Manufacturing of the JAE 38 Wildcub continuous miner – mining equipment and services provider JA Engineering’s newest offering – has started and will be delivered at the end of January 2021.
The midseam continuous miner will be optimally suited to the “harsh and hard” mid-seam conditions typically found in South Africa.
It will be able to cut areas about 1.6 m to 3.8 m in height, with a minimum tramming height of 1.45 m, and a cutter width of 3.6 m.
JA Engineering CEO Danie van Wyk tells Mining Weekly that manufacturing of the continuous miner will take between six and eight months from the date of order depending on workload.
“We have a quicker turnaround time, as almost every part on the continuous miner is sourced and manufactured locally.”
He adds that the electronics system is one of the few items that is imported.
“We based the design of the JAE 38 Wildcub on the successes achieved with the JAE 42 Wildcat continuous miner, which has proven its capabilities locally,” says Van Wyk, adding that the JAE 42 Wildcat was subject to a stringent testing phase at a client’s premises and placed into a full production environment at a mining client last year.
The JAE 42 Wildcat displayed such positive results that the mining client placed a premanufacture order for the JAE 38 Wildcub, as well as for the balance of a complete section of JAE equipment, which is expected to be delivered by the end of January.
Van Wyk states that a JAE 42 was shipped to Australia earlier this year, where it was expected to enhance the output for the client, “owing to the coal seams in Australia being much softer than those found locally”.
“All of the research and development (R&D) for the new JAE 38 Wildcub was conducted by our in-house engineering department, with support from the company’s engineers in South Africa, the US and Australia,” says JA Engineering sales and marketing director Reuben Mabunda.
He adds that the R&D was completed in collaboration with various clients in South Africa, India and Australia, and that the engineering was based on client-specific requirements and mining environments.
Mabunda explains that the JAE 38 will be manufactured predominantly in Jet Park, Gauteng, with final assembly taking place in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. The electronics system will be supplied from Australia.
“JA Engineering is proud that its equipment is manufactured with a high local-content contribution,” he enthuses, adding that this also assist clients in meeting their procurement target under Mining Charter III.
JA Engineering is continually looking at improving its technologies and processes, in line with requirements from the industry and clients looking for value and efficiency.
One such example is JAE Data Mining Services, the company’s analytical cloud-based asset tracking service, which was launched earlier this year, and can be used for continuous miners and shuttle cars.
“The data-capturing service enables clients to track their machines’ operational performance and health status with the option to extrapolate the data on a shift-by-shift basis or in real time,” notes Van Wyk.
The service enables clients to carefully track their machines’ production and health status in real time. It also displays historical figures for fault logging and production, which can be integrated into a client’s monitoring systems and is compatible with Android and iOS.
Van Wyk observes that a key focus for many clients is production tracking, as well as reducing production costs, which this service helps facilitate as long-term benefits.
“We used various partners to develop the cloud-based technology, which took two years. We conducted a proof of concept at the beginning of this year and it successfully reflected the potential of the technology to us and our clients.”
He concludes that the Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the potential of technology, and has provided the opportunity to work on newer, safer technologies from a personnel and quality perspective.