A discrete simulation model for longwall mining
The practice of longwall mining is potntially an efficient and cost effective means of extracting coal from underground seams. In practice, a correctly designed and well operated longwall installation is the best means of attaining maximum production at minimum cost. Longwall operation is a complex production system with interacting components affected by high levels of variability and uncertainty. The high levels of variability and uncertainty in operations make it difficult to assess how a particular configuration may perform. With dynamic simulation model it is possible to capture the characteristics of a a longwall operation, especially the current equipment configuration and the mine geometry, analyse the performance of that configuration and geometry and assess the potential impact of any propsed changes to either or both. To aid in an analysis of the longwall process, a discrete event simulation platform of the longwal process was developed and validated. It can be used to highlight the impact of changing various parameters in the longwall process and identifying bottlenecks, thus offering the opportunity to optimise the longwall operation and allocate resources efficiently.