Tag Archives: Turku

Sandvik celebrates 50 years of the Toro load and haul heritage

Sandvik is celebrating the 50th birthday of its renowned Toro™ family of loaders and trucks for underground hard-rock mines.

This name has been recognised for decades, with the bull figure and the word Toro symbolising both a rich history and a promising future, Sandvik says.

The history of the bull at Sandvik dates to September 3, 1971, when the first Toro loader started its engine in Tampere, Finland. It was a Toro 100DH loader with a “massive” (at the time) 1.5-t carry capacity. Later on, the design and production facilities moved to Turku, which became the home base of the Toro family.

In 2020, after 15 years of dormancy, Sandvik reintroduced this old family name again.

“Today, the Toro family is characterised by design principles of safety, strength and intelligence,” Sandvik says.

“Safety is everything for those who work underground with heavy equipment, and it is the number one driver in the product design.

“In addition to safety of operators and maintenance personnel, the design needs to be sound from a sustainability perspective. Strength and power are at the very heart of the old Toro heritage and robust design, reliability and performance in the most demanding conditions are also the foundations for the current offering.

“The third element, being smart, evolves quickly. Sophisticated digital systems such as Sandvik’s AutoMine® and OptiMine® offerings are fine examples of intelligence, but smart solutions are needed all over the equipment, including operator ergonomics, easy maintenance access and component layouts.”

On August 31, Sandvik introduced a new i-series 15 t loader, the Toro™ LH515i, which was launched in Canada.

The Toro family includes loaders and trucks in all size classes and for all market areas. The key technologies are diesel-powered loaders and trucks, cable-electric loaders, and, as a newcomer, a battery-assisted loader that, according to Sandvik, is making an entry on the marketplace very soon.

Mine electrification is inevitable, Artisan Vehicles’ Kasaba says

As mining companies around the world seek the best ways to approach their sustainability goals, electrification has emerged as one of the most promising solutions.

With this in mind, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology recently acquired California-based Artisan Vehicle Systems, a leading manufacturer of battery-electric underground vehicles.

Recent studies show that the electrification of a mine has the potential to reduce energy costs by up to 25% in existing operations, and as much as 50% in new mines. Looking to the future, electric power is set to become even more affordable, with the cost of renewable electricity from solar and wind power technologies projected to fall by as much as 59% by 2025, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Mike Kasaba, Managing Director, Artisan Vehicle Systems, a Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology business unit, says electrification has the potential to disrupt every industry in which mobile equipment is used. Looking across all segments, development efforts are currently under way with virtually every manufacturer of vehicles or other mobile machines. Why is this? Kasaba says it comes down to the simple fact that the customers who use these machines are demanding it.

“Regardless of whether these customers are individuals, construction firms, government fleets, trucking companies, ports or mining and tunnelling organisations, what the vast majority of them have in common is that they are embracing a fundamental shift in technology away from fossil fuels,” Kasaba says.

Reducing diesel emissions to zero makes the underground working environment safer for the miners while ensuring that emissions are not vented into the environment. But, beyond the safety aspect and the obvious environmental benefit to the planet, Kasaba explains that electric mines also deliver advantages in terms of economy, productivity and performance.

“As the cost of this new technology decreases and the range, reliability and performance increase, electric drive systems are starting to outperform fossil fuel systems on overall cost of ownership, competitive advantage, return on investment and driver preference,” he says.

Many of these new mobile machines are being built from the outset with future technological advancements in mind.

“They are ready for remote upgrades, range performance improvements and more,” he says.

When it comes to the all-important economic arguments, a mine site stands to benefit in several ways from electrifying its mobile fleet. The cost of the ventilation systems, one of the most expensive aspects of developing and operating a mine, can be reduced by anywhere from 30-50% when using battery-electric machines that produce zero diesel emissions. Furthermore, less ventilation translates to a net reduction in electricity use and therefore a more energy efficient mine site overall. Meanwhile, the eliminated cost of buying diesel fuel equates to tens of thousands of dollars in savings – per vehicle and per year.

Maintenance costs are also reduced, since electric vehicle propulsion rigs have around 25% fewer parts than diesel propulsion rigs. Battery-electric machines produce one-eighth of the heat produced by a diesel machine, which can make new projects in deep mines, and mines with active geothermal conditions, more viable than they would otherwise be, due to the reduced heat factor.

