Tag Archives: Sandvik

Sandvik helping facilitate Rocksure’s mining services growth in Ghana

Rapidly growing mining services provider Rocksure International in Ghana, Africa, has had a 100% Sandvik drill rig fleet since it was established and, according to the OEM, the partnership has been delivering spectacular results.

With drill rigs used in mining applications, the secret to success is to keep them in tip top condition throughout their working lives.

So, parts – who makes them and the service that comes with them – is of critical importance for these machines, Sandvik says.

By adopting the best work practices and latest premium equipment, Rocksure has gone from two drill rigs and eight employees when it was established in 2009, to today’s fleet of over 20 rigs and 1,200 workers. In the process, the company has been winning work that was once the preserve of Western multinationals.

In 2020 Rocksure delivered some 50 Mt of material to its customers in Ghana’s gold fields and is soon to be working on a major bauxite project in the West African country.

Partnership is the new leadership

Part of Rocksure’s strategy is to partner with leading equipment brands – and its fleet now includes 123 pieces of heavy equipment, all from the biggest names in the mining industry.

All of its drill rigs are from Sandvik, all of which have been supplied with comprehensive parts, service and training support bundles, the OEM says.

The predominant machine used by Rocksure is the Sandvik Pantera DP1500i. It is a hydraulic top hammer drill rig designed for production or pre-split drilling in open-pit mines, drilling holes with a diameter of 89-152 mm. The company also has a Sandvik DE881 multipurpose exploration rig.

“We work closely with clients like Rocksure to understand their needs,” Daniel Korsah, Sandvik Business Line Manager for Surface Drilling in West Africa, says. “We look at a long list of site variables, including blast efficiency, hole depth, length, type of rock, etc – and that helps inform the type of equipment we recommend. But that is only half of the story – the aftermarket support package is also vital to customer success.”

Fellow Business Line Manager Parts & Services, Ricus Terblanche, added: “It’s our job to make sure the rigs maintain their productivity targets, reduce costs and help the customer be more profitable. To ensure this, we look at the site data and use it to build a comprehensive parts list of the supplies that are likely to be needed. These parts are then ordered in conjunction with the machine sale, and both delivered to site at the same time. For major projects we can put large parts stocks in place, from which Rocksure can draw using a vendor-managed inventory approach. But our support bundles are much more than parts and include machine operation and safety training.

“We would never sell a machine unless we were sure the customer could operate it effectively and safely and had the skills and resources to support it.”

A recent sale of Sandvik Pantera DP1500i machines saw Sandvik support Rocksure with a four-week intensive classroom and practical operator and technical (maintenance) training, along with three months of asset support. This involved technicians being on site 100% of the full time, providing on-the-job coaching and inspections to ensure the rigs are operating to their highest potential, Sandvik explained.

Predictive parts replacement

Using Smart Inspections supported by years of accumulated analysis on component lifespan, Sandvik can calculate predictive operating costs and recommend a parts replacement service policy before parts fail.

Typically, when the machine has reached 14,000 hours of operation, the Sandvik Pantera DP1500i’s operated by Rocksure undergo a comprehensive overhaul, which can include the installation of new engines, pumps, track frames and undercarriage parts. Adding new technology can bring the machines to a better-than-new condition, with a significant reduction in fuel consumption, according to Sandvik. The fitting of new monitoring systems also helps to give much greater visibility of drilling performance – data that can further help boost productivity.

Terblanche said: “Rocksure is the perfect customer. They are professional, experts in their local market and loyal towards Sandvik – as well as growing at a fantastic rate. We do our best to support them with all the tools at our disposal to maximise their production performance. It’s a great partnership – when Rocksure is successful, Sandvik is too.

“A local mining services supplier supported by a global equipment manufacturer is a winning combination.”

Kwatani customers set to benefit from Sandvik Rock Processing integration

Both local and foreign customers – as well as mineral processing OEMs looking for specialised solutions – are set to benefit from the recent acquisition of vibrating screen specialist Kwatani by global multinational Sandvik, according to the South Africa-based company.

