The newest machines outperform predecessor models, and feature comfortable cabs and advanced technologies
By Jesse Morton, Technical Writer
The newest concrete mixers, transport units and shotcrete machines are designed to help miners spray more concrete and get better spraying results. They can also feature some of the latest electrification and digitization technologies. The suppliers told E&MJ that operators will appreciate the comfortable new cabs, managers will benefit from the higher efficiency and output, and investors will value the safety features and low-emission operation options. Other capabilities listed show the machines were designed to meet the pressing needs of miners today.
In celebration of its 55th anniversary, Hermann Paus Maschinenfabrik GmbH announced the UNIVERSA 55 the successor to the renowned and long-proven UNI 50 carrier.
With a purpose-designed front-axle-based suspension system and a new cab design, “The UNIVERSA 55 carrier will feature higher comfort along with further improvements to the general design for this series,” said Hendrik Hoernschemeyer, area sales manager, mining and tunneling, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. “With the latest onboard electronics, it will pave the way for future developments in terms of electrification, digitalization and automation of the series.”
To enable mine digitalization and the adoption of automation, the carrier will be available with the advanced PAUS CONNECT cloud-based data interface. The system “not only provides machine data but also supports, for example, additional LiDAR technologies for monitoring shotcrete spraying results,” said Oliver Wilke, area sales manager, mining and tunneling, North America, Latin America, Spain, Portugal and Turkey. “Besides the semi-automated functions already implemented, such technologies will provide the basis for the fully autonomous operation of machines in the future.”
The UNIVERSA 55 will extend the legacy of the popular UNI 50. Ideal for use in narrow galleries and with an up to 17-metric ton payload capacity, the versatile UNI 50 can support a range of cassettes, available as fixed or interchangeable. It can be configured as a crane truck, a water cannon, a fuel and lubricant service truck, a firefighting truck, an explosive charger, and more.
The UNI 50-series models vary in length depending on the cassette but are, generally speaking, between 1.9 and 2.3 m wide, and 2.26 and 2.5 m in height.
The UNI 50 BM is a series of concrete mixers available as transport mixers and agitators. The UNI 50 BS is series of shotcrete or dry concrete sprayers.
Supported by transmixers or agitators, “the shotcrete sprayer unit is used for spraying larger amounts of concrete during the daily tasks,” Hoernschemeyer said. “The dry concrete unit has been used for daily repair and maintenance tasks that only require smaller amounts of concrete and are difficult to handle by use of a concrete mixer and shotcrete sprayer combo,” he said. “The dry concrete unit comes with a bunker for the premixed dry concrete, and an additional water tank allows it to operate self-contained.”
The list of features and capabilities of the UNI 50 is topped by its proven durable and safe design and its excellent maneuverability in confined spaces, Wilke said. “The spacious cabin, with room for up to 3 people, has an optional driver’s seat that is rotatable to 90° for an optimal range of view, including while reversing,” he said. “Everyday maintenance points are accessible from the ground.”
The cassette for the UNI 50 BS has “the most compact design with the highest reach,” he said. “Just take into consideration the PAUS boom and manipulator can be slewed from transport to operating position at tunnel width of just 3.5 m.”
With proven and high wear-resistant components, the unit can be “customized to the individual needs to fit best the individual requirements of the mine,” Hoernschemeyer said. “PAUS offers a variety of standardized optional equipment as well as customized solutions.”
Options include engines, transmissions and axles. “The mobile concrete spraying solutions by PAUS can come fully powered by a Stage V or other diesel engine or a variant with additional cable-electric operation of the spraying unit in order to reduce the emissions during operation,” Wilke said. “PAUS is also extending the BEV platform already released with the MinCa series and it will soon to be adapted to other models,” he said. “Additionally, there is optional remote control, a high-pressure cleaner with water tank, additive tanks, and more.”
Other benefits offered include improved productivity and ease of maintenance.
The UNI 50 offers the uptime required to achieve production goals. “The durable and economic design offers the highest availability and suits best the requirements of the individual mines,” Hoernschemeyer said. “With high-quality and durable components combined with an intelligent setup of the same, we are continuously improving the availability of machines but also improving times required for regular maintenance intervals.”
