Tag Archives: LHDs

RCT OEM-agnostic teleremote solution favoured at Kazzinc UG mine

RCT says its ControlMaster® Teleremote solution has bested a competitive offering from a global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) on a project for an underground mine in Kazakhstan.

The company said ControlMaster was selected over the OEM’s technology option as it could be tailored to the Tishinsky mine’s specific requirements.

RCT worked with local Cat dealer Borusan Kazakhstan to install and commission the automation technology on two Cat R1700G underground loaders and associated Automation Centres located within the underground mine.

The ControlMaster Teleremote solution is now being used at the Tishinsky copper mine, in north-eastern Kazakhstan, part of the Ridder underground complex, owned by Kazzinc (majority owned by Glencore).

Going forward, RCT says it will manufacture the teleremote technology for an additional 12 Cat R1700G and Cat R1300G underground loaders, while Borusan Kazakhstan will install this equipment at the Tishinsky and Dolinnoye (also part of Ridder) mines.

“The teleremote solution enables machine operators to control the machine from a secure station in the underground mine with the help of strategically placed cameras and sensors,” RCT said. “Teleremote technology enables machine operators to access the machine’s full range of functions that they would normally have if they were sitting in the machine’s cab.”

The company has also supplied its new digital communications network, RCT Connect, and integrated it with the underground loaders.

RCT Connect, launched earlier this year, is designed specifically for autonomous and teleremote machine operations in underground mining environments and can provide low latency, consistent communications between command inputs from the mine’s surface and subsequent machine activities, according to RCT.

RCT’s Moscow-based Business Development Manager – CIS, Stephen Macarow, said he is pleased to have completed the project in partnership with Borusan Kazakhstan.

“Our teleremote solution means the operators will control the loaders from inside the Automation Centre and they will be protected from the hazardous conditions often found at the mine face including geotechnical risks, dust, exhaust fumes and temperatures as low as -27⁰C,” he said.

“The mining company will also experience improved site productivity through reduced shift handover times and less unplanned maintenance downtime from machine operator errors.”

He added: “RCT has been supplying proven technological solutions to the mining industry in Kazakhstan and the broader CIS region for over 25 years and we look forward to providing more autonomous solutions in the future.”

A spokesperson for Borusan Kazakhstan said the company has been working with RCT since 2008 and in that time has delivered multiple automation projects for the Kazakhstan mining industry, including at the Tishinsky mine.

“Borusan Kazakhstan has been actively watching the regional mining market, and in cooperation with RCT has developed teleremote technology that is suitable for the CIS market,” the spokesperson said.

“In collaboration with RCT, Borusan Kazakhstan currently provides remote control and teleremote solution implementation, standard and adapted-for-the-customer equipment delivery, maintenance services and employee technology training.”

Caterpillar, Barloworld to talk up mining equipment and power solutions at Indaba

Caterpillar and its southern Africa dealer, Barloworld Equipment, are set to present a broad range of machines, technology and support services at next week’s Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Caterpillar exhibit at Indaba, running from February 3-6, will feature digital displays of electric power generation systems, surface and underground mining equipment, and Cat MineStar™ technology capabilities – ranging from vehicle safety systems, such as operator fatigue monitoring, to production systems using teleremote, semi-autonomous and autonomous machine operation.

Caterpillar has recently introduced several new underground hard-rock mining vehicles in Africa. The new R1700 underground LHD brings the latest technology for semi-autonomous and fully autonomous operation to the region. The loader also delivers more than 30% greater fuel efficiency, 65% more lift and tilt force, and 15 t capacity – 20% more than its predecessor, yet in the same dimensional envelope, according to Cat.

Using MineStar Command for underground, the new R1700 (pictured) can be operated from a remote location to keep miners away from potential hazards, Cat says. “The system also boosts utilisation by allowing immediate entry after blasting and by reducing shift change time to nearly zero.”

