Combining the best of Sandvik and Artisan – the new 50 t TH550B battery truck launches, with 65 t TH665B next

The new Sandvik TH550B 50 t battery-electric truck, the company says, combines the best of two worlds: Sandvik’s half-century of experience designing and manufacturing equipment for the underground mining industry, and the innovative Artisan™ battery packs and electric drivelines. “This combination of proven solutions and third-generation BEV technology is a game changer for any site in pursuit of a more sustainable and highly productive fleet.”

Rethink the machine, keep the same mine

The Sandvik TH550B combines proven solutions and third-generation BEV technology. The truck has been designed to best utilise the innovative technology of its Artisan™ battery pack and electric driveline, enabling full leverage of the possibilities that the battery technology brings. Based on the philosophy of rethinking the equipment rather than the mine, the truck is simple to implement in any underground hard rock operation where a 50 t truck is required. Infrastructure needs are minimal, with no requirement for overhead cranes or other heavy handling equipment. All that is needed is a battery bay with an electric connection. As battery equipment power is not constrained by mine ventilation limitations, the most powerful electric motors available can be utilised. The Sandvik TH550B electric drivetrain delivers 540 kW of continuous power, and 6400 Nm of continuous torque output, allowing high acceleration and fast ramp speeds for shorter cycle times.

Fast and easy battery AutoSwap and AutoConnect

The patented self-swapping system of Sandvik TH550B, including the AutoSwap and AutoConnect functions, is designed for improved equipment availability and safety. Sandvik offers the fastest BEV pit stop on the market, taking only a few minutes. Sandvik TH550B disconnects and puts down the depleted battery, trams to pick up a new one, and automatically connects. During this quick and simple procedure, the truck operator controls the swapping without leaving the equipment cabin. While tramming downhill, the truck uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery. For safety and reliability, the truck utilises cutting edge battery technology, based on a  lithium-iron phosphate chemistry (LiFePO4 or LFP), a fit-for-purpose choice for underground mining.

Sandvik BEV loaders and trucks lining up

The Sandvik TH550B truck, introduced today at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, builds on its predecessor, the Artisan Z50, now tailored to include common Sandvik systems and design solutions to seamlessly fit the truck into the Sandvik product range. In addition to Sandvik TH550B, Sandvik battery-electric loader and truck offerings includes the 18 t LH518B loader as well as the 4 t A4 and 10 t A10 from the Artisan line. Sandvik is continuing to develop additional battery-electric loaders and trucks in other size classes, including its TH665B 65 t battery truck in the near future.

In that topic, in a video also released at MINExpo, Kyle Hickey, Sandvik VP Engineering comments: “The R&D focus for Sandvik and Artisan for the battery-electric vehicles is to really focus on how we make the best offering for this market. This is a new area of development for this industry that’s rapidly evolving, and our focus is on how we can stay in the most competitive place by using the latest technologies available and by really pushing the notions of what a battery-electric machine can be. We’re currently in development of our largest haul truck offering and also the largest offering to the industry.”

Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology adds: “We’re really excited about the development of our larger 65 t truck, the TH665B. It’s a truck that the mass hard rock mines are looking for. We’re far along developing it. We’re looking to have the first prototype completed before end of year. We’re going to put it through extensive testing starting at the start of next year. We want to put it in the harsh environment where it’s going to be operating in and make sure we identify any weaknesses in this larger truck so we fix it before we go into mass production. This will really be a very popular machine for many operators, especially in Australia and markets where these big machines are highly valued.”