Tag Archives: Scania

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.”

LKAB to trial ‘first-of-its-kind’ Scania electric heavy tipper truck at Malmberget

An electric Scania Heavy Tipper truck is set to operate at LKAB’s iron ore mine in Malmberget, northern Sweden, alongside an electric crane truck specially adapted for these mining operations, giving Scania a chance to test and operate fully-electric trucks in a demanding underground mine environment.

The heavy tipper has a total weight including load of 49 t and will transport residual products, Scania said. The second truck is equipped with a crane, purpose-fit to transport drill steel to underground drill rigs. The electric truck with the crane will be charged at the depot, but mobile charging at the sites will also be possible to increase flexibility. The vehicles are expected to start operations at Malmberget during 2022.

Peter Gustavsson, Project Manager at LKAB, said the electric Scania trucks are part of an ambition to set a new standard for sustainable mining, where fossil-free solutions are used.

“We are shifting our fleet away from fossil diesel and as we are testing the capacity of battery-powered electric vehicles; decisions are taken with respect to the choice of trucks must not only contribute to higher productivity but, above all, also a more sustainable mine and a safer work environment.”

Fredrik Allard, Head of E-mobility, Scania, said: “We continue to work with customers that are willing to try innovative solutions together with us. For Scania it is very valuable to be able to test electric vehicles in the extreme environment in real customer operations in the mine. On top of that, the electric heavy tipper is the first of its kind in the industry and another really big step on the journey towards sustainable transport solutions across all applications.”

Gustavsson concluded: “Scania’s entry into our transformation process is valuable because it gives us the opportunity to evaluate their battery-powered vehicles. Together we hope to develop and build fossil-free vehicles that are as productive or even more so than the ones we currently have.”

Scania pictures the future of mine site haulage with AXL

In September, Scania joined Komatsu in announcing it had come up with a cabless automated haulage concept for mines and construction sites that, it said, was a significant step towards smart transport systems of the future.

Having the Scania modular system at the heart of the design, the first live demo of Scania AXL took place at TRATON GROUP’s Innovation Day on October 2, at Scania’s demo centre in Södertälje, Sweden.

Following this, IM spoke with Karin Hallstan, Head of Corporate Communications and PR at Scania, to find out a little more about the concept machine.

IM: Why have you decided to launch the AXL now? Why do you think the mining and construction markets are ready for such an innovation?

KH: Autonomous transport solutions, in different levels of technological sophistication, are already well established within the mining industry. Scania already has autonomous trucks in a customer operation (Rio Tinto at the Dampier salt operation in Western Australia).

Also, mines are like closed industrial areas and have trained professionals in command of operations meaning they are well suited for automation. Autonomous vehicles can also make mining operations safer for people employed within the sector.

The reveal of Scania AXL as a concept had to do with Scania having a good opportunity to showcase this in relation to other news we also have planned.

IM: The success of autonomous equipment on mine sites – in terms of boosting productivity, lowering costs, increasing utilisation, etc – has often been predicated on having robust network communications to relay information from the equipment. How will Scania ensure all its customers leverage the technology to its fullest without insisting on 4G/5G/LTE, etc networks.

KH: A certain communications infrastructure will need to be in place to ensure the onboard communications equipment work. Which type and with which capacity may vary.

IM: What payload is the initial concept vehicle? What range of payloads do you expect to cater for in the mining/construction sector?

KH: Scania AXL is based on a 8×4 donor vehicle with a 410 hp diesel engine (G410B8x4NA) running on biofuel HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). However, since it is based on Scania’s modular approach, it can be equipped with any engine and wheel configuration available in the Scania modular system. The Scania AXL can load up to 40 tons using existing heavy-duty components.

IM: Based on this, what type of mining operations are you aiming to sell into (coal, iron ore, copper, etc)?

KH: It is important to note that this is a concept which we are building and piloting to primarily learn from in terms of the autonomous capabilities and removing the cab from a truck, rather than something with a set plan to commercialise. We believe that we will start in open-pit mines in this learning process. That said, Scania AXL is specifically constructed with a low tipper truck body that is suitable for underground tunnels with as little as 2.8 m headroom. Above ground, the truck body could be bigger.

IM: You mentioned that this is the first time the company has built a truck that has many new components and technologies – can you expand on what these are and what results you expect to achieve by incorporating them in the AXL design?

KH: The fact that there is no safety driver as backup has led to several innovations with regards to system integration and safety related processes and technical solutions. For example, the original electronic braking system has a ‘safe mode’ that hands control back to the (manual) driver which, in this case, doesn’t exist. Situations like these must be handled with redundancy.

IM: How does the automation system you have developed for the AXL differ to other solutions on the market? 

KH: We will comment on our own solutions, not necessarily on others’. What we can say about the automation system for Scania AXL is that the vehicle creates its own picture of its environment and performs its task based on its own view of whether the path/road is drivable and what the assignment is. It is not a solution for automated guidance by GPS-signals or where vehicles follow a loop in the ground.