In addition to the R1700, Caterpillar has introduced several LHDs and underground trucks equipped with EU Stage V engines and emission controls. “Reducing emissions helps miners improve the underground working environment,” it said. On top of this, and with the goal of zero underground emissions in mind, Caterpillar is continuing to develop the battery-powered R1700 XE.

Erik Elsmark, Region Manager for the Caterpillar Underground Mining Division, said: “Caterpillar and Cat dealers are supporting the whole African continent and all types of underground mining applications – big and small mines and all minerals.

“In the past several months we have delivered machines covering our full product range, demonstrating that we are well positioned to meet our customers’ needs.

“Starting with our AD22 underground articulated truck to our R2900 LHD, our equipment delivers exactly the size class and power needed for the application. With distribution centres in Southern Africa and Middle East and our dealer network in all countries of the African continent, we are able to achieve world-class service.”

The extensive line of Cat surface mining machines and technologies will also be a talking point at the event.

Caterpillar has recently expanded its line of electric drive mining trucks in the past year to include the 794 AC, 796 AC and 798 AC. Recently, a South Africa mining operation took delivery of several 794 AC trucks (pictured above), which have 291 t capacity, the company said. “This model has already proven its high productivity and superior speed on grade in a wide variety of applications,” Cat remarked.

In the Cat drill line, the latest model is the MD6200 rotary blasthole drill, designed as a production drill with the flexibility to do pre-split drilling – all in a package that Caterpillar says is its most transportable rotary drill yet. The MD6200 is designed to perform rotary or DTH drilling in single-pass or multi-pass modes and can drill holes of 127 to 200 mm in diameter, according to Cat.

Cat MineStar Command now includes systems for autonomous operation of mining trucks, semi-autonomous operation of dozers, and semi-autonomous as well as autonomous rotary drills. These systems enhance safety, boost production and lower cost per tonne, Cat says.

Mine power experts will also be on call at the show, with the representatives keen to talk about the ability for Cat generators to deliver reliable, continuous power, temporary power, or a combined heat and power solution. “The Cat team customises and installs systems for every phase of mining,” it said.

Caterpillar says it offers the industry’s widest range of diesel, gas and dual fuel generator sets; automatic transfer switches, and switchgear for seamless integration. Additionally, it offers microgrids, fully-integrated power systems that utilise solar panels, energy storage and monitoring and control systems in conjunction with any configuration of Cat gen sets.

Sandvik and Volvo Penta collaborate on Stage V underground LHDs

Sandvik says it is readying the release of its first Stage V compliant underground loaders for hard-rock mining applications following extensive testing.

In early 2020, the company’s newest intelligent loaders, the Sandvik LH517i and Sandvik LH621i, will get the Stage V treatment. The Stage V Volvo Penta engines will be globally available as options, but require ultra-low sulphur fuel and low-ash engine oil to operate, Sandvik said.

The planned release follows more than 10,000 hours of LHD testing underground, on multiple customer sites in Europe, and with millions of hours of on-highway experience from Volvo. This has led to the new technology meeting customer expectations, equipment performance requirements and the most stringent emission regulations valid at the moment, according to Sandvik.

The base engine and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) purifier are proven Volvo technology, enhanced now with a ceramic diesel particle filter (DPF), according to Sandvik.

“As a result of the collaborative product development work, the engine – delivered by Volvo Penta – and Sandvik load and haul equipment work seamlessly together to maintain productivity and reliability in the most challenging environments,” Sandvik said.

The benefits of Stage V compliant loaders include reduced amounts of particles in the diesel exhaust – helping mines to improve air quality underground – and the ability to operate with up to 3% reduced fuel consumption, compared with previous stage engines.

Sandvik said: “Another key enabler for the equipment availability is passive regeneration of the diesel particulate filter; the soot accumulated in the filter is burned off during equipment normal operation, without the need for frequent stand still regeneration.”

A new feature in the Stage V engine is the modulating engine brake, which enables the operator to adjust the engine braking power, allowing for better control of vehicle speed downhill, while minimising brake and transmission overheating and brake wear. Both the modulating engine brake and the passive regeneration contribute to high uptime of the equipment.

