Tag Archives: Komatsu

OceanaGold’s Haile mine boosts productivity with Immersive simulator

OceanaGold’s Haile gold mine in the US is investing in its employee and community development with an Immersive Technologies operator training solution that, Immersive says, supports the company’s strategy to maximise mining potential and continuously ensure safe, eco-friendly practices.

By modernising the technologies and tools available for training, the mine is expecting multiple stakeholder groups to benefit. The simulator includes Conversion Kits® (interchangeable cab modules) for Sandvik TH663 underground trucks and Sandvik LH517i loaders for underground operation. It also supports conversion kits for Komatsu PC4000-6 loaders and 730E haul trucks for the surface mine.

Simulator training allows operators to be trained and assessed without the need to borrow machines from production, Immersive says. This allows trainees to practice many skills, including safe machine operation before being placed into a live mining environment.

“Because operators are consistently shown and assessed on the proper operating techniques, they have a better understanding and knowledge of the real machine, they also burn no fuel during the training process learn to operate their machinery with behaviours that maximise fuel efficiency,” the company says. “This type of training can also extend the life of the mining equipment, resulting in less consumption of parts and in higher machine availability.”

David Londoño, Chief Operating Officer at Oceanagold Corporation, said: “The addition of the training simulator aligns with our commitment to providing Haile Gold Mine operators with the best tools and resources. It offers a new dimension to our training approach by allowing us to create real-world conditions while empowering our operators to enhance their skills and make informed decisions in a controlled environment.”

The mine is already seeing benefits from the training solution. Spot times under the shovel have improved 10.08% resulting in greater haulage productivity and the damage from brake system misuse has dropped by 65% resulting in less machine down time, according to Immersive.

Adam Norris, Regional Vice President – North America at Immersive Technologies, said: “The commitment from Haile Gold Mine to invest in their people is now continuing into their underground expansion project. We look forward to supporting them to achieve sustainable results for years to come.”

Komatsu offers up another haul road maintenance tool with GD955-7 motor grader

Komatsu has introduced the new GD955-7 motor grader to the North American market, saying the machine offers operators the control and precision needed to build and maintain haul roads for truck fleets of 100 tons (91 t) and up.

This powerful new machine stands out with its 426 horsepower at 1,900 rpm (313 kW at 1,900 rpm) and powerful blade downforce pressure for efficient grading performance, the OEM says. It comes with an operating weight of 47,320 kg and a standard 5.5-m moldboard (6.1-m moldboard is optional).

“With faster working travel speeds compared to the previous model, Komatsu engineered the GD955-7 to increase grading efficiency while helping reduce maintenance requirements and total cost of ownership,” it said.

Despite its large size, the GD955-7 offers excellent manoeuvrability, executing tight U-turns on a standard 91-t class haul road without the need to fully cut the wheel or course correct, the company says. The long wheelbase and large, 27° articulation angle allow a tight turning radius and provide manoeuvrability for narrow haul road applications in confined spaces and around obstacles.

The newly adopted, long-life circle bearing allows for smooth and precise rotation of the moldboard while eliminating the need for circle play adjustments or replacing wear plates, Komatsu added. Coupled with a standard auto-lubrication system, the GD955-7 is engineered to help reduce planned and unplanned maintenance downtime while helping to extend life to overhaul.

“With significant increases in operating weight, blade downforce pressure and working travel speeds, this new size class motor grader will be a smart choice for increased efficiency on our customer’s mine sites,” Joseph Sollitt, Director of Mining Support Equipment at Komatsu Ltd, said.

SMS Equipment brings Komatsu PC8000-11 mining shovel to Hudbay Copper Mountain mine

A new Komatsu PC8000-11 surface mining excavator has arrived at Hudbay Minerals’ Copper Mountain mine in Princeton, British Columbia, Canada, as part of the company’s plans to reduce emissions and up productivity at the operation.

Officials from SMS Equipment, Komatsu Germany and Hudbay Minerals Inc gathered at the mine recently to celebrate the arrival of the machine, which, at 9.7-m tall, 10-m-wide and weighing nearly 800 t, is the largest surface mining excavator on the market, according to Komatsu. The PC8000-11 operates solely on electricity, contributing to the operation’s emissions-reduction strategy.

