Tag Archives: Kevin MacLean

Battery-electric, teleremote and VR tech to feature on MacLean’s MINExpo booth

The MacLean focus at MINExpo 2021 will be squarely on the latest outputs from the company’s technology development efforts in the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisation, the company has confirmed.

Show updates on September 13-15 in Las Vegas include the latest on the MacLean battery-electric product line, teleremote technology, as well as telemetry and virtual reality training technology to round out the clean, automated and data-rich design philosophy that is at the core of the company’s ‘Application Intelligence’ technology campaign, it said.

“We have been doing fit-for-purpose mobile equipment manufacturing for the past 50 years so in one sense, ‘Application Intelligence’ is simply a continuation of the MacLean value proposition to the global mining industry,” MacLean President, Kevin MacLean, says. “The only difference is the ramp up of our technology development capabilities and collaboration with producers and other OEMs, to make the underground environment safer and more productive. Understanding the mining cycle and designing solutions that fit the job is what the ‘engineering’ means in MacLean Engineering.”

Adam Howse, MacLean Business Development Manager for the Western US & Canada, said: “How far we have come already and how far we still intend to go in designing underground mining vehicles that are emissions-free and able to be highly automated in a multi-OEM environment – this is what we will be sharing first-hand with booth guests at the show.

“At the same time, this global story of the evolution of smart mining equipment is complemented by a local story for us in northern Nevada, where we established a branch in 2020 and where we continue to expand our aftermarket support capabilities for customers in the historic Elko mining camp as well as across the western US.”

The launch of the MacLean ‘Application Intelligence’ campaign includes a new corporate website that will be a hub for information about the full and expanding MacLean product line for both battery electric and diesel-powered mining vehicles.

MacLean explained: “Application Intelligence represents the potential contained within the overlap of on-vehicle technology development, mobile equipment manufacturing expertise and deep knowledge of the mining cycle. It is the driving ethos behind the electrification, automation and digitalisation efforts that continue to evolve the MacLean mining vehicle product lines that span the ground support, secondary reduction and utility vehicle categories.

“This includes the next generation of MacLean ground support installation that will include robotics engineered life underground, building on the 30-year and recent 500-production unit production milestone for the 900 Series scissor bolter product line.”

MacLean ships 500th 900 Series scissor bolter to Agnico’s Goldex mine

The MacLean 900 Series scissor bolter design turned 30 years old in 2021 and the manufacturer has recently shipped out production unit #500 to a long-standing customer – Agnico Eagle’s Goldex mine in Val d’Or, Quebec.

The first commercialised 900 Series unit was introduced in the early 1990s in Ontario. Three decades later, the safety, versatility, productivity and quality of installation this mining vehicle provides has helped change the way ground support installation is conducted in hard-rock mines across Canada, MacLean says.

“This manufacturing milestone, representing the collective efforts of so many people at the company over the years, is something that I’m proud to celebrate and deeply grateful for,” MacLean President, Kevin MacLean, says. “It also underscores the importance of long-standing customer relationships, so it’s fitting that the 500th unit is going to Agnico Eagle in the Abitibi, where the MacLean mining story started and where the company’s future will be written in support of Agnico Eagle operations in Quebec, Nunavut and Mexico.”

Dominic Caron – Agnico Eagle’s Strategic Procurement Superintendent, added: “At Agnico Eagle, we are very pleased to be a part of Maclean’s success and celebrate with them this important milestone. We have had a long-lasting business relationship with Maclean and, throughout our operations, our people greatly appreciate the products and support they provide. We hope to continue building on this relationship in the future.”

While a ceremony will be held underground at the mine later this month, to mark the milestone, MacLean says it is also lining up releases about its next generation bolter, which will include leading-edge robotics and remote control.

Steve Denomme, Product Line Manager for Bolting, explained: “If you want to talk paradigm change, this is it. The next 30 years of influence could be even greater that than the first 30, so I’m honoured to be part of the MacLean team working in close engagement with our customer base to transform bolting ideas into working solutions for the mines of the 21st century. We’re using advanced vehicle technologies to their greatest benefit in the underground environment, always in the name of safety and productivity.”

MacLean Engineering to showcase VR tech at CIM show

MacLean Engineering says its newly developed virtual reality (VR) bolter technology will be front and centre on its booth at this year’s CIM Convention, in Montreal, from April 28-May 1.

The VR tool on show will provide visitors with a hands-on experience of the immersive training world of virtual ground support installation, the company said.

Two other MacLean technology initiatives will also be highlighted in convention presentations – battery-electric vehicle (BEV) material haulage trial results; and, real-time vehicle monitoring that delivers a shortlist of actionable data to support operator safety, machine life and predictive maintenance practices.

MacLean’s Vehicle Monitoring System (VMS) technology package will be discussed during an Innovation Stage presentation on the trade show floor on Monday afternoon, while MacLean’s BEV material haulage ramp trial results from 2018 will be the focus of a technical session on the Wednesday afternoon of the convention.

“This past year we made significant investments in our in-house technology development capabilities,” said MacLean President, Kevin MacLean.  “This means we now have our own teams of vehicle monitoring programmers and remote-control mechatronics experts – a whole new generation of MacLean employee, one that will help propel the company’s product development along the path from remote to semi-autonomous to fully-autonomous fleet operations.”

“Our 2018 purchase of an underground test facility in Sudbury gives these new teams a world-class underground mining lab for technology prototyping and product testing, all at the service of delivering safer, more productive, less costly fleet operations to our global customer base,” added MacLean Founder and Chairman, Don MacLean.

“Maclean’s technology push is closely linked to the imperative of training to ensure safe and sustainable adoption of new technology in the underground environment,” said Patrick Marshall, Director of Mining Technology. “As mining companies go deeper and to more remote locations to chase economic orebodies, they are necessarily going to be operating in jurisdictions without longstanding, experienced mining labour forces. So, the focus needs to be on training and that means providing the whole range of tools and expert trainers, required to build knowledge to be passed along at site level on an ongoing basis. Our VR Bolter is one of those tools – a highly transportable, accessible and engaging learning environment developed expressly for the next generation of miner who has grown up in a digital age, just as mining itself is joining the digital age in a significant way.”