"Our new AC drive 730E-8 has been configured for the challenges of the future"

Komatsu's730E-8-20b-1.jpg new AC-drive version of its 200 US ton 730E-8 mine truck, offers higher haul speeds and simpler maintenance requirements, resulting in higher productivity, reduced downtime and industry-leading availability.

With a true payload of 200 US tons (181 tonnes), the 730E-8 is powered by a Tier 4 compliant 1492 kW engine, and is designed and manufactured to the same engineering principles as Komatsu's large Ultra-Class mining trucks.

According to Michael Hall, Komatsu Australia's National Product Manager, Mining, not only is its AC drive system lighter than either mechanical or DC transmission systems, it provides faster acceleration and higher top speeds, while delivering more reliable performance and easier maintenance.

Top speed of the 730E-8 is 64 km/h 15% higher than its predecessor plus it can handle effective gradients up to 12%, for higher productivity.

In addition, the AC control system offers independent control of the rear wheel motors, giving outstanding traction in wet and slippery conditions, reducing tyre wear and improving operator confidence.

Its GE35B AC-drive wheel motors, designed collaboratively between Komatsu and GE Mining, have no brushes, eliminating flashover, and a higher thermal capacity.

A 2760 kW retarding system provides advanced braking capacity, giving the ability to handle steep continuous descents and sharp switchbacks. This electric dynamic retarding enhances productivity and operator confidence, while eliminating the need for excessive mechanical braking effort.

Hall said the increased reliability of the AC powertrain, plus its easier maintenance translated into industry-leading availability for the 730E-8.

"Our 730E DC truck has delivered 90-94% availability to mines around the world, over hundreds of thousands of operating hours," he said. "In comparison, the industry average for this class of truck is well down in the 80% range.

"That additional availability which we expect to be even higher with the AC-drive 730E-8 translates into an additional 36 weeks, or nine months, per truck over a 10-year operating life.

"Overall our diesel/electric AC powertrain is more efficient, offers better operating characteristics and is more cost effective than a comparable DC powertrain," said Hall.

"Komatsu pioneered the use of AC electric drive systems with the introduction of our 930E in 1996 which has since gone on to become the world's most successful 'ultra-class' mining dump truck.

"Our new AC drive 730E-8 has been configured for the challenges of the future, with miners frequently moving to smaller ore bodies in more remote locations," he said.

"It is designed to be quickly deployed into difficult projects and then moved to the next opportunity as necessary."

Hall said the 730E-8's "bolt-together" design made field assembly and disassembly less complicated, reducing the need for large numbers of skilled technicians in the site assembly process.

"The simplicity of its design makes it easier to train service technicians and complete regular maintenance tasks, with fewer hoses, bearings, pumps and wear components than most other mining trucks," he said.

The 730E-8 also incorporates an easily removable powertrain module, further reducing the time needed to complete on-site maintenance.

Maintenance requirements are further streamlined through the use of Komatsu's KOMTRAX Plus remote monitoring system, allowing the logging of data such as operating hours, component trends, machine utilisation (including idle time and fuel consumption) and production information for on-line analysis.

The 730E-8 can also be fully integrated with management systems such as Modular Mining's Dispatch and MineCare products.

In addition, the new truck's cab brings the same comfort features and operator controls used in Komatsu's Ultra-Class trucks, including air-ride seats, easy-to-use instrument panel with automatic speed control and fully adjustable climate controls.

Brief specs of the 730E-8 are:

Payload, 200 US tons (181 tonnes); body capacity, 111 cu m; engine, Komatsu SSDA16V159 QSK50 rated at 1492 kW; maximum loaded speed, 2% grade, 62.6 km/h; braking system, 2759 kW electric dynamic retarder plus dry disc brakes front and rear; turning circle diameter, 27.1 m.

Tyre options:

37.00 R57 (Standard)

40.00 R57 (Optional)

42/90 R57 (Optional)