Tag Archives: Automine

Sandvik to equip Movitec with autonomous drilling solution at Codelco Rajo Inca

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has received a large order in Chile for surface mining equipment and its AutoMine® Surface Drilling solution from Movitec, a contractor on Codelco’s Rajo Inca open-pit project.

The order includes two Leopard™ DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rigs and two Sandvik DR412i rotary blasthole drill rigs, including AutoMine® Surface Drilling systems for fully autonomous operations.

AutoMine Surface Drilling is an autonomous solution for a wide range of Sandvik iSeries surface drill rigs, designed to improve safety, reduce costs and increase productivity. It enables an operator to control multiple rigs remotely from a comfortable location in line-of-sight or a distant control room – improving working conditions and safety, Sandvik says.

Sandvik iSeries drill rigs are equipped with iDrill technology, a scalable automation platform that provides automation options and digital services designed to speed up the production process and support mining operations. Performance and navigation iDrill technologies work together to produce accurately placed, consistently clean and precision-drilled holes – delivering improved fragmentation, downstream throughput and asset utilisation.

“We are pleased to work with Movitec and Codelco on this project,” Emilio Vega, Business Line Manager for Automation, Sales Area Andean and South Cone at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “The AutoMine Surface Drilling solution will enable the customer to use the drill rigs to their full potential and boost productivity with capabilities for fully autonomous operations.”

The new order also includes one Sandvik D75KX rotary blasthole drill rig with added intelligence and improved operator ergonomics. Delivery will take place in two phases before year-end 2022, with fully autonomous operations ramping up in 2023.

“We thank Movitec for their well-placed confidence in the Sandvik brand and technology,” Patricio Apablaza, Vice President Sales Area Andean and South Cone at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “We look forward to supporting them in increasing the safety, productivity, profitability and quality of their operations.”

In addition, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions will also provide contractor Movitec with remote operation training and six months’ on-site service to ramp up support as they transition to autonomous operations.

David Hallett, Vice President Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Digital Mining Technologies Division, said: “We are excited to partner together with Movitec on their journey to adopt AutoMine Surface Drilling at Codelco’s Rajo Inca open-pit project. This project will play a significant role in establishing Sandvik’s position as a leading technology partner for autonomous surface mining within the Chilean and South American market.”

Codelco officially began the works of Rajo Inca last year, moving from underground mining to open-pit mining.

Byrnecut to use six Sandvik 18-t-payload BEVs at OZ Minerals mines

Leading Australia-based contract miner Byrnecut is embracing the many benefits of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by purchasing six Sandvik battery-powered loaders with AutoMine® for use at OZ Minerals’ operations in South Australia.

Under a deal with Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, Byrnecut will take delivery of the LHDs in 2023 and 2024 for use at the Prominent Hill copper, gold and silver mine, south-west of Coober Pedy, and the Carrapateena copper and gold mine, north of Port Augusta. Byrnecut has been engaged by OZ Minerals to provide underground mining services at the mines and currently has a fleet of Sandvik LH621i loaders equipped with autonomous solutions operating on both sites.

We’re excited to be leading the way with battery-electric vehicles in Australia by putting these six Sandvik loaders into service over the next two years,” Max Woods, Asset Manager for Byrnecut, said. “Not only will the use of electric vehicles significantly improve the working environment underground, but it will also help our customers to work toward their emissions reduction goals – something that is increasingly important in the mining sector.”

Woods says the purchase of the electric loaders is part of Byrnecut’s commitment to explore and embrace new technologies that make its operations safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

“Eliminating emissions from loaders from the underground environment helps us create a better workplace, as does AutoMine technology that enables operators to work from comfortable remote control rooms,” he said.

Another major benefit to Byrnecut is the anticipated increased performance the new loaders could provide, Sandvik says.

The company worked closely with Sandvik prior to purchase to model various application scenarios, including both manual and automated operation.

“We’re expecting the loaders to provide greater throughput in both manual and automated modes while delivering a similar total cost of ownership per tonne delivered to their predecessors,” Woods says.

The new Sandvik loaders are also expected to bring major cost savings across their entire lifecycles, according to Woods. They are likely to require fewer replacement parts than their predecessors, and servicing is also more efficient and simpler.

