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Metals & Mining

Retro-fit autonomous bulldozer system that boosts safety, efficiency and cuts costs

Key facts

16-18%

more efficient vehicle usage

10-15%

less human resource cost

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Top business benefits

Enhanced health and safety

Increased efficiency

Improved bulldozer utilisation

Reduced payroll

Increased bulldozer part life

Lower maintenance and fuel costs

In more detail

Full description

Mine operators are always on the lookout for systems that allow them to operate more efficiently and for less cost, while meeting the industry’s strict zero harm and sustainability objectives.

This technology is retrofitted to your existing bulldozer fleet to make them autonomous. These newly autonomous bulldozers can then be used 24/7 and consequently significantly raise efficiency, while lowering operational costs and cutting safety risks.

By removing the operator from the cabin, bulldozing becomes safer and more cost-effective as one operator can manage several dozers at the same time as well as enabling bulldozers to access areas and inclines too dangerous for manned equipment.

The challenge

Bulldozers are generally used to organise Run of Mine (ROM) stock and waste pads. Ensuring waste and stockpiles are safely and efficiently stacked in the correct place and ore is loaded without spillages is vital to keep processing operations running at peak. It’s monotonous, tiring and carries risk, particularly when steep slopes are involved combined with potential fatigue.

Human error can lead to higher fuel consumption and greater degradation on key wear parts and engines. Operators also need to take breaks, change shifts, and will sometimes call in sick all of which decrease availability.

While autonomous-driving systems have the potential to address these challenges, acquiring a brand new fully autonomous bulldozer requires significant investment – particularly when replacing an entire fleet. Retrofitting traditional bulldozers to make them autonomous is a much more flexible and economic solution.

The approach

This retro-fit system, which turns manually-operated bulldozers into autonomous bulldozers, provides mines with an attractive cost-effective alternative to off-the-shelf autonomous bulldozers that require substantial capital investment.

Existing bulldozers, from any vendor, can be retrofitted to become autonomous with this system. Integrated with FMS, constant real-time monitoring of the bulldozer ensures efficiency and delivers a significant increase in use, as autonomous bulldozers can work 24/7 and don't need to stop for lunch or shift change. These newly autonomous bulldozers can also operate on inclines deemed too dangerous for staffed bulldozers to attempt.

A multi-level safety system mitigates accidents using radar, LIDAR and cameras to scan the environment at 360° and avoid collision with obstacles – reducing accident-induced maintenance costs and injuries. AI algorithms direct the bulldozers and personal trackers control the movement of the bulldozer.

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