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Komatsu autonomous trucks increase productivity by 34pct - Rio Tinto

Mining News - Published on Wed, 12 Sep 2018

Image Source: nikkei.com
Robotics and Automation News quoted global mining giant Rio Tinto as saying that the Komatsu autonomous trucks the company uses have increased productivity by 34 percent. Rio Tinto has been testing and implementing autonomous technology for around a decade, and after a decade of using Komatsu’s massive driverless trucks, the company is integrating autonomous trains into its operations. Komatsu’s vehicles are called autonomous haulage systems, or AHS. The AHS truck fleet is forecast to drive reductions in operating costs at Australia’s iron ore mines by up to USD 0.62 per ton by 2020. Mining companies across the globe are increasingly embracing automation in their quest to boost efficiency and reduce human labor.

In Australia, automation in mining industry began with the implementation of Komatsu’s Automatic Hauling System at Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore operations in 2008.

Data and analytics company GlobalData predicts that AHS truck fleet will noticeably reduce operating costs at the country’s iron ore mines.

Rio Tinto, which is responsible for up to 40 percent of Australia’s iron ore production, has gradually expanded its AHS truck fleet from five in 2008 to 95 by the end of 2017. The company plans to increase the number further to around 150 trucks by 2020.

So far, Rio Tinto has invested over USD 2 billion towards the installation of AHS trucks and robotics, with the majority of these at the company’s Pilbara iron ore operations. Through these investments and upgrades, the company reported a 37 percent increase in the per person productivity between 2014 and 2017.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 12 Sep 2018
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