Sandvik 18-t battery loaders are the most compact on the market, according to the OEM. The powerful electric motors, innovative electric driveline and the smaller tyres on the rear compared with the front, result in a small machine size, high payload with good visibility and unmatched speeds.

Battery machines produce no underground exhaust emissions and significantly less heat than traditional diesel engines, supporting the mines to reach sustainability targets, through reduced CO2 emissions.

Andrew Dawson, Business Line Manager for Load & Haul at Sandvik, praised Byrnecut for helping to pioneer the use of BEVs in Australia.

“The first Sandvik battery-electric loaders only began arriving in the country about a year ago, and the interest has been extremely strong,” he says. “We’re very pleased that Byrnecut and Oz Minerals see the benefits of this technology and is demonstrating it to the rest of the industry. We have always had an excellent working relationship with Byrnecut and look forward to cooperating with them throughout the roll-out and beyond.”

Sandvik’s 65-t payload battery-electric TH665B heading to Electra Mining Africa

Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions is to have a major presence at this year’s Electra Mining Africa exhibition, with its 385 sq.m indoor stand introducing the African mining market to the OEM’s 65-t payload battery-electric vehicle.

In addition to the appearance of the TH665B, virtual reality (VR) and simulator technology will be employed at the stand to give visitors a highly interactive experience, Sandvik says. Live demonstration of Sandvik’s Eclipse fire suppression system, which can be fitted to the company’s drill rigs, trucks and loaders, will also take place.

Natalie Santiero, Marketing Manager for southern Africa at Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions, says: “The theme of our stand this year will be the ‘Future of Mining’ and will highlight the many ways in which Sandvik can assist customers to move into the world of the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We will also demonstrate how our products can contribute to a sustainable, net-zero future. The mining industry is moving very rapidly along this path and we’re very much a part of the evolution.”

The BEV to be introduced, which will be the biggest piece of equipment on the stand, will be the 65-t payload TH665B. As the largest capacity battery-electric underground truck, this is the flagship of Sandvik’s fast-expanding fleet of BEVs. The machine is at an advanced stage of development with factory testing completed and full-scale trials on a gold mine in Australia (AngloGold Ashanti Australia’s Sunrise Dam mine).

“The truck we’ll be displaying and launching at Electra Mining Africa is, in fact, the machine that will be trialled in Australia,” Santiero says. “Its appearance at the show will represent its African debut. We see the TH665B as being a critical development, given the determination of many mines to move towards emission-free equipment. It is perfectly paired with our 18-t capacity battery-electric LH581B underground loader, which was officially launched last year. A South African gold mine (Gold Fields’ South Deep) has already ordered the LH518B, with delivery expected shortly.”

Sandvik Rock Processing will be showcasing the 800i series of connected cone crushers through a live demonstration of remotely connected units via the digital service SAM. The 800i series comes with Sandvik’s new generation Automation and Connectivity System, which continuously monitors and optimises crusher performance and controls the complete lubrication system, increasing uptime and reliability, the company says.

The My Sandvik portal customer portal, which will also feature on the stand, provides customers with access to information about their fleet, access bulletins and electronic manuals and allows them to request quotations and place orders anytime they need directly online, according to Santiero.

Training, of course, is a major challenge for many mines and Sandvik will have its Digital Driller™, a compact and flexible solution to safely train operators on the company’s drills, at the show. It allows operators to learn their trade with a realistic simulator which optimises the transition to the real machine, according to the company.

Also in the digital space, Sandvik’s AutoMine® VR training simulator will be demonstrated. “This delivers a realistic AutoMine experience for training,” Santiero says. “Visitors to the stand will be able to put on goggles and manipulate hand-held controls to experience and interact with a 3D virtual reality environment to master the complete process of the AutoMine system start-up procedure without the need for machine or production area allocations.”

Apps are an ever-present aspect of modern life and Sandvik’s Rotary Blasthole Drill Selector app will feature at the event. It provides users with a list of recommended drill rigs based upon basic site conditions and production requirement information.

“Newtrax, which has been part of the Sandvik family since 2019, will also have a presence on our stand,” Santiero says. “They will be showcasing the Collision Avoidance System and Operations Management under the OptiMine® banner.”

Santiero concluded: “There’s no question that the 4IR is with us, not just in mining but many other industries. Sandvik is at the forefront of this revolution and its ability to innovate will be demonstrated very strongly at the show. We’ve spent months planning our stand and we believe that it will prove very popular with visitors to the show.”

