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A Danish lime producer, Dansk Landbrugs Grovvareselskab (DLG), has become the first company in Europe to operate Caterpillar auger scrapers.Built as an alternative to the elevating motorscraper, which has a vertical elevator at the front of the scraper bowl to assist in loading, these Caterpillar machines have an auger built into the front of the bowl, just above the cutting edge.The Cat 657E twin engined scrapers have a 50 cu m capacity bowl. They are powered by a 451 kW and a 328 kW engine each with independent transmissions driving the front and rear axles.This driveline will power the 80 tonne operating weight machines to a top speed of 50 km/h.The 657E has a 1.68 m diameter auger mounted vertically in the loading area.This breaks up the spoil being loaded into the scraper and does away with the need for a dozer to push the machine during loading.Cat also claims that the auger mechanism makes the 657E ideal for stripping thin seams as it can handle a greater range of materials than an elevating scraper.DLG says that because of the fluctuating market for lime, and the weather in Denmark, production from the site can range from 350,000 to 1 million tonnes per year. However, that material is usually lifted in just 60 days of the year when the weather is right.The scrapers are used for other tasks on the site, including overburden removal and breaking up lime.The company reports that the 50 cu m scrapers are achieving load times of 1.5 minutes in an operation involving the stripping of 75 to 120 mm layers of lime.The auger scrapers are also said to produce less dust than elevating scrapers.The two machines are completing more than 12 cycles per hour over a one way haul distance of 750 to 1,150 m.With a payload of 50 tonnes the scrapers can each produce up to 680 tonnes per hour, or 7,500 tonnes in an 11 hour shift.