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Liebherr plans interoperability, scalability and zero emissions announcements at MINExpo 2021

Liebherr will showcase its latest innovative equipment, technology and services for the mining industry at MINExpo 2021, with a world premiere of its brand-new Mining Technology Product portfolio and announcements related to its ‘zero emissions’ program likely to provide the ‘headlines’.

Covering a total area of more than 2,600 sq.m, Liebherr’s booth will present advancements from its Mining, Mobile Cranes and Components product segments during the Las Vegas show on September 13-15.

Liebherr Mining will display the R 9150 Generation 7 (G7) 130 t excavator, the next generation of excavator cab from the recently announced R 9600 G8, the PR 776 70 t mining dozer with LiReCon teleoperation system, the newly introduced T 274 305 t haul truck along with a display from Liebherr Components, and the LRT 1090-2.1 90 t rough terrain crane from Liebherr Mobile Cranes.

New developments and exciting announcements will be presented from Liebherr Mining’s new technology portfolio, as well as the pathway forward into low and zero emission mining, it said.

Attendees will be able to interact with new technologies through a virtual reality (VR) booth and discover Liebherr’s technology at daily masterclasses held with Liebherr experts. Those who cannot attend in person will not miss out, with all exhibits, announcements and showcases from the expo also delivered on Liebherr’s website and social media channels.

Liebherr will introduce three new excavators at MINExpo: the R 9150 Generation 7 (machine showcased on the booth), the R 9200 Generation 7, and the brand-new R 9600 Generation 8 (cabin showcased on the booth).

These three machines establish the new naming strategy based on technology levels for Liebherr machines, with this approach designed to achieve a common and long-term logic within the earthmoving and mining product ranges in a clear manner, Liebherr said.

All three excavators are equipped with the latest innovations including Liebherr Power Efficiency, Assistance Systems and Bucket Filling Assistant.

LPE (Liebherr Power Efficiency) is a specific engine and hydraulic management system, which drastically reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%, the company says.

Assistance Systems are advanced on-board applications designed to support the operator to become more efficient through analytics and actionable insights. These will be presented physically in the R 9600’s cabin and on tablets displayed on the booth. Visitors can also discover the Assistance Systems through an immersive experience in the VR area.

BFA, meanwhile, is the first automation product of the Liebherr hydraulic excavator portfolio, which allows the operator to realise the bucket filling process automatically.

T 274 mining truck

Liebherr has recently extended its product offering with the T 274, a class-leading 305 t haul truck. This new truck bridges the gap between the T 284 and T 264.

Designed and adapted from years of experience in mining truck development, the T 274 is a “true 305 t machine” that provides fast cycle times, higher production rates, low fuel consumption and a low cost per tonne, Liebherr said. This new truck follows the same base design as the T 284, benefitting from its decades of field experience. A wide range of options are available including the Liebherr Trolley Assist System and Liebherr Autonomy Kit.

PR 776 dozer and LiReCon teleoperation system

Liebherr will also showcase its flagship mining dozer, the PR 776 Litronic, which, the company says, delivers best-in-class efficiency. The machine will be on display together with the new LiReCon (Liebherr Remote Control, pictured at the top) Liebherr teleoperation system. LiReCon provides additional comfort and safety for operators in tough mining applications, according to the company.

Liebherr components and D98 diesel engine series

Liebherr components for mining applications will also feature at MINExpo. Among the components is the D98 diesel engine series, which is available for both Liebherr and other mining equipment manufacturers, for new and repowered machines. The V-16 engine of the D98 family, the D9816, will not only be on display at the booth but is also at the heart of the exhibited T 274 haul truck. This marks the beginning of the integration of the D98 series into Liebherr machines, Liebherr says.

LRT 1090-2.1 rough terrain crane

The LRT 1090-2.1 90 t rough terrain crane is designed to deliver the highest safety level.

Fitted as standard with an outrigger monitor, which automatically detects the support status and includes the crane control system, it also comes equipped with the VarioBase® variable support base to enhance flexibility on site and increase the crane’s lifting capacity. The LRT 1090-2.1 features a 47 m telescopic boom, which consists of a two-stage hydraulic cylinder with a rope extension mechanism. This has been designed for high telescoping lifting capacities.

New innovations

Liebherr will present the world premiere of its brand-new Mining Technology Product portfolio at MINExpo. This will demonstrate the company’s interoperable and scalable approach to its equipment, technology and service product offerings, it said.

This portfolio, consisting of Liebherr’s Assistance Systems, Machine Automation and Digital Service products, will provide customers with “flexible scope of supply solutions to increase safety and asset operational effectiveness”, it said.

Together, these products will support operator’s performance, optimise diagnostic processes and automate machine functions, while integrating machine data and OEM expertise within the customer’s chosen technology landscapes, the company added.