Electra Mining Africa is due to take place on September 5-9 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sandvik bolsters Toro underground loader range with the Toro LH307

Sandvik has added a new loader to its rapidly expanding Toro™ family, with the Toro LH307.

In addition to featuring a multitude of design updates and new options to both hardware and software, the Toro LH307 loader also carries more tonnes than its predecessor, the 6.7 t Sandvik LH307, with the new model’s payload capacity increased to 7 t when equipped with the standard 3 cu.m bare lip bucket.

Among the new options designed to improve productivity are, for example, the Sandvik integrated weighing system IWS and traction control, both already available for the larger Sandvik loaders. The integrated weighing system measures the payload when lifting the boom, as well as the number of buckets filled during a shift, and records the results to My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™. Payload monitoring assists in maximising productivity by optimising loads, reducing overloading and helping to identify training needs. The traction control system reduces wheel slippage when penetrating to the muck pile and filling the bucket, extending tire lifetime and decreasing rubber waste.

As part of upgrading the 7 t loader, specific attention has been applied to digitalisation readiness. The loader has benefitted from control system upgrades, including 7 in touch screen colour display for the operator as standard.

The loader has been designed for use with AutoMine®, Sandvik’s advanced mining automation system for increased safety, productivity and reduced cost. AutoMine integration can be achieved by ordering an optional on-board package for the new loader for immediate autonomous use, or by selecting the automation-readiness option, allowing easy retrofitting of AutoMine later in the loader’s lifetime. Sandvik OptiMine®, also available as an option, delivers descriptive and predictive insights to improve operations and data analytics.

To serve varying customer and country specific needs, two 160 kW engine alternatives are available, both from Volvo Penta. The standard engine is an 8-litre EU Stage III A, capable of operating on diesel fuels with up to 3,000 parts per million sulphur content, whereas the optional EU Stage IV requires ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel.

The Stage III A engine also has an optional passive diesel particulate filter exhaust reduction system. To reduce emissions and consumption of fossil fuel, both engines can also use paraffinic fuel, thereby meeting EN 15940 requirements.

Sandvik outlines its emission-free mining journey at The Electric Mine 2022

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions President, Henrik Ager, got The Electric Mine 2022 Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, off to a bang earlier this month, with a major product reveal that will set a new benchmark in the battery-electric underground mining space.

After reflecting on a journey that saw him escape a broken lift on his way to the Radisson Waterfront that morning, Ager announced the company would soon release the largest-capacity battery-electric truck for underground mining to the market, the TH665B.

With a 65-t-payload capacity, this machine will be measured against the largest underground diesel-powered underground trucks for productivity, speed and cost. Interest is expected from major contractors and miners alike, with one of the bigger markets being the Australian underground hard-rock segment.

The prototype TH665B is currently completing factory testing, but it turned heads in Stockholm, with conference attendees witnessing a video of the machine in action on the company’s test track in California, USA.

Blending proven Sandvik design and advanced technology built around electric drivelines and battery systems, the TH665B will get its first mine site runout at AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia. This trial is expected to prove its viability in a long ramp haulage application before commercial truck production commences in late 2023.

The Sandvik TH665B comes with an electric drivetrain that delivers 640 kW of continuous power, which equates to 858 horsepower

While displaying said video, Ager said the vehicle could haul a 65-t load up a 14.3% grade at 11.5 km/h. This, he said, was 30% faster than Sandvik’s 63-t diesel truck, the Toro TH663i, with which the TH665B shares a state-of-the-art cabin. An electric drivetrain that delivers 640 kW of continuous power, which equates to 858 horsepower, and significant torque, is behind such numbers.

Following the introduction of the Sandvik TH550B 50-tonne battery-electric vehicle at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021, last September, this latest vehicle launch shows, once again, how the company is betting big on its battery- and hybrid-electric loaders tackling the challenge of operating underground mines today and tomorrow.

Ager at the event outlined the three main drivers for the electrification move, namely: worker health, mine economics and sustainability. Sandvik’s battery-electric solutions, he said, hit all three criteria, providing safer, more productive and sustainable ways of moving the tonnes the industry needs to keep up with global commodity demand.

