The Caterpillar truck is testing, and the upper left is a 930E.
By the end of this year, 100 automated trucks are expected to operate in mines around the world, and Caterpillar is emphasizing its brand-compatible mining technology platform in an effort to get itself deep into mine operations.
"Automation is no longer an experiment," said Denise Johnson, president of Caterpillar Resources Industries, at a press conference held in conjunction with the Investors'Meeting. "We've seen growing momentum from our customers, and we're tracking more than 100 opportunities to take action first in this area, our competition. Competitors come from traditional and non-traditional participants.
Cat (Carter) says its current automation fleet has 56 793F vehicles, 20% more productive than manned trucks under the same working conditions at the mine. The 56 trucks and 150 manned vehicles managed by Cat Mine Star are graders, loaders, water trucks, light vehicles and bulldozers. Working together for four and a half years, Cat says its automated trucks have delivered more than 400 million tons of materials, the system is more usable than 99.95 percent, and there is no time lost because there is no shift, rest or meal time, and they work an average of 2.5 hours a day more than the trucks driven by someone.
Cat's brand-compatibility approach solves the real problem in mines today: most mines are fleets of mixed brands, partly due to industry consolidation, as the mining industry is recovering from a slump in commodity prices, and mines are taking advantage of existing truck stocks, which may be different products requiring a refitting program. Licensed vehicles.
The key to refitting is the partnerships that have been established with technology and financial companies, sometimes long-standing partnerships. "People do not see all of our suppliers in terms of equipment, but they can be seen in terms of technology." Cat mining technology product manager Sean McGinnis said.
Cat, for example, has been working with Torc Robotics for 10 years, starting with a partnership that involved both companies in the DARPA Automated Vehicle Challenge. Since then, Torc has been working with Cat to develop a remote control system for long-range mission slip loaders, which was launched in 2015. Now Cat has worked with Torc to develop a Cat automated truck system for Komatsu 930E trucks, which is scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of 2009.
"It is obvious that the system will change from one car to another." Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc in Blacksburg, Virginia, said, "With 930E, we can bring in experienced engineers who understand automation and can make tradeoffs, and then combine Cat technology to make a product that works well. It's a very complex technology. There will be many moving parts inside. "