Sandvik plans big BEV reveal

Sandvik plans to launch a battery-electric underground truck, as well as its first battery-powered rock bolter and new loader technology, at MINExpo in September.
Sandvik plans big BEV reveal Sandvik plans big BEV reveal Sandvik plans big BEV reveal Sandvik plans big BEV reveal Sandvik plans big BEV reveal

AutoMine Concept vehicle features 3D environment sensing and perception

 The company's battery-electric underground truck, the AutoMine Concept vehicle, will take centre stage at its stand at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas.

The AutoMine Concept vehicle is the industry's first fully autonomous battery-electric vehicle (BEV) for underground mining.

"The AutoMine Concept showcases technologies that have never been seen in the mining industry," a spokesperson told Mining Magazine. "It is based on the latest technologies with completely new senses".

The AutoMine Concept vehicle features 3D environment sensing and perception, creating a model of the environment and understanding it while reacting to it in real-time. This means it can re-plan its routes when needed, with adaptive AI technologies deployed for automatic path planning,

"The highest value of AI for this concept comes from the optimal planning and analytics. It can adapt and plan on its own, finding the best and safest ways to continue production in dynamic environments."

"There are many different types of technologies put together in this vehicle, and all those solutions are integrated into one equipment, and they need to work together seamlessly. Regardless of the need for real-world application, Sandvik managed to pull everything together in a relatively quick time frame with the professional teams working together," said the spokesperson.

She also noted that typically testing this kind of actual unit with a lot of new solutions would be challenging, but Sandvik has got the benefit of its own test mine in Finland in where it can test the equipment in conjunction with the development activities.

"In designing this type of next-generation autonomy solution, challenges are created by the fact that Sandvik targets these technologies to be generic so that they can be used in multiple equipment types not only limiting to loaders although the concept vehicle is a loader". 

Henrik Ager, president of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: "We continue to expand our offering, and our latest battery-electric equipment contributes to a cleaner and quieter environment without compromising safety, productivity or efficiency."

The new Sandvik DS412iE, which will also be launched at the show, is the company's first battery-powered rock bolter. It will complement a range of next-generation battery-powered underground drill rigs the company is developing.

Sandvik will also launch at MINExpo a new DTH hammer, a new rotary bit, new heavy-duty drill bits, and a new drill bit for autonomous drilling.

The company plans to use an interactive game to introduce a Remote Monitoring Service and use digital presentations for new inspection tools.

"Nothing beats meeting customers face-to-face and being able to showcase all of our latest developments in-person," Ager said. "However, we also understand that not everyone will be able to travel to Las Vegas, so that's why we will also be providing a rich digital MINExpo experience."