Caterpillar has added two new capabilities to its cloud-based MineStar™ Edge platform – MineStar Guide and Surface Management.
Accessed alongside Equipment Tracking and Production Recording data from the same office computer or tablet in the field, the additions further augment the Cat® MineStar Solutions suite of technologies.
Edge, Cat says, features the latest technology advancements to measure, manage and optimise mining operations. Using data fusion, machine learning and artificial intelligence, it continues to grow as it collects data, identifies patterns and learns to make decisions.
Guide, available in early 2022, serves as a new platform for high-precision on-board, while Surface Management is an enhanced office platform for Guide, which is currently in development.
Using the advanced capabilities of the Edge platform and the most advanced GNSS technology, MineStar Guide provides the next generation high-precision system for grading and loading operations, according to Cat. Real-time feedback improves operator efficiency and increases machine production.
Featuring a new user interface inside the machine’s cab, Guide offers intuitive operation, which makes it easier to train new operators. Its on-board, dual-receiver system offers improved machine heading and data to increase grading and loading efficiency.
Working through enhanced 3D grade control and design visualisation, Guide provides high-precision block and material identification that is automatically provided to the operator and operations. Grade, block and material designs are also automatically sent to the machine, based on location, to ensure compliance to plan, increase productivity and reduced rework.
Guide offers “stakeless” ore control and regular elevation updates, reducing the need for surveyors in the field to improve safety, Cat says, with the company claiming the enhanced level of automatic blade control provided by Guide will help reduce operator fatigue when grading to design.
Operator and production key performance indicators are sent to the machine through MineStar Edge, empowering operators to stay on schedule.
Guide demonstration units were installed on the Cat 992 wheel loader, Cat 6060 hydraulic mining shovel cab and Cat 24 motor grader displays, as well as inside the technology area, at the recent MINExpo 2021 event in Las Vegas.
3D planning with MineStar Surface Management
Accessed through the integrated MineStar Edge platform, new MineStar Surface Management delivers to the field planning and material information created in the office, Cat says. The next-generation grading and loading platform leverages data provided by Guide-equipped machines for precise execution of planned versus actual production.
With the new Edge platform, Surface Management allows reports to be viewed on office computers or in the field on laptops and mobile devices. Its 3D visualisation of virtual and augmented reality substantially improves project progress viewing, Cat says. The mobile platform gives users the ability to zoom and rotate on particular areas of the site for a more detailed view.
“A powerful material management tool, Surface Management automatically generates fused digital modelling from multiple data sources for improved accuracy,” the company said. “It tracks haul roads, dumps, loading areas and other truck destinations.”
Users can review designs, blocks in progress and as-built areas. Reporting capabilities include timeline advance and comparison with swipe to previous or future and volume calculation. Increasing program flexibility, Surface Management gives customers the freedom to choose the reporting method, according to Cat.
Cat says dozens of mine sites rely on Edge’s Equipment Tracking and Production Recording capabilities with fleet installations ranging from fewer than five to more than 80 machines.