“Embracing a sustainable future through electrification is an important step in our collective journey to decarbonisation,” Dennis Chmielewski, Executive Vice President, Mining at SMS Equipment, says. “We are a proud equipment, service and technology solutions partner to Hudbay and a long-time supporter of the Copper Mountain mine trolley-assist project. The addition of a large-capacity excavator to the mine’s electric infrastructure marks exciting progress on its path to net-zero.”

The Copper Mountain mine is one of the only open-pit mines in North America to operate an electric trolley-assist haulage system. The 1-km haul ramp and seven pantograph-equipped electric haul trucks that comprise the project were commissioned in the spring of 2022, in partnership with SMS Equipment, Komatsu, ABB, Clean BC and B.C. Hydro. The latest PC8000 joins two other electric excavators operating at the site that complement the mine’s overall electric fleet.

Walt Halipchuk, Director of Sustainability and Assets, Hudbay, said: “Electric equipment and infrastructure significantly reduce our reliance on diesel, the largest source of GHG emissions at the mine. With the help of this technology, we are on track to reduce our emissions in 2024 by 6,000 t of CO2e.

“The journey to net-zero is not one we can navigate alone. With the help of value-added partners like SMS Equipment and Komatsu, we can explore our challenges and find sustainable solutions without sacrificing productivity, efficiency or profitability.”

The Komatsu shovel was made in Germany and assembled at Copper Mountain mine earlier this year. Komatsu officials, including the President and Managing Director of Komatsu Germany GmbH, were on-site for a handover ceremony and reception for Hudbay employees and SMS Equipment representatives.

Komatsu, Becker-Warkop, Hydrotech longwall PRSs go to work at Alabama coal mine

Under a cooperative agreement between Komatsu, Becker-Warkop and Hydrotech, 385 new longwall powered roof supports have been delivered to a US longwall coal producer in Alabama. The first face began operation in July and the second face is undergoing installation.

While Komatsu has provided powered roof supports to this producer in the past, this is the first solution supplied in collaboration with Becker-Warkop and Hydrotech.

The new Joy-designed supports also include Joy’s Faceboss RS20s roof support controls. The longwalls enter operation at mines which have seam heights of 45 in (1.14 m) and 53 in (1.35 m), respectively, and the 1,700-mm (67-in) wide supports feature a maximum operating height of 2.95 m and have 380 mm bore legs.

Other longwall equipment at this mine was supplied by Komatsu including three Joy 7LS1D shearers and three armoured face conveyors, including the first US-sourced Joy panline.

INTERMAT to showcase zero carbon transition across construction sector

The next edition of INTERMAT, the sustainable construction solutions and technology exhibition, will take place from April 24-27, 2024, at Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre, in France, with large international manufacturers having already signed up.

To date, and since the round table held on April 20 with the entire construction sector, new names have confirmed their attendance at the show, including Ausa, Epiroc, Faymonville, Liebherr, Magni and Volvo. They join the registered exhibitors whose participation had already been announced: Alphi, Bobcat, Cummins, Imer, Komatsu, Groupe Monnoyeur, Putzmeister, Sany, Sateco, Schwing Stetter, Sunward, Takeuchi, Topcon and Wacker Neuson.

Davy Guillemard, CEO of Volvo Construction, said: “INTERMAT 2024 has reinvented itself to address the issues of the decarbonisation of the construction industry, adapt to environmental constraints, and advance along the road to sustainability. As these commitments are particularly close to the fundamental values and ambitions of the Volvo Group, which is resolutely determined to be a proactive leader in change and accelerate on the low carbon path, we have chosen to invite our clients and partners to meet us at INTERMAT 2024 to present them with all our low carbon solutions at their disposal.”

François Escourrou, CEO of Wacker Neuson, said: “The next INTERMAT show, with its low carbon theme, is keenly awaited by our group which has set itself the goal of cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 50% in 2025 compared with 2019. To do so we have opted to convert our machines to electric power to support our clients in their CSR policy. We will therefore have a lot of new products to present at INTERMAT in 2024 in terms of equipment, with around 40 new machines in the electric range, but also in terms of associated services and digitalisation.”

