Bucket wheel excavator

Reliable electrification and automation solutions

ABB, a market leader in efficiency systems, has more than 60 years of experience with bucket wheel excavators. Our solutions help raise productivity, increase equipment reliability, increase safety, and significantly improve energy efficiency.

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Our offering

Programmed excavator control

The conventional programmed excavator control (BPS) is used to automate bucket-wheel and bucket-chain excavators. The BPS consists of up to 6 functional units which can be used separately, or in any combination.

The following functional units (FU) are provided:

  1. Cutting depth
  2. Slice length
  3. Slewing angle control
  4. Cost control
  5. Cut-off at vmax.
  6. Lateral slope design

This state-of-the-art BPS technology not only ensures reliability, it also keeps both workers and equipment safer. ABB’s BPS has been used in a variety of open-pit mines around the world and has a long and proven track record of reliable performance.


It’s critical that dump devices be positioned correctly on both the uptake and dump spot to ensure the quality of material. Sensors are used to exactly measure the position of the devices, relative to other facilities and open areas, to ensure complete control. Our methodology includes four areas for positioning:

  1. Absolute encoder to measure the position (travel drive, slewing drive, boom angle
  2. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to locate position or verify and calibrate absolute encoder positioning values
  3. Barcode positioning meter
  4. GPS applications

    Power supply and electrification

    Major mechanical and electrical installations impact the efficiency of a mine. Our engineers ensure that the right technologies and products are used to offer maximum energy savings. Based on decades of experience, we select the correct cable dimensions, and plan the layout for seemless commissioning. Our goal is to reduce your energy consumption, savings that will continue over the life of your plant.


    Machines operate in tough conditions, and require instrumentation solutions that are certified to international standards. ABB’s field-proven sensor technology meets those standards and is specifically designed to perform in harsh environments. Our highly accurate sensor technology provides exact measurement values, consistently delivering the right data to the operational system.

    Cabin design

    Our customized driver cabs can be found in mining machines all over the world. Our goal is to provide the operator with an ergonomic workplace to prevent tiredness and incorrect operations. The most up-to-date communication systems provide the operator with all important data.  
    We offer air conditioning and heating, windscreen demisting and airborne dust blowers, screen wipers and washers, and fixed or movable ergonomic operator desks. Our philosophy is to install the respective computer technology separately from the operator station if possible, for operating convenience.

    Motors and drive systems

    A bucket wheel excavator is a complex machine with many movable parts, including a boom that has to slew and raise, crawlers to move the excavator forward, and a bucket wheel that turns. All of these movements require motors and drives. Our experts ensure that both of these products are sized correctly to provide the power and control required for the application.

    Fire warning, intercom and lighting concepts

    With increasing emphasis on safety and environmental issues, large equipment needs more than just automation. That’s why ABB is offering energy efficient light concepts, as well as fire warning and firefighting systems, which can include all equipment (video, radio and speaker systems) on the machine.

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