Equipment-wise, the biggest surprise was the Autonomous Haulage Vehicle (AHV) on the Komatsu stand. The cabless vehicle attracted crowds. Komatsu said it had developed it exclusively as an unmanned vehicle with plans for a market introduction “in the near future.” By distributing equal load to the four wheels both when the vehicle is loaded and unloaded, and adopting four-wheel drive, retarder and steering, Komatsu is aiming for high-performance shuttling of this vehicle in both forward and reverse travel directions, thereby totally eliminating the need for K-turns at loading and unloading sites. The 2,700-hp AHV has a nominal gross vehicle weight of 416 metric tons (mt) and a nominal payload of 230 mt. Measuring 15 m long and 8.5 m wide, it has a maximum speed of 64 km/hr and a turning radius of 15.9 m.

The cabless Komatsu AHV has a payload of 230 metric tons.

During MINExpo, Tetsuji “Ted” Ohashi, president and CEO of Komatsu, and Ted Doheny, president and CEO of Joy Global, made an appearance together to highlight Komatsu’s acquisition of Joy. They reaffirmed their commitment to pursue new innovations that drive customer benefits after the acquisition is complete. The companies are working to finalize the transaction by mid-2017.

“Our customers are sharing very positive feedback about the agreement. Some have approached us at MINExpo to congratulate us on our decision,” Ohashi said. “We are working closely with Joy Global and relevant authorities to move the process forward.”

Doheny agreed, noting industry recognition of the complementary nature of the two companies’ product and service offerings. “Many of our customers and other business partners see the benefit of combining companies: a broader offering of products, systems and solutions across a wider scope of mining and construction applications,” Doheny said. “Both companies believe in having the best products, direct service, being operationally excellent, and having the best people in the world.”

Joining Joy Global with the Komatsu Group will offer several benefits to customers, including a broader line of industry-leading mining equipment for drilling, earthmoving, loading and hauling systems, and solutions for both underground and surface mining. Joy’s rope shovels, for example, pair well with Komatsu’s best-in-class large electric dump trucks. Enhanced global customer support through the companies’ mutual commitment and expertise in direct sales and service directly connected via embedded personnel in the mines, and electronically connected with world-class fleet management systems.

“The synergistic collaboration between the companies will drive our innovation and enhance our capacity to provide quality products and solutions that improve the safety and productivity of mining operations,” Ohashi said. “We will together strive to become an even better, more invaluable partner for our customers.”

“The combination of two world-class companies offers exciting opportunities to enhance and expand the solutions and services we provide customers,” Doheny said. “With strengthened capabilities and a continued focus on solving our customers’ toughest challenges, we look forward to working together to advance the mining industry.”


Michelin to Introduce New Ultra-class Truck Tire

Prior to MINExpo, Michelin Earthmover introduced the XDR3 MB4 surface mine-haul tire. In development testing for the last six years, the new tire — developed for 400-plus-ton trucks — is designed with new compounds and a new tread pattern that is expected to improve tire life by at least 10%, according to Michelin. The use of corrosion-isolating cables incorporated into the tire architecture should also enhance tire endurance.

The XDR3 is designed for operator safety. The tread pattern provides excellent load distribution across the contact patch and is designed to lower contact pressure and reduce wear rates, according to Michelin. In addition, the tread pattern is designed for better endurance, thanks to improved heat dissipation. This prevents overheating, which can result in tire failure, and, in turn, leads to a threat to operator safety.

“Michelin’s most popular tire, tested on all truck brands, is designed for punishing environments where safety and performance is the goal,” said Jamey Fish, director of earthmover marketing for Michelin North America.

The XDR3 — available in the 40.00R57 size — is MEMS-ready and reduces rim slip thanks to a new flat bead wire, which strengthens the clamping force on the wheel and increases its contact surface with the rim. The non-directional tire also benefits from more solid-steel cables, increased metal mass, thicker sidewalls and a new steel belt that offers increased protection against punctures in the tread area. It has a load capacity of nearly 36 tons due to its cable-reinforced carcass. The shoulder design helps the tire cool more quickly, while the central zone and its large, beefy lugs are cut-resistant to improve both durability and traction capability. Wide grooves and channels provide traction and grip on graded and loose ground conditions.


Shovel Payload Monitoring System

BMT WBM, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd., has announced its latest development of the PULSETerraMetrixRS (PTMRS) system for managing the machine health, production and payload measurement on large rope shovels. Productivity improvements of 8-15% have been proven after deployment of the PTMRS system.

Shovel Payload Monitoring System

A unique industry offering, the PTMRS system provides a real-time dipper payload estimate during the swing cycle prior to dumping. Immediate and accurate dipper-by-dipper load indication to the shovel operator is required in order for the final dipper load to be trimmed to match the target load for the truck. Automatic dipper carry back measurement and compensation supports real-time differential payload calculation.

“Unlike other payload monitoring systems, which are based on electrical parameter or structural model estimation techniques to approximate the payload, the PTMRS system deploys a smart loadcell sensing device, directly measuring the inertial and dynamic loads applied to the dipper and the payload,” said Charles Constancon, director of BMT WBM Canada. “As a result, high fidelity payload measurement is maintained, even under severe dynamic loading conditions.”

Configured to communicate with any third-party truck dispatch system, the PTMRS can be applied to both P&H and CAT rope shovels. The system is fully supported by comprehensive data base analytics and automatically generated SQL Server email reporting. Recent advances include the definition of a robust diggability algorithm and efficiency reports mapping digging conditions on the mine plan. This provides feedback on the effectiveness of blast patterns in differing conditions within the mine, so that patterns can be optimized.

The second generation PTMRS system deploys high-accuracy shear pin loadcell technology in the equalizer of the P&H machines (for configurations with and without a bail) or in the reeving blocks of the CAT machines. This increased load resolution and ease of installation represents a significant advance in the already demonstrated PTMRS approach of direct load and inertial measurement.