By Simone Liedtke
September 9, 2022 - Global engineering company Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions will have a major presence at this year’s Electra Mining Africa exhibition, with its 385 m2 indoor stand introducing a ground-breaking battery electric vehicle (BEV) to the African mining market.
Virtual reality (VR) and simulator technology will be employed at the event to give visitors to the stand a highly interactive experience and there will also be live demonstrations of Sandvik’s Eclipse fire suppression system, which can be fitted to the company’s drill rigs, trucks and loaders.
“The theme of our stand this year will be the ‘Future of Mining’ and will highlight the many ways in which Sandvik can assist customers to move into the world of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR),” says Sandvik Southern Africa marketing manager Natalie Santiero.
“We will also demonstrate how our products can contribute to a sustainable, net-zero future. The mining industry is moving very rapidly along this path and we’re very much a part of the evolution.”
The BEV, which will be the biggest piece of equipment on the stand, will be the 65-t payload TH665B.
As the largest capacity battery electric truck, this is the flagship of Sandvik’s fast-expanding fleet of BEVs. The machine is at an advanced stage of development with factory testing completed and full-scale trials on a gold mine in Australia due to start later this year.
“The truck we’ll be displaying and launching at Electra Mining Africa is, in fact, the machine that will be trialled in Australia,” says Santiero.
“Its appearance at the show will represent its African debut. We see the TH665B as being a critical development, given the determination of many mines to move towards emission-free equipment. It is perfectly paired with our 18-t-capacity battery electric LH581B underground loader, which was officially launched last year. A South African gold mine has already ordered the LH518B, with delivery expected shortly.”
Sandvik Rock Processing, meanwhile, will be showcasing the 800i series of connected cone crushers through a live demonstration of remotely connected units via the digital service SAM.
The 800i series comes with Sandvik’s new generation Automation and Connectivity System, which continuously monitors and optimizes crusher performance and controls the complete lubrication system, increasing uptime and reliability.
The ‘My Sandvik’ customer portal, which will also feature on the stand, she adds, provides customers with access to information about their fleet, access bulletins and electronic manuals and allows them to request quotations and place orders anytime they need, directly online.
Further, training is a major challenge for many mines and Sandvik will have its Digital Driller, a compact and flexible solution to safely train operators on the company’s drills, at the show. It allows operators to learn their trade with a realistic simulator which optimises the transition to the real machine.
Also in the digital space, Sandvik’s AutoMine VR training simulator will be demonstrated.
“This delivers a realistic AutoMine experience for training,” says Santiero. “Visitors to the stand will be able to put on goggles and manipulate hand-held controls to experience and interact with a 3D virtual reality environment to master the complete process of the AutoMine system start-up procedure without the need for machine or production area allocations.
Apps are an ever-present aspect of modern life and Sandvik’s Rotary Blasthole Drill Selector app will feature on the stand. It provides users with a list of recommended drill rigs based upon basic site conditions and production requirement information.
Santiero believes that a visit to the Sandvik stand should have a light-hearted element to it with the company running its Service Hero game at the show.
“This puts you into the shoes of one of our remote monitoring specialists,” she says. “You can see your machinery moving through the mine and the Service Hero will give alerts of any deviation from the norm. You have to act as one of our specialists and rectify the situation. It’s great fun and we think it will be a big hit with visitors.”
“Newtrax, which has been part of the Sandvik family since 2019, will also have a presence on our stand,” says Santiero. “They will be showcasing the Collision Avoidance System and Operations Management under the OptiMine® banner.”
Summing up, Santiero says that Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions views Electra Mining Africa as a great opportunity to network with customers and showcase its extensive range of products and services, particularly those contributing to the digitalisation and automation of mining.
“There’s no question that the 4IR is with us, not just in mining but many other industries,” she observes. “Sandvik is at the forefront of this revolution and its ability to innovate will be demonstrated very strongly at the show. We’ve spent months planning our stand and we believe that it will prove very popular with visitors to the show.”