L&H Omega Undercarriage Innovations

Making sure you have the best machine for the job

Maximizing the production and profitability of your mining operation is a complex equation with multiple variables that often differ at each mine site: geology, geography, ground conditions, season, maintenance practices, production costs.

Yet on the ground, in the field, one thing stays same—everywhere, every time.

You need the right machine for the job.

Anything less than the right machine costs you time, productivity, and money.

As a result, it’s sometimes crucial to optimize your machine to perform at its highest capacity in specific operating conditions. This has led L&H Industrial to develop our series of L&H Omega Undercarriages for different operating environments, adapt them for every major make and model of mining shovel and collaborate with our customers to customize them for specific mine sites.

495 Omega Undercarriage

Let’s talk field proof and the bottom line first, then get into the tech details

Right now, we have over 100 L&H Omega Undercarriages running on our customers’ shovels at mines around the world—from the Powder River Basin to the Athabasca Oil Sands of Northern Alberta to the copper mines of Chile.

Significantly extending undercarriage life

One of our customers in the Powder River Basin did a head-to-head test of our L&H Omega Undercarriage against our competitor’s undercarriage by running them on two identical machines operating in the same mine.

The results are pretty compelling.

  • Mine site: Powder River Basin
  • Mine type: Coal
  • Machine type: 4100XPC
  • Run time until undercarriage replacement required
    • OEM Undercarriage: 23,396 hour
    • L&H Omega Undercarriage: 36,162 hours
  • Performance difference: 12,766 hours = 531 days = 1.5 years

Yes, you read that right. 1.5 years.

Same machine type, same conditions. But one machine—the one running L&H Omega technology—had the right undercarriage for the operating environment, an undercarriage that also included major design improvements to extend assembly life under any conditions.

How L&H Omega Undercarriages leap ahead of previous designs

L&H has 50 years experience repairing mining machines in the shop and field. By understanding the nature of different field conditions and knowing the typical patterns of failure and stress, our engineers have developed undercarriages that last 30% longer than OEM.

Here’s how:

  • Eliminating high-stress and high wear areas common to OEM systems
  • Improving components and materials for better tolerance of heavy load forces
  • Improving the assembly for extreme ground conditions
  • Developing different assembly models for specific ground conditions

Customizing undercarriages for exceptional performance

Here’s another L&H difference. We don’t assume our undercarriages will automatically perfectly match the conditions at your mine. Our engineers and field experts frequently work with customers to customize L&H Omega Undercarriage designs for specific machines at specific operations.

That’s exactly what we did for one of our customers in the Athabasca Oil Sands of Northern Alberta, leading to the design of our new L&H Omega Undercarriages for high-flotation (HF) machines.

The technology improvements in our latest undercarriages for HF shovels

One piece shoe design

Our 138-inch, one-piece shoe design is much stronger then OEM designs consisting of welded-on wings. When a dipper impacts the shovel’s shoes they often break because of stress risers in the welded joints. Our one-piece design mitigates this problem by eliminating those weak points.

Manganese steel shoes

Properties associated with this material are such that after an initial work-hardening period the wear surfaces run at a very high hardness level while maintaining good toughness. This slows propagations of wear on these surfaces (roller path, drive lug) into an extremely predictable linear wear rate.

Distinctive link pitch

The pitch of the L&H Omega links is different than the OEM offering. This allows a reduced number of shoes to run underneath the machine. The L&H Omega offering starts its operation with 42 links per side (compared to 47 per side on the OEM).

An additional improvement on the L&H shoe design, an inverted clevis, makes the shoe universal from the right to left hand side. In contrast, the OEM’s design uses mirrored versions on the right- and left-hand links. By reducing link quantity and making them more universal, the L&H Omega design drives down the overall costs and reduces by half the number of spares needed to support a fleet.

Elevated roller path

L&H links also offer an elevated roller path (relative to ground level) which provides additional clearance, both from the entire machine to the ground and from the bottom of the side frame to the top of the links.

The additional operating ground clearance provides more maneuverability in poor operating conditions (wet/soft ground or pit floors that are somewhat unmaintained). The increase in distance between the frame and the shoes also provides a higher wear-range of the roller path and rollers before they reach the point of contact between the shoe and frame. Additionally, a modified box section underneath the roller path better distributes the overall load of the machine over the entire length of the shoe; this helps extend the life of the roller path and the time to onset of the risk of collapse.

What L&H Omega Undercarriage tech upgrades mean at the business level

With L&H Omega Undercarriage technology you can make sure your current machine is the best machine for the job, optimized for specific conditions at your mine site. The result? Higher productivity. Reduced maintenance. Lower operations costs. Greater profitability.
Measurably better results: that’s what you can expect when you deploy L&H Omega Undercarriages on the machines in your fleet and have our engineers and field experts work with you to customize them for the unique operating conditions at your mine.