Tag Archives: haul truck

Komatsu commissions Australia’s first Tier 4 Final ultra-class haul truck

In an Australia first, Komatsu has commissioned the inaugural Tier 4 Final version of its 930E-5 ultra-class mining truck in Australia.

The commissioning is part of the company’s commitment to designing and manufacturing mining equipment that, it says, advances its corporate social responsibility aims while embracing UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This latest factory-designed emission control technology solution, which meets the most stringent North America and EU emissions regulations, has been adopted by Komatsu Australia to meet a client’s specific operational needs, the company said.

“Komatsu has a strong commitment to environmental best practice, with a continuous focus on reducing our environmental impacts and our carbon footprint,” Jason Arthur, Komatsu’s National Product Manager – Mining, said.

“Our ongoing research and development efforts include developing new products that significantly reduce fuel consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.”

Komatsu’s Tier 4 Final compliant, 290-t payload 930E-5 incorporates on-board after-treatment system that significantly reduces the Scope 1 emissions produced during the haulage process at mines, the company says.

These emissions are an unavoidable by-product of the high temperature combustion process in the diesel engines that power most mining equipment, Arthur explained.

“This emission reduction technology is an option that now can be incorporated into Komatsu’s class leading 930E-5 model,” he said. “To achieve this, Komatsu worked with our large horsepower engine partner Cummins to provide a simple, low maintenance solution to meet Tier 4 Final emissions requirements.”

The Cummins-sourced engine treats particulate matter in the engine cylinders through an advanced high-pressure fuel injection control system to reduce PM 2.5 by 80% (compared with Tier 2 engine levels). In turn, the nitrogen oxide greenhouse gas emissions are treated out of cylinder through a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment process.

This modular SCR system consists of an airless diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) dosing system and features an integrated decomposition chamber with a maintenance strategy that aligns with the life of the engine. The SCR units are contained within the truck’s rear-exiting exhaust system.

Komatsu’s use of the flow-through exhaust aftertreatment system delivers ultra-low emissions while increasing fuel efficiency without increasing backpressure, according to the company.

Critical engine parameters are monitored by the integrated engine management system to ensure optimised DEF consumption, Arthur said.

Tier 4 emission technology is a small portion of Komatsu’s overall emission reduction strategy, with the company continuing to actively invest in research and development projects that focus on reducing customers’ Scope 1 emissions and using alternate energy sources, the company said.

In addition to meeting the technology challenges in developing a Tier 4 Final compliant version of the 930E-5, the customer also requested Komatsu provide a truck with significantly lower noise emission levels.

“Our US-based Komatsu Engineering team became intimately involved and created a factory-engineered sound suppression solution that would meet our customer’s requirements,” Arthur said. “These factory-designed sound treatments more than halved the standard truck’s emitted sound power levels, resulting in a target sound power level of less than 113 dBA.

“Successfully achieving these sound levels was a very challenging undertaking for a large mining truck powered by an engine with an output of 2,700 hp (2,014 kW).”

Cat offers performance and fuel efficiency boost with new 777E haul truck

Cat has released its new 2021 Cat® 777E haul truck, a machine that, it says, features improvements in power, torque and transmission control to deliver best-in-class productivity, on top of a configurable Eco Mode operation to reduce fuel consumption and drive down cost-per-tonne of material moved.

One of the most popular trucks in its class, the new 777E offers the highest in-class payload of 98.2 t.

It comes fitted with an updated Cat C32 engine that delivers increased horsepower and a 7% improvement in torque to increase hauling performance. Optimised fuel mapping of the engine and adaptive economy mode, meanwhile, determine the most efficient operating point to improve truck fuel economy.

Additionally, operators can select a variable engine derate from 0.5% to 15% in Eco Mode operation to further reduce fuel consumption ‒ and the new automatic engine idle shutdown feature reduces fuel use and wear on engine components, Cat says.

Today’s 777E truck improves productivity by up to 5%, Cat claims.

“The new Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy improves transmission and engine coordination to better utilise available engine power,” the company says. “The result is as much as 7% more torque delivered to the drive wheels for improved hauling performance. The new control system also provides smooth shifting for greater operator comfort.”

The 777E now offers a second gear start when underfoot conditions and grade allow. This feature enables the truck to reach optimum speed more quickly, lowers cycle times and minimises the number of transmission shifts. To save fuel, a new auto neutral idle tool shifts the transmission into a “neutral-like condition” when the truck is idling in drive, Cat explains. The transmission’s speed limit feature allows the machine to run at optimal gear for selected speed.

