Tag Archives: wheel loader

New Cat 994K wheel loader improves ROM productivity at Batchfire’s Callide mine

Batchfire Resources says the arrival of a new Cat 994K wheel loader has brought with it a 150% improvement in material movement efficiency and reduced carbon footprint at its Callide coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The operation recently retired its old Cat 994 after 100,000 hours of use, replacing it with a more efficient, safer, high-productivity Cat 994K.

The upgrade was made under Batchfire’s joint initiative with Hastings Deering to modernise its pre-strip mining fleet, future-proofing its operations with the latest technology.

The new 994K was customised with an oversized bucket, offering a 14 cu.m capacity, generating 150% more material movement without increasing carbon emissions, the company said.

Batchfire Resources Superintendent Mobile – Engineering and Maintenance, Daniel Boal, said: “There’s a huge difference in payload. It used to take us 10 buckets to load a Cat 789 truck on the run of mine. With the new 994K, we can do that in four.”

Batchfire has already seen a reduction in emissions, as well as a lower cost per tonne on the run of mine, despite the 994K featuring 500 horsepower (373 kW) more power than its predecessor. The unit also offers greatly improved operator comfort with its new high-cab design, air-suspended seat and lower noise emissions, the company says.

The 994K takes safety to another level at Callide, offering improved access, visibility and reducing tailpipe emissions – improving air quality and keeping the mine site safe, the company says.

Boal said the investment in new machinery ensured a more sustainable and efficient run of mine operation.

“On a ROM, what you need is a reliable loader, it’s probably one of the most critical parts of the mine,” he said. “We’ve got 500 hp more in the new 994, so we can do it quicker and more efficiently.

“This journey started in 1993. The old 994 has pretty much been in service the whole time. The way Caterpillar build things, they are made to last; they’re built for a long-term investment. It was an easy decision in the end to go for the new 994K loader.”

RCT’s Halo Exclusion Zone Safety Lighting System safeguards smelting operations

Smelter staff and heavy equipment operators are benefitting from RCT’s deployment of machine-mounted safety lighting solutions at a major smelting operation in Queensland, Australia, according to the technology company.

RCT’s Mt Isa team worked in partnership with mine site managers to develop the solution as part of the company’s initiatives to safeguard operations inside the copper smelter dome.

The resulting Halo Exclusion Zone Safety Lighting System consists of beams of red light projected on the ground around a Cat 988K Wheel Loader, which packs copper concentrate into hoppers within the smelting dome, the company explained.

The lighting is positioned on three sides of the wheel loader so that pedestrian traffic inside the dome will be visually alerted to the machine’s presence and move to a safe area.

RCT’s team selected this lighting system over other commercially available solutions as it can be clearly seen through the dusty environment within the smelting dome.

RCT Mt Isa Branch Manager, Danny Ballard, said the client is very happy with the result of the project.

“Our client came to us with a very specific request that would enhance safety for their staff on site and I am pleased that our team were able to find a solution and quickly support the team on site,” he said.

“I am confident that the lighting system will warn pedestrians and the machine operator of  potential safety hazards and prompt them to take corrective actions immediately so that everyone goes home safe at the end of each shift.

“This solution represents RCT Mt Isa’s latest work in a long line of successful projects for this mining operation and we look forward to further supporting them into the future.”

Danfoss and Webasto to collaborate on electrifying off-highway sector

Danfoss Power Solutions’ Editron division and Webasto Group have officially announced a strategic partnership at Bauma 2022 geared towards combining both companies’ expertise to deliver prevalidated solutions to the off-highway market.

To accelerate the pace of mobile machinery electrification and support OEMs with their net-zero goals, Danfoss’ Editron division and Webasto will combine their respective technologies and expertise, they explained. Through joint consultations and commissioning, Webasto’s scalable battery systems will be integrated into Editron electric and hybrid drivetrain systems.

The Editron division’s off-highway portfolio offers a power range of 30 kW to 1,000 kW.

“By combining both portfolios, the companies will provide a more stable and reliable prevalidated system solution to OEMs, leading to a prevention of electromagnetic compatibility issues,” they said.