PAUS CONNECT “and the use of data will further optimize the preventive maintenance measures and again
extend the availability of machine,” Wilke said.
Commonality of parts also simplifies maintenance tasks and speeds the training of technicians. “It is the same basic carrier for both applications, both the shotcrete and concrete transport,” he said. “Plus easier storage and higher availability of critical spare parts means higher availability for the machine.”
When it is released, the UNIVERSA 55 will encapsulate the company’s knowledge gained from almost 50 years of serving the mining industry, Hoernschemeyer said. “Since the very beginning, the carriers as well as the concrete spraying superstructures were continuously improved, resulting in one of the most advanced and proven solutions for these tasks.”
The UNIVERSA 55 is set for testing before the end of the year and is expected to be released before H2 2024.
Getman announced the ProMix concrete mixer, which is currently in testing. With improvements over the predecessor competition, the unit will complement the high-performing new ProShot concrete sprayer.
“Based on the success of the ProShot in underground trials, we have high expectations for the ProMix,” said Chris Warner, product manager, Getman. “The ProMix was designed to meet the industry leaders in terms of accessibility while improving upon the already high degree of reliability through enhanced serviceability.”
ProShot performed well in trials in 2022, so much so that it merited a new concrete mixer and transport unit that could keep pace with it. “In trials, the ProShot was able to displace previous industry leaders, often setting records for output in a given day, constrained only by the amount of concrete that could be delivered in time,” Warner said.
“We found that getting concrete to the sprayer on time was a bottleneck to realizing its incredible efficiency,” he said. “With the ProMix we intend to address exactly that.”
ProMix was designed specifically to complement the ProShot, which features a Schwing 301, 20-m3, peristaltic pump with “customized presets for dosing, and an accelerator dosing system that automatically synchronizes to the concrete pump output without requiring further operator input,” company literature said.
The ProShot features “unparalleled boom coverage area, extending the spray coverage in standard drifting situations,” Getman said. “Optimal boom positioning minimizes material waste, improving coverage when shooting blind corners and bulkheads.”
The new ProMix is designed to support the fast cycles of the new ProShot. The combo “offers customers incredible efficiency and reliability in their underground spraying operations,” Warner said.
The ProMix is a “complete overhaul” to the R 60 transmixer with improvements that increase efficiency, maneuverability, ease of service, and overall value to the customer, he said. The R 60 “features a horizontal drum mixer with 4.6-m3 concrete transport capacity and an optional drum-tilt mechanism to enhance concrete discharge on inclines and declines,” company literature said. It has “variable-speed hydraulically driven drums with bi-directional drum rotation, separate rotation speed, and rotation on/off controls for optimal discharge control.”
The R 60 also has “an onboard high-pressure wash down package,” Getman said. “They are available with either an admixture transfer package or a form oil spray package for enhanced utilization.”
Compared to the R 60, the ProMix features “an upgraded user interface, which makes the ProMix intuitive to the operator,” Warner said. “A new 3-camera, 3-monitor system makes lining up with a sprayer much easier.”
It also increases safety. The 360° view gives “the operator visibility to the ground around every inch of the machine,” he said. “In addition to the numerous built-in safety features, the standard controls and interfaces can work with several site-specific systems and have the flexibility to upgrade as new systems become available.”
Ease of serviceability reduces labor needs. “From the very beginning, the ProMix was designed with serviceability in mind,” Warner said. “Sharing components with a number of other Getman products, the ProMix can minimize service parts orders and stocking.”
Among the shared components is the “intuitive and user-friendly control system platform, making it easy for the operators and service personnel to be cross-trained on both machines,” Warner said. “Real-time diagnostics features are easily accessible for the operators and service personnel through the 10-in. touchscreen display in the operator cabin.”
The diagnostics makes identifying “and addressing issues straightforward and easy,” he said.
The unit expands the company’s range of “safe, reliable products for the underground market,” Warner said. “The ProMix continues the Getman tradition as well as raises the bar for the integration of new technology.”