When working in cold conditions, the new auto-stall feature assists in quickly bringing the transmission to operating temperature at start-up. The effect is less non-productive time and reduced fuel consumed for warm-up, according to Cat.
The 777E also features a new gearshift lever with integrated hoist and park brake controls, which eases operation. The auto hoist feature delivers controlled truck bed descent to prevent body slams and increase component life.

A new touchscreen display features enhanced user interface options, the company says.

“Easy to read, it delivers improved navigation through machine control systems,” Cat says. “The new display allows operators to monitor key machine operating parameters, like tracking payload, as well as upcoming scheduled service intervals.”

Productivity enhancing technology

A host of newly integrated Cat technologies help to improve hauling efficiency and truck longevity on the 777E, Cat says.

The new Truck Production Management System (TPMS) integrates strut pressure sensors and on-board computing and displays truck payload to the loading machine operator. The system helps attain target payload, Cat says.

The Vital Information Management System on board the 777E allows operations to proactively manage machine health and production. Real-time machine performance, operating data and diagnostics are displayed on the in-cab monitor for easy viewing and troubleshooting. Integrated prognostics develop trends from cumulative collected operating data to help increase truck cycle efficiency.

A new “Tonne-Kilometer” feature helps ensure that truck operation falls within the operating range of the tyres. The system monitors payload, speed and ambient temperature to calculate operating conditions, and the operator receives an audible warning when conditions exceed tyre limits.

The updated 777E comes standard with Product Link™ with either cellular or satellite reporting options to meet the needs of the mine. Product Link captures critical machine operating data – location, hours, fuel, etc – and reports it back to the main office through VisionLink®, helping to improve productivity, truck use, safety and maintenance efficiency, Cat says.

Elevated safety

With integrated TPMS, the overload speed limiter works in conjunction with the improved truck payload system to automatically reduce travel speed when the truck is overloaded, according to Cat. Brake actuation is now fully hydraulic and delivers fast response and smooth application.

The new adjustable mirror package for the 777E improves rear visibility for the operator. An optional camera system delivers enhanced visibility for the operator to the machine’s front, rear and sides with the video feed displayed on the in-cab monitor.

Engine crank and machine lockouts disable the engine starter/secondary steering and implements to improve servicing safety, meanwhile. Lockout engagement is conveniently located at ground level and an indicator light display ensures lockout is effectively engaged, Cat says.

The new optional automatic lubrication system provides grease for all lube points on the machine, eliminating the need for manual intervention. The tank fill-point is conveniently located at ground level to improve refilling simplicity and enhance safety, the company added.

Artisan releases largest battery-powered underground truck

Sandvik-owned Artisan Vehicle Systems has upped the stakes in the battery-electric underground haulage game by introducing a new 50 t haul truck.

The company made the announcement at the Digitalization in Mining event, in Australia, held by Sandvik on December 3-4, 2019.

The Z50 is based off the existing design for the Z40 truck, which Artisan released back in 2018, but features a stretched rear frame (close to 19 in) to allow for the 50 t box, an Artisan spokesman confirmed.

It has become the largest battery-powered underground truck on the market, topping the Epiroc-produced MT42 battery-powered vehicle, which has a 42 t capacity. Despite the payload increase, Artisan says the technology and design makes it the “smallest 50 t truck on the market”, generating twice the peak horsepower and one eighth the heat of its diesel equivalent.

Artisan, which was acquired by Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology last year and is now part of its Load and Haul division, also worked in some notable upgrades to the Z50 such as the solid-state electronics, the spokesman added.

It is powered by four electric motors generating 560 kW and 8,200 Nm of torque and, like the other Artisan battery-powered vehicles on the market (the A4 and A10 LHDs), uses lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry for the patented battery system.

Whitehaven Coal reveals cost benefits of autonomous haulage with Hitachi

At an investor day presentation last week, Whitehaven Coal Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Frankcombe, confronted the topic of autonomous haulage systems (AHS), spelling out why the Australia-based coal miner is planning to leverage this technology at its expanding Maules Creek operation in northwest New South Wales, Australia.

In what was an honest assessment of AHS performance to date, he said miners and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had made “broad suggestions about the scale of improvements” that came with automating equipment, but the “detailed underpinnings” of these improvements have not been disclosed publicly.

He gave a few reasons why this was the case: First, each mine is structurally different in nature, so performance metrics are not ‘one-size-fits-all’. Second, the underlying performance of each AHS fleet is proprietary information to the operator and OEM.

Despite this, productivity improvements of around 15-20% had been discussed by miners and OEMs – linked to higher availability and utilisation rates in fewer trucks being required – along with anecdotal reports of maintenance savings, tyre life improvement, equipment life improvement and safety benefits.