Olivier Saint-Paul, CEO of PL2M, said: “At PL2M, the screed and rendering machine market leader, we look forward to taking part in the next INTERMAT 2024 and bringing our contribution to the zero carbon transition of the building sector. The event offers the chance to present new solutions that are resolutely focussed on the future, rounding out our ranges of rendering machines, fluid screed pumps and traditional screed conveyors. Our brands Putzmeister, Lancy and Brinkmann will be showcased on our stand with a great many innovations for ever higher performances and safety on building sites, and less environmental impact.”

The four major challenges of construction

The 2024 edition, in its move to gather the entire construction industry around a shared vision of the future, aims to harness its collective excellence to address the sector’s major issues in terms of decarbonisation and energy, digitalisation, CSR commitment, training and employment, and organise a platform for dialogue with the public authorities. To do so, it will draw on four main pillars that will offer highlights and developments featuring in the four main challenges for construction.

1) Innovations – innovate to find solutions to the major challenges faced by construction

Industry Forum (new in 2024) bringing together the five main construction federations DLR, EVOLIS, UMGO-FFB, FNTP, SEIMAT: an agora featuring a series of talks and round tables with top-level speakers, construction professionals, official authorities, French and international special guests, and perspectives from other sectors to address zero carbon issues from all angles and in a forward-looking dimension.

World Of Concrete Europe Forum: a series of talks dedicated to the concrete industry, the material and its various applications; INTERMAT Innovation Awards: a competition reflecting the sector’s new challenges, and unique visibility before and during the show with a dedicated display area; INTERMAT Press Days: two days of workshops and discussions on 18 and 19 January 2024 between exhibitors and journalists.

2) Energy – incorporate high performance energy sources to support the economy

New Technologies and Energies Hub (new in 2024): an area dedicated to exhibitors and start-ups, and a speaking platform; a demonstration zone dedicated to equipment, in particular electric, for a plunge into the worksite of the future, with two exhibitors already registered: Theam and River.

3) New Equations – promote professions, and financial and human resources

A space dedicated to jobs and training to give a platform to occupational promotion initiatives, workshops and talks, job dating sessions, etc. INTERMAT Rental Day: a special day devoted to equipment rental with contributions from international experts.

4) Commitments – reach net zero to contribute to protecting the planet

An exhibition model redesigned in terms of offering and format (four days instead of six); a show redesigned in an approach of resource sobriety and circular economy, with responsible products and services; an event offering physical and social access to the widest possible audience.

There will also be an exhibitor range revolving around five hubs of expertise:

  • Earthmoving, demolition and transportation;
  • Roads, materials and foundations;
  • Lifting and handling;
  • Building, civil engineering and concrete sector, including the event WOCE which will present the full value chain of the concrete industry from upstream to downstream;
  • New in 2024: New Technologies and Energies (electric, hydrogen, natural gas energies, autonomous vehicles, virtual technology engineering, etc.).

During the four days of the show, professionals will be able to take advantage of the demonstration zone, an integral part of the INTERMAT DNA, which will offer centre stage to innovative equipment operating in real-life conditions.

Komatsu to tap NSS Canada MOSS software for improved blasthole drilling

Leadership teams from NSS Canada and Komatsu joined this week to celebrate the official signing of their MoU as well as an initial commercial agreement that will see Komatsu use and supply NSS Canada’s current versions of MOSS and MOSS AR for use with Komatsu drills, and the drilling retrofits business with support from the NSS Canada team.

The Miner Operated Survey System (MOSS) integrates mine design specifications and drawings when generating a drill plan and provides real-time information to miners, engineers and geologists, NSS Canada says. The company offers both a standard version of MOSS and an augmented reality version of MOSS (MOSS AR), currently ready for market.

MOSS AR is a new innovative technology developed by NSS Canada that incorporates MOSS with an augmented reality display, using the Microsoft HoloLens. The addition of MOSS AR provides real-time holographic projections of all survey and planned data, reduces traditional survey equipment requirements and saves time with a five-minute markup process, all while providing survey-grade accuracy, the company says.

The agreement between the two companies allows for the addition of an optimised solutions package and customisation of MOSS into Komatsu’s drill rig control systems, NSS Canada says. It also opens new possibilities for clients to use a mining package that bridges Komatsu’s products with NSS Canada’s mining software solutions for optimisation of solutions underground.

“Having the ability to work with a company like Komatsu allows for a strategic opportunity to expand globally with our MOSS system,” Bruno Lalonde, CEO/President of NSS Canada, said. “This agreement fits our aligned visions for technology, innovation and adaptation to safety.”

