the need for a feeder breaker in the section

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The 4FCT flexible conveyor train is a true continuous haulage system that eliminates haulage-related bottlenecks and allows high-production continuous miners to operator at their maximum capacity. The increased production and efficiencies the 4FCT lends to continuous miner section of the operation improves the cost-per-ton performance of the entire mining operations.

The 4FCT is ideal for:

  • Coal-producing room and pillar or longwall development operations
  • Industrial minerals (i.e. salt, trona, potash, gypsum) operations using continuous miners

The key to the 4FCT’s effectiveness is the patented flexible conveyor and traction system that permits the 4FCT to be operated as a single unit. The system offers these distinct advantages over all other haulage systems:

  • Ability to continuously move material along the 4FCT’s length
  • Ability to simultaneously tram to follow the continuous miner’s every move
  • Ability to be operated by a single operator using remote control

Designed for safety

The 4FCT significantly enhances overall mine safety:

  • Combines all haulage into a single, relatively slow-moving machine that follows a known path of travel
  • Operated by a single operator using remote control
  • Reduces number of mobile machines in a section to reduce visibility concerns for both the batch haulage operator and personnel working in the section
  • Improves dust control through less fewer material transfer points

Designed for maximum machine performance

  • Flow rates up to 27 tons/minute for coal and 40 tons/minute for salt, trona, gypsum or potash
  • Infinitely variable control, using OptiDrive, of conveyor belt speed and lumpbreaker conveyor chain
    • Maximum belt loading and minimum belt speed
    • Extended wear life of the belt itself
    • Coordination between belt and chain to prevent spillage
  • Chain traction system distributed along entire length of machine means incredible traction with exceptionally low ground-bearing pressure (when compared to other haulage systems)
  • No transfer points mean minimal material degradation
  • Lumpbreaker front end for material sizing and metering functions, controlling flow on belt and eliminating the need for a feeder breaker in the section
  • Soft-start functionality for reduced wear and tear on traction and conveyor belt systems

Multiple dynamic move-up unit configurations

Dynamic move-up (DMU) units, the interface between the 4FCT and the mine’s panel belt, are available in two configurations:

  • Side-discharge configuration: applicable to low-seam heights and wide entry widths; advanced using the continuous miner 
    • 1.40 to 1.65 m (55 to 65 in.) minimum seam height
    • 6 m (20 ft.) entry width
  • Over-the-top configuration: applicable for higher-seam heights and restricted entry widths; self-advancing unit with remote-controlled panel belt move-ups
    • 2.18 to 2.44 m (86 to 96 in.) minimum seam height
    • 4.72 m (15.6 ft.) entry width
Side Discharge 4FCT-B/C 4FCT-C
Entry width 6.0 m (20 ft.) 6.0 m (20 ft.)
Minimum seam height 1.4 m (55 in.) 1.65 m (65 in.)
Machine height (over the lumpbreaker)  1.24 m (4 ft. 8 in.) 1.5 m (4 ft. 11 in.)
Capacity* 25 mt 25 mt
Over the top 4FCT-B/C
4FCT-C
Entry width 4.72 m (15.6 ft.)  4.72 m (15.6 ft.)
Minimum seam height 2.20 m (86 in.) 2.31 m (96 in.)
Machine height (over the lumpbreaker)  2.05 m (6 ft. 8 in.) 2.16 m (7 ft. 1 in.)
Capacity* 25 mt (27 st) 25 mt (27 st)
* Capacity is measured for coal.

OptiDrive AC

The OptiDrive AC variable frequency drive (VFD) system integrates electrical, software, electronic, and mechanical systems to provide the following features:

  • Increased tram speed: our maximum vehicle tram speed, now at the statutory limit of 6 mph (9.6 km/hr), translates into more haulage trips per shift. The OptiDrive system also significantly increases the tractive effort available, improving the shuttle car’s ability to climb gradients and negotiate difficult roadway conditions
  • Regenerative braking: automatic regenerative braking by the electric motors supplements the mechanical brakes, allowing the latter to run cooler with extended wear life. Regenerative breaking is also highly effective at automatically maintaining constant speeds when descending gradients
  • Better speed control: with infinitely variable tram speed capability, operators are easily able to precisely control the shuttle car’s speed. Smooth acceleration and deceleration leads to less operator fatigue and the ability to creep the shuttle car forward behind the miner at a constant speed during the cutting cycle, preventing damage caused by inadvertent machine contact
  • Less maintenance: AC traction motors are typically more reliable, durable, and require less maintenance than DC traction motors since there are no commutator brushes to inspect and replace

Learn how OptiDrive can help improve your productivity. 

Faceboss control system

Competitive and market pressures mean that you have to produce product at an ever-increasing rate, while always striving to decrease your cost per ton. These goals are only made more difficult by the worsening attributes of available reserves and deteriorating operating conditions.

The Faceboss control system enables your operators to operate equipment at an optimal balance of production rate and cost per ton using a powerful tool set that includes operator assistance tools, automated sequences, advanced diagnostics, machine performance monitoring, and analysis tools. Faceboss is the standard control system platform on all Joy underground mining equipment, which ensures that you receive the same level of optimization for all your Joy equipment.  

Learn how Faceboss can help reduce your operating costs.