Presentations showcase the latest developments related to truck-shovel mining
By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief
The biannual Haulage & Loading conference kicks off May 18 at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The event, which features a continuing education program and a small exhibit, caters to professionals involved in surface mining operations with an emphasis on truck-shovel mining methods. Over the course of three days, the program offers five tracks: Technology and Information Management, Safety and Training, Reducing Costs, Operations Management, and Maintenance Strategies. In each of the sessions, presenters from the mines and the service side of the business offer ideas on how to operate open-pit mines more safely and efficiently.
The Wigwam Resort offers a rustic, affordable atmosphere to learn and meet with peers. The full conference registration includes access to all of the presentations and the exhibit area, breakfast each morning and two lunches. The keynote speaker at Monday’s luncheon is Dr. Nathan Wright, president, Transformational Performance Solutions. In his presentation, Inspiring Leadership in the Mining Business, he will discuss a transformational style of management that encourages leadership by using a different perspective to look for solutions.
In addition to the technical program, Haulage & Loading also offers several opportunities for delegates to mix with peers. On the Sunday morning before the event begins, E&MJ and Coal Age sponsor a golf outing. In the evening, delegates enjoy a pleasant desert evening at a casual poolside soiree. What follows is a preview of what conference delegates can expect to see and hear at Haulage & Loading 2015.
TECHNOLOGY & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Brett Owens with Neptec Technologies leads off the Monday morning session with his presentation, Improving Shovel-truck Spotting through the Application of Neptec’s OPAL and 3DRi Technology. Neptec has developed an obscurant-penetrating LiDAR (OPAL) sensor technology, as well as advanced 3-D real-time intelligence (3DRi) data processing algorithms that enable the real-time exploitation of 3-D data from sensors on moving vehicles. The technology was recently demonstrated at Teck Resources’ Fording River mine.
In his presentation, Using Mobile Apps for Fleet and Personnel Management, Dr. Sean Dessureault, a professor at the University of Arizona, will detail how tablets offer enormous flexibility in storing data, distributing software, reports and a myriad of other business services. The tablets can eliminate the use of paper forms while creating new means of data collection, such as geotags, photos and videos, as well as providing access to analytics.
Automation has the potential to address the majority of challenges mines face every day. It’s a hot topic and Mel Torrie, CEO, Autonomous Solutions, will share some of his experiences in his presentation, Lessons Learned in Fielding Automated Vehicles. Torrie will discuss how to best implement this new technology.
Mining machines are generating an enormous amount of data and various systems have been developed to help miners sift through this information. In his presentation, Making the Most of Mining Analytics, Gerhard van Niekirk, vice president-metals and mining for Hitachi Consulting, will discuss the company’s Dispatch Operations Maturity Improvement Services (DOMIS), which will track fleet information through the mine’s life cycle.
SAFETY & TRAINING
A highly respected mining safety professional, Stacy Kramer, director of health and safety, risk management systems for Freeport McMoRan, will open the Monday afternoon Safety & Training session. In her presentation, Building a Safety Culture Focused on Fatality Prevention, Kramer will discuss theories as to why safety systems and processes that are successful in reducing incident and severity rates may not prevent fatalities. She believes that developing a culture where the focus is on managing significant risks and implementing critical controls with less reliance on behavior to mitigate these risks is the key to fatality prevention. “If we try to do everything well, we will do nothing well,” Kramer said. “We must focus on what is critical to drive our safety success and realize zero fatalities.”
Mike Kotraba, who is the mine manager for ASARCO’s Ray mine in Arizona, will present Achieving Quantifiable Results Through Targeted Training. The return on investment of many traditional training approaches is largely unknown. Using a modern approach, training outcomes are evaluated and used to determine if the training investment is worthwhile. This data-driven approach, Kotraba explained, is also used for management decision making to ensure workforce development initiatives directly support mine management objectives. For ASARCO, a continuous improvement approach to training, which targets specific operator skills gaps, has proven to be more effective for achieving significant measurable gains. In a case study, he will explain how operator skill gaps were identified using in-pit performance data and simulator training assessment data.
In his presentation, Data-based Equipment Operator Training, Steve Mullaney, an area manager for Kiewit Mining Group, will explain the solutions provided by using data-driven equipment operator training, where operator performance data is electronically generated during simulation training and continuously during equipment operation. Customized data-driven training has reduced operating costs by 5%-7% by improving safety, productivity and reducing the cost of equipment maintenance. “Training is often wrongly viewed as a cost required by law,” Mullaney said. “When viewed as an investment, supported by management, and backed by data, training can produce results with less than one year payback on investment.”