Komatsu’s vision is to create value through manufacturing and technology innovation to empower a sustainable future where people, businesses and our planet thrive together.

Johan Kempe, Product Director Underground Drills, Komatsu said: “We are pleased to sign this agreement with NSS to help our customers to tackle the challenge to improve the quality of drilling blast holes and to align with the mine design and planned drill plans. NSS has several innovative products and solutions that complement our product offering.”

Volvo’s battery-electric roadmap could benefit from Proterra acquisition

Volvo Group has been selected as the winning bidder in an auction for Proterra Inc and Proterra Operating Company Inc, with the Sweden-based company set to spend on assets including a development centre for battery modules and packs in California, and an assembly factory in South Carolina.

The business and assets of the Proterra Powered business unit come with a purchase price of $210 million and follow the voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy move made by Proterra Inc. and Proterra Operating Company Inc in August.

Proterra, an electric vehicle focused company, has been collaborating with Komatsu on the development of battery-electric LHDs, drills and bolters for underground hard-rock mining. Last year, the two companies showcased a 20-ton (18-t) class electric hydraulic excavator equipped with a lithium-ion battery system for the first time at bauma 2022, in Munich, Germany, with the machine representing the first electrically-powered solution to come out of joint development work on electric medium-sized hydraulic excavators.

Volvo Group says the transaction will complement the current, and accelerate its future, battery-electric road map.

The transaction between Proterra Inc. and Proterra Operating Company as sellers and Volvo is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court in the US. In addition, closing of the transaction, which is expected early 2024, will be subject to merger clearance and certain other conditions.

BHP completes autonomous haulage milestone at South Flank iron ore mine

South Flank’s fifth Autonomous Operating Zone (AOZ) has gone live, marking the completion of the original project scope for implementation of autonomous haulage at the major miner’s newest iron ore mine, BHP says.

The project has been safely delivered ahead of schedule and under budget, testament to the hard work and dedication of the embedded project teams from Western Australia Asset Projects, IPRO (Integrated Production and Remote Operations) and TROC (Technology Remote Operations Centre), Komatsu technical support, and South Flank’s Mining Production and Mobile Equipment Maintenance teams, it added.

Through their coordinated efforts, South Flank is now fully autonomous for its primary haul fleet, with 41 Komatsu 930e haul trucks converted and around 185 pieces of ancillary equipment able to operate safely around them in the site’s five Autonomous Operating Zones (AOZs).

“The carefully phased approach we took to bringing autonomous haulage online has ensured a safe transition through the complications of a mixed operation,” Steve Campbell, General Manager of South Flank, said.

“With our on-site IPRO facility at full capacity and both primary crushers accepting autonomous dumping, we can now start to bed in the productivity, cost and maintenance improvements that autonomous haulage delivers through the increased truck hours and more consistent cycle times. I am confident that more improvements will be realised as we optimise autonomous haulage across South Flank.”

South Flank committed to transitioning to autonomous haulage in January 2022, less than a year after first production, and began converting the first trucks in April that year, as well as recruiting and training for the new roles required for autonomous haulage operation. Many of the mine’s existing employees have been upskilled, BHP added.

The first AOZ went live in June 2022, and project scope has been steadily progressed since then, including construction of the temporary on-site IPRO facility, upgrades to network infrastructure and the delivery of almost 3,000 training modules to enable people to work safely in and around the autonomous fleet. The project team continue to support Autonomous Haulage at South Flank during optimisation and ramp up.

South Flank is 156 km northwest of Newman and 9 km south of BHP’s Mining Area C facility in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is Australia’s largest new iron ore mine in more than 50 years. When it merges with the neighbouring Mining Area C operation, it will form the largest operating iron ore hub in the world, producing 145 Mt of iron ore each year.

Komatsu opens A$6 milllion training centre to address WA skills shortage

Komatsu has opened a new A$6 million ($4.1 million) state-of-the art training academy in Western Australia as part of the OEM’s plans to address a critical skills shortage in the state.

The opening of the training academy in the Perth suburb of Welshpool coincides with Komatsu doubling its annual investment in training to A$12 million dollars, it says.

