Komatsu’s new electric rope shovel boasts a 122.5 tonne payload

4800 XPC shovel, electric rope shovel surface

Following seven years of research and seeking customer input from around the world, Komatsu’s P&H 4800XPC electric rope shovel is now commercially available.

The 4800XPC electric rope shovel features Adaptive Controls technology and is designed for three-pass loading of 327 tonnes to 363 tonnes ultra-class haul trucks.

When compared to the 4100XPC, the 4800 boasts a 20 per cent increase in production and a 10 per cent decrease in cost per tonne.

The electric rope shovel is in the largest machine payload class currently available on the market.  Alongside its 122.5 tonne payload, the machine features a cut height of 18 metres, a cut radius of 24.3 metres and a maximum dump reach of 24.8 metres.


Development of the 14.4-metre-wide and 15-metre-long 4800XPC began in 2011 with extensive customer research spanning five major mining regions. From there, Komatsu’s product and engineering teams to find a way to incorporate that feedback into a piece of equipment that would satisfy those criteria.

The engineering team began with design of the P&H 4100XPC and applied fresh thinking on a larger scale to create the 4800XPC.

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Of course, they didn’t simply make a bigger version of the previous model. The engineering team applied a design strategy that integrated the effective components of the previous machine and added structural and technological advancements to create something new.

By employing the 4100’s solid foundation, the engineers were able to push the envelope of what was possible, while mitigating the risks that can come with applying groundbreaking ideas.

New features

One of the new features of the machine is the adaptive controls system, which helps the electric rope shovel optimize power and improve energy usage.

However, the system doesn’t reduce the amount of energy required. Instead, the 4800XPC is able to make better use of energy to generate shovel movements that are more efficient and productive.

Another new feature is the electric rope shovel’s next generation dipper. Its design, combined with the adaptive controls and smart machine geometry changes, allows operators to increase their production by as much as 20 per cent and lower cost per ton by up to 10 per cent.

The bigger payload is the reason for this improvement. The 4800XPC is able to load trucks in three passes as opposed to the traditional four-pass load.

Due to the upgraded swing system and the addition of adaptive controls, the massive electric rope shovel can achieve dig cycles that are as fast as, and in some cases, faster than its predecessor.

According to Komatsu, its engineering teams have discovered a way to revolutionize the loading process for its customers and managed to provide operators with a shovel that allows them to maintain their speed. This means there may be other opportunities for increased production in the future.

To improve ease of maintenance, Komatsu’s engineers equipped the machine with a new one-push latching mechanism that was less maintenance intensive and more responsive. The new approach combined with new dipper geometry minimizes wear on crawler shoes and connecting pins.

Next generation dipper

The 4800XPC features a redefined dipper body style. Weight plays a significant role in the function of a machine this large, both in the effective reach of the equipment and in the counterweight needed to provide the proper dynamic stability.

The next generation dipper allows the shovel to be efficient with its weight distribution and geometry modifications reduced the frictional resistance of the dipper to the bank as the shovel works through the face.

According to Komatsu, applying these solutions means customers can expect the 4800XPC to provide them with more efficient cutting power, longer lasting parts and less upkeep.