Cat MINExpo line-up to include charging systems, autonomous ready 798 AC plus new CAS offering

The Caterpillar MINExpo 2024 experience it says will immerse visitors into the mine site of the future; featuring industry leading technologies, groundbreaking advancements in the energy transition and first-of-a-kind customised solutions designed to increase customers’ efficiency, safety and profitability.

The planned 2024 exhibit “reinforces Caterpillar’s position as the global industry leader in mining technology with proven results in autonomy and automation and demonstrated progress in greenhouse gas reduction technologies.”

“Caterpillar’s legacy is to deliver an exceptional experience at every job site through customer focused solutions and services,” says Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Resource Industries’ Group President. “As our exhibit shows, together with our customers, we are mining better, smarter and safer. And this is just the beginning of our closer-than-ever before collaborations with customers.”

The 798 AC is configured for autonomous haulage

The showstopper will be the towering, 372 t (410 ton) Cat® 798 AC diesel-electric drive mining truck which has the highest standard payload in its class. The 798 AC is configured for autonomous haulage with Cat MineStar™ Command for hauling. “We believe systems, such as Command for hauling, are essential to optimise mine site performance, both with our current product line and as we introduce new offerings like our battery electric solutions,” comments Marc Cameron, Senior Vice President, Caterpillar Resource Industries. “Autonomous technology will help monitor and orchestrate the complex balance of onboard energy, available charging assets and production targets to achieve the lowest operating costs.”

Caterpillar’s underground Cat R1700 XE load-haul-dump (LHD) loader features battery-electric propulsion that produces zero exhaust emissions and generates less heat than a reciprocating engine powered model. The Cat R2900 XE LHD provides a high efficiency switch reluctance electric drive system that meets the mining industry’s needs for bigger payloads, faster loading and lower emissions. The 12.2-m-long (40-ft-long) PGS 1260 HD Energy Storage System (ESS) module offers energy storage for charging battery electric machines, and the MEC500 provides mobile equipment charging for the underground mining industry.

“Since MINExpo 2021, our teams have made incredible progress with the development of our electric technology and supporting solutions,” comments Brian Weller, Vice President of Electrification, Caterpillar Resource Industries. “We have been working side-by-side with select customers to accelerate the deployment of Caterpillar’s first battery-electric haul trucks. These machines will soon be operating at our customers’ sites where they will be tested and validated across a variety of applications.”

From fleet management to fully autonomous machine operation, Cat MineStar™ technology it says has transformed the mining industry. Caterpillar provides building block technology packages that are scalable to meet the mining operation’s needs as it moves along the technology integration journey. Visitors will be able to experience interactive engagement with MineStar fleet management solutions for both surface and underground operations at the exhibit’s conversation stations. A third station allows attendees to explore precision mining solutions dedicated to site optimisation.

Every piece of equipment that will be on the show floor is infused with various levels of technology. In addition to the ultra-class 798 AC featuring Command for hauling, the R2900 XE LHD will be equipped with Cat MineStar Command for underground that enables remote machine operation. The diesel-electric LHD will also feature MineStar Detect for underground to safeguard against unintended interactions between personnel and assets and enhance operator alertness, both enhancing operating safety. Optional technologies available for the Cat 995 wheel loader include Payload Overload Prevention, Operator Assist, Operator Coaching and Terrain for loading to further boost operator efficiency and productivity.

Caterpillar is set to launch two new technology offerings to the MineStar ecosystem at the show. Delivering the next layer of safety, its new Collision Awareness System (CAS) is a site-wide solution that uses the latest in technology advancements to enhance situational awareness by warning operators of potential machine interactions before they have a chance to happen. CAS will be highlighted on the 995 and 798. A new office application for Terrain Payload Management expands the payload tracking technology to Cat Electric Rope Shovels and Draglines.

Virtual reality experiences will also allow attendees to ‘get into the cab’ of the Cat 7495 Electric Rope Shovel and 6060 Hydraulic Mining Shovel. Showcasing the capabilities of Cat Command technology, two remote operating stations will give visitors the chance to operate a dozer or rotary blasthole drill located hundreds of miles away from the Caterpillar exhibit. A third station will offer simulations of Cat Command for underground, demonstrating the technology’s versatility and ease of use.

