As the shearer traverses along the coal face the supports are advanced to enable the shearer to cut a fresh web of coal when it returns. There are two methods of advancing powered supports, these are:
Conventional Method of Advancement
In the conventional method the supports are stood up to the conveyor before the shearer cuts a web of coal. After the shearer passes the support an extension bar from within the canopy of the support is extended. This gives support to the newly exposed roof until the conveyor and the support are advanced to their new position.
Immediate Forward Support (IFS) Method of Advancement
In the IFS method the supports are stood back from the conveyor before the shearer passes. This is to allow the support to be advanced once the shearer has passed it to offer immediate forward support. The conveyor is then advanced afterwards.