On the capital expenditure side, AHS was also expected to reduce fleet sizes by allowing more tonnes to be mined with existing equipment.

Frankcombe was speaking about automation at a time when the coal miner is embarking on its own AHS journey.

Back in July 2018, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd and Whitehaven announced the two had come to an agreement to implement the first commercial Hitachi autonomous truck fleet at the Maules Creek coal operation in northwest New South Wales, Australia.

The collaboration between the two companies entailed scoping the delivery and commissioning of phased AHS deployment for the fleet of Hitachi EH5000AC3 trucks at Maules Creek and the establishment of the physical and technological infrastructure to support AHS capability.

The original release was short on detail, but said the AHS solution would leverage the fleet management system provided by Hitachi’s Wenco International Mining Systems subsidiary, in addition to Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Smart Mining Truck with Advanced Vehicle Stabilisation Controls using Hitachi robotics, AC motor and drive control unit technologies. The Blockage management system from Hitachi’s railway business would also play a role in this solution, as would a sensing technology and navigation system cultivated in Hitachi Group’s automobile industry segment.

In Whitehaven Coal’s results for the six months ending December 31, 2018, it said testing of the Hitachi AHS system had begun and, in August, it confirmed the first fleet trials would take place by the end of June 2020.

During Frankcombe’s presentation to investors, he narrowed down those timelines, saying the Hitachi AHS had been approved for operational implementation, and commissioning and training was to follow in a segregated area of the mine. This was before the mine transitioned to an operational area for AHS from December 2019.

He also said the initial AHS fleet would comprise one EX3600 excavator and six EH5000 trucks. Following a six-month period, a transition to one EX8000 excavator and nine EH5000 trucks would occur, he said. Then, additional EX800 fleets would be added in six-monthly intervals based on “performance gateway” achievements, with a target of five fleets and up to 45 trucks within three years.

This is a rapid ramp-up of automation, but Maules Creek is being expanded over this timeframe, with Whitehaven expecting production to go from 11.7 Mt run of mine (ROM) in the year ended June 30, 2019, to 16 Mt/y of ROM coal. This expansion will also see the company incorporate in-pit dumping into its operations as it looks to lower its operating cost.

Frankcombe went further than a lot of other miners using AHS in outlining the estimated operating cost impact of introducing this technology into the operation.

He said the cost benefit of integrating autonomous haulage into Maules Creek equated to A$3.70-$4.10 ($2.53-2.81) per product tonne – including the related 16 Mt/y expansion.

The operating costs benefits included the direct savings associated with AHS across personnel – offset by AHS service fees – of A$1.40/product tonne, in addition to a A$0.90-$1.10/product tonne impact from increased productivity leading to lower capital intensity and a reduction in fixed costs across overheads, wages, equipment hire and coal handling preparation plant fixed costs.

On the capital benefits side, the low capital intensity of the expansion derived from in-pit dumping, cast blasting and the AHS trucking fleet would drive a capital saving on a unit basis of A$1.40-$1.60/product tonne, he outlined.

Not many other miners have gone into such detail about the cost benefits of AHS.

Of the major adopters, BHP has previously said safety incidents relating to heavy vehicles have fallen by 80% at its Jimblebar iron ore operation, in the Pilbara, while truck productivity has risen 18%. Fortescue Metals Group – on its way to having the world’s first fully-autonomous iron ore fleet – has reported a 32% increase in truck productivity; and Rio has previously said each of its AHS truck operates at a 15% lower load and haul unit cost vs manned trucks.

It will be interesting to see just how accurate Whitehaven’s predictions turn out to be in a few years’ time.

Innovations in mine site haulage on show at Truck & Shovel

Bis has been causing a storm in the open-pit haulage sector with its innovative Rexx truck. Fitted with 20 wheels, the machine combines the distance capacity of a traditional off-road haulage solution with the ability to go out of pit.

Virginie Hannah, Group Manager Innovation and Product Delivery, Bis Industries, will be talking all about this innovation at the Truck & Shovel Conference, in Singapore, September 19-20, during her presentation, ‘Innovations in mine site haulage‘. Attendees will be looking forward to hearing all about the mine site trial success stories the company has had with Rexx at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine in Australia and Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operation, also in Australia.

Bis has a culture of customer-driven innovation, with a strong focus on innovation in mine site haulage for reduced costs, improved productivity and better community and safety outcomes. Its game-changing truck, Rexx, was introduced to the market late last year.

