Project Romonta

With SimulationX, Romonta can simulate dynamic load scenarios and is thus able to make reliable predictions without the need for time-consuming test series.

Evaluation of vibrational behavior through virtual system simulation

The task at hand

Safeguarding availability and productivity of the bucket wheel loader

The removal of overburden and the extraction of lignite in the open cast mine Amsdorf, which is operated by ROMONTA GmbH, are executed by one bucket wheel excavator 1447 SRs 1200, belt conveyors and a stacker. As the excavator is at the heart of all mining activities, it is vital for Romonta’s productivity that it is operative without any interruptions. Consequently, Romonta takes great pains to maintain and upgrade existing equipment. Cutting resistance, however, caused severe vibrations throughout the entire machine under certain circumstances during the digging process. In order to avoid unnecessary stress on the excavator, overall performance had to be reduced, which lead to a considerable reduction of productivity. It was assumed that the bucket wheel excited the excavator’s superstructure at certain speeds. To verify this assumption and to back up the planned enhancements, employing simulation software seemed to be the most viable solution.

The solution

Modeling dynamic loads with SimulationX

The dynamic characteristics were analyzed by means of virtual modeling and simulation. First, the framework parts of the bucket wheel excavator were modeled in the CAD software SolidWorks. The model was then integrated into a multi-body system in the CAE software SimulationX via the CAD import interface. In order to fully simulate the system’s behavior, it was also necessary to model dynamic stresses. The MBS model was then put through various scenarios with different levels of cutting force induced excitation while varying the speed of the bucket wheel.

The simulation results obtained seemed to match the measured values from the real bucket wheel excavator 1447, thus proving the validity of the model. In addition to examining the excavator’s natural vibrational behavior, it was also of interest to understand the effects of increasing the bucket wheel’s speed. The study’s simulation results could eventually prove the initial assumption about the bucket wheel speed to be correct, and thus formed the basis for further upgrades.

The benefits

Realistic modeling without time-consuming tests

Since the bucket wheel excavator 1447 operates around the clock, running time consuming trials on the machine that would have caused interruptions to productivity was not an option. By combining CAD and CAE software, however, it was possible to precisely analyze the machine’s vibrational behavior. The authentic simulation results from SimulationX helped to make well-informed investment decisions in order to improve the machine’s stability, availability and productivity.

Simulation in the mining industry

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