Jeff Ley, shearer product lead, and James Sudworth, Global C&A Manager, Komatsu Mining Corp.

Maintaining face alignment and horizon control for longwall systems are complex operational challenges that the mine operator has to manage. To help address these difficult mining problems two key solutions were developed and deployed: automated face alignment control and shearer pitch steering (enhanced horizon control.) Komatsu has working closely with an Illinois Basin mine and has been successful in improving coal recovery and strata stability through the deployment of these key technologies. Both these systems require close integration between the shearer and roof support control systems to achieve the desired results.