The underground salt mine operated by Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG in Heilbronn is huge: a network of roads covering a total length of more than 700 km needs to be maintained on a continuous basis. This Herculean task is taken on by the SF 2600 i dinting machine.
The main reason for operating the dinting machine in the salt mine on a non-stop basis is unevenness of the mine floors caused by blasting and cutting during tunnel driving. In addition, previously rehabilitated floor pavements are gradually destroyed again by the heavy-duty vehicles that are needed for salt mining. In both cases, the floor surfaces are covered with a mixture of potholes, bumps, steps and rutting.
"The effects are quite severe," explains Herbert Hesser, head foreman at the mine. "Axles, wheels, chassis and gearboxes of the 150 mobile machines operated in the mine are severely affected by the uneven floor surfaces. The costly consequences are downtimes, high repair costs and increased parts requirements. When driving on floor surfaces levelled by milling, the mobile machines achieve an average speed that nearly equals the maximum permissible speed in the mine of 35 km/h. On uneven roads, on the other hand, they achieve an average speed of only 15 to 20 km/h. This costs the company money every day. A lot of valuable time is lost, for example, simply because our workforce needs longer to get to their workplaces underground, which often requires them to travel up to 10 km. In addition, fuel consumption increases by an impressive 35% on poorly maintained haulage roads. And last but not least, we have a duty to care for the welfare of our employees. For roads allowing smooth and safe travel protect against health risks, such as back disorders. And in the long run, the company in turn benefits from the welfare of its employees."