Zero emissions

Liebherr says it strives for long-term sustainable solutions, investigating different options focused on safety, cost, reliability, maintainability and flexibility. Liebherr Mining already offers a range of solutions to help customers achieve low emissions, including a full range of electric excavators. It also plans to provide a full range of trolley-capable mining trucks.

“Further to this, Liebherr Mining has a clear vision and roadmap to expand its current offering to achieve low fossil fuel solutions in 2022, along with fossil fuel free solutions for the majority of applications by 2030,” it said. “At MINExpo, strategic partnerships with energy and infrastructure providers will be announced, alongside the roadmap for Liebherr to provide these solutions to our customers.”

Cat to bring new D11 XE dozer, R1700 XE battery-electric LHD to MINExpo

Caterpillar is set to unveil the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient electric drive dozer with high drive at the upcoming MINExpo 2021 event in Las Vegas, USA, in September, in an exhibit themed around the concept, “together, we’re mining better”.

Caterpillar’s MINExpo 2021 experience, the company says, celebrates its partnership with mines and the ways it assists customers to mine more efficiently, effectively, safely and sustainably. The 5,124 sq.m exhibit will feature a broad range of product displays, new equipment introductions, previews of what the future holds and remote operating stations.

The exhibit will be grouped under three specific core areas: environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainability; technology and automation; and equipment lifecycle management solutions.

The headline exhibits come September 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center will, no doubt, be the brand new Cat D11 XE dozer, the new Cat® R1700 XE battery-electric LHD (pictured, top), and new R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain. The company also intends to display the recently released Cat 992K wheel loader, new Cat 777G water truck, Cat 794 AC electric drive truck and Cat MD6310 rotary blasthole drill.

“After waiting an extra year, the mining industry is ready to reconnect at MINExpo,” Caterpillar Resource Industries Group President, Denise Johnson, said. “We are excited to show our customers and the industry the advancements Caterpillar has made not only in equipment, technology and services but also in how we are helping customers mine more sustainably.

“While we are eager to exhibit in Las Vegas, we recognise that many of our dealers and customers will not be able to travel to the show. Therefore, we are also creating a digital Caterpillar experience at cat.com/mining, where we will place MINExpo specific content.”

Mining sustainably

Central to Caterpillar’s commitment to mining better together is helping customers meet their ESG goals and build sustainable mine sites of the future. Recognising one size does not fit all, Caterpillar has followed a strategic approach with a long-term vision of discovering, developing and delivering a broad portfolio of products, technologies, services and solutions, it said.

“This portfolio allows Caterpillar to provide a full site approach, which combines offerings with integration expertise to identify and provide the best possible solution for each specific mine,” Cat explained.

Vital to the vision of the all-electric underground mine of the future, the new Cat R1700 XE LHD will feature 100% battery-electric propulsion that generates significantly less heat and noise. It offers a 15t payload, 24,190 kg lift and tilt breakout force, and 18 km/h top speed. To optimise runtime and improve safety, batteries stay on the machine for charging, with the new portable Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger able to charge the unit in as little as 20 minutes.

The new R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain to be displayed features a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs, while minimising emissions. Its redesigned lift arm and components delivers up to a 39% improved lift breakout force over the R2900G, making this model up to 31 tonnes per litre more fuel efficient, Cat claims.

Cat is set to unveil what it says is the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient electric drive dozer with high drive. The new Cat D11 XE dozer will be the most advanced, lowest emission-per-tonne dozer in the industry, built to deliver the lowest cost of bank cubic meters ever.

Exhibited alongside the D11 XE, the new Cat D10 dozer (below) offers up to 4% less fuel consumption than the previous model, up to 3% more productivity with high-horsepower reverse and up to 6% more efficiency with combined load-sensing hydraulics and stator clutch torque divider, according to Cat.

The recently introduced Cat 992 wheel loader to go on show delivers up to a 32% increase in productivity. It reduces maintenance costs by up to 10% and has demonstrated in field testing up to 48% greater payload-per-fuel efficiency in applications where a four-pass match to 90.7 t trucks was achieved versus five passes with the 992K.

Caterpillar says it is committed to helping customers with their energy transitions, and the MINExpo exhibit will include a range of renewable and storable power displays, including the Cat Microgrid system. The Cat 3516 engine, meanwhile, will feature dynamic gas blending (DGB), which allows mines to save fuel and reduce emissions without sacrificing diesel performance.

Driving technology and automation

“Technology and automation are critical components for substantially improving machine uptime availability and productivity,” Marc Cameron, Vice President, Caterpillar Resource Industries, said. “Through Cat MineStar™ Solutions, Caterpillar offers customers scalable technologies to fit the mine’s specific needs. The exhibit’s technology and automation stage will focus on the real value that Caterpillar technology options provide customers.”