The session will conclude with Todd Ruff, business development manager, SAFEmine Technology, and his presentation, Equipment Safety and Performance Improvements Through the Use of a Collision Avoidance System. He will discuss collision avoidance and traffic awareness systems and the trend toward the integration of multiple technologies to offer comprehensive protection.
The mining business is constantly looking at ways to reduce costs. Tuesday morning’s session opens with Jake Wilson, mine production manager for Midway Gold, and Contract Mining at Midway Gold’s Pan Project. At the beginning of 2014, Midway Gold formally broke ground on the Pan gold project in White Pine County, Nevada. The company opted to use a mining contractor for the project rather than purchasing the equipment and hiring and training operators. Originally, the equipment cost for the mining side of the project was budgeted for $29.5 million, representing about 30% of the project’s entire capex budget. Experienced operators arrived on site with equipment and placed more than 1.7 million tons of ore on the leach pads while the company brought the rest of the operation on line. During March, the mine poured its first gold.
George Aguilera, executive vice president, GFS Corp., will present Converting the Haul Truck Fleet at Alpha Coal West to LNG. After an 18-month pilot program operating the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered haul trucks, Alpha Coal West decided to convert its entire fleet of Cat 793 haul trucks at the Eagle Butte mine in Wyoming.
In his presentation, Case Study: The Freedom Platform for Level 3 Electric Shovel Upgrades, Frank Wickert, product management for Flanders, will outline the results of data collected over time for a recent shovel upgrade. The study compares pre- and post-upgrade productivity performance of an electric rope shovel at a Powder River Basin coal mine.
Beyond autonomous trucks, in Smart Haul Truck Concepts, Daniel Robertson, product lifecycle manager for Siemens, will discuss more focused concepts, which will make the trucks use less fuel, accelerate faster, guide them under a trolley line and make them safely park in an optimal position next to the loading shovel, saving duty cycle seconds.
The Metso name is synonymous with mineral processing and the company is now looking at solutions for haul trucks. In his presentation, New Face of Haul Truck Lining, Robert Paxman, sales support
manager-mining for Metso Minerals, will explain how a rubber wear lining can be optimized to absorb stress at every point of the truck work cycle to protect the structure, reduce noise and vibration, and improve the availability by increasing wear life by up to four times compared to steel.
The Tuesday afternoon session begins with Brad Gadt, heavy equipment outage and relocations manager for Luminant Mining Co., and his presentation, Moving Multiple Draglines at Luminant’s Texas Operations. Last year, Luminant relocated four draglines more than 30 miles in total to new mining areas across east and central Texas using a 1,000-wheel vehicle. This engineering achievement was no small feat. It usually takes several months of planning and preparation to “walk” them to new mining sites. With a little ingenuity, the relocation process was shortened to just a few weeks per dragline using the interconnected trailers.
In Using Site Assessment Tools to Improve Performance in the Pit, Kent Clifton, senior marketing specialist-mining equipment for Caterpillar, will offer insights as to how miners can reduce the cost per ton of moving material. The cost per ton is influenced most by several areas related to haulage and loading: equipment availability and utilization levels, as well as operational efficiency, such as pass matching, fill factors, target payloads, etc.
Dr. Tim Joseph, associate dean of engineering at the University of Alberta, will present Haulers and Haul Roads—Joint Performance Benchmarking for 2015. Using the latest machine-ground interactions health analysis technique, hauler and haul road performance can be evaluated, enabling operations to quickly benchmark and predict running surface, tire and hauler structural maintenance life values. Dr. Joseph will also provide an oil sands case study illustrating haul road and hauler maintenance predictions, and show the latest benchmarking process for tires and hauler structural performance.
Saving the best for last, Haulage & Loading concludes on Wednesday with a session on Maintenance Strategies. The first speaker, Lia Walker, a quality leader for Freeport McMoRan, will present Collecting and Analyzing Performance Data with RAMP. Freeport has implemented Remote Asset Monitoring Process (RAMP) technology for heavy mining equipment at all of its mines in the Americas. The system allows centrally located reliability professionals to collect performance data in real time, analyze and diagnose potential problems, and take proactive action. The central idea of RAMP is to increase reliability, prevent catastrophic and premature equipment failures, and help operators safely and efficiently improve fleet performance. As part of a comprehensive maintenance philosophy of equipment reliability, RAMP has supported a steady increase in equipment availability, a decrease in maintenance and operator induced alarms or events, and contributed to global equipment life cycle management.