The two companies have already collaborated on several projects, including the development of Danfoss’ fully electric wheel loader (pictured), which the company is presenting at Bauma 2022. The Editron division and Webasto also joined the Dieseko team that developed the Woltman 90DRe electric drilling rig, which is also showcased at the event.

Kimmo Rauma, Vice President of Danfoss’ Editron division, said: “I can’t think of a better partner than Webasto to join us on our journey towards electrifying the off-highway industry. Our two companies are an excellent technical and cultural fit, built on strong values with a customer-first mindset. Our portfolios are a perfect match, as seen in our previous joint projects, such as our fully-electric wheel loader.

“In addition, Danfoss and Webasto focus on delivering excellent guidance and customer service, so our OEM customers can expect to receive an enhanced system solution meeting their commercial and climate goals. We look forward to partnering with Webasto on many projects to electrify the off-highway industry further and make the world cleaner and safer for all.”

Heike Niehues, Executive Vice President at Webasto, added: “We’re delighted to officially announce our partnership with Danfoss. The company’s Editron division is a well-known industry name and a reliable partner, with products that make for a great fit with our battery and thermal management systems. We’ve already demonstrated how well our solutions work together and are excited to partner with an experienced organisation that shares the same commitment to the robustness, reliability and quality of products for the electrification of the off-highway sector. This will be a fruitful long-term partnership between our two companies that will provide our customers with products that optimally complement each other and allow them a faster go-to-market for their electrified vehicles.”

Enerpac EVO solution gives WesTrac and Cat 994K wheel loader a needed lift

Enerpac’s EVO synchronous lifting system has come to the rescue of WesTrac in Western Australia, with the Caterpillar dealer in need of an efficient, portable and safe solution to lift its Cat® 994K wheel loader.

The system needed to be operated independently without manual intervention and provide a locking function during the lift, according to Enerpac.

The 200 t Cat wheel loader had to be lifted to a height of 400-450 mm with an accuracy of +/- 2 mm across four lift points: a process carried out on uneven ground, which caused the lifting points to be at different heights. The lifting equipment needed to work independently to the pump and required forklift pockets so it could be manoeuvred into place easily, according to Enerpac.

Enerpac recommended its EVO synchronous lifting system, which, the company says, allows one device to control the entire lifting operation while providing status updates at every point of the process without the need for manual monitoring. By digitally monitoring and controlling lifting operations, users enhance safety and eliminate costly downtime, it says.

“Utilising proven synchronised lifting technology, combined with an expertise in high tonnage cylinder manufacturing, a customised Enerpac solution was developed to provide a high-precision lifting system to lift the Cat wheel loader on challenging ground conditions,” Enerpac explained.

Sanjesh Balgovind, Heavy Lifting Technology Special Projects Manager, Enerpac, said: “With an intuitive user interface, the custom EVO synchronous lifting system is easy to set up and control. It combines high pressure hydraulics and computer controls to monitor and control precise lifting and movement of heavy loads, such as WesTrac’s 200 t Cat wheel loader.”

Assembling and transporting over-dimension vehicles like the Cat wheel loader requires several steps, according to Balgovind.

“It often involves locating and positioning the lifting equipment at the appropriate lift points, removing the wheels, attaching wheel stands, and lowering the vehicle to the ground followed by removing the lifting equipment,” Balgovind says.

“Thereafter, a multi-wheel trailer would be placed under the vehicle and the wheel stands removed before it is ready for transportation. Using short stroke cylinders without synchronous lifting would be time-consuming, cumbersome and could introduce additional risk if the load is lifted at different heights.”

Through an integrated human machine interface, all movements are operated from a central control system displaying live operation and real time status updates of each lifting position. The Enerpac EVO system can deliver an accuracy of up to 1 mm across all lift points and provides stroke feedback and indicative load at each point, according to the company. In addition, there are built-in warning and stop alarms to ensure optimum safety.