Added benefits of the Stage V engines include high altitude operating capability – up to plus-3,500 m above sea level – and lower noise levels compared with previous Stage engines.

Sandvik provides productivity boost at New Afton block cave mine

An automated loading solution has enabled Canada’s only block cave mine to mitigate mud rush hazards and improve productivity – and it paid for itself in less than two months, according to Sandvik.

Operated by New Gold, New Afton development began via decline ramp in 2007 and the mine reached commercial production in 2012. The mine, which employs a workforce of around 450, produced 77,329 oz of gold and 85.1 MIb (38,601 t) of copper in 2018.

Tonnage is tantamount to profitability at New Gold’s New Afton mine in south-central British Columbia. The mine has moved and milled as many as 22,000 t of ore in a single day and routinely extracts 18,500 t from Canada’s only block cave.

Like other prolific block caves, New Afton enjoys enviable efficiency at extremely low operating costs. But the mine has also had to conquer one of the biggest block cave challenges: mud rush.

Mitigating mud rush hazards was the major motivation for implementing automated loading at New Afton. As the block cave grew, more and more drawpoints became finely fragmented and wet. By 2016, one in five drawpoints were assessed as high risk, according to Sandvik.

To ensure operator safety, New Afton stopped manual mucking in those drawpoints and implemented line-of-sight teleremote loading.

“When 20% of your ore source needs to be remotely mucked, you run the risk that you can’t supply your mill with adequate tonnages,” said Mine Manager Peter Prochotsky, who joined New Afton in 2009 as a Mining Engineer and has seen the operation grow from a development project into Canada’s highest-tonnage underground mine. “The line-of-sight systems just weren’t keeping up with the growing production demand over the years and we needed a new way of doing things.”

New Afton conducted an engineering study in late 2016 to assess the potential value of implementing automated production loading to overcome the production constraint caused by line-of-sight and further improve safety.

The mine trialled an AutoMine-equipped Sandvik LH514 for one month in early 2017. Although the 14-t loader proved too long for some of the cave’s tighter turns, New Afton estimated impressive cycle times and buckets per shift for a smaller Sandvik LH410 based on the trial performance of the Sandvik LH514.

“To transition from a line-of-sight solution to an automated solution, we calculated a 54-day payback period,” Prochotsky says. “If we continued using line-of-site teleremotes, that production loss was essentially, over 54 days, the value of a brand new Sandvik LH410. And, we obviously made the choice pretty quickly that it was the right way to go.”

New Afton’s existing block cave extraction level layout wasn’t optimised for automation, Sandvik said. “Two dedicated colleagues worked hand in hand to champion the project, implementing the system and building operator buy-in,” it added.

Bob Garner, a technical expert with decades of block cave experience, led the operational side and trained operators on the AutoMine system. Electrical Instrumentation Technician, TJ Williams, meanwhile, handled installation of all electrical systems.

Garner says: “We needed to figure out the infrastructure, figure out the Wi-Fi, where we were going to put antennae points, how far apart they had to be, and then teach the loader its path and dial everything in to get it running efficiently.”

Sandvik provided initial engineering assistance, starting system implementation in the west cave that Williams was able to replicate himself in the east cave.

“The infrastructure is relatively simple,” he says. “Sandvik provided excellent documentation that we followed to a ‘T’ and I picked things up along the way working with their engineers. The overall process of installation was pretty straightforward.”

Within a week of commissioning in late 2017, the first of the mine’s two automated Sandvik LH410s was already proving significantly more productive than the teleremote solution, the mining OEM said.

Williams says most of the mine’s line-of-sight operators were comfortable running AutoMine within five days.

“The Sandvik automated loaders are much more technologically advanced than the competitor loaders featuring aftermarket line-of-sight, but the learning curve wasn’t steep,” he says. “Everybody picked it up really easy.”

New Afton has used its Sandvik LH410s for production mucking on the mine’s extraction level, one of the block cave’s five main underground levels. The average tram distance between drawpoint and ore pass is only 250 ft (76 m), limiting automation’s benefits.