MINExpo will be the first opportunity for many attendees to learn more about the recently introduced Cat MineStar Edge. This solution brings visibility to the entire mining operation to show how activities early in the process impact those further down the value chain, according to the company. MineStar Edge makes it possible to measure, manage, analyse and improve the entire mining operation.

Equipped with MineStar Command for hauling, the new Cat 777G water truck provides a glimpse into the future for autonomously lowering dust levels at the mine site while maintaining haul road safety. Featuring the market’s first autonomous water delivery system, the machine integrates truck, tank and sprayer, and knows where and when to water haul roads.

Representing the Caterpillar fleet of autonomous trucks, the displayed Cat 794 AC electric drive (pictured below) will be factory-installed with Cat MineStar Command for hauling. Recently, autonomous trucks using Command for hauling surpassed 3 billion tonnes of material hauled, safely traveling more than 110 million km.

Accurate to the centimetre, the exhibited Cat MD6310 rotary blasthole drill offers technology, efficiency, safety and productivity improvements. Fully integrating Caterpillar’s components and systems, including technology and automation, the drill is capable of up to 42,149 kg of bit load and targets 203-to-311-mm hole diameters.

Exhibiting how technology can improve safety at the mine site, the Cat MineStar Detect Driver Safety System (DSS) display details how the system monitors eye closure and head pose to alert the driver via seat vibration and/or audio alarm the moment fatigue or distraction is identified. DSS has been shown to reduce 97% of the most significant fatigue events, 80% of average fatigue events and 91% of distraction events, Cat says.

Several Cat Command stations and trailers will be on display for attendees to experience effective remote control and semi-autonomous drilling, dozing and underground operations from many kilometres away.

Lifecycle solutions

Highlighting Caterpillar’s rebuild services capability, the rebuilt Cat C175-16 engine, which produces up to 2,550 kW, on display reduces overall owning and operating costs.

Team members will also be available to explain to attendees how MineStar Health maximises equipment availability and reliability by connecting the machine to the office. The service assists with proactive maintenance services and predictive equipment analysis by collecting equipment data, monitoring critical machine parameters, obtaining real-time alerts, analysing operational trends and patterns, predicting failures and receiving repair recommendations, Cat says.

Partnership and expertise

In addition to teams of workers with machine and technology expertise, representatives of Cat Financial and Cat Solutions will be on hand to share information on safety, fleet management and productivity offerings that can be combined into full site solutions.

A ThoroughTec® Simulation training will provide an opportunity to experience the 7495 electric rope shovel. In addition, attendees will be able to experience two next generation machine cabs – one for mining trucks and another for the 6060 hydraulic mining shovel – via actual cabs on display.

National Group buys semi-autonomous dozer contractor specialist Wolff Group

National Group says it recently acquired Wolff Group, bolting on a range of automated and innovative solutions such as large scale satellite bulk dozer push and semi-autonomous blast hole drilling to its existing range of mining services.

Wolff, the first company in Australia to use Command for dozing, a Cat® Minestar™ offering, also provides contract mining services, excavator pre-strip fleets, civil earthworks, site clearing and rehabilitation works, according to National Group.

The National Group, meanwhile, comprises companies from the mining, resource, logistics and personnel supply industries that, through its National Heavy Haulage and International Global Logistics subsidiaries, regularly delivers mining equipment nationally and internationally.

National Group Managing Director, Mark Ackroyd, sees the acquisition providing niche business opportunities.

“Adding Wolff to the National Group will allow us to deliver additional services in autonomous operations, so it was a logical choice for us,” he said.

“Terry (Wolff, Managing Director of Wolff Group) and his team at Wolff have a very similar organisational culture to ours and that was one of the most important things we spoke about during our discussions. The other was their work in autonomous operations and the focus towards the future of mining.

“We want to provide our customers with the best there is and staying on the cutting-edge of technology goes a long way in allowing us to do that.”

As part of the acquisition, National Group and Wolff have agreed to adopt a “business as usual” approach to ensure minimal to no effect on the current Wolff workforce and customer base, National Group said.

Terry Wolff, who will stay actively involved in the business, said: “National Group met all of our foundations and culturally aligned with the way we already do business here at Wolff, so that made this decision a lot easier for us. We couldn’t think of a better company to pass on the baton to.

“National Group values our people, autonomous expertise and our ability to operate in the segments where we have a depth of knowledge and experience.”

Wolff is well-known in the industry for its focus on innovation and technology and already has an established partnership with Caterpillar and Hastings Deering to implement and optimise semi-autonomous tractor system technology in a world’s-first application into a mining production environment, National Group said.

Ackroyd concluded: “Here at the National Group, we are excited for the future and look forward to further extending the range of automated features for our expansive fleet of dozers and drills.”