The closing the transaction occurred late last year with Kwatani becoming part of Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions. 

The deal highlights South Africa’s world class nodes of excellence in the engineering sector, according to Kim Schoepflin, CEO of Kwatani, who says the Sandvik collaboration is a milestone for local industry. It also contributes significantly to the government’s industrialisation strategy, to foster world-class industries that can compete globally and promote job creation locally.

“The acquisition will allow Kwatani greater access into foreign markets through Sandvik’s extensive distribution network,” she says. “Our modern Kwatani facilities in Kempton Park, accredited in terms of ISO 9001:2015, is now the global engineering and manufacturing base for vibrating screens and feeders for customers.”

She adds that an added benefit for customers is the support they will receive through the Sandvik service network of engineers and technicians in the field. The proven interface between Kwatani and Sandvik equipment – for instance, a Kwatani screen feeding into a Sandvik crusher – will, the company says, add considerable value to customer’s purchasing choices.

“Customers get the best of both worlds, and can feel confident of the efficient dovetailing of our product ranges,” Schoepflin says.

Sandvik brings state-of-the-art resources which further leverage the benefits to Kwatani customers, the company says. This includes access to monitoring and automation processes as well as a depth of research and development into the application of technology like simulators.

Kwatani continues to invest heavily in its resources at its Kempton Park facilities, Schoepflin says, which employ and develop local expertise while sustaining a strong supply chain of local players. Sandvik supports this model, and shares the vision that business sustainability must be based on effective engagement, investment and commitment to the local economy. Kwatani’s local empowerment strategy supports transformation and is compliant with the South African Mining Charter.

“We work closely with local supply partners in our value chain – many of them being small businesses – to embed quality systems and manufacturing capacity,” Schoepflin says. “Customers can therefore be assured of quality throughout our products’ construction, with a reliable, sustainable and cost effective local production base.”

With its cost base rooted largely in the South African economy, Kwatani can offer customers a consistent pricing regime that is not vulnerable to frequent exchange rate fluctuations, it says. This has added to the popularity of Kwatani’s products at home and abroad, with the company twice being recognised in the Exporter of the Year awards hosted by the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC).

“Our growth has allowed us to build our complement of competent staff, who are continuously upskilled to stay a step ahead of industry needs – with the help of our in-house training centre,” Schoepflin says.

An important indication of Kwatani’s depth of expertise and field experience is its ability to precision-engineer specific solutions for other OEMs in mineral processing. This extends to highly specialised equipment like sorters, which demand very precise feed characteristics and other protection.

“We are a partner of choice to OEMs whose equipment must operate within tight specifications, and which may have other specific requirements that a standard range of screens would not accommodate,” Schoepflin says.

Kwatani’s approach addresses the three key elements of vibrating screen performance: ore properties, screen design parameters and screening media. Its engineering solutions address all these priorities, Schoepflin says, giving customers optimal results at the lowest cost of ownership.

Sibanye-Stillwater to roll out Newtrax OptiMine Collision Avoidance System at Stillwater mine

Sibanye-Stillwater is to invest $17 million in OptiMine® Collision Avoidance System (CAS) technology to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities at its Stillwater PGM underground mining operations in Montana, USA, Newtrax says.

Newtrax and Sibanye-Stillwater have been working together since 2017 on various digitalisation projects to improve safety and productivity at Stillwater.

OptiMine increases safety and optimises underground mining operations, which align with Sibanye-Stillwater’s CARES values of commitment to safety, accountability, respect and sustainability, Newtrax says. These values support safe operations, allow growth, underpin business strategy and promote competitiveness and success.

This year marks the beginning of a new chapter with the mine-wide implementation of the new OptiMine Collision Avoidance System that links intelligent cap lamps to a warning system inside the cab of underground mobile equipment.