The custom HCRL-Series 100-ton (91 t) 18 in stroke cylinders have servo motor-driven lock nuts that provide mechanical load holding across all lift points for a safe work environment, according to the company, while its hardened and robust surface is designed to resist side-loading and cyclic wear. The locknut drive controller is mounted on the cylinder and keeps the locking collar 3-6 mm from the cylinder body. The cylinders are then affixed in custom steel frames with lifting pockets.

The lifting frames are then placed at the respective lift points with forklifts and connected to a custom EVO-Series synchronous lifting system, ready for lifting. As the rear of the truck requires a higher lift point, the frames are further attached to stands for additional height. The cylinders are then placed at the respective lift points with forklifts and connected to the EVO system, ready for lifting. A flow of 3 litres per minute is used to ensure that the locking collar adjustment can keep up with cylinder extension and retraction.

“At a rate of 1 mm/s, the wheel loader is lifted with significant safety and productivity gains,” Balgovind says. “The auto-locking cylinders provide an improved safety application as the load is always mechanically locked during both lifting and lowering operations.

“It is a safe and effective solution for applications with potential safety risks of working with hydraulic-suspended loads. In addition, given the portability of the system, it was brought to site easily and could function in a convenient manner.”

Komatsu to display power-agnostic dump truck, autonomous haulage retrofit vision at MINExpo

To help support its customers’ sustainability targets while prioritising safety and productivity, Komatsu is to focus on “creating value together” in its 48,000-sq.ft (4,459 sq.m) booth at MINExpo 2021, in Las Vegas, USA, where the company plans to unveil its latest solutions for surface and underground mining operations.

Jeff Dawes, President and CEO of Komatsu Mining Corp and chairperson of MINExpo 2021, said: “MINExpo provides the perfect opportunity for industry leaders to collaborate on new ways to extract essential minerals at this critical time for our society. Supporting our customers’ path forward with new solutions that leverage digitalisation, electrification and automation is crucial to our role as an essential provider to the industry, and we look forward to sharing these innovations developed in partnership with today’s mines.”

The company’s latest haulage concepts, designed to prioritise customers’ desire to reduce emissions and for autonomous haulage solutions, will be on display; revealing Komatsu’s future vision for power-agnostic dump trucks and autonomous haulage retrofits for existing equipment. Komatsu will also preview future capabilities for remote operation of equipment featuring hydraulic excavators and autonomous haulage.

Other new Komatsu solutions designed to advance more sustainable mining methods that will be on display during the event – from September 13-15 – include:

  • The WE1850 Gen 3 surface wheel loader (pictured) with proven SR (Switched Reluctance) hybrid drive technology;
  • ZR122 surface blasthole drill with automated features;
  • Battery hauler for underground mining powered by lithium-ion battery technology;
  • Battery-tram powered ZJ32Bi jumbo drill for underground hard-rock mining; and
  • Underground hard-rock drilling and bolting retrofits compatible with all major and most other OEMs.

Created with input from customers around the world, the company’s latest equipment, service and technology solutions are designed to simplify tasks, streamline processes and – ultimately – help optimise customers’ entire enterprise, Komatsu said.

“Recognising that the path forward will not look the same for every operation, Komatsu is here to support customers at each stage of their journey toward a more sustainable future,” it added. “Company representatives will be available in the booth to consult with attendees and collaborate on new solutions.”

The Komatsu booth will debut the company’s unified and expanded mining offerings, with additional solutions highlighted at neighbouring booths for Modular Mining, a Komatsu technology brand, and Immersive Technologies and Hensley Industries, Komatsu subsidiaries.

XCMG’s DL560 wheel bulldozer heads to Mongolia mining sector

XCMG says it has delivered a DL560 wheel bulldozer – its largest wheeled dozer – to a mining customer in Mongolia. The delivery, XCMG says, marks full access for the Mongolia mining industry to the company’s entire product line of large-tonnage loaders and wheel bulldozers.

The DL560 wheel bulldozer is XCMG’s latest generation product developed with a firm structure, strong power and high level of stability and safety. This model is designed to be the first-choice product for ports and large mines, which can help tackle mining challenges brought by complicated complex geological structures.

