Tag Archives: mining equipment

Komatsu to expand ‘mother plant’ in Longview, Texas

To upgrade and consolidate multiple functions into a single location, Komatsu is building a significantly expanded office and administration building on its manufacturing campus in Longview, Texas, USA.

Last month the company broke ground for the new 56,000-sq.ft (5,202 sq.m) building at 2400 S. MacArthur St. and is targeting a move-in date of December 2023.

With design and manufacturing responsibility for Komatsu’s electrical drive and SR (Switch Reluctance) hybrid drive systems for the company’s electric drive wheel loaders, the Longview campus also supports Komatsu’s global mining business through manufacturing assembly of other key parts and modules for electric rope shovels, rotary and track drills, trucks for surface mining, and underground hard-rock mining trucks and wheel loaders. Komatsu will also soon begin a project to expand the facility’s motor shop.

Designated a “mother plant” within the network of Komatsu’s global facilities, the Longview facility has research and development, design and manufacturing capability on one campus. Mother plants are tasked with strengthening the production competitive edge of their plants as well as those of their “child plants” that manufacture the same models, Komatsu explained.

“We value our partnership with the city of Longview and this investment is a reflection of Komatsu’s commitment to the southside of the city,” Jesse Dubberly, General Manager of Longview operations for Komatsu, said. “With new investments in this campus of close to $100 million, our goal is to continue to demonstrate that we are a solid community partner that offers good, family-sustaining jobs.

“By taking functions that were spread across six buildings and consolidating them into one new energy-efficient facility, we are constructing a building that is designed to not only better serve our existing workforce, but is also sized for our future growth.”

In addition to office facilities for up to 230 people, the new building will house an employee centre which includes a café, marketplace, indoor and outdoor seating, multipurpose room and Komatsu store; and a facility care centre maintained by the Environmental Health and Safety department that will provide an audiometric booth, first aid room, mother’s room and direct access for emergency vehicles in the event of an emergency. There will also be a Komatsu Customer Experience Center showcasing both Komatsu’s legacy and ingenuity.

Both the general contractor, Transet Co., and the engineering firm, Johnson & Pace, are local Longview firms. The architectural design team for the project is Arkansas-based Polk Stanley Wilcox.

Sandvik makes its case for mining equipment rebuilds

The need to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ is now widely accepted, but Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions argues that equipment rebuilds also reduce fuel consumption, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), downtime and accidents, in addition to carbon footprint.

Sandvik says it is able to completely refurbish virtually any of its older machines to the latest spec at a significant discount to what customers would pay for an equivalent new model.

“From any of our 70 workshop facilities around the world, Sandvik’s certified technicians are able to provide a rebuild service to precisely match the customer’s needs and budget,” Francois Nell, Portfolio Manager Rebuilds & Upgrades at Sandvik, says.
While it’s true that a lot of our business traditionally comes from markets where there is an emphasis on keeping equipment running for as long as possible, it’s important to remember that our solutions aren’t just for those machines that are nearing the end of their life.”

In fact, rebuilds can be most effective when they are undertaken as mid-life services that ensure greater reliability in the long-term, while immediately helping to boost performance, increase safety and slash TCO, the company says. And it’s the growing recognition of the value these services offer that explains why major players are jumping on the rebuild bandwagon, rather than automatically trading up.

With rebuild workshops becoming busier and increased lead times for components large and small, much more forward planning is required nowadays, according to the company. This also ensures customers can select the least disruptive time for the work to be carried out, minimising  unplanned shutdowns.

“Our offering ranges in complexity from the base Custom Rebuilds, via Life Extension, up to Reborn and Reborn+ scopes,” Nell says. “We begin with a thorough assessment, to decide what components are required to meet the brief. This allows us to order the parts in advance, so that the real work can begin as soon as we receive the machine. The whole process typically takes 6-7 months, although 2-3 months isn’t unheard of when the need is urgent.”

