Forging new boundaries in battery technology and digital innovation, Sandvik’s 65 tonne TH665B battery electric truck vehicle (BEV), was one of the highlights at the recent Electra Mining show, before making its way to Australia for intensive site testing.
According to Jakob Rutqvist, Vice-President Strategy and Commercial at Sandvik, this innovation takes mining decisively into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Many industries are well advanced in the technological trajectory of digitalisation, automation and electrification – and it is now mining’s turn,” says Jakob. Alongside the 65 tonne BEV, Sandvik’s range includes a 50 tonne equivalent and an 18 tonne capacity battery electric LH581B underground loader. These vehicles, he says, are tested and proven as mature technology within Sandvik.
Jakob points out that Sandvik BEVs are faster, stronger and much less constrained than machines that are converted from a diesel design. Behind its ground-up designs is over a decade of experience in applying battery technology to mining – now integrated into the business through the company’s 2019 acquisition of US-based Artisan Vehicle Systems.
Full range by 2025
“Our display at Electra Mining Africa demonstrates our overarching commitment to achieve a full range offering of battery electric trucks and loaders, covering all the major size classes, by 2025.” He points to the high level of interest in BEVs in Africa, with the company’s first unit – the LH581B loader – already on order from a deep-level South African gold mine.
“The customer feedback at Electra Mining Africa also clearly shows that mines are increasingly adopting automation technology. This stems from both the productivity benefits especially during shift change and the safety aspect – where people can be removed from hazardous areas by automating certain functions,” Jakob concludes.