IM: LiDAR appears to be a big part of the company’s design for the AXL. Has this LiDAR technology been transferred from another vehicle in the Scania range? Or, is it from another sector?

KH: Most of the sensors (radar, LiDAR, antennas and cameras) are, in essence, early prototypes at this stage and are not available in the existing Scania range.

IM: Where and when do you expect to trial the AXL first? What do you anticipate this trial involving (testing out the full capabilities, trialing the self-driving, loading the machine, etc)?

KH: We have trialled it in our own test facilities. If, and when, we work with a customer in a location outside our test environment, we will disclose this broadly publicly.

IM: When could the AXL be available commercially and, going back to a previous question, what payload class is this likely to be in?

KH: This is a concept and a pilot, so we are not commenting on commercial availability.

Scania goes cabless and autonomous with AXL haul truck

Scania has joined Komatsu in coming up with a cabless automated haulage concept for mines and construction sites.

The fully autonomous concept truck, the Scania AXL, is the result of a group of Scania experts in different fields teaming up and developing a concept truck, which, even without a cab, has the company’s modular system at the heart of the design, Scania says.

“As different industries look to streamline transport assignments and make them more sustainable, self-driving vehicles are increasingly being considered,” Scania said. “Mines and large closed construction sites are examples of environments that are favourable for self-driving pilots since they are well-controlled locations.”

At MINExpo 2016, Komatsu unveiled its own “Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle” featuring a cabless structure. It then showcased this vehicle at an event at its Arizona Proving Grounds near Tucson, last year.

Scania’s President and CEO, Henrik Henriksson, said: “With the Scania AXL concept truck, we are taking a significant step towards the smart transport systems of the future, where self-driving vehicles will play a natural part.

“We continue to build and pilot concepts to demonstrate what we can do with the technology that is available today.”

The Scania AXL is steered and monitored by an intelligent control environment where, in mines, the autonomous operations are facilitated by a logistics system that tells the vehicle how it should perform. The front module of the machine is equipped with cameras, radar, LiDAR and GPS receivers to generate a common view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings. In addition, the combustion engine that powers the concept vehicle is powered by renewable biofuel.

Claes Erixon, Head of Research and Development at Scania, said the company already has self-driving trucks in customer operations.

“However, so far, they have been with room for a safety driver who can intervene if necessary,” he said. “Scania AXL does not have a cab and that changes the game significantly. The development in self-driving vehicles has made great strides in the past years. We still don’t have all the answers, but through concept vehicles like Scania AXL we break new ground and continue to learn at great speed.”

The first live demo of Scania AXL will take place at TRATON GROUP’s Innovation Day on October 2, at Scania’s demo centre in Södertälje, Sweden.

Terex Trucks lays groundwork for Russia expansion with Mining Eurasia pact

Terex Trucks has signed Mining Eurasia as its new official distributor in the Russian Federation as the Scotland-based manufacturer looks to improve availability as well as return on investment for its customers in the region.

The company said: “As the single largest country in the world, it’s no great surprise that Russia has an abundance of coal, metal and minerals. In fact, it is home to 17% of all mineral deposits, 18% of all coal reserves, and produces more chromium, nickel and palladium than any other nation.”

According to Terex Trucks, this is one of the reasons why mining equipment provider Mining Eurasia has gone from “strength to strength” over the years. Now, it will be the official distributor of Terex Trucks’ TA300 and TA400 (pictured) articulated haulers in the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Startsev, Chief of Service, Mining Eurasia, said: “Russia is a tough market, with many of our customers running 24/7 operations. This firstly requires reliable equipment, but it also requires a lot of support from us.

“The harder you make machines work, the more you’ll need access to spare parts and knowledgeable technicians. We’ve always prided ourselves on the quality of our aftermarket support. This has helped us to build a strong reputation within our sector and strike up partnerships with companies like Terex Trucks.”

John Rotherford, Global Key Accounts Director, Terex Trucks, said: “In close collaboration with their (Mining Eurasia’s) team in Russia, we’ll be working together to improve availability as well as return on investment for our customers.”

Mining Eurasia has its headquarters in Moscow, along with a repair centre, four regional offices and 11 service centres situated across Russia. “The majority of our employees are dedicated service specialists,” Startsev said. “We plan to use that expertise to ensure that our customers can get the most out of their Terex Trucks machines.”

The Terex TA300 ADT is powered by a Scania DC9 engine and has a maximum payload of 28 t, maximum torque of 1880 Nm and can achieve gross power of 276 kW, according to Terex Trucks. “It is equipped with true independent front suspension as standard, resulting in excellent traction control and operator comfort,” the company said.

