Announcement of OEM collaboration to advance automation adoption in underground mining

Two of the world’s leading underground mining equipment manufacturers have completed the first phase of a collaboration to provide mining companies with more options for expanding automation in the underground environment.  MacLean and Sandvik are working together to improve automation zone interoperability of production and support fleets, with the installation of the Sandvik AutoMine® system at the MacLean Research & Training Facility and the demonstration of a surface-controlled MacLean utility vehicle, a BT5 Boom Truck, activating multiple AutoMine® automation zones delimited with light curtain safety gates.

With this phase now complete, the first, key steps in the companies’ interoperability collaboration have been successfully achieved: automation communications infrastructure installation and the testing of a piece of non-Sandvik mining equipment activating the safety gate system.

“If we want to advance the mine of the future where an increasing amount and complexity of automation is available as an option for mining customers around the globe, we need to work differently,” remarks Patrice Corneau, MacLean Director of Advanced Vehicles and Technology.   “Realizing that broader, longer-term goal will require collaboration between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the industry, who historically have perceived each other primarily as competitors as opposed to mining technology development co-practitioners. This collaboration between MacLean and Sandvik embodies that new way of thinking about the mine of the future and how mining equipment manufacturers can help successfully deliver it to mining companies.”

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