CR Mining offers bucket and lip combo “to rule them all”

CR Mining is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to innovate with the world’s best miners and suppliers to find the next […]
The new bucket and lip design reduces fill energy by 14% per tonne and reduces machine emissions. Credit: CR Mining

CR Mining is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to innovate with the world’s best miners and suppliers to find the next breakthrough in mining productivity and they believe they’ve found it.

Working with the design, engineering, and fabrication company Jaws, CR was able to integrate their expertise to find a solution for an Australian coal mine, Whitehaven Coal at Maules Creek, New South Wales.

Whitehaven Coal found the excavator bucket for their 800-tonne class machines was not achieving optimum productivity results. After careful, in-depth analysis of the bucket, lip, and GET performance using CR’s Titan 3330 payload management system, CR was able to collect performance data and work with Jaws to design a bucket, lip, and GET combination that would offer an improved bucket payload of up to 2.6%.

CR’s newly designed SR7046 Stingray cast lip is part of their famous, high-production suite of cast lips compatible with 500- to 1,000-tonne excavator machines. Stingray cast lips are designed to deliver a smoother material entrance and better penetration for an optimum payload which greatly contributes to the uplift in productivity.

This project has resulted in a new bucket and lip standard will be available across the globe.

General Manager of Maules Creek Mine, Jorge Moraga, explains the challenge they faced, “Our problem was we have a low fill factor, and for that reason we are doing more than four passes to load an ultra-class truck.”

CR was among multiple OEMs who were approached with the challenge, but only CR and Jaws were willing to work closely with Whitehaven at the Maules Creek colliery to find a collaborative solution.

CR used scale testing to simulate scaled-down, real-world scenarios validating and testing designs in a way that’s time- and cost-efficient. CR got the results quickly and confidently without putting mine site operations at risk.

The results clearly identified the optimum bucket design and lip design to suit this particular application with the hope of mirroring the results in the field.

CR’s and Jaws’ hopes were realized when the new bucket and lip combination went into service on a Hitachi EX8000 backhoe excavator. It immediately boosted productivity just by switching the buckets.

Not only did the bucket and lip combo deliver increased payload as intended, but another surprising outcome produced added benefits for the coal miner.

“The interesting part about this particular comparison of the old bucket vs the new was that the fill energy for the new lip actually reduced by 14% per tonne,” says David Polkinghorne, CR’s Mining analytics manager.

Mark Irwin, Maules Creek Mines Maintenance Manager, agrees and says that by minimizing the energy during bucket fills, “…the maintenance in the bucket is the same but where we will see a benefit is most definitely in the fatigue up through the front of the machine.”

Maules Creek has been so pleased with the outcome that they have now fitted the new bucket and lip combination across the rest of their full EX8000 fleet.

CR, Jaws, and Whitehaven Coal, Maules Creek mine will continue to monitor bucket and lip performance across all machines, discovering new benefits. For instance, calculating emission reductions as a result of the reduced fill energy and more sustainable design.

Learn more about the latest in bucket and lip technology at


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