Load & haul’s next level
An interview with Burkhard Richthammer, Managing Director Design and Engineering & Joerg Lukowski, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Liebherr Mining-Equipment Colmar
Liebherr is famous throughout the world for innovation, quality and efficiency of its equipment across a range of industries including mining and construction. During a visit to their Colmar factory in France, one of two global hubs for its mining solutions manufacturing operations along with Newport News in the USA, we had the opportunity to meet and interview two of the senior management team members for the mining equipment business, covering everything from its current product range, its vertical integration approach, electrification & automation but also getting an insight into how it works with mining customers large and small, how TCO is appreciated in the industry, and what miners are asking for in terms of new technology.
What stands out with Liebherr as a company is the fact that is remains private and independent, meaning it has been able to make rapid strides in aspects of mining equipment innovation and development to suit market needs and requirements. There are numerous examples from the the vertically integrated Litronic Plus Generation 2 AC drive system on its new T236 haul truck to the Liebherr engines now being integrated into its mining product lines, to its development of in-house designs for new buckets and wear parts.
It may not have the largest market share in all the regions where its mining machines are utilised but its equipment is universally respected for being very high quality and robust as well as being among the best available in technology and design terms. This is partly what has made its machines so popular with the world’s leading mining contractors as well as tier one miners, but also with miners operating in challenging regions like Indonesia and West Africa.
There are indeed exciting times to come for Liebherr, with its automation programme (which is fleet management system agnostic) set to be unveiled in 2020/2021, and ongoing success in other areas such as trolley trucks, with multiple units now running successfully in Africa and plans to run other fleets under trolley in Central America and Europe. In engines, the D9812 has huge potential in mining equipment having already been proven in trials.