The system provides the vehicle operator with a virtual view of any pedestrians in the immediate area of the machine, along with an escalating warning system for both as the distance between them narrows.

This escalation transitions from a warning to vehicle intervention, where the vehicle automatically reduces speed and comes to a controlled stop should the system recognise the presence of any pedestrian wearing an intelligent cap lamp in the high-risk zone.

The same technology is also designed to improve the safety of vehicle-to-vehicle as well as vehicle-to-locomotive interactions and will be used as the digitalisation platform for real-time operations management, Newtrax, which is owned by Sandvik, said.

Jacques van Rensburg, Vice President and Group Head of Engineering, Sibanye-Stillwater, said: “Newtrax provides us with a safe, proactive and integrable solution to our operational needs. The OptiMine system integrates all the telemetry, tracking and proximity detection technology we need to run our operations safely, transparently and efficiently. And they are humble enough to leverage the global experience we’ve had with other collision avoidance systems globally, to make their system even better.”

Jean-Phillip Bouchard, Vice President – Americas, Newtrax, said: “Sibanye-Stillwater is a key customer for Newtrax. We are pleased to expand their current system and take on the challenge of developing and delivering OEM-agnostic intervention controllers to enable slow-to-stop control of all their equipment.”

Last year, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, together with Newtrax, introduced what it said was the next generation of the OptiMine solution, which combines the Newtrax digitalisation offering with the existing Sandvik suite of digital process optimisation tools as one integrated OptiMine product.

Boliden on mining’s differentiation pathway

When Mikael Staffas joins a panel on stage at the EIT Raw Materials Summit in Berlin, Germany, to discuss building a world-leading raw materials industry for Europe next month, he will be able to reference more than a few examples of sector excellence from his own company.

The Sweden-based mining and metals company has been leading from the front for decades, leveraging new and innovative technology, employing a more diverse workforce and engaging local stakeholders and regulators in a manner viewed as progressive from peers across the globe.

Gaining recognition from your mining company peers is one thing but gaining it from the public and EU-based decision makers is something altogether different.

According to Staffas, CEO of the company, the latest summit, which takes place on May 23-25, is part of a series of actions and events slowly getting these two groups to understand the importance of raw materials and the companies that produce them.

“We are moving this industry away from a perception that we are part of the problem, to an environment where we are seen to be part of the solution,” he told IM.

Staffas says the raw materials industry has been viewed as fundamentally important to Europe for several years in terms of tackling the climate change challenge – which will be reinforced at the summit – but the “regionalisation of economies” that has been brought about by COVID and the more recent geopolitical situation means this importance has, once again, been reinforced.

Within this context, Staffas is due to discuss at the event the fundamental need for copper and nickel in the energy transition. He will also shine a light on the importance of lead and zinc in this evolving landscape.

Boliden, through its mines and smelters in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Ireland, is a producer of all four of these metals. It can also add gold, silver, sulphuric acid, cobalt and palladium to the list.

As the general population is beginning to understand the importance of these raw materials and metals to their future, Boliden is trying to differentiate its own offering from the rest of its peers.

Not satisfied with simply matching the industry’s carbon emission and net zero goals to 2030 and beyond, Boliden has laid the gauntlet down to the rest of its competitors by registering two new products: Low-Carbon Copper and Low-Carbon Zinc.

The formula for these two low-carbon products is based on the production of finished metal, from cradle to gate, that has emissions of less than 1.5 t of CO2 per tonne of copper, compared with the global average of around 4 t of CO2 per tonne. For zinc, the threshold is even lower – less than 1 t of CO2 emissions per tonne of zinc, compared with the industry average of 2.5 t.

To this point, the introduction of both products has resulted in a slim premium over other products on the market, but Staffas still deems the launches as successful.

“The point was to differentiate our products, with many people expected to receive this differentiation,” he said.

The customers represented just one set of recipients, but Staffas said these new products also play into the ‘licence to operate’ equation, as well as discussions with authorities and non-governmental organisations.

