Tag Archives: FrontRunner

Komatsu becomes automation FrontRunner at Vale’s Carajas iron ore mine

Komatsu says it has won a contract that could see it deploy up to 37 930E ultra-class electrical dump trucks as part of an Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) at Vale’s Carajás iron mine, in Pará, Brazil.

The mining OEM says the deployment will help support Vale in its drive to leverage technology to reduce the impact on the environment and enhance health, safety and operational efficiency.

The news follows Vale, last month, announcing it would start trialling autonomous haulage at Carajás, following a successful deployment at its Brucutu iron ore mine in Minas Gerais. This would see the company run both autonomous and manned trucks at the operation, the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, the miner said.

Powered by Komatsu’s AHS FrontRunner technology, the initial deployment is expected to start this month, according to Komatsu, with the goal of operating 37 trucks autonomously by 2024.

To support the company’s transition to autonomy, Komatsu opened an AHS training centre (pictured) near the mine in August, which “provides operations and maintenance training to upskill local people on the new technologies being introduced at the mine, in support of human resource development”, Komatsu said.

Masayuki Moriyama, President of Komatsu’s Mining Business Division, said: “We are honoured to be part of the ongoing wave of technological innovation at Carajás, supporting Vale’s commitment to sustainability and helping make the mine a reference in environmental terms. We look forward to our continued work together to support the skill growth of local workers and ensure a successful deployment that is designed to increase the safety and productivity of this operation.”

With this latest deployment, Komatsu continues to expand its AHS business in South America. Komatsu says its customers, globally, are now leveraging AHS at 10 mine sites in four countries.

Komatsu’s FrontRunner autonomous haulage system and Nokia make mining LTE history

Komatsu America Corp’s FrontRunner autonomous haulage system (AHS) has achieved a mining industry first, after the system qualified to operate on private long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology.

This makes it the sector’s first AHS enabled to run on private LTE in commercial operations, paving the way for ultra-high system availability and reliability, while adhering to Komatsu’s renowned safety standards, the company said.

Komatsu’s FrontRunner AHS allows unmanned operation of ultra-class mining trucks. It delivers significant benefits, including reduced worker exposure to harm, protocols designed to constantly improve mine-site safety, reduced operating costs, and increased productivity and efficiency. The company completed a year-long qualification programme at the company’s proving grounds in Tucson, Arizona, conducting extensive testing of the FrontRunner AHS on Nokia’s Future X infrastructure, a leading provider of private LTE communication solutions for the mining industry.

Komatsu said: “Mining operators demand wireless networks with high-availability, seamless mobility, world-class quality of service, and the ability to support multiple applications and services simultaneously. Accordingly, the industry is moving away from less predictable wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, and towards private LTE networks, that improve security, capacity, and overall performance within a multi-application environment.”

Luiz Steinberg, Komatsu Global Officer and President/CEO of Modular Mining Systems, said: “This industry milestone represents a key step in Komatsu’s exploration of private LTE and highlights Nokia’s role as the leading global supplier of mission-critical solutions and services for the mining industry.

“As the leader in autonomous haulage technology, we are firmly on our way to helping the industry move the next billion tons of material with autonomous technology. We have come together with Nokia to further this vision of delivering increased value to the mining industry.”

Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise, said: “We are excited to be engaging the mining automation market with Komatsu, a powerhouse in the industry, to further highlight the benefits of Future X for mining companies as a strategic advantage in their operations.

“Private LTE is a key element in the Nokia Bell Labs Future X architecture to help industries, such as mining, create an intelligent, dynamic, high-performance network that increases the safety, productivity and efficiency of their business.”

Komatsu pioneered the first AHS for the mining industry with a commercial deployment in 2008 at Codelco’s Gabriela Mistral (Gaby) copper mine in Chile. In November, the company’s FrontRunner AHS system marked the movement of 2 billion tons (1.81 Bt) of surface material moved.