The Asia Miner

JAN-FEB 2017

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Volume 14 • Issue 1 | 2017 | ASIA Miner | 97 Product News CATERPILLAR is developing autonomous mining truck technology for an expanded range of models, including other brands. At a re- cent Cat MineStar™ Command for hauling demonstration at the company's facility in Arizona, USA, Caterpillar announced a project to adapt hardware and software for retrofitting the Komatsu 930E mining truck with Cat autonomous technology. This interoperability initiative is driven by the goal of mining companies to reduce mining costs using existing fleets. "Retrofitting technology is a proven means for mining companies to get the most from their assets," said Caterpillar's Command for hauling product manager Sean McGinnis. "And many mining com- panies operate mixed fleets of trucks. Developing autonomous sys- tems for other brands of trucks will enable us to offer a total solution to these customers." Additionally, Caterpillar is expanding the number of Cat truck mod- els fitted for autonomous operation. The autonomous arrangement of the 797F, the largest of the Cat line with 363-tonnes payload capacity, is now being tested. Other models are being evaluated as Caterpillar works with mining companies seeking ways to lower cost per ton and enhance safety. The new Cat autonomous trucks will join the proven Cat 793F CMD in the autonomous mining truck line. A large fleet of the 227-tonne-capacity trucks has achieved a 20% productivity advan- tage over standard trucks working in an Australian iron ore mine. Also, the fleet and support staff have achieved zero lost time injuries since the first trucks started operating more than 3.5 years ago. In keeping with the retrofit trend, several of the current global fleet of 70 Cat 793F autonomous trucks have been retrofitted to operate autonomously. AT a time when optimising mining operations to obtain the best possible performance has never been more important, it is vital that maintenance is not left out of the equation. Making mainte- nance solutions more sustainable can add greatly to the bottom line of any operation. Techenomics, an independent provider of fluid management and condition monitoring services to the mining, oil & gas, trans- port, marine and energy sectors, says optimising maintenance enables operators to get more from their engines and equip- ment. This in turn leads to reduced downtime, less expense on repairs and increased productivity. With many companies trying to get the best out of their existing equipment and fleets while putting off the expense of purchasing new items, Techenomics' CEO Chris Adsett says it makes a lot of sense to make the best possible use of maintenance. He says maintenance can be optimised by utilising the total fluid management services provided by Techenomics, which in- clude oil sampling and analysis as well as other complementary services to ensure oil and lubricants perform better for longer. "The oil analysis provided by Techenomics' expert staff through our network of accredited laboratories using state of the art equip- ment provides a window into the hidden workings of engines and hydraulic equipment. "Analysis of lubricants enables us to check the health of internal components without unnecessary and costly downtime. Teche- nomics predicts maintenance issues before they arise, leaving engines and equipment doing what they should be doing for longer." Chris Adsett says maintenance is often the forgotten cousin when it comes to optimisation but it should play an important role in this process as significant savings can be achieved with the added extra of greater productivity. "Rather than maintenance being onerous, oil analysis makes it much simpler and more effective, especially when combined with Techenomics' other fluid management services, including use of magnetic plugs and supply of tungsten disulphide (WS2) additives in oils. "Magnetic plugs attract sludge and metal pieces that accumulate in oil through wear and tear, and which are generally not visible during oil changes. Analysis of this material enables us to ascertain what is causing it and how to prevent it, ensuring oil performs as it should. "The WS2 additives, which are distributed by Techenomics throughout its network, enhance oil performance by lowering op- erating temperatures and reducing harmful emissions. The addi- tives help prevent friction by forming a protective microlayer on the surfaces of metal, reducing wear and the build-up of metal elements in lubricants," Chris Adsett says. Making maintenance more sustainable A Cat autonomous truck stages for loading as the shovel completes loading another 793F CMD at the Caterpillar test facility in Arizona. Cat autonomous technology for other trucks

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