Tag Archives: Lively

Epiroc lays out plan for first Minetruck battery-electric conversions

An articulated underground truck with a 32.6 t capacity is the next vehicle Epiroc is looking to provide a battery-electric conversion kit for, the OEM confirmed at its Capital Markets Day today.

The Minetruck MT436B set for an electrification conversion is suitable for medium to large underground operations, according to the company.

Epiroc has, to this point, provided battery-electric conversion kits for two of its underground loaders. The first up in its conversion project was the diesel-powered Scooptram ST1030 loader, followed by the ST14 LHD – which Epiroc already provides a new battery-electric option for.

Jess Kindler, President Parts & Services division, told attendees at the CMD that several machines were currently under conversion. At least two converted diesel ST1030s are due to go to Evolution Mining’s Red Lake gold operation in Ontario, Canada, as part of the company’s first order for the solution.

Epiroc’s Anders Johansson, Product Line Manager – Midlife services and Custom Engineered Solutions, told IM last month that more than one ST14 unit had been converted using another newly developed conversion kit, with one machine undergoing testing.

Both converted model types have been developed at the same Epiroc location in Lively, Ontario, according to Johannsson, where there is plenty of highly experienced Midlife services rebuild project experts. The battery conversion specialists, FVT, which Epiroc recently acquired, is also located close by.

Neither of Epiroc’s two main underground mining equipment competitors have a formal battery conversion offering, but Kindler was enthusiastic about the potential market uptake of these solutions.

“I believe we have a truly special window of opportunity here over the next few years,” he said. “As I briefly mentioned, the average lifespan for an underground piece of equipment is four-to-seven-years – give or take – and, by offering conversions, we can increase the speed of our customers taking on battery technology and we can also speed up the rollout of our batteries to the market.”

He added: “We’ll roll out more and models and, to be honest, there is nothing standing in the way of us doing conversions on other OEMs equipment, as well. We have the knowledge to do it.”

Epiroc Canada launches RAC Teams, Control Tower to aid mining’s digital transformation

Epiroc Canada, adapting to changing technological trends in the mining sector, has introduced Regional Application Center (RAC) teams to, it says, assist in the industry’s new digital transformation.

“Across the board, mining projects are continually pushing for increased production while prioritising safety,” the company said. “With this in mind, Epiroc has assembled specialised automation and digitalisation support systems in strategic locations across the globe to help improve customer processes and boost productivity.”

The result, Epiroc says, is a heightened level of production that keeps workers out of danger zones on site while providing enhanced strategic direction for customers. Interoperability improvements have reduced variability and allow project planners to move towards their targets with renewed confidence.

Martin Champagne, Application Center Manager at Epiroc Canada, said: “Our RAC team gives new perspectives on achieving efficiency for the organisations we partner with. The team itself utilises members from a wide range of disciplines; from data analysts and project engineers to network specialists, software developers, IT specialists and digital product managers – the support system is always available when customers need it.”

Epiroc’s Canadian Customer Center has successfully applied this technology since the late 1990s, when the RCS Rocket Boomers with advanced boom controls and autodrill features were first introduced. In 2005, Canadian operations implemented one of the first Epiroc Scooptram Radio Remote Controls using long-range Bluetooth technology; 2009 for the first fleet of semi-autonomous Epiroc Scooptram implementations; 2012 for the first fleet of Pit Viper 235s with tele-remote systems; and 2019 for the first SmartROC D65 autonomous drill.

With Epiroc’s 6th Sense offering, the shift towards automation, digitalisation and interoperability is already underway, and the Regional Application Centers work collaboratively with many industry partners across the globe to achieve their goals, Epiroc said.

It added: “While working together with customers, Epiroc has initiated the move from machine autonomy to process autonomy, which consists of automating a complete process and allowing different kinds of equipment to communicate with each other effectively.”

To help support these functions, a newly renovated Control Tower located at Epiroc’s Lively, Ontario facility now acts as a home base for the RAC team, who are continually collecting data and developing innovative techniques to improve performance.

“Customers utilising this service for their projects can now turn their focus to other areas of the business with the knowledge that Epiroc’s team of experts are carefully monitoring progress on site and offering solutions in real time,” Epiroc concluded.

Sandvik Canada to inspire mining customers to go ‘green’

Sandvik will transition to a more agile footprint in Ontario, Canada, to, it says, better serve customers throughout the province and reduce its carbon footprint.

The OEM plans for a “greener, more agile future” for its organisation in Canada and will begin the process of this transition in Ontario before the end of the year.

The company’s vision of its future operations in Canada is as an organisation that is flexible and can respond to customer requirements, wherever they may be, while minimising harm to the environment they operate in.

“This transition will not happen over night, but it begins with a few key changes that will support some more immediate needs of our customers and will jump start our sustainability initiatives,” Peter Corcoran, Vice President of Sandvik Canada, said.

Sandvik’s climate action plan includes offering customers carbon reduction pathways through battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology, and reducing the carbon footprint from Sandvik’s own operations, and the company will take specific actions in Canada to address these goals.

“BEVs are a large part of Sandvik Canada’s sustainability plans,” Corcoran says. “We envision ourselves as an enabler of zero emissions-mining through our battery-electric offerings.”

In order to enable the industry’s transition to cleaner technology, investment is required in education to expand the industry’s capacity to maintain BEVs. These machines require a “unique technical skillset” to support as they have fewer mechanical components and more electrical components, Sandvik says. To support the transition to this cleaner technology, Sandvik has partnered with Northern College to develop a BEV technician education program and build a new generation of service specialists to support the industry in mining.

“This program is really a win-win for a cleaner industry and our communities,” Corcoran explains. “Servicing these machines requires specialised knowledge of both mechanical and electrical systems. We are investing in educating this next generation of service specialists because we forecast an increase in demand for technicians in this field in the future. We also want to invest in the local talent pool as the benefits of hiring locally and developing sustainable capacity in the community cannot be understated. This partnership addresses both of those areas.”

On top of this, physical footprints will be re-evaluated in Ontario throughout 2021, with a focus on the corporate head office in Mississauga, to improve energy consumption at Sandvik’s facilities. The company says it has already taken preliminary measures to improve energy consumption at its facilities such as switching to LED lightbulbs, and it will take more impactful measures in the coming months and years.

One such action is to consolidate its Kirkland Lake and Lively operations to leverage the established infrastructure in Lively and transition its Kirkland Lake resources into agile field service agents that are ideally situated to support the needs of BEV customers, it said.

The company anticipates this action will lead to an improvement in energy consumption and that the increased support in BEV field service will encourage more customers to consider a low-emissions solution like battery technology.