The intention was to also lay down a benchmark the rest of the industry could start to use or discuss, he added.

Boliden’s carbon dioxide calculations include emissions along the entire value chain up to the customer according to the Scope 1, 2 and 3 Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle, following the ISO 14064-3 standard.

“While this might not be the only way to measure CO2, we think it is the best one,” Staffas said. “We are trying to force the industry to adopt a common way of measuring the CO2 footprint.”

This has led some of Boliden’s customers to enquire about how much embedded CO2 is in competitor zinc and copper products, ensuring the discussion spreads throughout the industry.

The obvious intention of devising such products is price, but Staffas said they also provide protection.

“When things get bad from an economical perspective, these products could really make a difference,” he said. “The customers might not pay extra for them, but if they scale down their purchases, our contracts should be the last to be cancelled.”

Staffas says Boliden is also aiming to add nickel and lead to its suite of low-carbon products in the future.

“Nickel is a special case for us as we don’t produce finished nickel; we produce a nickel matte,” he said. “We may team up with a refinery to make a joint product or do something else to ensure we can quantify the emissions according to our chosen protocols.

“Whichever way this development goes, we have to ensure we cover cradle-to-gate with these calculations otherwise it is not a true representation of the embedded carbon in that product.”

Electrification

While quantifying the carbon emissions of products is still relatively new in mining and smelting, Boliden has been using a carbon price in its internal technical studies and projections for close to a decade now.

It has been leveraging electrified sources of power for even longer. For instance, its Rönnskär copper smelter in Sweden has been using an electric oven since the 1990s.

More recently, the company has added trolley assist at Aitik and Kevitsa to this electrified base and employed ventilation on demand and heat exchangers at underground mines (the former) and smelters (the latter) to optimise its energy use.

It also has plans for underground trolley-battery haulage operation at its Rävliden (part of Kristineberg) project in Sweden through a project with Epiroc and ABB, while it is conducting a battery-electric vehicle loading trial at the Garpenberg mine, also in Sweden, with Sandvik. On the transport side, the company has recently teamed up with Scania to electrify part of its heavy-duty road transport in northern Sweden.

“It is one thing to review where we started; it is another to look at where we are going,” Staffas said on this topic. “We are planning to get better and better and go on to reduce our CO2 footprint further.”

On its way to achieving a goal of reducing its carbon dioxide intensity by 40% by 2030, the company is also looking at, among other levers, its use of explosives and cement: two key scope 3 inputs.

Staffas is confident Boliden can hit these ambitious goals by leveraging the innovation ecosystem within the Nordic region.

“For the CO2 journey we are now on, the Nordic mining cluster has and will continue to be very important,” he said. “We have big suppliers like Epiroc, Sandvik, Metso Outotec, ABB, Volvo and Scania on our doorstep. They have always worked closely with us, and we work closely with them on joint development projects.

“I think that is the main reason we are so far ahead of our competitors when it comes to our use of technology and innovation, and why we are confident in achieving our ambitious climate goals.”

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.

Sandvik introduces short-term rental service in USA

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has announced it is entering the US market with a structured rental offering that, it says, meets the needs of customers that are looking for short term, off-balance sheet solutions to fill production gaps or expand their operations, but at minimal risk.

Building on the success and learnings of its short-term rental service in Europe, Sandvik’s new US offering sees machines rented from as little as just one month.

Working in partnership with its dealer network – who tend to favour longer-term rentals – Sandvik is bringing its financial strength and ambition to be a significant player in the US rental sector, it said. Part of a long-term expansion plan for the service, the company is starting by offering Sandvik DX700 tracked drills commonly used in quarrying and highway projects.

The company is initially launching its service in five states, with Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North and South Carolina selected on the basis that the rental concept is already most established on the East Coast of the country.

