BELAZ ready to roll out autonomy across all large haul trucks plus go cabless

The first two BELAZ 130 t autonomous trucks have been working for some time now with coal miner SUEK-Khakassia LLC in Russia, where the 7513R robotic dumpers operate at the Abakansky opencast mining site of the Chernogorsky open pit. They run over a given route of 1.35 km and had clocked up over 5,000 km as of March 4, 2020.

BELAZ states: “The direction associated with robotic application which is being intensively developed at BELAZ is related to the introduction of digitalisation of production at mining enterprises, or rather, the ‘Intelligent mine’ system with the BELAZ robotic mining equipment.” The project at SUEK was carried out together with Finnish-Russian technoogy company Zyfra Mining.

BELAZ now says it is ready to expand the number of dump truck models designed for autonomous operation. Intelligent equipment tested on mining dump trucks of the BELAZ-7513 series it says can be installed on all vehicles with ultra heavy payload capacity – 90, 180, 220, 240, 290, 360 t. This will allow mining corporate partners of BELAZ who know Belarussian mining equipment and use it, to reduce the cost of mining due to increased load capacity. Further plans for the development of robotic mining dump trucks are to create a shuttle robot without the operator’s cab. The mechanical participation of a person in operating of such equipment is basically not provided for; a special intelligent module will undertake its functions. BELAZ says these development are part of its digitalisation and automation strategy to ensure it is ready for the fact that in a few years the needs of market may have become completely different.

As part of the development of intelligent mining dump truck control systems, their further integration is expected along with integration of systems, for example, engines, traction electric drives from manufacturers of main components, as well as with external automated systems for managing mining enterprises. “Data exchange, including for a remote monitoring system of a mining dump truck and for remote steering of a mining dump truck, will be provided using data transmission technologies of the 4th and 5th generation (4G and 5G) up to 1 Gb/sec.”

BELAZ is also looking at automated loading operations. The first model of the BELAZ-78250 front-end loader with remote control is already being tested. “There is a task to automate the loading operations as much as possible by including the BELAZ-78250 robotic loader in the production process, which itself will be able to build a 3D model of the rock mass intended for loading, to determine the operations procedure and correlate its movement with the position of the dump truck.”

BELAZ adds: “Intelligent mining dump trucks equipped with hundreds of sensors generate real-time terabytes of information per year. This will allow tracking the quality of the vehicle anywhere in the world. Information technology will ensure the collection and storage of mass data, the process scheduling, data transfer to component suppliers for processing and the formation of operational recommendations. The technology is effective especially for steering the fleet of robotic machinery. In that event the number of personnel is reduced up to minimum and the main activity for mining is carried out by intelligent mine system. This operations procedure is already taken for realisation by BELAZ.”