Prochotsky says: “The longer the distance from drawpoint to ore pass, the faster the loader can tram and complete a cycle and the greater the value of automation.”

Despite the limitations created by the level’s short trams, the automated Sandvik LH410’s cycle time is almost twice as fast as the mine’s line-of-sight loaders, according to Sandvik. Manual mucking is still faster in the areas New Afton can use it, but the automated Sandvik LH410’s lower downtime and higher utilisation compensate for its modestly higher cycle time, the company said.

“At the end of the day, the tonnes moved by a manual loader and an automated loader are very similar,” Prochotsky says.

On top of recouping the investment cost of the automated loader in less than two months of operation, New Afton has experienced equipment health benefits on its bottom line, Sandvik said.

“AutoMine steers the loader with pinpoint precision and its collision avoidance features help eliminate damage while enabling high speeds that accelerate overall cycle time,” the equipment maker added.

“We used to do about C$10,000 ($7,565) of collision damage per loader per month, directly related to operating our line-of-sight loaders in a tight environment,” Prochotsky says. “This cost has dropped to zero thanks to AutoMine.”

The mine has also seen a 30% increase in tyre life on the automated Sandvik LH410s compared with the mine’s other 10 t loaders, Sandvik said.

After successfully managing the step change from line-of-sight to automated loading, and improving mucking efficiency while mitigating mud rush hazards, New Afton started thinking bigger.

For the first 18 months, operators oversaw the automated Sandvik LHDs from two underground control rooms. New Afton recently finalised a permit amendment process with British Columbia’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to allow the mine’s operators to run AutoMine from a third chair on surface, eliminating travel time and enabling automated mucking through shift change.

“We think that’s really going to enable us to unlock the productivity benefits of automation,” Prochotsky says. “The gains we expect to see from this change should more than close the narrow gap between manual and automated mucking productivity.”

While New Afton focused almost solely on production during 2018, the mine has also recently restarted development to access a new zone that is expected to extend mine life to 2030. New Afton must maintain the same 18,500 t/d output despite three fewer operating hours due to twice-daily blasting.

Running AutoMine from surface enables New Afton to solve this challenge, too.

“We’ll keep our block cave productive by using an automated loader to muck our development rounds through blast clearing delays,” Prochotsky says. “If we can save 90 minutes in each shift, that’s a huge efficiency gain that also de-risks the project.”

Prochotsky contends New Afton couldn’t have implemented automated loading at a more ideal time.

“The opportunity to take your learnings and put them into action happens infrequently in block cave mines, as a new level is only developed every five to 10 years,” he says.

“We’re fortunate that we brought the AutoMine system in at really the perfect time for us, to learn how to use it for maximum benefit and position ourselves to take full advantage of it in future mine design.”

For New Afton, AutoMine has proven to be the complete automation solution that management assessed it to be, according to Sandvik.

“If another Mine Manager came to me and asked me who they should automate with, I think that Sandvik has the best system on the market, and it’s really because they have the total package,” Prochotsky says.

“They’ve got field service representatives available to come to your site to help train your people, they’ve got great safety documentation that allows you to make sure there won’t be any incidents or accidents underground, and they’ve got a product that works. It’s a pretty simple solution in my mind.”

The full version of this article appeared first as a Sandvik Solid Ground online news story, see following link: https://solidground.sandvik/the-ultimate-proving-ground/

Epiroc takes LHD automation to another level

Epiroc’s has released a new offering for LHD automation that, it says, brings new standards of productivity and safety to underground mining.

Scooptram Automation Total allows for multi machine loader automation, with its Traffic Management System creating a common information environment that controls multiple fleets of loaders, according to the company.

“The Traffic Management system is the core of Epiroc’s Scooptram Automation Total package,” Epiroc said. “This system operates the fleet and eliminates the risk of collisions in common drifts.”