In OTR Wheel & Rim Inspection and Certification On-site, Tom Shumka, president, OTR Rim Certification, will explain how wheels and rims can be inspected on-site without sandblasting. Using advanced technology, a program has been developed to inspect and certify wheels and rims, and provide data that can be archived.
Dr. Neda Parnian, product manager, Motion Metrics International, will present Real-time Tooth Monitoring System for Wheel Loaders. Bucket teeth on wheel loaders are generally smaller than those found on shovels. Undetected broken teeth could also pass through crushers and cause serious damage downstream. A machine vision-based real-time tooth monitoring system was developed to detect broken teeth on wheel loaders. A field study of the system on LeTourneau 1850 and CAT 994 wheel loaders at an Arizona copper mine along with feedback from the equipment operators will be discussed.
In Reliability-based Hydraulic Hose Management System, Paulo Pereira, product manager, Gates Rubber Co., will discuss the networks of high-pressure hydraulic hose assemblies that power everything on mining equipment. Pereira will cover the current technology available, steps in the management process and case studies.
Evelynn Stirling, technical director for Cummins, will present Tier 4 Final: Meeting Emissions While Satisfying Customer Expectations. The gradual tightening of emissions regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), starting with its Tier 1 standards in 2000, have now reached ultra-low levels with the implementation of Tier 4 Final January 1. This new standard for greater than 751-hp engines requires a dramatic reduction in emissions from the 2006 Tier 2 standard, including a reduction in Particulate Matter (PM), reductions of 80%, and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), reductions of 55%. The key challenge posed by Tier 4 Final lies in complying with the stringent standards while simultaneously satisfying customer expectations. Customers continue to expect higher standards of reliability and performance, better fluid efficiency and engines that fit within existing equipment designs.
5DT makes operators safer, more productive and less destructive using advanced training tools that have been optimized on mine sites around the world over the past 15 years. The company offers a training solution, not merely training simulators. The 5DT training solution consists of training simulators, pre-simulators, computer-based training (CBT) systems (e-learning) and visualizers. 5DT has a well-established mining and construction equipment knowledge base. The company has spent a lot of time underground, in surface mines and on construction sites, interacting with real operators and real machines. They also work closely with training departments and schools to refine methodologies, products and learning material.
AUTONOMOUS SOLUTIONS INC.
For more than 14 years, ASI has been a leader in OEM-independent automated vehicle solutions. From its northern Utah headquarters, ASI serves clients around the world in the mining, agriculture, automotive, military, and manufacturing industries with remote control, tele-operated, and fully automated, coordinated multivehicle solutions. ASI has years of experience automating mining equipment such as dozers, ADTs, rigid haul trucks and excavators. Large mining corporations such as Anglo America and Rio Tinto are currently using ASI’s OEM-independent automated vehicle solutions.
BV International is the exclusive authorized distributor for VIST Group products in all Russian export markets worldwide. Based in Danvers, Massachusetts, the company develops, engineers, distributes and supports the technology and applications for vehicle dispatch and control systems for the mining industry.
Caterpillar Global Mining and Cat dealers are working together with mining companies worldwide to mine efficiently and productively while doing the utmost to protect the health and safety of miners. Caterpillar offers a range of mining and support equipment and technologies for all types of surface and underground mining. Cat dealers bring their expertise and unmatched product support capabilities to mine sites.
Cummins Inc. is a corporation of business units that design, manufacture, distribute, and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.
Established in 1973, Doron Precision has more than 40 years of experience in driving simulation. Doron offers a broad line of off-the-shelf and custom, state-of-the-art, cost-effective training systems. Doron also has a staff of experienced service technicians and technical instructor trainers to offer support and ensure full operation and training effectiveness.
DRM DIVERSAFAB CORP.
DRM Diversafab Corp. (ISO 9001:2008) manufactures the CENTRI Precleaner, an atmosphere discharge precleaner and the first line of defense to air filter housings and engines. The CENTRI Haul Truck kit replaces outdated and exhausted air cleaner boxes on 200- to 400-ton haul trucks. The result is decreased air filter usage, reduced fuel consumption, downtime savings and reduced recordable incidents.