The company explained: “The idea for Rexx came about when Bis leaders recognised a problem in double handling product when it was being moved from pit to processing. The solution was a 20-wheeled, long range, out-of-pit hauler that would combine the distance capacity of a traditional off road haulage solution with the ability to go out of pit.”

Bis says Rexx offers a range of competitive advantages, moving resources more efficiently and delivering greater profitability for customers.

The company’s culture of curiosity and innovation has driven the business from its early days, and has recently seen it listed as one of Australia’s most innovative companies by The Australian Financial Review.

To hear Hannah speak at this International Mining Events conference – along with 17 other speakers – click here to register.

Newcrest, Epiroc and Volvo weigh up new underground mining system

Newcrest Mining, in collaboration with Epiroc and Volvo, is working on a potential new system of mining to improve the safety and efficiency of underground load and haul involving the use of a Häggloader, haul truck and LHD.

The proof of concept trial with Newcrest Mining has already seen testing in Sweden at the Epiroc Kvarntorp mine and at SweRock’s Atle quarry, which saw Newcrest, Epiroc and Volvo contributing equipment and personnel, Epiroc said. This saw an Epiroc Häggloader and Scooptram ST18 interact with a Volvo truck.

Tony Sprague, Group Manager Technology & Innovation, Newcrest Mining, Australia, said: “As mines are getting deeper, and with escalating energy and haulage costs, mining companies must be constantly on the lookout for better ways to work.

“The goal with this proof of concept trial was about setting a baseline on what can be achieved with Häggloader, Volvo trucks and Scooptram ST18.”

The team came together to observe the Häggloader, Volvo trucks and Scooptram ST18 in action both underground (Kvarntorp) and on surface (Atle). Data was collected and improvements were identified by the team, according to Epiroc.

Sprague continued: “We will now move onto the next phase which involves working with Epiroc and Volvo to progress the system to higher productivities and efficiencies.

“Newcrest is setting a rapid pace of technology and innovation change to improve our mining operations. Without the collaborative support from our selected partners, we will not move fast enough, or be as successful. And we select our partners based on their attitude and culture towards innovation. In Epiroc and Volvo, both two great Swedish success stories, we see like-minded companies willing to work together to achieve great outcomes for our people, companies and the environment.”

He concluded: “We are looking for win-win outcomes where all parties involved stand to gain – that’s the best way to drive effective collaborations. With the Häggloader, Epiroc has a unique system of loading that has not been widely utilised into the global mining industry, and Newcrest is keen to help change this.”

Bis’ 20-wheel Rexx haul truck up for the challenge at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine

Rexx, the 20-wheel mine haul truck designed and built by Bis, has been drafted in for a challenging assignment at the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia, Bis says.

The Gold Fields-owned mine, near Laverton, identified the dual powered 20-wheel dump truck as being suitable for the task of helping shift thousands of tonnes of waste material out of the Wallaby Pit to a stockpile 15 km away.

Bis CEO, Brad Rogers, said the campaign not only capitalised on Rexx’s strengths, including its versatility and range, but also provided a challenging environment to further test the truck in different conditions.

“Rexx is performing extremely well at the mine, proving its ability to come out of the Wallaby pit with a 160-t payload,” he said. “As part of the testing during the trial, Rexx has also completed numerous hill starts fully loaded, on the incline.”

Rogers said the work at Granny Smith provided a “perfect demonstration” of the range capability of the new truck, with Rexx required to complete round trips of 30 km from the pit to the stockpile location.

He added that Rexx has more than four times the distance capability of competing dump trucks and an on-demand power system that lowers fuel consumption. The vehicle also has the capacity to carry enough fuel for at least two 12 hour shifts, eliminating downtime needed for refuelling.

Granny Smith General Manager, Andrew Bywater, said: “We are embracing innovation and technology across our mining operations and this is a great example of how we can work with our business partners to create advances in the industry. We see this as a real opportunity to explore potential improvements in trucking efficiency, and are encouraged by what we have seen to date.”

The work at Granny Smith follows extensive testing at Glencore’s Murrin Murrin mine where Rexx proved its ability to deliver up to a 30% reduction in operating costs, compared with conventional dump trucks.

The truck has also operated fully loaded in pits below the water table and handled the sticky and boggy conditions with ease, Bis said.

Rogers said the versatility of Rexx, including interchangeable bins, had sparked interest not only in the resources industry – internationally and in Australia – but with potential customers across a range of sectors including construction and civil.

“Rexx is the latest example of how Bis finds the best and inventive ways to haul, transport, handle, process and deliver our customers’ critical commodities,” he said.

Bis has been shortlisted for the Australian Financial Review Most Innovative Company awards, which is set to be announced in August 2019.

