The mining industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity driven by cost control, safety and productivity. Miners are choosing hydraulic mining conveyors due to the need for greater reliability thereby increasing mine productivity, efficiency and overall performance. Hydraulic conveyors use water jets as the conveying medium for bulk materials via pipes or troughs. These conveyors are used for material handling and debris removal in underground mines. In the last three years alone, there have been over 48,000 patents filed and granted in the mining industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in Mining: Hydraulic Mining Conveyors. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 350,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the mining industry, there are 150+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Hydraulic mining conveyors is a key innovation area in robotics

Hydraulic conveyors employ water jets which form the conveying medium for bulk materials through pipes or troughs. These conveyors are used in underground mines for material handling and debris removal.

Hydraulic mining conveyors, which are relatively simple and low-cost equipment, are used to transport high-capacity materials over long distances. Furthermore, the conveying process is usually safe and easy to control, with low maintenance costs. As pneumatic conveying technologies reach their physical and economic limits for long conveying distances, high capacities, and particularly stringent product purity requirements, hydraulic conveying is becoming increasingly important.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established mining companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of hydraulic mining conveyors.

Key players in hydraulic mining conveyors – a disruptive innovation in the mining industry

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Leaders in hydraulic mining conveyors include Caterpillar, Tian Di Science & Technology, Komatsu Ltd and Yankuang Group.

Patent volumes related to hydraulic mining conveyors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Komatsu 57 Unlock Company Profile
Tian Di Science & Technology 72 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 68 Unlock Company Profile
RAG-Stiftung 52 Unlock Company Profile
Yankuang Group 46 Unlock Company Profile
China Energy Investment 42 Unlock Company Profile
Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group Company 41 Unlock Company Profile
Jinneng Holding Group 40 Unlock Company Profile
Shanxi Tiandial Mining Machinery 32 Unlock Company Profile
Family Trust Investor FTI 31 Unlock Company Profile
Huainan Mining Group 21 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Tiandi Marco Electro Hydraulicntrol System 19 Unlock Company Profile
China Shipbuilding Industry 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sichuan Huayingshan Guangneng (Group) 16 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway Construction 14 Unlock Company Profile
Zhou Bin 14 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Mining Machinery Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Linzhou Heavy Machinery Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 12 Unlock Company Profile
Guizhou Panjiang Refinedal 11 Unlock Company Profile
Shanxi Donghua Machinery 10 Unlock Company Profile
Huayang New Material Technology Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sany Heavy Equipment Investments 8 Unlock Company Profile
Shaanxial and Chemical Industry Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Henan Energy and Chemical Industry Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Energy Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
China National Coal Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Bucyrus Europe 7 Unlock Company Profile
Wanbeial Electricity Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Anhui Mining Electromechanical Equipment 6 Unlock Company Profile
Zhengzhou Siwei Mining Machinery 6 Unlock Company Profile
China Communications Construction Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Dover 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Coal Technology & Engineering Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Jizhong Energy Resources 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Komatsu has long been a market leader in mining technology. Hydraulic systems from Komatsu are designed to remove slack from the belt for a smooth conveyor start in a variety of loading conditions. Hydraulic systems from Komatsu are available in standard configurations ranging from 10 feet to 60 feet of travel and can handle complex conveyor systems thanks to controllers for main and tripper drives. Komatsu's systems, with tried and tested drive packages, can provide start times more than 240 seconds and optimal load sharing between main and multiple tripper drives.

Catepillar’s Cat® Armored Face Conveyors are one of the most powerful underground mining transport systems, with maximum capacity, high drive power, high availability, and reliability. The conveyors are designed for dependable and low-maintenance operation over a long service life, promoting high productivity and delivering a high return on investment.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the mining industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Mining.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article. 

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.