A family-owned company for three generations, Flanders was founded in 1947 as a two-man electric motor repair shop. Today, Flanders’ commitment to serving customers’ unmet needs has resulted in technology and engineering breakthroughs and manufacturing facilities that enable the team to optimize mine assets by transforming the motors, power systems, automation solutions, products and services a company needs. Flanders maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, South America, Africa and Australia with more than 850 employees.
Henkel provides maintenance products for many industries. In addition to the Loctite brand products, Henkel also offers maintenance-training seminars. These in-plant seminars, teach maintenance technicians how to solve the most common maintenance problems and prevent future breakdowns.
Hilliard solves motion control problems economically and efficiently, specializing in satisfying difficult design requests. It provides products such as intermittent clutches, centrifugal clutches, torque-limiting clutches and brakes drivetrain clutches.
Immersive Technologies is a leader in the design and delivery of operator workforce development solutions for mining. It has a large deployment of mining simulators, a global customer base, OEM endorsements and an extensive product development and customer support capabilities.
INTEC VIDEO SYSTEMS INC.
Intec is a leading ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer of heavy-duty safety camera systems for haulage and loading machines. For more than 35 years, Intec systems have provided operator visibility in the most demanding applications. It offers fully programmable controllers with robust feature sets offering up to five camera inputs, flexible radar integration, and independently certified IP68 performance. Cabling configurations include extreme-duty polyurethane jacket (also available with optional armor) and MIL-SPEC connectors. Warranties cover equipment up to eight years with a dedicated application engineering and sales team.
KOMATSU AMERICA CORP.
Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of mining, construction and utility equipment. The mining division delivers a complete line of mining equipment by blending innovative technology and human engineering.
Liebherr mining trucks are designed and manufactured for the global mining industry and provide maximum productivity while maintaining the highest fuel efficiency of any mining trucks in its class. The manufacturing division custom builds mining trucks rather than offering standard models. This way, the construction of the equipment can be as flexible as its design. Liebherr’s Newport News facility supplies fleets of these 400-ton payload capacity trucks to mining operations worldwide.
LOGAN WEST MINE SALES AND SERVICE
Logan manufactures and services wear components for the mining industry. The company has a state-of-the-art CNC machinery and hard plate processing capabilities. The company’s products include ground engaging tools (GET) for shovels, Chrome white iron castings, Frog Switch crushing manganese, Diamondback clad plate, and Logan Engineered Parts.
Materion Performance Alloys is the exclusive manufacturer of ToughMet, an advanced bearing material. Bushings made from ToughMet last several times longer than conventional bronze or steel bushings, while causing virtually no wear on hardened pins. ToughMet increases equipment availability by extending maintenance cycles and eliminating unplanned repairs in applications that include: track rollers and idlers; steering, drive and transmission components; bucket and boom joints; cable sheaves; lift cylinders; and other problem rotating or pivoting points.
Metso offers wear rubber lining, including its Trellex rubber formulations, which were developed from years of on-site experience and said to give companies up to four times more service life than steel. Metso wear linings are optimized to absorb stress at every point in the truck work cycle, during loading, transport and dumping. Their low weight/high wear resistance design not only reduces damage to the truck body, but on the truck as a whole, and spreading and absorbing the kinetic energy of material impact to protect bearings, transmissions, tires and chassis, and minimizing the cost for service and damaged equipment.
MineSight is a comprehensive modeling and mine planning platform, delivering integrated solutions for exploration, modeling, design, scheduling, and operation. MineSight is part of Hexagon Mining, a provider of surface and underground smart mining solutions that integrate design, planning, and operations technologies.
MOTION METRICS INTERNATIONAL CORP.
Motion Metrics provides advanced monitoring solutions for mining operations worldwide. Its growing product portfolio addresses increasingly complex challenges (such as missing tooth detection, tooth wear monitoring, rock fragmentation analysis, payload monitoring, and proximity detection) in mining operations through the use of proprietary machine vision and sensor-based technologies. The newest addition, PortaMetrics, is a patent-pending portable tablet that provides fragmentation analysis, rock size distribution, real-time range measurement, instantaneous slope measurement, and device orientation sensing.
MTU America Inc. provides engines and propulsion systems for applications in the mining, rail, power generation, oil and gas, agriculture, marine, construction and industrial, and defense markets. MTU is the one of the world’s leading brands of diesel engines and power systems, offering a complete line of products that produce 30 to 13,400 bhp (20 to 10,000 kW).