This assumes the intervention is carried out at a Sandvik facility, enabling the company to use the highest levels of standard operational procedures, tools and cleanliness, etc. By rebuilding to a set of fixed standards, Sandvik can offer the customer an ‘as new’ or standard warranty depending on the scope, which could not be guaranteed if the work was done at the customer’s site, it says. Some equipment, however, may be irretrievably situated below ground, in which case exceptions need to be made.

So what can a customer expect once their machine arrives at a rebuild workshop? In Sandvik’s case, over 1,000 measurements, diagnostics and check points are analysed before the restoration even begins. After the machine has had a full stripdown, the company’s engineers carry out non-destructive testing to determine the extent of any metal fatigue and ensure that a rebuild is indeed viable. Once it’s been approved and repainted, it’s effectively a full ‘nut and bolt’ restoration, using only genuine parts.

Often using pre-assembled kits to speed up turnaround time, all major components will usually be replaced. Older machines will frequently be rebuilt to new generation spec, such as the latest engine technologies where appropriate, or upgrades in terms of hardware and software – most notably Sandvik’s Knowledge Box technology or the latest safety features.

Testing for functionality then follows, before the machines are once again put back into service with their operators. A further benefit of this approach is that, unlike when a 10-year-old machine is replaced with a new model, there is no need to retrain the operator. They can simply get in and immediately begin providing the same (if not higher) levels of productivity as they previously did – albeit in greater comfort and safety.

“With rebooted machines typically offering at least 90% of the lifespan of new equipment, the economic advantages to mine owners are clear – and we haven’t even touched on the environmental benefits that result from the huge reduction in energy consumption enabled by this reduce-and-reuse philosophy,” Nell concludes.

Although the majority of underground equipment is rebuilt no more than once due to structural fatigue, machines such as rotary surface drills can quite easily have their components replaced two or three times, operating well over 100,000 machine hours before they’re put out to pasture.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas preparing for new machine and tech launches

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc (HCMA) has officially began leading the Hitachi brand’s mining equipment sales and service support efforts in North America and Latin America.

This new direction replaces the joint venture Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) shared with John Deere.

In preparation for this changeover, HCMA has added more than 60 new team members throughout North America and Latin America, solidified equipment dealer relationships and worked with the HCM global team on new equipment and technology innovations that can help mines reduce operational costs and support sustainable mining practices.

According to Alan Quinn, CEO of HCMA, there has been a lot of excitement and anticipation leading up to the brand’s official realignment in the Americas.

“HCM and Deere worked together for many years to become a leading equipment provider in the Americas,” he said. “As HCMA takes over control of equipment sales, service and support moving forward, we are preparing to launch new machines and new technologies while focusing on having a more direct relationship with our customers and dealers. To support those efforts, we are developing a team to specifically support the mining industry, developing relationships with dealers that support the mining industry and operating a 400,000 sq.ft (37,161 sq.m) parts distribution centre located south of Atlanta, Georgia.”

HCMA has enlisted seven dealers in North America and eight dealers throughout Latin America to support mining operations, with Quinn saying HCMA will continue to grow its dealer network in the coming months.

In addition to bolstering its dealer network, HCMA plans to introduce new machinery and technology for the mining industry.

“HCM is committed to product development,” Quinn said, “so our future mining equipment aligns with the priorities of mining companies. For example, our team is working on battery-powered haul truck technology that will help reduce equipment exhaust emissions while still delivering similar productivity. We understand mines are more environmentally conscious, and we are developing technology to support a more sustainable industry.”

On-board equipment technology is another area HCM is investing resources to advance. The company plans to differentiate itself through the product capabilities of these new machines, including the latest in hydraulic systems, innovative “uptime” and IoT services and enhanced safety features, it said. The mining industry can expect to see increasing capabilities of Hitachi ConSite, with an initiative to add more telematics and predictive analytics for its mining product lines.

“While our new operational structure is just getting started in North America and Latin America, we are excited to bring the full breadth of resources seen from Hitachi in many other parts of the world,” Quinn concluded.

Liebherr-Australia set for Kalgoorlie return in 2022

Liebherr-Australia is set to return to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, with a new branch set to open in the city in 2022.