The primary driver for electrification came from ventilation and refrigeration constraints, followed closely by environmental, health and safety concerns over diesel exhaust emissions. At the same time, Ager said there was significant room for operating costs to fall with the adoption of battery-electric equipment given 40% of total mine operating costs were related to energy and ventilation, and electricity use was often cheaper than transporting and using diesel fuel underground.

Around the same time as MINExpo, Ager outlined that electric mining equipment could account for more than half of the company’s equipment sales in underground mining by 2030. In Stockholm, he added some colour to that statement.

The company’s generation three battery-electric vehicles have clocked up more than 500,000 operational hours with its Artisan™ battery packs and electric drivelines, with 22 active BEV units. This experience makes Sandvik an industry frontrunner, Ager said.

The machines out in the field include the 4-t-payload and 10-t-payload Artisan A4 and A10 LHDs, the Z40/Z50 (40 t/50 t payloads) haul trucks, the Toro™ LH514BE – an AutoMine®-compatible cable-electric loader, boosted with battery technology – plus the 18-t-payload battery-electric Sandvik LH518B LHD and 50-t-payload battery-electric TH550B truck.
This year will see the company officially release the LH514BE, which will be followed in 2023 by the TH665B and – judging from the preliminary nomenclature – a 15 t battery-electric and AutoMine-compatible LHD.

Three other battery-electric and AutoMine-compatible units are in the preliminary stages of development, scheduled for release in 2024-2025.

This comes on top of plans to electrify its full i-Series drilling line by 2030, drill rigs which tram on battery and plug into the grid while drilling/bolting.

Launches for the DD422iE-DC (development drill) and DS422iE (rock bolter) are expected in 2022, with the DL432iE (longhole drill) and the DT923iE (jumbo drill) coming to market between 2023 and 2026.

Since the rollout of the first battery-electric drill in 2016 – the DD422iE – 2.8 million metres had been drilled and 12,500 km had been trammed with these electric machines, Ager acknowledged.

It is not just product releases that are on the Sandvik roadmap, with Ager stating plans to develop different drivelines (battery-electric, hybrids, cable, battery-cable), quantify the value and beat the economics of conventional drivelines, expand into other applications such as narrow vein and narrow reef mines, and continue to develop 100% electrified, energy efficient mechanical cutting for soft- and hard-rock applications.

He also said the company would look to address the capital expenditure gap with diesel machines, aiming for cost parity from a total cost of operations perspective.

The company, at the same time, is planning to further its global capabilities to serve the electrified fleet throughout its entire life cycle, while building out battery optimisation expertise and developing global application knowledge to support customers in designing, planning and executing electric transition strategies.

Real equipment for the real world

This might look like a long ‘to-do’ list, but Ager’s colleague, Brian Huff, VP of Technology and Product Line for the BHEV business unit with Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, was able to outline several real-world wins from machine deployments later at the conference that showed how far the company has already come in addressing industry pain points.

Huff, a co-founder of Artisan Vehicle Systems, relayed some observations from field trials of the company’s LH518B and Z50 battery-electric vehicles, summing them up in series of snappy statements such as: “everything will be serviced, whether it was intended to be or not”; “battery cells are consumable, but the driveline is not”; “damage is expected, resilience and serviceability are required”; “isolation fault monitoring is more than shock hazard prevention”; “availability improves with each ‘opportunity’”; and – one of the more important ones – “operators prefer BEVs”.

“They take a beating and keep on working and, despite what people may think, these batteries are not fragile,” Brian Huff told delegates at The Electric Mine 2022 Conference earlier this month

Delving into specifics, Huff said real-world trials had proven the opinion that electric drivelines came with dramatically longer life and less maintenance. He also acknowledged batteries had become the new ‘consumable’ in this equation.

“Maintenance requires parts, but comes with very low labour,” he said, explaining that battery modules can be replaced underground and then rebuilt at the factory with new cells, making rebuilds both quick and painless. At the same time, refreshing the battery brought opportunities to use improved cells as they are developed – a reflection on the accelerated winds of change in the battery market.

Battling early market perceptions, Huff said these machines were far from “experimental”, having been used and proven to work at many hard-rock mines. “They take a beating and keep on working and, despite what people may think, these batteries are not fragile,” he said.

