New excellence centre preps Komatsu for autonomous future

Mining OEM Komatsu has launched a US-based centre dedicated to the strategy, planning, marketing, sales support and training surrounding autonomous haulage systems (AHS)
New excellence centre preps Komatsu for autonomous future New excellence centre preps Komatsu for autonomous future New excellence centre preps Komatsu for autonomous future New excellence centre preps Komatsu for autonomous future New excellence centre preps Komatsu for autonomous future

Since its first commercial deployment in 2008 at Codelco's Gabriela Mistral copper mine in Chile, Komatsu said its FrontRunner AHS has experienced exponential growth in cumulative production

The team of product, technology and service experts behind the new global Center of Excellence (CoE) for AHS will be based in Tuscon, Arizona.

Arizona is also home to Komatsu's proving grounds, where its autonomous technology - including the first operator cab-free mine truck - continues to undergo development and testing.

Komatsu certainly has the experience to go with its new CoE.

Late last year, the OEM announced that, since the commercial release 11 years ago, its FrontRunner AHS had achieved more than two billion short tons (1.8 billion tonnes) of surface material moved autonomously.

The company said this is more than all other commercial mining autonomous haulage systems combined.

Jim Nishiura, VP Global Mining Business Division, Komatsu, said the launch of the CoE is a big step forward for the company's unified approach to mining.

"Our diversified FrontRunner AHS team is united by common goals, workflows and strategies to deliver maximum value to our customers, as well as our customer-facing teams and distributors," he added.

The CoE team's role is to help the company respond faster to customers' needs in the rapidly expanding autonomous environment.

Shingo Hori, formerly AHS group manager for KLTD, and Anthony Cook, formerly VP AHS and communications for Modular Mining, have been appointed as co-GMs of the new CoE.