New remote-controlled continuous miner supplied to India

13th August 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor


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Original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) JA Engineering has delivered its low-mid-seam, remote-controlled JAE38 Wildcub continuous miner machine to a mining project in India.

The Wildcub JAE 38, recently upgraded to include an integrated scrubber system, was showcased at an open day at JAE’s headquarters in June this year.

The machine is designed to be used in typical hard cutting room-and-pillar coal mining, where a high cutting force is required. It uses its weight to convert the high installed cutting power into improved production and cutting performance.

“The Wildcub project was launched in 2018 with an order from Overlooked Colliery’s Forzando North mine, in Mpumalanga, which had a requirement for a low-mid-seam miner. This was a clean sheet design to suit the customer scope of work and specifications. The engineering and fabrication started during 2019 and was completed in 2020. “The Wildcub was delivered in February 2021,” states JA Engineering CEO Matimba Mahange.

Admitting that there are always challenges to overcome when developing and fabricating a new design, such as the JAE38 Wildcub, Mahange says the biggest hurdle is designing and producing a product that is the best in the market within the set lead time. Typically, it takes about nine to 11 months to manufacture the continuous miner.

Produced from locally sourced materials and resources, the JAE38 Wildcub is designed for harsh underground mining environments and eliminate structure fatigue failures by using thicker plate sections on the main frame and sub-assembly fabrications.

“We also improved the gearcase designs as well as the traction and cutter motors for durability and performance for less down time in mining operations. The traction and cutter gearcases are interchangeable for left-hand or right-hand applications. The A200 cutter gearcase is a split unit that is interlinked with the center drum for ease of replacement and cost-effective maintenance,” explains Mahange.

He adds that customers will appreciate the improved over-torque protection for the cutter-head, with ergonomic motor access and hand-hold points for the cutter boom.

“Our class-leading cutter motor is rated at 175 kW  coupled with a gearcase that converts this power into superior cutting performance while being protected by a torque shaft that is designed to fail to prevent any catastrophic damage to the gearcase and electric motor”.

“The torque shaft can be easily replaced without having to remove the gearcase or motor. We also designed the cutter boom to enable easy access to the torque converter and cutter motor. The handles on the boom and non-slip surfaces improve safety for maintenance personnel,” explains Mahange.

Committed to zero harm, JA Engineering is continuously looking to develop bespoke and advanced engineering solutions for the coal mining industry with input from its customers.

“The JAE38 Wildcub is testament to the expertise and craftmanship of the company’s design and technology team. We are certain that this machine will set new industry standards,” shared Mahange at the launch.

A 100% black-owned and -empowered company, JA Engineering has grown significantly over 37 years to employ 250 staff members.

Having recently moved to a new 25 000 m2 facility in Boksburg, the company has significant expansion plans for its business.

“JA Engineering has established itself as a complete systems OEM provider and supplies complete fleet solutions for underground mining, including roof bolters and feeder breakers. The company also refurbishes components for opencast machines from other OEMs for soft and hard rock mining operations across Southern Africa,” elaborates Mahange.



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