Normet launched the new battery-electric Spraymec MF 050 VC SD. “Combining the proven Normet SmartDrive battery-electric architecture with state-of-the-art spraying technology, the MF 050 VC SD offers unrivalled concrete spraying results, superior operator ergonomics and excellent serviceability, with zero local emissions,” the com-
“Spraymec MF 050 VC SD is purpose-built for modern mining operations in small and medium-sized tunnels,” Normet said. Its length is 12.3 m; width is 2 m; height is 2.9 m; wheel base is 4.1 m; ground clearance is 310 mm; inner turning radius is 4.3 m; outer turning radius is 8 m. The unit offers a maximum vertical reach of 9.5 m.
The MF 050 VC SD features an “unrivalled, low-pulsation NSP 30 double-piston concrete pump (up to 19/27 m3/h) with a reversing function and a hydraulically driven agitator,” Normet said.
The model also “comes with a cutting-edge dosing system with a maximum theoretical concrete output capacity of 10.5 m3 with battery-powered operation or, alternatively, 27 m3/h with electric operation,” Normet said. It has an “accelerator dosing system with … a 600/800-litre accelerator tank.” Accelerator dosing is fully synchronized with concrete delivery.
The Spraymec MF 050 VC SD is designed for smooth, efficient spraying. It features an “electrically operated screw compressor (10 m3/min., also available with a 12 m3/min. compressor),” Normet said.
“The vehicle is equipped with a high-volume on-board compressor and the extremely durable and accurate SB 500 C spraying boom with strengthened steel structures, superb rebound protection and outstanding maneuverability, allowing for smooth concrete spraying operations,” the supplier said. “Furthermore, the boom’s selectable vertical tracking and nozzle nutation functions ensure uniform spraying results.”
The air-conditioned FOPS/ROPS-certified cab offers improved ergonomics and control features over predecessor models.
“Designed for unmatched operator comfort, the new cabin is fitted with features like ergonomically located spraying controls, a water spray supply system to keep the windscreen clean during spraying and a NorSmart 3 dashboard with a touchscreen MID display, together taking both process productivity and the operating experience to a whole new level,” Normet said. It has a “dedicated location for a scanner tablet providing sprayed concrete layer thickness information.”
The operator can use a reversing camera system for optimal visibility.
Comfort and safety features include a heavy-duty driver’s seat with a headrest, armrests and a retractable lap seat belt with a safety switch, Normet said.
The Spraymec MF 050 VC SD comes standard with a “wireless remote control system with two joysticks for all relevant process controls and cable support,” the supplier said. “The advanced remote driving system enables safe and easy machine relocation.”
The unit runs on the 75-kW electric SmartDrive system. SmartDrive “is a modular battery-electric vehicle architecture designed to optimize energy consumption and performance in underground mining and tunneling applications,” Normet said. “Built with the latest fast-charging-capable Li-ion battery technology, SmartDrive machines offer higher productivity, significantly lower operating costs, and a cleaner underground environment.”
Direct-drive architecture gives “over 100% higher uphill tramming speed,” compared to predecessor solutions, Normet said. “The high-torque electric motors reduce tramming time to reach work sites faster and recover energy in downhill driving.”
The MF 050 VC SD was designed for improved serviceability and maintenance. It offers “easy access to all service points and outstanding clean-ability and, therefore, is fitted with features like a hydraulically operated concrete pump hatch for safer cleaning,” Normet said. A high-pressure washer and hose reel come standard.
The unit has “longer service intervals than diesel equivalents,” the company said.
Optional features include “equipment for concrete spraying and transportation, construction chemicals and, additionally, supporting technologies and lifecycle services,” Normet said. For example, the unit is “available with our cutting-edge Normet SmartScan concrete thickness measurement system.”
The unit was designed based on the needs of and feedback from customers. “Normet’s latest innovations and features are a direct result of spending thousands of hours in the field listening to customers and gathering operator feedback and improvement proposals,” Normet said. “With the Spraymec MF 050 VC SD, we created a product for sprayed concrete experts, combining all their valuable knowledge and feedback, incorporating even the smallest details that make a big operational difference.”
The unit expands the growing range of equipment the company offers that “meets and exceeds customer and industry expectations for safety, productivity and sustainability,” the company said. “Designed and built with minimizing its environmental impact as a key driver, Normet’s broad equipment offering pioneers the transformation into greener underground operations.”