West Virginia Patent of the Month – June 2021

Longwall mining is a form of underground coal mining that scrapes a wall, mining coal in slices. During this process, a longwall shear advances along the wall to slice off coal, but these systems face safety issues as it passes. Mines use roof supports and canopies to prevent collapse and catch rubble as it falls. However, as the drum of the shear passes, the portion of the roof directly above the drum is exposed. Methods of extending a roof support extension over the drum have been tested, in order to prevent collapse and protect the drum operator during maintenance, but these methods require significant clearance to swing the extendable canopy into place. Swanson Industries is a global leader in engineered hydraulics and has developed an improved system for deflecting rubble without impeding this drumline.

Their system consists of a base plate secured to the underside of a shield canopy. The base plate has two sides with guide rails and a sliding plate. The slide plate can slide along the guides to extend out from and back under the underside of the shield canopy. When protecting the operator, the plate is positioned out from under the shield canopy toward the coal. This allows the slide plate to be positioned over the shearing equipment without contacting the roof. Once maintenance is complete, the plate can slide back under the shield canopy. This sliding motion removes the limitation of other apparatuses which sung into position. When slid into position, the extendable canopy support provides enough strength to block operators from harm of falling rubble and is moved into place with the use of hydraulic cylinders. This system offers a simple and effective solution, allowing for safe conditions during maintenance. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at www.swansonreed.com/webinars or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

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