Wang Min, Chairman of XCMG, said: “We are privileged to provide the very best of XCMG’s innovation and quality for our partners in Mongolia, and we hope such cooperation can help Mongolia, the second largest landlocked country in the world, to further discover its mineral resources.

“Our products, such as the DL560 wheel bulldozer, have been widely used in the country. XCMG has the highest market share in Mongolia among all Chinese brands and is now becoming the first choice for the local Mongolian construction machinery industry.”

Functions of the DL560 wheel bulldozer worth highlighting include XCMG’s new FOPS and ROPS pressurised cab featuring a large space, which offers low noise driving experience with excellent sealing performance. A sound and light warning device incorporated by an advanced electronic monitoring system, as well as a full-hydraulic maintenance-free wet drive axle, enables fast response and safe driving, the company said.

In the meantime, XCMG says it is also taking “green action” by introducing a load-sensing variable hydraulic system to the DL560 model. This can reduce fuel consumption by 7% and prolong the lives of parts, according to the company. Double-pump confluence technology can also improve working efficiency and reduce energy loss.

To ensure the sustainable usage of XCMG’s products in Mongolia, XCMG has also established a large-scale spare part resource reserve and a local spare parts centre in the country, offering comprehensive aftersales support with ultimate service.

RCT improves safety at South Africa diamond operation

RCT says it has installed its ControlMaster® Line-of-Sight solution on equipment at an open-pit diamond mine in South Africa.

In 2019, RCT installed and commissioned the solution on a CAT 994 wheel loader, which has been utilised to clear pit benches of debris falling from the crest of the bench above at the mine, owned by a major mining company, RCT said.

RCT’s locally-based Field Service Technician carried out commissioning works and empowered site equipment operators with the training necessary to efficiently manage the wheel loader, it said.

RCT’s Johannesburg-based Business Development Manager for Africa, Mike Thomas, said: “South Africa’s Department of Mining Regulations prohibited any mining personnel to be in close proximity with the bench’s toe.

“The Line-of-Sight technology meant equipment operators could stand at a safe distance in accordance with regulations and carry out their work as if they were sitting in the machine’s cab.”

He concluded: “Our ControlMaster automation technology integrated seamlessly into the wheel loader’s operating system and carries out the same range of functions as specified by the original equipment manufacturer.”

Komatsu America launches new WA900-8 wheel loader

Komatsu America Corp has introduced the WA900-8 wheel loader, a 116,400 kg machine equipped with US EPA Tier 4 Final certified emission regulations-compliant engine that is purposebuilt to load 70-150 ton (64-136 t) haul trucks.

Robert Hussey, Product Marketing Manager, Komatsu America Corp, said: “The WA900-8 is the perfect machine for loading haul trucks in limestone pits because the all new Komatsu bucket design, with modified profile, maximises bucket fill to increase productivity. The large pillarless cab offers great visibility, and the higher capacity air suspension seat, along with the Electronically Controlled Suspension System (ECSS), provides a smooth ride for better travel performance to keep operators comfortable throughout long shifts.”

In terms of productivity and efficiency, the WA900-8 has a variable traction control system and modulation clutch system to provide optimal tractive effort for various ground conditions, the company says. Komatsu SmartLoader Logic, meanwhile, helps reduce fuel consumption while maintaining production levels. The wheel loader comes equipped with a closed centre load sensing hydraulic system to deliver hydraulic flow based on application demand, saving fuel and reducing hydraulic oil temperatures, Komatsu says. A throttle lock with auto-deceleration also improves cycle times by maintaining high work-equipment performance.

Under the hood of the WA900-8 is a US EPA Tier 4 Final emission regulation-compliant engine, the SSA12V140E-7, which outputs a net horsepower of 899 hp, or 670 kW (up 5% from the 856 hp on the WA900-3E0). It also boasts dual Komatsu diesel particulate filters/no selective catalytic reduction system and there is no need for diesel exhaust fluid. Variable geometry turbochargers ensure precise engine control and quick response, the company said.

