Material excavated in underground mines must be hoisted to the surface level for processing and distribution. The capacity of these hoisting facilities, known as skips, can be a limiting factor that determines the rate at which excavated material can be removed to the surface. This paper presents the application of discrete event simulation to study the operations of an underground coal mining system to evaluate the impact of increasing skips capacity, together with adding buffers ahead of skips, and any bottlenecks that will be encountered. Different scenarios are considered to evaluate any variation in performance based on the area of the mine being excavated. The results reveal that adding a new skip facility can help increase monthly production output by more than 16% compared to the current levels, indicating a very favorable return on the investment. Findings also show that overall utilization of the skip facilities declines and that expected output is driven by the effective carrying capacity of the belt conveyors. Further research can be conducted to determine the effective buffer capacity and also the optimal effective belt conveyor carrying capacities to maximize production output.
|Title of host publication||Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing|
|Subtitle of host publication||Establishing Bridges for More Sustainable Manufacturing Systems - Proceedings of FAIM 2023|
|Editors||Francisco J. Silva, Luís Pinto Ferreira, José Carlos Sá, Maria Teresa Pereira, Carla M.A. Pinto|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 2024|
|Event||32nd International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2023 - Porto, Portugal|
Duration: Jun 18 2023 → Jun 22 2023
|Name||Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering|
|Conference||32nd International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2023|
|Period||6/18/23 → 6/22/23|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partly supported by a grant from Coronado Global Resources.
© 2024, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
- belt conveyor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Automotive Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes