By Kirby Owen,product support manager mechanical cutting, Sandvik Mining and Thomas Vallant,manager sales support mechanical cutting,Sandvik Mining

More than 20 years ago, Sandvik introduced the Bolter Miner to the coal mining industry, with the first machine at Australia’s Tahmoor Colliery. The Bolter Miner concept quickly spread to other coal mining countries. Over time, with input from many longwall mines interested in improving advance rates, the machines continued to evolve.

The latest addition to Sandvik’s Bolter Miner family is the MB610. With improved safety features and ergonomics, the MB610 was designed to increase productivity. In addition to flexible roof-bolting techniques, this bolter miner will demonstrate an improved life span for components. It is capable of cutting through hard intrusions as well. Its unique slow cutting speed provides high cutting forces, resulting in an increased cutting rate and reduced dust creation. Two of these machines are currently proving their worth at CONSOL Energy’s Bailey complex. With the first machine, the development teams at the Bailey mine have advanced a total of 17,700 meters (58,000 ft), with an average shift advance of 36.7 meters (120 ft) during 2012.