Launch of automated battery electric loaders for underground mining announced

Inspenet, March 9, 2023

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has been a leading enabler of the transition to electrification and automation in underground mining, establishing a core offering of battery electric equipment that leverages Artisan™ battery packs and electric drivelines, as well as of a wide offer of machines anchored by cable, for the first; and the continued deployment of the renowned AutoMine® automation platform for the latter.

The company is now embarking on its next evolution with the integration of the two, which will soon culminate in the launch of the LH518iB, the AutoMine-ready version of the 18t payload LH518B.

The integration of electrification and automation is nothing new for Sandvik; the company has been offering AutoMine functionality in wireline loaders for over 10 years.

Automating a machine that runs solely on battery power is a different proposition. Although the LH518iB’s battery change process cannot yet be fully automated, an operator can run the entire cycle from a chair on the surface, including remote battery change, from a remote operating station. Human intervention in the subsoil is only necessary to connect and disconnect the batteries from the chargers.

“The LH518iB will be the first automated battery machine, compatible with our AutoMine Lite and AutoMine Fleet bidding solution, as well as our manual production monitoring system,” explains Ty Osborne, Underground Automation Product Line Manager at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.

AutoMine Lite is an automation system for a single Sandvik loader or truck and a more advanced alternative to AutoMine Tele-Remote, while AutoMine Fleet – as the name suggests – is an advanced automation system for a fleet of Sandvik underground loaders and trucks. that share the same automated production area.

The changes implied by the automation of the battery-electric LH518iB mainly concern “industrializing” the machine to make it autonomous and moving to the iSeries platform to add intelligence, Osborne explained.

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