Komatsu equips D375A-8 mining dozer with intelligent Machine Control

Komatsu has released the first mining dozer to incorporate its fully-integrated intelligent Machine Control (iMC) system, which delivers proven productivity, efficiency and cost-saving benefits, according to the company.

The 72.9-t D375Ai-8 ‘intelligent’ dozer is powered by a US EPA Tier 4 Final emission certified Komatsu SAA6D170E-7 diesel engine rated at 455 kW in forward gears, and 558 kW in reverse. This provides more reversing power for higher productivity, Komatsu says.

According to Michael Hall, Komatsu Australia’s Mining Product Manager, the iMC version of the dozer can carry out both bulk and final trim dozing in fully-automatic mode from start to finish, delivering final grade performance and accuracy.

This may be Komatsu’s first mining machine fitted with iMC, but the concept has been successfully used on the company’s smaller and mid-sized dozers across Australia and New Zealand over the past three years, Hall explained.

“The concept has been shown to significantly increase productivity and efficiency – up to twice as productive as dozers fitted with ‘bolt-on’ third-party machine control systems, according to Australian users and operators – while reducing the cost of each metre of material moved,” he said.

“This will deliver major benefits to mining operations across the board, whether in bulk overburden moving, chasing thin or narrow seams, for mine infrastructure works, for stockpile management, or in rehabilitation projects.”

He added: “Komatsu’s iMC is another step on the path to fully-autonomous dozer operation.”

This technology also offers significant safety benefits in stockpile applications with a remote control-ready option available, according to Hall.

Integrated machine control

The D375Ai-8 intelligent dozer incorporates, as standard, a factory-installed fully integrated Global Navigation Satellite System machine control system.

Hall said: “Because the machine control system is fully integrated, it eliminates the need for coiled cables between machine and blade; the operator or service technicians don’t have to climb up on the machine to remove and replace antennas or masts, and there’s no requirement for daily connections and recalibrations.

“As well, an enhanced sensor package combined with an intelligent logic system provides for high accuracy in a fully-integrated system without the need for traditional blade-mounted sensors – which can be subject to damage, theft or vandalism.”

Komatsu’s iMC system automatically controls blade elevation and tilt according to target design data, using common industry standard design data software and systems, Komatsu said.

“With these machines, not only can the automatic machine control features be used for final grading but also for bulk dozing – a capability which is unique to Komatsu intelligent dozers,” Hall said.

“Loading of the blade at the start of the cut is controlled via set parameters; during the pass, if the load on the blade increases, automatic blade control manages the load and minimises shoe slip, ensuring effective dozing at all times.

“Then, when the material level approaches the target design surface, the machine reverts to fine blade control for close final grading,” he said.

Highly experienced dozer operators have reported that, with this technology, they can be more productive than they have ever been before – placing material faster and with more accuracy than any existing dozer/machine control combination, Hall said.

Dozing progress can be checked using the integrated, as-built, mapping display, which collects surface data by continuously measuring actual elevations as the machine operates. This data is also communicated back to the planning software to enabling monitoring of material movement by planning and management personnel.

Komatsu’s intelligent dozer technology is also readily integrated with its SMARTCONSTRUCTION offering, which combines drone-based survey and site management systems and cloud-based information offerings to design, plan, construct and manage mining, quarrying and construction operations, the company said.

“When Komatsu released our first intelligent dozer, the 20 t D61EXi/PXi-23 construction dozer in 2014, the technology was described as fully scalable to other machines in our dozer range,” Hall said.

“We proved this with the release of three additional iMC dozers in 2016, and now we’ve extended the technology to our mining-sized D375Ai-8.”

The D375A-8 launchpad

The new D375Ai-8 is based on the recently released D375A-8 (pictured), which features a combination of a fuel-efficient low-emission engine, increased reversing power and enhanced chassis and track frame durability to deliver significantly lower operating costs per metre of material moved, according to Komatsu.

It is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D170E-7, Tier 4-compliant diesel engine that reduces emissions compared with previous generation engines and cuts fuel consumption through a heavy-duty exhaust gas recirculation system, a hydraulically-driven radiator cooling fan and Komatsu auto idle stop.

Production efficiency is enhanced through a 20% increase in engine power when in reverse, reducing cycle time in downhill dozing applications. Hall said: “Compared with our previous generation D375A-6, production in downhill dozing is increased by 18%.”

Other features of the new dozer include Komatsu’s automatic transmission with lock-up torque converter for reduced fuel consumption and greater powertrain efficiency, automatic gearshift transmission, improved ride and operator comfort levels, better visibility to the blade and ripper, and maintainability enhancements.

Hall said: “The D375A-8 was a significant advance in dozer technology in terms of improved performance, productivity, operator comfort and ease of maintenance.

“Our new D375Ai-8 intelligent dozer takes that technology to the next level through its integration of machine control and its benefits to all types of dozing operation.”