In terms of accessibility and operator comfort, Komatsu listed these traits:

  • Advanced joystick steering system and electronic pilot control work equipment control levers provide quick and precise response to operator input;
  • Automatic dig system, semi-automatic approach and dump system help less experienced operators become more productive and can reduce fatigue for experienced operators;
  • High resolution, 7 in monitor with dedicated rearview camera, and;
  • 45° stairways on the left- and right-hand side of the machine and walkways in front of the cab and on the rear counterweight provide easy access on the machine.

The machine benefits from a number of new technologies, including an advanced machine monitoring system, with onboard diagnostics viewable with the 7 in LCD monitor, which means no laptop is required for machine troubleshooting; KomVision® with radar obstacle detection and a six-camera system on a dedicated LCD monitor to provide a bird’s-eye view around the machine and an audible alert when an obstacle is detected in the working area for improved operator situational awareness (optional); enhanced KOMTRAX® Plus for immediate remote diagnostics of machine heath and performance with operator ID and integration with third-party telematics systems; and energy savings operation ECO guidance provides operator with real-time recommendations to improve machine operation efficiency.

The Komatsu WA900-8 has a completely redesigned front and rear frame and loader linkages making it the most durable chassis in the model history, according to the company. This is complemented by a new standard brake cooling system to reduce brake oil temperature, all of which results in longer brake-service life. An engine pre-lubrication system raises engine oil pressure before startup to ensure full lubrication of all engine components, the company added.

Cat 990K wheel loader to receive payload boost with Aggregate Handler

Caterpillar has boosted the payload of its 990K wheel loader with the introduction of its Aggregate Handler.

The attachment provides as much as a 25% payload increase compared with the standard 990K Wheel Loader, enabling customers to load trucks and railcars faster and to move more material in load-and-carry and stockpile handling tasks.

The Cat® 990K Aggregate Handler has a payload of 22 tons (20 t) and a full-turn static tipping load of 96,426 lb (43,738 kg). Additional counterweight maintains machine stability, and the robust 990K structures ensure durability in the Aggregate Handler configuration.

“The loader makes best use of general purpose and coal buckets for increased volume,” Cat says.

It is available in standard lift configuration with 13.5 ft (4,108 mm) dump clearance and in high lift configuration with 15 ft (4,569 mm) dump clearance. Increased capacity and high dump clearance enable customers to load railcars and large trucks with a better pass match for faster material handling at lower cost per ton, Cat says.

The 990K Aggregate Handler complements the smaller 986K and 988K Aggregate Handlers in the Cat large wheel loader line. The Aggregate Handler, however, is not designed for use in quarry face or other shot rock applications, according to Cat.

The new 990K Aggregate Handler is built on the proven features of the 990K wheel loader, Cat says.

“The 990K powertrain provides powerful operation with superior fuel efficiency. The Cat C27 engine powers the loader and delivers net power of 699 hp (521 kW). Lower engine speed helps drive economical fuel use. Additional fuel savings accrue with the ECO Mode (on-demand throttle), engine-idle shutdown system, and engine-idle kickdown/auto-resume system,” the company says.

Cat’s exclusive, field-proven impeller clutch torque converter uses a lock-up clutch, providing direct drive to boost fuel economy, cut cycle times and reduce heat. This is especially so in load-and-carry applications, Cat says.

“The system allows operators to balance rimpull and hydraulic power for optimum loading efficiency. Positive Flow Control implement hydraulics use a variable displacement, electronically controlled pump to precisely apportion oil flow based on operator control inputs,” the company says.

The operator station features the Cat Vital Information Management System, VIMS™ 3G, which provides customisable operator profiles, a cycle timer and an integral Payload Control System for “on-the-go payload weighing”, Cat says.

The company says the graphical information display is easy to use and keeps key information in front of the operator, while the Cat Comfort III seat provides integrated seat-mounted controls making for smooth and comfortable operation. Transmission controls, integral with the STIC™ steering lever, allow convenient travel control, Cat says.

The 990K is equipped with the Cat Vision rearview camera system and in-cab display for improved visibility. The Cat Detect object detection system, available as an option, builds on this system with radars and in-cab software that provide notification to the operator when an object is detected within the radar coverage area.