“Construction, quarrying and mining customers in the US are increasingly looking for off-balance sheet solutions when acquiring equipment,” Olli Karlsson, Business Unit Manager for Rental & Used at Sandvik, said. “With the industry booming across the country, this is an exciting time to be launching a rental service in the US. The ability to free up capital that rental and lease-based structures offer – not to mention the ability to tender for a wider range of work beyond the capability of small and mid-sized contractors’ current equipment fleets – is driving the market for flexible short term rental offerings.”

Karlsson continued: “This is just the start. Over time we will expand across the US, and introduce other short-term rental equipment for construction, tunnelling, quarrying and mining.”

Sandvik’s fleet of all-new machines are supported by manufacturer service contracts and genuine parts for the duration of the rental agreement, with Sandvik rock tools also available, the company said.

Sandvik welcomes new LH208L low-profile loader to Toro family

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has added another low-profile unit to its Toro™ family, with the introduction of the Toro LH208L loader.

The loader is tailor-made to operate efficiently in conditions where working height is extremely limited, with an equipment height of just 1.6 m but high payload capacity of 7.7 t. The main market for the loader is southern Africa.

The Toro LH208L loader is a strong and reliable workhorse for low-profile hard-rock mining, specifically designed for the toughest of conditions, Sandvik says. The loader’s frame is reinforced to resist ground and roof impacts, with the welded steel box structures used in the frame and boom providing strong resistance to shock loads.

The machine is fitted with a ROPS and FOPS certified canopy, protecting the operator in the event of roll-over or falling objects. The canopy door includes a door lock and latch mechanism, with an interlock switch that automatically applies the brakes and inactivates boom, bucket and steering when the door is opened. Adjustable high-power LED lights as standard configuration enable better operator visibility, further enhanced by a standard monitoring camera system which includes front and rear cameras. To improve overall underground safety underground, a Proximity Detection System interface option is also available, Sandvik said.

The Toro LH208L also offers options specifically designed to improve productivity, such as Sandvik integrated weighing system IWS and traction control, both of which are already available for a number of other Sandvik loaders. The integrated weighing system measures the payload when lifting the boom, as well as the number of buckets filled during a shift, and records the results to My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™. Payload monitoring assists in maximising productivity by optimising loads, reducing overloading and helping to identify training needs, the company said. The traction control system reduces wheel slippage when penetrating the muck pile and filling the bucket, extending tyre lifetime and decreasing rubber waste.

The loader is equipped with a Deutz 140 kW Stage II engine, with catalytic purifier and muffler. The optional diesel particulate filter (DPF) is made of sintered metal and is field serviceable, cleaned using a high-pressure washer or steam cleaner. Using sintered metal as the DPF material also results in a long service interval, according to Sandvik. To reduce emissions and fossil fuel consumption, the engine can also use paraffinic fuel, thereby meeting BS EN 15940 requirements.

Sandvik bolsters Toro underground loader range with the Toro LH307

Sandvik has added a new loader to its rapidly expanding Toro™ family, with the Toro LH307.

In addition to featuring a multitude of design updates and new options to both hardware and software, the Toro LH307 loader also carries more tonnes than its predecessor, the 6.7 t Sandvik LH307, with the new model’s payload capacity increased to 7 t when equipped with the standard 3 cu.m bare lip bucket.

Among the new options designed to improve productivity are, for example, the Sandvik integrated weighing system IWS and traction control, both already available for the larger Sandvik loaders. The integrated weighing system measures the payload when lifting the boom, as well as the number of buckets filled during a shift, and records the results to My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™. Payload monitoring assists in maximising productivity by optimising loads, reducing overloading and helping to identify training needs. The traction control system reduces wheel slippage when penetrating to the muck pile and filling the bucket, extending tire lifetime and decreasing rubber waste.

As part of upgrading the 7 t loader, specific attention has been applied to digitalisation readiness. The loader has benefitted from control system upgrades, including 7 in touch screen colour display for the operator as standard.