One of the new solutions to have come out from these real-world trials is the introduction of a new battery cage design that aids serviceability, Huff said. Coming with removable side covers, an improved locking system and structural design, this battery cage incorporates the company’s AutoConnect function, which, when combined with AutoSwap, facilitates quick battery swapping without the operator having to leave the cabin. The new cage would be available on the TH665B as well as other models, Huff said.

He then put some names and numbers behind earlier statements, highlighting a trial of a Z50 truck at Pretivm’s Brucejack gold mine in British Columbia, Canada, that saw more than 90% machine availability, exhibited speeds of 9.5 km/h on a 15% grade with a 42-t load, and observed battery swap times of less than 10 minutes. This added up to a 42% increase in tonnes hauled compared with a diesel-equivalent machine and a 22% boost in speed.

The trial at New Gold’s New Afton gold mine, also in British Columbia, saw a 56% mucking cycle time beat over a diesel-powered-equivalent, a plus-70% ramp speed improvement (on a 17% ramp), and decreases of 80% and 90% in energy use and heat generated, respectively.

Referring to another LH518B trial where the machine only clocked in a 74.9% availability, Huff was quick to highlight that all the problems/failures that caused the reduction in availability were correctible.

And, channelling his engineering DNA and the leading role Sandvik is willing to take in the industry’s pursuit of the zero emission, electrified mine, he reflected on all these real-world trials with: “a failure isn’t a failure, it is an opportunity to improve.”

Sandvik receives record AutoMine order from Codelco’s El Teniente mine

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it has received a major order for the AutoMine® load and haul automation system valued at about SEK 250 million ($28 million) from Chile’s Codelco to be used in the El Teniente mine.

In addition, a connected load and haul equipment order, with an initial value of SEK 150 million, was received, bringing the total value of the orders to SEK 400 million, Sandvik said.

The contract will run from 2022 through 2027 at the Andes Norte block cave.

Since the first AutoMine system was commissioned in El Teniente’s Pipa Norte mine in 2004, Sandvik has supplied several intelligent load and haul equipment fleets as well as AutoMine and OptiMine solutions to Codelco mines.

The new order will be supplied in two phases. During 2022 and 2023, Codelco will receive two Toro™ TH663i trucks and two Sandvik LH514 loaders, as well as an AutoMine Fleet system capable of being scaled to support up to 16 machines and AutoMine production area hardware for future expansions over several years.

The first phase of the order, which also includes support contracts for the equipment and AutoMine system, will initially be used by Codelco Andes Norte in a new block caving area in El Teniente that is expected to commence production between mid-2022 and early 2023.

From 2023 through 2027, Sandvik will deliver six more Toro TH663i trucks, six Sandvik LH514 loaders and an additional AutoMine Fleet system.

Emilio Vega, Business Line Manager for Automation, Sales Area Andean & South Cone at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “Codelco selected Sandvik’s solutions based on our proven technology, capable of fulfilling requirements for safety, reliability and productivity. Furthermore, we have competent staff capable of serving and supporting the organisation’s existing systems. This provides value-added services that enable optimised productivity in order to meet the customer’s production performance.”

AutoMine underground for loading and hauling is an automation system for autonomous and tele-remote operation of a wide range of Sandvik loaders and trucks. The scalable solution can provide tele-remote to fully autonomous operation for a single machine or multiple machines, including full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability, according to Sandvik.

Patricio Apablaza, Vice President Sales South Cone & Andean at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, added: “Codelco’s objective is to continue implementing automation and digitalisation solutions in its mining operations. We have a great opportunity, as a key supplier, to be part of this change by supporting Codelco with high-end technology and providing key support to its operations to help our customer succeed in this journey.”

The AutoMine Fleet system is a highly advanced automation system for a fleet of Sandvik underground loaders and trucks sharing the same automated production area. It provides advanced traffic control capabilities, as well as a wide range of interfaces for infrastructure integration to allow for complex automation applications in challenging environments.

Pablo Gandara, Project Portfolio Manager, El Teniente Mine, explained: “For Codelco and, in particular, for El Teniente mine, it is a goal to continue being the largest underground mine in the world. This purpose also needs to be accompanied by other attributes that are key today to continue being leaders in the mining business, such as safety, environmental sustainability, and productivity.