The Kalgoorlie branch will provide support in the form of fast access to spare parts and customer service for the growing number of Liebherr mining equipment in the region and will be one of three mining branches in Western Australia, the company said.

The branch is set to be opened in the city on a 10,000 sq.m block, incorporating a 1,000 sq.m warehouse and 180 sq.m office space, with necessary parts and Liebherr tooling held in the facility. It will be supported by full time parts personnel, with customer support and service teams using the branch as a hub when travelling between sites.

In recent years, Liebherr’s footprint of mining equipment in the Goldfields-Esperance region has grown, now supporting more than 30 excavators and trucks, over 15 mine sites and nine customers, with more scheduled into 2022.

“Returning to Kalgoorlie marks the success we’ve had in recent years in growing our equipment fleet in the region,” Trent Wehr, Liebherr-Australia Managing Director, said.

The new opening marks a return to the region for Liebherr-Australia who was present in the region through an agent between 1986 and 1990, before taking over the official OEM dealership in the region from 1990 to 2006.

Wehr added: “We have always been committed to providing the best support to our customers and establishing the Kalgoorlie branch will only further enable us to provide these services.”

Liebherr-Australia’s mining customer support network includes branches in Mackay, Queensland; Mt Thorley, New South Wales; Perth, Western Australia; Newman, Western Australia; and soon-to-be Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. This comes alongside the head office, national distribution centre and production facility in Adelaide, South Australia.

The Kalgoorlie branch is scheduled to be operational in January 2022, with Liebherr-Australia to hold an official opening ceremony with key customers and partners in the March quarter of 2022 to celebrate the milestone.

Franna launches Minemaster range of cranes for mining applications

Franna, a Terex brand, has unveiled its Minemaster range, a series of pick and carry cranes with lift capacities ranging from 15 t to 40 t that, it says, come fully equipped and ready to work in mining applications.

“The Franna Minemaster range has been specifically designed to meet the vigorous safety requirements and complex operating environment of the modern day mine site,” Franna said. “Each individual crane can be customised to meet local requirements, with an extensive list of mine specification options available for customers to choose from.”

Danny Black, General Manager at Franna, explained: “Franna has been supplying the global mining industry with robust lifting solutions for over 40 years, working alongside a number of leading contractors such as Rio Tinto, BHP and Glencore.

“In line with our growing export sales, we have developed this range to meet the needs of the markets and industries we serve. Whilst mining has always been at the forefront of the Franna business, many of our international customers are not fully aware of the numerous mine specifications that we can offer. As well as helping to educate the marketplace, our Franna Minemaster range provides mining contractors with heavy-duty lifting solutions that are tailored to their needs and do not compromise on safety or performance.”

Suitable for open-pit and underground mines, the Franna Minemaster range comes with reduced initial setup costs, high utilisation and lower cost per tonne, the company said. They also have a proven ability of operating safely on the challenging terrains commonly associated with mining (for example, poor underfoot conditions).

James Hoyt, Director at PT Berlian Cranserco Indonesia, a Franna Cranes distributor, said: “Indonesian mining companies have been using Franna cranes in coal and hard-rock mines to support underground, open-pit, workshop, port and blasting operations for many years. Frannas are the most utilised support equipment assets on the mine site.”

The company concluded: “Franna cranes require no outriggers, which allows the operator to set up and start working almost immediately. The compact footprint and unique design of each machine provides unrivalled access to tunnels and other areas of limited space on the mine site. From lifting and laying pipes to changing out engines, it is easy to see why Franna cranes are a popular choice for mining contractors.”

Sandvik registers record order intake for mining equipment in Q3

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions booked its highest order intake on record during the September quarter as demand for the company’s solutions continued the positive trajectory the OEM has seen throughout the year.

The company, a part of the Sandvik Group, recorded a strong contribution from all divisions, it said.

Organic order intake grew by 21% year-on-year to SEK12.1 billion ($1.4 billion) including a major order of SEK432 million. Total order intake, at fixed exchange rates, grew by 41%, the company added.

Organic order intake for equipment grew by 28% and aftermarket by 16% year-on-year, it said.