The loader has been designed for use with AutoMine®, Sandvik’s advanced mining automation system for increased safety, productivity and reduced cost. AutoMine integration can be achieved by ordering an optional on-board package for the new loader for immediate autonomous use, or by selecting the automation-readiness option, allowing easy retrofitting of AutoMine later in the loader’s lifetime. Sandvik OptiMine®, also available as an option, delivers descriptive and predictive insights to improve operations and data analytics.

To serve varying customer and country specific needs, two 160 kW engine alternatives are available, both from Volvo Penta. The standard engine is an 8-litre EU Stage III A, capable of operating on diesel fuels with up to 3,000 parts per million sulphur content, whereas the optional EU Stage IV requires ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel.

The Stage III A engine also has an optional passive diesel particulate filter exhaust reduction system. To reduce emissions and consumption of fossil fuel, both engines can also use paraffinic fuel, thereby meeting EN 15940 requirements.

Nokia, Telia and Sandvik embark on world-first deployment of 5G Edge Slicing solution

Nokia has announced the world’s first deployment of 5G Edge Slicing on a live commercial network with mobile operators, Cellcom and Telia.

The latter deployment is with Sandvik in Tampere, Finland, and will demonstrate how next-generation 5G Edge Slicing functions can operate with different mining equipment and digital applications, the company said.

Nokia’s Edge Slicing solution allows operators to offer their enterprise customers next-generation, secure, reliable and high-performing Virtual Private Network (VPN) services over commercial 4G and 5G networks, it says. Once launched, both companies will be able to offer new services to their customers − driving new revenue opportunities − as well as partner with cloud application and infrastructure service providers. Nokia’s solution is available now for its global customer base.

Nokia and Cellcom’s trial with sliced RAN-Transport-Core is taking place in Netanya, Israel, and is focused on business applications and the customer experience as well as enterprise interconnectivity over a high-speed metro network.

It explained: “Nokia’s 5G Edge Slicing solution is an evolution of Nokia’s previously announced 4G/5G slicing capability. It enables operators to keep critical business data traffic local while running slice management, control and assurance on existing central mobile data centres ensuring cost and operational efficiency. It is also scalable and the same virtualised network infrastructure can be used by several customers in the same area, for example in a business campus containing multiple companies.

“Based on an enterprise customer’s needs, a 5G virtual private network can be flexibly deployed in an area with a 4G/5G base station or in a campus, city, or regional area. With Nokia, CSPs can now offer their customers both on-premise 5G Private Networks or 5G Virtual Private Networks.”

Jari Collin, CTO, Telia Finland, said: “We are delighted to be the first to deploy the first-ever 5G Edge Slicing solution together with Nokia and our important customer Sandvik, who is investing heavily in digital mining technologies and the technology environment in its test mine in Tampere. Our advanced 5G network supports our customers’ business by enabling new kinds of services and making the network more efficient. We will continue to develop innovations and the latest applications, as our mission is to bring the opportunities of 5G to our customers.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “Nokia was the first vendor to offer a network slicing solution and we are proud to continue this pioneering story by being the first to offer 5G Edge Slicing to our customers. These successful trials cover different use cases and customer requirements and demonstrate the possibilities of network slicing. I look forward to seeing this important new area grow and deliver opportunities to our customers in the coming year.”

A distributed and sliced 5G edge architecture creates partnering opportunities for mobile operators and Cloud Service and Infrastructure Providers, according to Nokia. High-performing virtualised networks enable service providers to bring edge cloud application platforms close to enterprise customers. Co-location and infrastructure companies’ facilities can be also used in the edge slicing deployments.

The company added: “5G Edge Slicing combined with Nokia’s new Adaptive Cloud Networking solution, which part of its scope is automating the edge cloud network, opens additional opportunities for service providers to create value for enterprises.”

