There has always been a focus on creating productivity improvements in the mining industry. This advent can be traced back to 1919 when Joseph Joy’s mechanized loading machine transformed coal mining away from hand loading.
Prior to the inception of The CAN®, mines were building thousands of 4-point cribs, using multiple thousands of wooden crib blocks. The process of constructing cribs was labor intensive which concurrently had enormous exposures to industrial accidents.
An alternative to wooden cribs was developed on the 1980’s when The CAN® was introduced. Although The CAN® was clearly a better support; installation presented a problem due to its inherent weight and girth. Simultaneously to the advent of the CAN®, longwall productivity skyrocketed. The increased rate of longwall face retreat had to be met with an equal amount of outby productivity gains.
To eliminate the installation issues associated with The CAN®, Burrell introduced the CAN® Clamp. The first generation CAN® Clamp was simply a forklift mast used in conjunction with a set of grabbing jaws. This was the advent of mechanized secondary roof support installation.
The Burrell Mining team had visions of impending longwall productivity gains and began to design a newer more productive method for setting CANS®. The second generation CAN® Clamp was soon to follow. Our “2G” edition featured a drive-in base which had pockets to accepted forklift tines from a mine scoop. The standard forklift mast was removed and replaced with an articulating arm and clamp which could swing with a radius of 130-degress so as to reach each rib line without moving the scoop. This apparatus, when used in conjunction with a mine scoop quickly improved productivity, in some cases doubling installation rates.
Always looking for a better way, Burrell helped develop the current 3G CAN® Clamp. This version also had a drive-in feature but incorporated a bucket (slightly smaller than a scoop bucket) with an articulating arm attachment. The bucket could be loaded with 4- 24” diameter CANS® as well as carry a CAN® in its jaws to the work site. The articulating arm could still swing rib-to-rib, but also extend outward (similar to a Gradall® boom) to more accurately and efficiently place CANS®. This advancement not only increased productivity but eliminated the need for a piece of equipment on a mining section used to deliver CANS® to the general work site.