In the quarter, the company also completed the acquisition of DSI, which saw the company create a Ground Support division. This acquisition contributed to 19% in revenue growth in the quarter, the company said.

The Sandvik Group, meanwhile, reported adjusted EBITA of SEK4.7 billion, up from SEK3.6 billion a year earlier. This corresponded to a margin of 19.1%.

Cat previews productivity-boosting D10 dozer at MINExpo 2021

Caterpillar previewed the new Cat® D10 dozer at this week’s MINExpo 2021, in Las Vegas, this week, with the machine set to offer more productivity with less fuel consumption and maintenance, Cat says.

The Cat D10 series dozers have a well-earned reputation in the industry, with the new machine continuing this tradition, being designed to do more with less. Improvements to the drivetrain, hydraulic and cooling systems reduce fuel consumption by up to 4% while increasing productivity by up to 3%. Greater component durability, service improvements and technology integration deliver a reduction in overall owning costs, according to the company.

The dozer’s optimised drivetrain features an updated Cat C27 engine paired with a new stator clutch torque divider. Extended oil changes and integrated fuel lines increase the time between service intervals and enhancing reliability of the C27 engine. Different after-treatment solutions are available to meet the needs of the global market, including configurations to meet US EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V regulations as well as emissions equivalent to US EPA Tier 2.

Boosting productivity in downhill dozing applications, the new D10 comes standard with high-horsepower reverse, which offers up to 20% more power in reverse gears. Load-sensing hydraulics provide oil flow only on command, reducing parasitic draw to increase available power to the ground. Paired with a single-plane cooling system, these improvements increase operating efficiencies by up to 6%, Cat says.

Boasting an updated electronic architecture, the new D10 features a new operator cabin, infused with proven technologies. Operator efficiency and comfort are improved with a new 254 mm touch screen display offering intuitive machine operation, upgraded seat offerings, available 360° vision and improved visibility.

Future-ready, the electronic infrastructure provides seamless integration of proven Cat technologies like MineStar™ Command for dozing, which removes the operator from the cab through line-of-site or non-line-of-site remote control, Cat says. Technology updates to optional automated features such as AutoCarry™ and AutoRip improve efficiency and ease of use, reducing operator fatigue, increasing productivity and minimising machine wear by limiting track slippage.

New to the D10, Remote Flash ensures the machine operates with the most current version of on-board software, so the dozer consistently delivers high performance, maximum efficiency and minimum downtime. The service enables remote updates to the software at a time convenient to the mining operation, without interrupting the production cycle and reducing service time on the machine.

With its modular design and elevated sprocket drive, the D10 series is renowned for industry-leading serviceability and low maintenance costs, according to Cat. Further reducing downtime, the new D10 design features extended oil change intervals enabled by a larger engine oil sump. Its new, easy-access radiator door and single-plane cooling system reduces overall heat load and promotes easier cleaning. New push arm bearing inserts improve reliability and reduce overall rebuild time.

Multiple visibility offerings provide customers with different solutions to achieve their desired line-of-sight to the front, rear and around the dozer. Further enhancing operating visibility, an available four-camera system delivers a 360° view around the D10 and includes a ripper camera. Improvements to the powered access ladder with lockout protection elevate operator safety when entering and exiting the cab.

Availability of the new Cat D10 dozer is scheduled for mid-2022, Cat says.

Epiroc drills, bolters to help Dazhong Mining expand Chinese iron ore mines

Epiroc says it has won a large order for mining equipment and service from Dazhong Mining Co Ltd in China as part of a plan to expand two of its underground iron ore mines in the most “safe and productive manner possible”.

Dazhong Mining has ordered a variety of rigs for face drilling, production and rock reinforcement for use at the Zhouyoufang and Zhongxinji mines in the Anhui Province. The order is valued at about SEK200 million ($23 million) and was booked in the September quarter of 2021. In addition to the equipment, the order includes on-site service and training including sophisticated simulators, which provide a safe and realistic environment to enhance the skills of machine operators, Epiroc says.