The automation area is fully isolated with safety barriers that shut off the system if personnel or unauthorised vehicles accidently enter. Yet, it is possible to bring new vehicles into the area and add them to the Traffic Management System without stopping production, using the check-in/check-out procedure, the company said.

Vladimir Sysoev, Global Product Manager Automation at Epiroc, said: “This is a great step forward in our development of world leading automation and information management solutions. Scooptram Automation Total is really a game changer when it comes to increasing safety for underground operators and at the same time levelling up the efficiency.”

The company says Scooptram Automation Total takes safety, productivity and cost effectiveness “to another level and makes superior performance a reality”. It allows operators to control and monitor vehicle progress throughout the mine from a safe distance in a comfortable operator station.

Scooptram Automation Total is part of Epiroc’s 6th Sense Transport offering, which the company launched earlier this year.

“Epiroc’s 6th Sense sets out to optimise our customers’ value chain by offering interoperability solutions that connect automation, system integration and information management to unlock the full potential of production gains at lower operating costs.”

Sandvik to automate and digitalise Codelco’s Chuquicamata underground mine

Sandvik says it will automate and digitalise Codelco’s underground copper operation at Chuquicamata, in Chile, creating one of the “most efficient and advanced underground mines in the world”.

Sandvik’s AutoMine® and OptiMine® solutions will allow Codelco to operate its new fleet of Sandvik LH621 loaders in fully autonomous mode, the mining equipment maker said.

Codelco is converting Chuquicamata from an open pit to underground mine as part of a 10-year strategic project to prolong its existing operations. It is due to start up in 2019.

Sandvik said: “The open system integrates manual operations and autonomous equipment into one powerful solution with AutoMine and OptiMine, enabling full transparency and real-time control over the parallel production and mine development activities.”

Andrés Avendaño, Operations Manager, Chuquicamata Underground, said: “Using our mines to full effect is part of our focus on sustainability and a key driver for our business. Automation and optimisation are critical to getting the most from our mines and keeping our people safe while we do it.”

Sandvik and Codelco started their automation journeys together with the first-ever AutoMine loading system installation at Codelco’s El Teniente copper mine, in 2004, Sandvik said.

Riku Pulli, Vice President, Automation, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “Codelco has been an important partner for us from the beginning. It’s fantastic to continue the partnership as our visions are well aligned. We look forward to working with Codelco to deliver even smarter, safer, more productive mining through digitalisation.”

Codelco is the number one copper producer in the world and is owned by the Chile government. It controls about 19% of the world’s copper reserves and is also the second producer of molybdenum worldwide, with 24,000 t produced in 2018.

Sandvik’s digital solutions, including AutoMine, OptiMine and “My Sandvik” are working in hundreds of mines around the world.

The AutoMine product family allows customers to scale up automation at their own pace, covering all aspects of automation, from remote and autonomous operation of a single piece of equipment to multi-machine control and full-fleet automation using automatic mission and traffic control capabilities. AutoMine installations have logged more than 2.5 million hours with zero lost time injuries, according to the company.

OptiMine, meanwhile, is a suite of digital tools for analysing and optimising mining production and processes. It integrates all relevant data into one source, delivering both real-time and predictive insights to improve operations, Sandvik said. OptiMine is open and scalable, giving customers the flexibility to build at their own speed and incorporate other equipment, systems and networks.

DUX working on compact scoop loader and electric-powered equipment

Underground mining equipment supplier, DUX Machinery, says it is in the process of manufacturing a very compact DUX Model DSL-300 scoop loader.

The compact model has the operator side seated in an “ergonomically correct” compartment, while the engine side end is identical to the DUX DT-5N dump truck (pictured), which the company designed, built and tested in 2016/2017, with one machine now operating in a narrow-vein copper mine in the US.

The company has become renowned for developing machines for the underground narrow-vein market and said of the mining technique: “The advantage of the narrow-vein mining methods is to improve the ore grade delivered to the mill, significantly reduce waste development and reduce equipment, mining, ventilation and fuel costs.”