The TA400, the largest articulated hauler on offer from Terex Trucks, has a maximum payload of 38 t and a heaped capacity of 23.3 m³. “The Allison HD4560 transmission boasts high performance oil and up to 6,000 hours between service intervals,” Terex Trucks said.

Both machines come with hydrostatic power steering and all-hydraulic braking systems, helping to ensure a safe and comfortable ride, according to the company.

New generation Scania XT trucks go to work at Pilbara mine site

Scania’s first new truck generation XT mining chassis have arrived in Australia and are already in use at a Pilbara mine site in Western Australia.

The two Scania NTG G 450 8×4 twin steer chassis have been fitted with new, higher-capacity 40,000-litre Shermac water cart bodies for the customer.

Scania says the tailor-made Shermac bodies are more than double the capacity of those fitted to traditional road-going trucks used on mine sites and are designed to replace mine-specific road train combinations.

“The new Scania XT trucks offer the customer a more cost-effective solution to the requirement for dust suppression and road building assistance on-site,” Scania says.

Robert Taylor, General Manager, Mining at Scania Australia, said the mining customer has had experience operating a fleet of Scania trucks on-site as service vehicles, flatbeds and technical support vehicles for the past year.

“The trucks were in service 24-hours per day, seven-days per week and have clocked up around 70,000 km on-site in their first 12 months. They have been very reliable in service and the drivers enjoyed the comfortable and quiet Scania cab,” he said.

“When we were discussing the replacement of the customer’s existing water carts, we suggested a more flexible solution, in the form of the NTG 450 XT 8×4 as they could handle the higher payload of 40,000-litres for a GVM (gross vehicle mass) of around 66 t,” Taylor said.

The water carts are also on call 24/7 and reliability is very important to the customer, Taylor added.

“They work in an extremely harsh environment where there is a lot of dust and heat and so water cart availability is critical to the mine’s operations. The vehicles will be serviced on-site to maximise uptime,” he said.

This new high-capacity water cart underscores Scania’s ability to configure a vehicle exactly to a client’s needs, according to Taylor.

“Our client wanted a reliable, high-capacity vehicle that could be maintained easily and quickly and one that could do the job day-in, day-out. The new Scania XT range is designed for these conditions and, in addition to being able to source and fit a suitable body, we have been able to deliver a solution at a reduced capital cost to the client compared with their previous solution,” he said.

“One of our longer-term goals has been to be able to offer our customers the ability to replace their very high-cost capital equipment with Scania solutions that provide a greater degree of resource utilisation flexibility as well as cut their capital expenditure without compromising availability or productivity. And we are able to deliver solutions in a timelier manner as well.

“With these new XT water carts we believe we are taking another significant step towards delivering on that strategy,” he said.

Jim Ray, who controls sales and sales management at mining engineering equipment supplier Shermac, said Scania was confident the 8×4 chassis would be suitable for this 40,000 litre payload, having seen 66 t payloads used widely in tipper configurations in South America and Indonesia mine sites.

“All of our water carts are custom designed and extensively tested to ensure optimum weight distribution and performance no matter how tough the environment or challenge,” Ray said.

“With liquid loads you do get high dynamic forces, but our Roadserve 2000 model water cart is well baffled and on-site speeds will be low and there are few inclines, allowing the vehicles to do their jobs reliably. Scania also has a lower centre of gravity compared with the previous solution, which also aids stability and safety,” he said.

The Scania NTG XT range has been designed for challenging operating conditions and comes with a 150 mm protruding steel front bumper bar that protects the vehicle against significant frontal knocks.

With protective grilles for the LED headlights, a fold-down bumper-mounted step to allow safe access for windscreen cleaning on-site, and a 40 t capacity tow point, the XT is suited to the operating conditions of a mine site. Additionally, Scania has added extra tough door mirror covers for the XT, as they are often very vulnerable to accidental damage.

Within the NTG cabs, all drivers are seated more comfortably in new seats, positioned closer to the screen and door for enhanced visibility, while repositioned A-pillars and mirrors provide an even safer and enhanced view out to the front and side.

The G 450 B8x4HZ chassis selected by the customer has a 5,950 mm axle distance, and two 12 t front axles and two 21 t rear drive axles for a GVM of 66 t.

The 450 hp (336 kW), 13 litre, six-cylinder in-line engine drives through a Scania Opticruise automated gear-change and GRSO935R transmission, with specific off-road mode built into the management system.

The latest and highest output Scania hydraulic retarder system is fitted to provide safe braking, preserving the service brake linings on the drum brakes, which are backed by ABS.

Steel leaf spring suspension all-round provides a solution for the on-site driving environment, backed up by a heavy-duty mechanical suspension for the cab to chassis connections. A new electrically powered cab tilting mechanism is occupational health and safety friendly, as well, Scania says.

Within the low roof day cab, the Scania XT is fitted with a steering-wheel mounted airbag as well as driver and passenger side curtain airbags designed to protect occupants in the event of a rollover.