Machinery

Cat achieves 3bn-ton milestone in autonomous hauling

Another billion tons of material added to materials moved using the Cat solution as types of material hauled and range of equipment used both expand

Caterpillar recently passed a major milestone in autonomous hauling with the addition of another billion tons of material hauled by autonomous trucks using the Cat MineStar Command for hauling, which has now brought the total of all material hauled autonomously using the Cat technology to over three billion tons.

Announcing the milestone, the equipment giant said that the achievement was also marked by an expansion of the types of commodities hauled autonomously across a growing number of Cat mining truck class sizes, as well as other brands of mining equipment.

Jim Hawkins, director of Cat MineStar Solutions, said: “Since surpassing the two billion tonnes milestone, we’ve equipped more mines with (Cat MineStar) Command trucks and have established the world’s first gold mining application with Command for hauling. Since surpassing one billion tonnes, we’ve expanded our Command fleet by nearly 250%.”

Caterpillar said it has Cat MineStar Command autonomous haulage system (AHS) fleets operating across three continents – North America, South America and Australia – at 17 mine locations, operated by nine different customers. Commodities mined using the system include iron ore, oil sands, copper, coal and gold.

Cat MineStar Command for hauling trucks now span class sizes from 190-360t. The Cat line of Command models include the Cat 789D, 793D, 793F, 797F and the 297t 794 AC with electric drive. Command retrofit kits are available for Cat mining trucks as well as other brands of trucks and loading equipment.

The company added that since the first autonomous Cat trucks were commissioned in 2013, these AHS models have travelled more than 110m km, equivalent to a minimum-distance, straight-line roundtrip journey to Mars, with no lost-time injuries associated with automated truck operation.

“Customers using Command for hauling report significant gains in productivity and truck utilisation rates with lower costs per ton. Customers have seen up to 30% higher productivity,” said Cat in its statement.

Marc Cameron, vice president, Caterpillar Resource Industries, added: “We continue to decrease the time between our major milestone targets because, from initial contract to full deployment, we constantly improve Command implementation efficiency. Consistent with previous milestone trends, we anticipate crossing the four billion tons threshold at even a faster pace than achieving three billion. Looking forward, we are planning the expansion of Command for hauling to include our 140t class Cat 785 mining truck.”

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