DUX’s DSL-300 comes with a 3-t tramming capacity, a machine width of 1.4 m, a bucket width of 1.45 m and a standard SAE heaped bucket capacity of 1.22 m³. It also has an ejector bucket option available.

While this unit is available with a diesel engine for high altitude and EPA Tier 4 Final, EU Stage IV regulated engine, DUX said it is in the process of designing a battery-/electric-powered version of the DSL-300 with on-board battery charging. These will improve noise levels, and reduce ventilation and maintenance costs, it said.

The electric-powered version will be introduced in 2020, according to DUX.

Glencore, Redpath and Sandvik in it for the long haul at Lady Loretta

Automation and equipment monitoring are helping Redpath Australia exceed expectations at Glencore’s restarted Lady Loretta zinc mine, according to a Sandvik Solid Ground story.

Glencore awarded Redpath Australia the Lady Loretta zinc mine contract in December 2017, encompassing the entire underground and surface operations and associated facilities management.

Redpath’s responsibilities at one of the world’s highest-grade zinc operations range from crushing the ore it extracts and loading it onto road trains for haulage to Glencore’s processing facility in Mount Isa, Queensland, to managing the camp and keeping lawns manicured, Sandvik said.

“Redpath also holds full statutory responsibility for the operation, a unique role for a contractor typically tasked with driving a decline or undertaking development and production,” Sandvik said.

John McKinstry, Redpath’s Operations Manager for Lady Loretta, said: “Operating a mine is an exciting proposition for Redpath. A normal contractor scope is to put down a heading or undertake a specific task, but we have a much broader scope here. The infrastructure’s already in place, so it’s quite a different role for a contractor. Being a life-of-mine contract is unusual in itself. Most mines evolve as you develop and find more ore, but this orebody is very well-defined.”

Redpath recommissioned the mine within months of winning the contract, firing the first development round in March 2018. Production ramped up quickly and, by July 2018, Redpath was meeting Glencore’s production and development targets. Monthly production grew to 100,000 t, with a full production capacity targeting 133,000 t/mth.

The contract length enabled Redpath to invest in a brand-new fleet for Lady Loretta, according to Sandvik.
McKinstry said: “We wanted to meet or exceed targets right from the start, so we brought in new, cutting-edge technology to minimise operating costs and maximise productivity, knowing that we’ve got a good life to work the equipment over and amortise assets.”

Two Sandvik DD421 jumbos with 10/16 split feeds have outperformed since commissioning, according to the mining equipment maker. Redpath has consistently achieved 400 m/mth of development using one Sandvik DD421, with the second serving as a backup and handling any rehabilitation work.

Ore is removed by a fleet of four Sandvik LH621 LHDs. Two are operated conventionally for development, manual production and truck loading while the other two are equipped with AutoMine Lite for remote operation.

“The 621, I think, in a lot of people’s eyes at the moment is probably the loader to be using in the bigger operations,” McKinstry said. “It’s a big machine. It’s a very productive machine, very comfortable machine for operators, and then having the AutoMine on top of that just means it really sells itself in many ways.”

Redpath’s motivation for implementing automated loading was simple: regain the productivity lost during each shift change, Sandvik said.

McKinstry said: “There’s a long period of time from when a blast occurs to when you can re-enter the mine. If we can operate those machines from the surface over shift change, we can pick up up to a couple of hours a day in productivity. The other thing about AutoMine is that it does the same thing time and time and time again without banging the walls. It really does just run the perfect line each time.”

Redpath runs three levels at any one time, optimising the loading process.

The connectivity provided by a Wi-Fi network underground has not only enabled Redpath to implement the automated loading from the surface, the contractor can also monitor and manage its fleet in real time through My Sandvik Productivity, the cloud-based version of OptiMine Monitoring, Sandvik said.

“OptiMine has been synonymous with equipment monitoring in the Australian mining industry since its first installation in 2014,” Sandvik said. “My Sandvik Productivity mobile fleet monitoring allows Redpath to keep tabs on equipment condition online and act more quickly to remedy any issues that arise.”