Construction of the recently completed Perth training academy includes advanced workshop training rooms, a 30 t crane heavy lifting bay, and labs dedicated to hydraulics and electronics.

Regional General Manager, Glenn Swift, says the purpose-built facility is Komatsu’s response to a critical skills shortage, particularly in Western Australia’s resource sector.

“Skills and labour shortages are a significant challenge for the resource sector,” he said. “We need to invest in training and upskilling programs to ensure that our workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demand for these industries.”

Komatsu’s training centre offers both apprentice and post-trade technical training in mining and construction industry jobs with a focus on diesel mechanics, auto electricians and fabricators.

Company research shows upon completion of Komatsu’s apprenticeship program, Komatsu’s customer-facing employees will be approximately one year ahead of an equivalent conventionally-trained apprentice who has completed an apprenticeship outside of this system, it says.

This, the company says, is down to its training methods incorporating VR/AR and its highly proficient educators. Komatsu also recognises the importance of equipping apprentices with important life skills, such as mental health awareness, public speaking, road safety and fatigue management, drug and alcohol awareness, and a variety of business skillsets.

In addition, Komatsu maintains an 84% retention rate, far exceeding industry standards by up to 30%, it says.

Komatsu General Manager Training and Capability, Janine Gurney, says apprentices gain experience in next-generation technology including telemetry and driverless trucks as well as learning essential life skills.

“It’s about fitting into the broader company culture where we focus on safety, community, career progression and access to the latest technologies,” she said. “Our aim is that the apprenticeship is the first step in a lifelong career with us.”

Gurney said the company aims to train 600 apprentices by 2025.

Women filled nearly half of the 2023 intake of 75 places, and the 2024 intake will open in July.

Gurney said Komatsu is a pioneer of autonomous haulage systems, and a leader in smart construction via integrated technology as it builds a workforce of the future.

She concluded: “We want to help ordinary operators become fantastic operators so that when they are cutting or digging trenches, for example, their precision is to the exact millimetre and a lot of our current technology does this for them.”

Komatsu highlights interoperability strategy at mine automation forum

Mining automation enables key processes on mine sites such as controlling a machine remotely, automating multiple types of equipment across a fleet or implementing a completely autonomous fleet of haul trucks that can operate around the clock. To share its latest automation advancements, Komatsu recently hosted customers and distributors for an Automation Global User Forum at the company’s Arizona Proving Grounds (AZPG) facility in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

With an emphasis on Komatsu’s interoperability strategy, the event highlighted the company’s equipment automation and system technology roadmaps as well as customer-presented case studies illustrating the high value autonomous haulage has brought to their mining operations and their potential paths to an automated mine site, Komatsu said. Participants also got a first look at an Autonomous Light Vehicle (ALV) that Komatsu and Toyota are jointly developing – as was announced earlier this week.

Komatsu’s partnership with Toyota is reflective of the company’s interoperability strategy for its customers’ large mining fleets. Receiving directional commands from Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System (AHS), one or more Toyota ALVs can integrate with and operate alongside a Komatsu autonomous haulage fleet. Integration of this kind can help improve safety and productivity in an automated mine by reducing interactions with manually operated vehicles, it says.

The forum was attended by customers representing over 20 mine sites around the world, including mines focused on the production of copper, iron ore, metallurgical coal and oil sands.

Showcasing the use and the value cases for AHS, forum attendees shared how they have used the system in multiple ways to optimise for the specific needs of their mines, based on climate and terrain. Use cases included:

  • Mountaintop mining;
  • Mining in ice/snow;
  • High altitude mining; and
  • High temperature/desert mining.

Martin Cavassa, Manager, Automation Business Development for Komatsu, said: “Interoperability is the cornerstone of our mining automation strategy. This forum was an excellent opportunity to showcase our developments in automation as well as what we envision for the future of mining.”

Komatsu’s concept for the automated mine of the future includes a range of options from teleoperation and task-level automation to a fully autonomous mine, including automation of the following common mining tasks:

  • Loading;
  • Hauling;
  • Drilling;
  • Dozing;
  • Grading; and
  • Watering

Since Komatsu launched the world’s first commercial application of an AHS in 2008, the company has deployed over 650 trucks at 22 sites in five countries (as of May 2023). Combined, Komatsu’s AHS customers have moved over 6.2 billion metric tonnes of material, it says.