Last but not least, regulatory bodies are gradually starting to favour mines that commit to an all-electric underground environment, resulting in approvals for permits that would otherwise be denied, along with a faster permitting process, both of which are potentially game-changing for mining companies around the world.

For its size, an electric motor has far more power and torque than a combustion engine. Since total horsepower does not have to be limited to mitigate ventilation system costs, far more power can be packed into a smaller machine. As a result, battery-electric machines can be designed from the ground up to handle more torque and power and therefore increase productivity in any given machine size class.

Although the advantages of electric mining speak for themselves, the industry is taking time to adapt. However, Kasaba says change is in the air.

“There are no obstacles preventing the use of electric,” he says. “The machines are at least as productive as diesel machines, the overall costs are lower, and batteries and electric components are being made in high volumes so production is scalable.” He adds that throughout modern history most technological advancements that have offered greater productivity, environmental, health and other benefits have tended to come with trade-offs such as increased costs, but this is not the case with electrification.

“The view is that, in the case of the electrification, overall costs will be lower,” Kasaba says. “This, coupled with the fact that zero diesel emissions are inherently healthier and safer for mine site workers, makes electrification inevitable.”

As a leading supplier to the mining industry, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has been quick to recognise the huge potential benefits of electrification. In February this year, Sandvik completed the acquisition of Artisan Vehicle Systems to secure access to its cutting-edge technologies and solutions, which include proprietary battery packs, electric motors, power electronics, software and control systems for hard-rock underground mining.

Mats Eriksson, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s Load and Haul division, says this is a logical step in complementing the market-leading competence and experience that already exists at Sandvik’s state-of-the-art battery-electric vehicle and electrification research centre at the Load and Haul facility in Turku, Finland.

“Artisan is a front-runner in electric vehicle development, and Sandvik’s new R&D foothold in this area will complement the know-how and skills we already have from developing and making world-leading loaders and trucks,” Eriksson says, adding that the acquisition is advantageous to both parties.

While Sandvik will benefit from Artisan’s quick, agile approach to innovation and battery-electric vehicle expertise, Artisan will gain access to the established strength and operational experience of Sandvik, which has been the market leader in tethered electric underground loaders since 1981.

“The acquisition of Artisan battery-electric vehicles places Sandvik in a leadership position in terms of electrification within underground mining, which is clearly the direction in which the industry is heading,” Eriksson concludes.

The full version of this article appeared first as a Sandvik Solid Ground online news story, see following link: https://solidground.sandvik/an-electric-future/

Sandvik ups battery-electric machine capacity with Artisan Vehicles buy

Sandvik has acquired privately-owned Artisan Vehicle Systems as it looks to capture more market share in the fast-moving battery-electric mining equipment space.

Based in Camarillo, California, US, Artisan is a manufacturer of battery-powered underground mining equipment. It has three commercially-available machines: a 4-t capacity LHD (A4, pictured), 10-t capacity LHD (A10) and a 40-t capacity haul truck (Z40).

The core technology behind Artisan’s offering is battery packs, electric motors, power electronics, software and control systems, according to Sandvik. “Artisan’s underground mining loaders and trucks are designed with these high-powered, highly reliable and field proven battery electric powertrains,” the company said, adding that Artisan is the market leader with most battery-electric vehicles currently operating in underground mining.

Lars Engström, President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “I am pleased to see the strategic acquisition of Artisan so soon after the opening of Sandvik’s state-of-the-art battery electrification innovation and development centre in Turku, Finland, in 2018. It is in line with our ambition to be leading in the market for battery-electric vehicle solutions.”

Artisan will be a business unit in the Load and Haul Division within Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, the company said.

Mats Eriksson, President Load and Haul Division, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “The area in which Artisan is located is a frontrunner in electric vehicle development. Our new R&D foothold there will complement the skillset we have in Finland. The combination of knowhow and skills creates a very strong platform.”

Prior to this acquisition, Sandvik had just one battery-powered underground machine, it’s DD422iE jumbo drill.

Artisan is a start-up company which, in 2017, had revenues of $12.3 million and approximately 60 employees.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, but the transaction is expected to close during the March quarter. The deal is initially neutral to earnings per share, Sandvik said.