The machines ordered include Boomer face drilling rigs (including the Boomer S2 Face Drill), Simba production drilling rigs, and Boltec and Cabletec rock reinforcement rigs.

Dazhong Mining is rated as a national Green Mine Enterprise, meaning it is recognised for its sustainable way of mining, according to the OEM. The company also purchased a large number of machines from Epiroc in 2020.

“Epiroc is happy to team up again with Dazhong Mining so it can expand its operations further while strengthening safety, sustainability and productivity,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, says.

The Head of Dazhong Mining said: “Our operations have truly become more safe, environmentally friendly and efficient through Epiroc’s equipment and service. We are happy that this model will continue to be applied to the expansion of two mines. We have a good long-term partnership with Epiroc as this supports us with a high-level technical resource which promotes the sustainable development of the mining industry.”

The machines for Dazhong will be equipped with Epiroc’s telematics system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real time, and most of the units will have Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, installed, which makes them ready for automation and remote control. The equipment will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Perenti’s Barminco seals Savannah nickel project contract

Perenti Global’s hard-rock underground mining subsidiary, Barminco, has finalised a contract with Panoramic Resources for development and production works at the Savannah nickel project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The finalised contract represents a value of around A$280 million ($208 million) over a four-year contract term, Perenti said.

Under the terms of the initial letter of intent, announced on the April 6, 2021, Barminco commenced mobilisation and early mining works ahead of the schedule. With finalisation of the contract, Barminco expects development and production works will ramp-up over the coming six months to achieve full run rate of revenue early in the March quarter of 2022.

The contract will be serviced by new underground mining equipment including the use of tele-remote mining equipment, expected to deliver both safety and productivity benefits, Panoramic said.

Ore processing at Savannah is scheduled to begin in November with first concentrate shipment from Savannah targeted for the following month, Panoramic said. The building of an ore stockpile on the surface has already commenced and the company plans for this to reach 100,000 t prior to turning on the processing plant.

Perenti’s Managing Director and CEO, Mark Norwell, said: “We look forward to working together with the team at Panoramic to develop what we all expect will be Australia’s next long-life nickel producing mine. Despite the challenging labour market conditions in Western Australia, we have been successful in mobilising a labour force of approximately 110 highly skilled underground employees. We expect this to increase to 170 as the project ramps up. Securing this labour force has enabled us to commence early works ahead of schedule.”

Savannah has outlined a 12-year mine life with an average annual production target of 9,072 t of nickel, 4,683 t of copper and 676 t cobalt in concentrate. The mine is set to operate at average site all-in costs of A$6.36/lb of payable nickel, net of copper and cobalt by-product credits and royalty payments. This equates to roughly $4.86/Ib or $10,714/t.

The operation, with more than A$100 million already invested, has been maintained since the suspension of operations in April 2020 with a view towards operational readiness and project optimisation. This includes the recent completion of the FAR#3 ventilation raise, underground capital development on four mining levels at Savannah North and ancillary capital works on surface and underground infrastructure, which are currently being completed, Panoramic says.

New Cat D11 dozer arrives at Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine

Stanwell’s Meandu coal mine in Queensland, Australia, has taken delivery of a new Cat D11 dozer from local distributor Hastings Deering.

Ensuring safe and efficient operation, the dozer provides operators with full command, as well as delivering higher productivity at lower cost, Stanwell said.

The mine, owned by Stanwell, has a 7 Mt/y thermal coal capability and is in Queensland’s South Burnett Region.

Engineered to be rebuilt multiple times, the new D11 has a redesigned main frame delivering lower total cost of ownership over the life of the machine, Cat says. Time-saving service updates reduce daily maintenance and boost machine uptime.

The unit comes with new load-sensing hydraulics, high-horsepower reverse and the latest technology to provide higher material movement at a lower cost per tonne.

The first new generation D11 dozer in the world started work at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Blackwater coal mine in Queensland, in 2019. National Group secured the first of these dozers earlier from Cat dealer Hastings Deering as part of an order that would see six of these machines hauled by its National Heavy Haulage subsidiary.