“Customers will experience our latest technology innovations and autonomous developments throughout the Caterpillar show floor at MINExpo,” says Sean McGinnis, Vice President and General Manager of Technology and Global Sales Support for Caterpillar. “Mine site automation makes significant impacts in operations and not just with autonomous haulage. Today, we have customers around the world utilising our autonomous solutions for drilling, loading, dozing, hauling and underground, and we are working with many customers to develop the autonomous sites of tomorrow.”

The in-booth Caterpillar service bay and nearby displays will highlight options available to mining customers for maintaining the machinery and meeting production targets. Track pad displays for rope and hydraulic shovels and dozers will show the latest offerings designed to maximize undercarriage life.

Demonstrating the innovative ways Cat dealers keep machines operating with minimum downtime, attendees will be able to step inside a service van, which makes customized hose and couplings right on site. The van offers the capabilities of quickly returning a machine to service by making the necessary size and length of the hose for repair.

Conversation stations allow team members to engage with customers on a range of topics including, but not limited to: repair options, parts and component remanufacturing, machine rebuilds, various truck body options, and bucket choices. Also, a range of 3D printed parts will be on display along with multiple engine exhibits, including the Cat C32 Reman, C32 core, upgraded 3512 E and C175 cutaway.

Spanning machines to technology to services, Cat Job Site Solutions ties everything together with customized, scalable solutions that are results driven. Team members will meet with attendees to demonstrate how, working with the dealer, Cat Job Site Solutions provides a strategy with intended outcomes and a plan for action that meets the unique challenges of the mine site. Additionally, team members cover how Cat Customer Value Agreements (CVA) provide a custom services package to enable hassle-free ownership of equipment.

From projects in emerging markets to investing in established ones, Cat Financial finances deals globally and understands the mining industry’s cyclical nature and the uniqueness of the customer’s needs. Financial experts at the financing conversation station will be there to explain how Cat Financial is built to deliver customized solutions for the equipment’s lifecycle needs. From initial purchase to maintenance, repairs, rebuilds and technology upgrades, Cat Financial tailors solutions to maximise return on investment of the mining equipment.

The 798 AC features a refreshed cab for operating at high altitudes plus a three-piece window design to improve visibility. Truck messaging will convey the number of ways mines can lower GHG emissions today through alternative fuel options and electric drive systems. Additionally, video stories will show how customer rebuild efforts are driving sustainability at mines, while scale truck bodies will cover the range of options Cat trucks offer for maximising payload and hauling program efficiency.

The latest next generation loader, the recently introduced Cat 995 will anchor the “loading better” display, equipped with a 27.5 m3 (36 yd3) and Cat Advansys™ 230 GET system to move more material with less downtime. Built to the same size as the 994K, the 995 features a higher rated payload and demonstrates 21% higher efficiency and 24% more production than the 994K in equal operating mode.  In Enhance Eco Mode, demonstrates up to a 30% increase in efficiency and 11% reduction in hourly fuel consumption versus the 944K in throttle lock mode.

For the underground space, the displayed diesel electric R2900 XE LHD features optimised lift arm and component geometry plus load-sensing hydraulics to improve breakout force. Compared to its predecessor, the R2900 XE LHD also delivers 52% quicker acceleration; 7% higher speed on grade; and up to a 20% increase in productivity.

Beyond zero-exhaust emissions and fast charging, the battery electric R1700 XE LHD boasts a 15 t (33,069-lb) payload, 18 km/h (11.2 mph) fully loaded top speed and up to 2.5 hours of aggressive run time between charges. Five bucket size options offer capacities ranging from 5.7 to 7.5 m3 (7.5 to 9.8 yd3).

The Cat 24 motor grader will represent the range of haul road maintenance machines that includes the 14, 16 and 18 models. The C24’s High-Performance Circle (HPC) provides a 16,000-hour service life and eliminates frequent inspection, wear strip replacement and circle shoe adjustments. It will be displayed with Caterpillar’s 8.5 m (28-ft) moldboard option – 16% longer than the standard blade – to enhance safety at larger mines by reducing the amount of time spent in the middle lane to clear the windrow.

The largest of the Cat drill rig offering, the exhibited MD6310 rotary drill shares a common platform, parts, components and technologies across the product line. Ideal for high-production drilling on 12 and 15 m (39.4- and 49.2-ft) bench heights, it is capable of drilling up to 311 mm (12.25-in) hole diameters and offers up to 30˚ angle hole drilling for cast blasting. With building-block technologies through semi-autonomous operation, the MD6310 was one key contributing factor to global mining services provider, Thiess, surpassing 1 million metres autonomously drilled milestone using Cat drills.