AUTONOMOUS OPERATIONS: MORE THAN DRIVERLESS TRUCKS
It’s easy to look at autonomous mining operations as a system of driverless trucks, but the benefits go far beyond that. Mining machine automation systems can deliver benefits on nearly every measurable facet of operations.
Like skilled operators, autonomous mining trucks are able to navigate complex haul road systems and maneuver through mine site traffic. But unlike operators, autonomous trucks don’t stop for shift changes and don’t suffer from fatigue—which improves cycle times, increases production and ultimately lowers cost per ton.As a global labor shortage affects the mining industry, autonomous haulage systems are helping to fill the gap by reducing the number of on-location drivers. With a single operator able to oversee multiple automated mining machines, jobs are displaced from mine sites to offices in less remote regions of the world, helping to maximize production.
In addition to productivity benefits, autonomous trucks improve mine site safety for everyone. Operators no longer need to enter hazardous or inaccessible areas and more predictable operations mean fewer mining collisions. Reliable navigation also means autonomous trucks can safely operate around other mining equipment and employees with less risk. Removing the possibility of human error and fatigue makes automated trucks safer on the road.
Another important facet of automation for mines is availability. An automated truck can’t be late, it can’t be tired and it never slows down—delivering more availability than ever before.
What are other ways you’ve increased your mining truck productivity, mine site safety and mining machine availability? How could automation systems positively impact your mine? Tell us your thoughts, then click here to learn more about machine automation: Cat MineStar System/Command.