Nokia’s 5G network slicing solution supports all LTE, 5G non-standalone, and 5G standalone (SA) devices, enabling mobile operators to use a huge device ecosystem and address a large customer base. This allows operators to utilise existing 4G/5G network assets, spectrum, and coverage for next-generation VPN services. Nokia’s network slicing solution is based on 3GPP, IETF, and TMForum standards and architecture and works in multi-vendor environments.

RCT continues to support PT Freeport Indonesia on technology journey

PT Freeport Indonesia has successfully operated one of the largest mining operations in Indonesia for decades thanks to its ability to embrace technology solutions to enhance its mining operations, smart technology specialist and Freeport supplier RCT says.

Freeport runs copper, gold and silver mines across five separate underground and surface operations in the highlands area of West Papua in Indonesia.

For over 30 years Freeport has enlisted the services of RCT to achieve its goals of making mining operations safer for workers and to optimise operations.

In the early 1990s, Freeport implemented RCT’s ControlMaster® remote control solutions across its mixed Sandvik and Wagner production mining fleet operating in the DOZ underground mine and the Grasberg open pit.

ControlMaster was the ideal solution for Freeport’s mixed mining fleet due to its ability to integrate with any machine type and grant the user effective control of the machine from a safe vantage point, according to RCT.

This has seen RCT go from supplying ControlMaster remote solutions, to performing full machine rewiring projects on-site across the underground LHD fleet. It also included deploying the ControlMaster remote control technology across the surface mining fleet, including Cat D11 and D10R dozers, and installing teleremote technology onto a Cat 994 wheel loader within the open-pit mine.

RCT has also previously commissioned ControlMaster Line-of-Sight remotes onto a variety of surface drills, including a Commando drill and Cubex drill rigs as well as a fixed position rockbreaker.

Over the years Freeport’s technology requirements have evolved and every time RCT has supplied technology in-line with changing expectations, from providing analogue communications equipment through to more current digital networks, RCT said.

At present, RCT is providing bespoke technology solutions to Freeport’s entire fleet of specialised equipment.

RCT Account Manager, Shane Smith, said the local environment presents many unique challenges and Freeport is determined to address these issues with technology, and mine in a safe way.

“Due to hazardous conditions in the underground mines, such as wet muck rushes, Freeport sought to automate water cannon trucks, mobile rockbreakers and other highly specialised equipment,” he said. “Global OEMs were not able to deliver technology to meet Freeport’s standards and so we customised our own technology to create a solution that suits their specific applications. This has been so successful that Freeport now instructs global OEMs that their machines must have an RCT solution fitted at a factory level.”

He added: “The current working relationship between Freeport and RCT is built on the foundations of many years of hard work in delivering effective automation solutions and supporting that technology.”

In 2015, Freeport asked for a RCT specialist to be deployed permanently on-site to provide a high level of support for the extensive range of automation solutions implemented across the mines.

These solutions include deploying the ControlMaster semi-autonomous technology on Cat R1700 and R2900 loaders, which can be managed by operators in Freeport’s central Remote Operation Room (ROR) on the mine’s surface.

Other projects include automating 24 chute systems spread across the Big Gossan, DOZ and DMLZ mines and relocating the chute operator from the gantry to the ROR.

Freeport has also implemented RCT’s Haul Truck Operator Assist technology to optimise underground truck loading operations.

Most recently, RCT commissioned a secondary breakage fleet at Big Gossan, including Getman and Elphinstone water cannon trucks, mobile rockbreakers and Cat skid steers. The mobile rockbreakers have been commissioned with RCT’s autonomous ControlMaster technology and enables personnel to manage machine operations from the safety of the ROR.

Smith said going forward the team will enhance the Multi Fleet Select capability, which will enable site personnel to operate multiple machine types from one Automation Centre on the mine’s surface.

“We will soon have nine new Automation Centres located in Freeport’s ROR and we will fully support local personnel in the ramping up of their autonomous fleet operations,” he said. “Freeport is at the forefront of embracing technology to enhance their mining operations and we are very pleased to support them in this journey.”