Anglo American’s O’Neill gives analysts a taster of hydrogen haulage plan

Tony O’Neill, this week, provided analysts with some more detail around Anglo American’s hydrogen haulage plan and how the mining company plans to operate a haul truck on hydrogen power alone within the next 12 months.

O’Neill, the company’s Technical Director, mooted this goal in the company’s 2018 sustainability performance presentation in April, saying that oversizing the photovoltaic (PV) generation capacity at one of its mine sites would allow it to capture enough hydrogen to potentially power a haul truck.

During a roundtable discussion with analysts, O’Neill presented a new graphic of the hydrogen haulage plan (see below), and said the plan, which would see excess hydrogen produced with oversized PV unit capability, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a large site by 30% in the plant and 100% in the trucks.

On top of this, it could increase the truck power by 5% compared with diesel power, provide energy security and price security, allowing the company to move to the “hydrogen economy” and design the “next generation” in mining vehicles.

Anglo American is not the only mining company looking into hydrogen as a fuel source for its operations. Late last year, Fortescue Metals Group signed an agreement with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, to look at hydrogen technologies.

This hydrogen haulage program is just one of several projects the company is pushing forward with as part of its FutureSmart Mining™ technology and innovation initiative. These are focused on the Concentrated Mine™, the Waterless Mine, the Modern Mine and the Intelligent Mine.

Hastings Deering tunes up New Acland coal mine’s Cat 793F fleet

Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering has recently completed a full component change out on five of New Hope Group’s Cat 793F haul trucks working at the New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The miner used the local Hastings Deering workshop in Toowoomba, Queensland, for the six-month undertaking, New Hope said.

“At A$2.2 million ($1.6 million) per truck, it sounds an expensive exercise but, with each truck costing almost A$5.5 million new, it was worth the expense,” New Hope said.

New Acland Maintenance Supervisor, Rob Trapp, said it was the first time the company had sent an entire fleet to the Toowoomba workshop.

“The guys and Hastings Deering have done work for us before, but this was by far the biggest job they have done for us,” he said. “It was a huge job, replacing basically every component on the truck. The fleet is only six years old but each had done about 24,000 h of work at the New Acland site. That’s slightly above industry standard so they were due for a tune-up.”

Service Manager at Hastings Deering Toowoomba, Justin Butcher, said: “This was a great win for us. We have around 100 workers at the Toowoomba Service centre and, of that, about 12 worked on this project basically around the clock.

“Each truck took three weeks and we had a week break in between each truck. We did what is known as a certified power train rebuild, which means we effectively stripped the trucks bare and replaced all the drive train components including the engine.

“In fact, apart from the cabin, tray and tyres, there isn’t much we didn’t either remove or replace.”

To get the 170 t trucks from Acland to Toowoomba, the company took off the cab, tray and wheels and loaded it into another big truck, according to Trapp.

Bis brings step change in flexibility and efficiency with Rexx haul truck

Australian resource logistics company Bis has launched a new mine haulage product, Rexx, as it looks to offer companies a “step change in flexibility and efficiency”.

Rexx is a haul truck built to carry a 160-t payload and travel more than four times further than conventional dump trucks.

The product will form part of Bis’ suite of bespoke load and haul solutions, which also includes Dual Powered Road Trains, providing a highly competitive, integrated mine haulage solution for its mining customers, the company says.

“Bis has leveraged its unique position as both a leading mine haulage operator and as a proven OEM (through its subsidiary Powertrans) to design and build Rexx in-house, in Perth, Western Australia,” the company said.

Speaking at the product launch in Perth, Bis Chief Executive Officer Brad Rogers said Rexx was a game changer for mine haulage, incorporating the best features of long-haul road trains and short-haul mine trucks.

“Rexx’s robust and simple design leverages our existing knowledge and resources. This has meant we were able to keep our manufacturing costs low, allowing Bis to deliver savings to customers through our service delivery model,” he said.

“At Bis, we are driven by bringing technology and innovation to our customers to deliver real value. We are very excited about the opportunity that Rexx creates for a whole range of mining operations in Australia and internationally.”

Rexx has been designed to operate on narrower, lower specification roads. The design offers a smoother ride and better visibility for operators and dramatically improved tyre management, according to Bis. The haul truck has also been designed for ease of maintenance.

Rexx’s greater distance capability eliminates the need for double handling and its associated risks, Bis says.

Designed with the highest safety requirements in mind, Rexx is equipped with Bis’ fatigue management system, as well as 360°-view cameras and reversing cameras for greater hazard management.

Earlier this month, Bis expanded its underground mining services offering with the acquisition of UGM.