“Considering all these elements, we have come to the conclusion that to operate our mines we require companies that have the same values, and that is how we came to define that the Sandvik AutoMine product satisfies all our needs. In addition to show best practice of a real partnership is the cooperation that began many years ago between Codelco and Sandvik in the first automated project for El Teniente, which was the Pipa Norte sector in 2004. From there we have built a relationship between two companies, we understand each other very well, and we trust in the joint capacities that we have developed.”

David Hallett, Vice President, Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “We are excited to continue our journey in automation and digitalisation at Codelco’s El Teniente mine to help increase safety and productivity for their operations. This order will be delivered as a turnkey solution composed of all elements of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ offering for equipment, digital technologies and aftermarket. Sandvik strives to be the number one productivity partner for our customers and this order and delivery will embody all elements of this.”

Back in February 2021, Sandvik said it would deliver its AutoMine Fleet system to automate a new fleet of Sandvik LHDs running at Codelco’s Pacifico Superior and Pilar Norte GTI operations, part of the El Teniente underground mine.

Sandvik merges automation, cable electrification and battery tech with Toro LH514BE

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has merged three of its established technologies into one loader with the Toro™ LH514BE. This loader is an AutoMine® compatible cable-electric loader, boosted with battery technology.

The Toro LH514BE, which IM first talked about in 2020, looks like a traditional electric loader while in operation, with a trailing cable connected to the mine electric grid, but the technology is not “ordinary”, Sandvik says.

“When this loader needs to be moved to another area or to the maintenance bay, the difference is clearly visible: the power cable is disconnected from the electric grid,” the company explains. “While the operator drives the loader to the new location, Toro LH514BE gets its power solely from its battery. This battery-assist enables easy relocating and suitability for ramp drive.”

One of the noteworthy features of the new loader is the elimination of refuelling or recharging stops. There is no diesel engine that would require fuelling, and the battery does not need to be swapped because it is recharging during operation.

The loader produces no exhaust emissions and significantly less heat than conventional equipment based on combustion, supporting mines in improving sustainability by reducing CO2 emissions, Sandvik says. As a battery chemistry, the Toro LH514BE uses lithium-iron phosphate chemistry, which, the company says, is a fit-for-purpose choice for underground mining environments.

The Toro LH514BE is available with Sandvik’s automation system AutoMine, which allows a fleet of equipment to be converted into an autonomous production system, providing significant safety and productivity improvements for mine operations. The Toro LH514BE can be delivered with AutoMine, or the system can be easily retrofitted later during the loader’s lifetime.

As standard, the loader features Sandvik’s intelligent control system and a 7-in touchscreen display, providing easy access to data. General battery health and status monitoring data, as well as battery charge information, is also available on the control system diagnostics. As usual in Sandvik’s large loaders, the integrated weighing system option measures payload data and records the results to My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™. The Knowledge Box transfers the data to the My Sandvik internet portal for visualisation of fleet health, productivity and utilisation. The OptiMine® solution can also use transferred data for improving mining process efficiency.

Sandvik enables fully autonomous drill fleet operation with AutoMine AutoCycle

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it is enabling fully autonomous fleet operation of multiple Leopard™ DI650i drill rigs from a remote control room with the launch of AutoMine® Surface Drilling AutoCycle.

The AutoCycle capabilities expand the iDrill automated drilling cycle with autonomous hole-to-hole tramming, path planning, obstacle detection and geofencing.

“With the growing demand for surface drilling automation, we have developed together with key customers our new AutoCycle capabilities to enable fully autonomous fleet operation through the drilling cycle,” David Hallett, Vice President of Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “These capabilities include hole-to-hole tramming without operator involvement for continuous autonomous drilling through the entire pattern. From a control room, an operator can oversee the autonomous operation of multiple surface drill rigs remotely, improving operational safety and increasing productivity and fleet utilisation.”

The Leopard DI650i iDrill automated drilling cycle covers all steps from boom positioning, drilling and pipe handling to finishing the hole, and ensures consistent high-quality drilled holes, according to Sandvik.

AutoMine Surface Drilling with geofencing functionality sets the drilling area where remote operation is allowed. The system prevents movement of the rig outside of the defined area. Autonomous hole-to-hole tramming enables automatic drill rig relocation according to the drill plan, with an operator assigning the hole sequence using a touchscreen interface.

The AutoMine obstacle detection system can automatically stop the rig and interlock tramming in case of detected obstacles in the stop-zone to avoid collision.