The solution provides detailed, readily analysed data. Each connected LHD collects data onboard and uploads it when it comes within range of a Wi-Fi antenna. The data can be accessed from any computer or tablet, according to Sandvik.

The condition monitoring helps Redpath’s Lady Loretta maintenance staff improve its predictive maintenance planning. My Sandvik Productivity also identifies trending behaviours that can damage equipment or shorten component life, revealing training opportunities, Sandvik said.

Lady Loretta Maintenance Manager, Shane Timothy, said: “When it brings up log codes and faults and alarms, it actually tells you what that means. So you can hover across your icons, for instance, where it says that there’s a brake fault, and it would tell you that your operator is perhaps pressing the brake and accelerator pedal at the same time, which isn’t something that we want them to be doing unless they’re going at a very low ground speed.”

McKinstry believes having better-informed operators who understand their equipment and its limitations will reduce downtime: “We hope that by giving operators the feedback that they’ll change their behaviour in their operation of the machines. And, if we can address it early, then I believe we’re going to get better availability out of this equipment.”

Sandvik LHDs and dump trucks open to third-party proximity detection systems

Sandvik Load and Haul says it has developed a Proximity Detection System Interface for its underground LHDs and dump trucks.

The feature allows installation of a third-party proximity detection system (PDS) to a Sandvik underground loader or dump truck to meet legal requirements and improve safety in underground operations.

“PDSs help to improve safety at mine and construction sites where risks of collision may occur,” Sandvik said. “The PDS is generally designed to slow down and/or eventually stop the equipment in case the system detects a person or an object carrying a tag inside a predefined zone. The exact operation of the PDS always depends on the selected system and the local conditions, which vary from site to site.”

Marjut Seppälä, Product Safety Manager, Load and Haul, said: “A PDS is a legal obligation in South Africa, which is an important market area for Sandvik. We have developed the interface to meet these requirements and, at the same time, to improve safety on our customer sites. As we want to provide the same opportunity for all our customers, regardless of the market area, the interface now becomes globally available for our loaders and trucks.”

She continued: “But even though PDSs help to improve safety, they shall never be used to replace normal safe and sound operating practices.”

The PDS interface comes together with another safety enhancing feature, Speed Brake Interlock, which is used to prevent excessive speed during driving. When the Speed Brake Interlock functionality is in use, it monitors the equipment speed and guides the operator to slow down by means of visual and audible messages on the system display.

Dana shifts Spicer gears for underground LHDs, mining trucks and wheel loaders

Dana has announced the development of the Spicer® TE50 powershift transmission designed for large LHDs, underground mining trucks and wheel loaders.

Engineered for vehicles from 400-600 kW (544-816 hp), the Spicer TE50 transmission offers superior performance through improved fuel efficiency, smoother shifting, more precise vehicle handling, and optimised braking, according to the company. The transmission will launch with vehicle manufacturers in the second half of 2019.

Aziz Aghili, President of Dana Off-Highway Drive and Motion Technologies, said: “As the market for mining and construction vehicles moves toward larger vehicles, demand is growing for advanced technologies that support greater productivity without sacrificing precise handling. The Spicer TE50 transmission delivers a robust solution that meets the performance requirements of heavy-duty, high-power applications that operate under some of the most challenging conditions in the world.”

The Spicer TE50 transmission is engineered to fit within current vehicle design envelopes and is offered with a four- or eight-speed gearbox for optimised shifting ratios. It is available with advanced automatic lockup, which improves fuel efficiency by enabling direct drive even at low speeds, Dana said.

An integrated, automatic retarder reduces brake wear and enables smoother, quieter braking. The new transmission is also equipped with three heavy-duty, auxiliary pump drives.

Visitors to the Bauma fair on April 8-14, will be able to see the new Spicer TE50 transmission and Dana’s other innovations for the mining and construction industries in hall A3, stand 325, as well as an outdoor vehicle demonstration area between halls A4 and A5.