NEPTEC TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
Located in Ottawa, Canada, Neptec Technologies Corp. manufactures the OPAL 2.0 family of rugged multipurpose obscurant-penetrating 3-D laser scanners specifically designed for harsh environments, and a software development tool kit, (3DRi) with advanced features such as real-time change detection and object recognition and tracking. Together, these out-of-the-box “building blocks” make it easy to develop intelligent real-time machine vision applications on autonomous off-road vehicles or for more familiar LiDAR-based survey, mapping and measurement tasks in harsh environments.
NIDEC AVTRON AUTOMATION
Nidec-Avtron provides proven mining-specific electrical upgrades including digital drive systems, AC and DC drives, diagnostic monitoring systems, and encoders for surface and underground mining.
Work lights from Nordic Lights are used in the most difficult and demanding working conditions all over the world. The visibility offered by the high-quality optics supports machine operators helping maintain high availability during dark working hours. The lights themselves need very little maintenance. Nordic Lights can tailor lighting solutions. Combinations of different light patterns, brackets, vibration dampeners and cable connections can be applied to optimize a light for different applications and a specific set of conditions. The company’s product line includes LED, HID (Xenon) and Halogen work lights for the heavy duty on- and off-road industry, as well as Xenon driving lights.
OPEN LOOP ENERGY INC.
Open Loop Energy Inc. has developed a number of industry-specific products, such as the only patented product for digitally controlled water distribution. The company is known for providing solutions and quality customer care.
Philippi-Hagenbuch engineers and manufactures customized off-highway truck equipment including HiVol(R) Bodies utilizing its patented load-profiling process for maximum efficiency, uniquely baffles water tanks that minimize surge while maximize safety, capacity and internal access, and ultra-duty lowboy trailers that can be built to accommodate equipment up to 2,000 tons in capacity. Founded in 1969, the company has designed and built truck bodies for almost every make and model of off-highway truck.
SafetyWhips is a global supplier of high-quality safety products, including LED vehicle ID displays, LED whip lights, whip poles, flags and mounts. The SafetyWhips vehicle identification panels and the whip products are built for the mining environment and can be found at most major mine sites throughout the world. SafetyWhips is located in Phoenix, Arizona, with a branch in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
Siemens offers and develops a comprehensive product, system and solution portfolio for the global mining industry that helps to improve output quality, which can lead to higher production results. Its portfolio ranges from extraction and transportation to beneficiation and secondary processes of raw materials.
Rimex is a leading custom manufacturer of all off-the-road wheel and rim assemblies. Established in 1976, Rimex specializes in haul trucks and loaders, and supplies industry-leading tools and products for a variety of markets, including mining, forestry, agriculture and industrial operations.
SOUTHWESTERN SCALE CO.
Southwestern Scale is a full-service scale company serving the mining industry. It provides a full portfolio of products and services including haul truck scales, over-the-road truck scales, rail scales, portable train scales, in-motion train scales, rentals, weight study services, calibration, certification, and repair.
Strata Worldwide’s HazardAvert proximity detection and collisions avoidance system is designed to increase miner safety awareness and prevent heavy machinery related accidents, collisions and injuries. HazardAvert creates electromagnetic fields around operating machinery and these are detected by miner-worn or vehicle mounted receiver devices. When the fields are breached, the system emits audible and visual alarms of warning and can be programmed to disable the machinery completely.
WENCO INTERNATIONAL MINING SYSTEMS
Wenco offers a complete range of solutions designed to help make mines work more efficiently. The company’s flagship Wencomine fleet management system tracks and monitors mine’s production, safety and maintenance. With this information, mine operators can take control of equipment and make adjustments so the operation performs its best. Along with fleet management, Wenco also offers a full line of specialized solutions. Machine guidance systems improve the accuracy of equipment as it drills, digs or dozes. Dispatch services use the mine’s own performance records to streamline the haul cycle and fueling. Maintenance tools record the progress of repairs or assess machines to see how much strain they are under. Safety systems guide trucks through the site, reducing the chance of hazardous encounters. To make these tools work together, Wenco incorporates connectivity systems built on open architecture that allow full access to data.
Westech, a member of the Austin Engineering family, is one of the world’s largest brands of non-OEM mine-specific truck bodies. The company has more than 45 years of experience supplying both OEM and custom-engineered bodies, and holds the Guinness record for largest truck body by volume. Its Stairway Access Tank raises the standard for water tanks. Westech’s Flow Control Body keeps the load in front of the rear tires longer, preventing front end lift during the dump cycle. The company also has cable handlers for loaders, live cable reels, and a full line of JEC tire handlers.