“The AutoMine Surface Drilling safety system is made according to international safety standards, providing functionality to operate the autonomous drilling system with peace of mind,” Sandvik said.

AutoMine Surface Drilling AutoCycle, together with iDrill intelligent sequences, increase efficiency and productivity through consistent and accurate performance as well as the operator’s safety and comfort.

AutoMine Surface Drilling offers scalable automation with three remote operation packages:

  • ‘Line-of-Sight’ package is optimised for quick setup when an operator remains close to the drilling area;
  • ‘Control Room’ package includes enhanced features for locating an operator away from the drilling area into a control room; and
  • ‘Autonomous’ package includes all capabilities to enable AutoCycle with a fully autonomous operation for a fleet of Leopard DI650i drill rigs.

Sandvik celebrates 50 years of the Toro load and haul heritage

Sandvik is celebrating the 50th birthday of its renowned Toro™ family of loaders and trucks for underground hard-rock mines.

This name has been recognised for decades, with the bull figure and the word Toro symbolising both a rich history and a promising future, Sandvik says.

The history of the bull at Sandvik dates to September 3, 1971, when the first Toro loader started its engine in Tampere, Finland. It was a Toro 100DH loader with a “massive” (at the time) 1.5-t carry capacity. Later on, the design and production facilities moved to Turku, which became the home base of the Toro family.

In 2020, after 15 years of dormancy, Sandvik reintroduced this old family name again.

“Today, the Toro family is characterised by design principles of safety, strength and intelligence,” Sandvik says.

“Safety is everything for those who work underground with heavy equipment, and it is the number one driver in the product design.

“In addition to safety of operators and maintenance personnel, the design needs to be sound from a sustainability perspective. Strength and power are at the very heart of the old Toro heritage and robust design, reliability and performance in the most demanding conditions are also the foundations for the current offering.

“The third element, being smart, evolves quickly. Sophisticated digital systems such as Sandvik’s AutoMine® and OptiMine® offerings are fine examples of intelligence, but smart solutions are needed all over the equipment, including operator ergonomics, easy maintenance access and component layouts.”

On August 31, Sandvik introduced a new i-series 15 t loader, the Toro™ LH515i, which was launched in Canada.

The Toro family includes loaders and trucks in all size classes and for all market areas. The key technologies are diesel-powered loaders and trucks, cable-electric loaders, and, as a newcomer, a battery-assisted loader that, according to Sandvik, is making an entry on the marketplace very soon.

Sandvik bolsters Toro LHD line up with LH515i

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it is launching a new, higher-capacity 15-t size class loader as a next generation model for the current 14-t Sandvik LH514.

The 15-t Toro™ LH515i has one tonne greater capacity than its predecessor, yet it is designed to operate within the same footprint. This new member of the Toro family has been redesigned from the ground up, leveraging all of the benefits of its predecessor, while improving the design based on customer feedback, according to the company.

The new loader has been designed following the principles of intelligence and simplicity, Sandvik says. The Toro LH515i features a totally new Sandvik intelligent control system with 12-in touchscreen colour display, making loader health monitoring easy, providing quick access to data and enabling new solutions for efficient troubleshooting, the company says.

“With a multitude of smart technologies and optimised for use with Sandvik’s AutoMine® and OptiMine® systems, Toro LH515i brings digitalisation to the operator’s fingertips, enabling optimal productivity,” Sandvik says. “To ensure quick and efficient maintenance, the loader features easy access to service points, roomy component layout organised to facilitate servicing and excellent access to systems, both in the cabin and on top of the equipment.”

The loader features an entirely new cabin designed to provide an ergonomic working environment for operators during long shifts, including increased leg space, new seat and dashboard and improved visibility over the extremely flat rear frame of the loader.

The Toro LH515i is available with two different engine configurations from Volvo Penta: the 265 kW Stage V diesel engine, and the 256 kW Tier III engine.

Equipped with selective catalytic reduction exhaust gas technology and a new diesel particulate filter, the Stage V configuration meets very stringent emission regulations. To further help to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint, both versions of engines are fully compatible with paraffinic diesel fuels meeting the EN 15940 standard, Sandvik says.

The launch of the new loader is part of Sandvik celebrating the 50-year journey of Toro loaders and trucks.