undertaken, to set a benchmark. Ten the old diesel engine was removed and the frame adapted to house the battery boxes and electric motors. Te conventional drive shafts and axles were retained, and no efficient electro-hydraulics are present, allowing the battery to be worked to its fullest extent. Mark Sprouls from Cat North America explains, “Te programme is still progressing, so it’s premature to say much about it just yet. What we can say is that it’s providing much needed data that will be put to good use in prototype design in other machines.” Sandvik sells three electric LHDs with payloads ranging from 3.5 to 14 tons, and is rapidly expanding this side of the business. Minna Pirkkanen, process excellence manager, Load and Haul, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, says: “As ore bodies close to the surface become depleted, mines are going

deeper. Te combustion of diesel fuel and oxygen produces a lot of heat that must be removed using ventilation and refrigeration systems – which poses challenges and increases costs. Today, customers are planning mines for the next decade and are asking about how to prepare for electrification as one solution for going deeper.” “New solutions for more sustainable mining are required all the time, and these include the need to improve health, safety and environmental issues, such as reducing diesel emissions and noise. Additionally, there is a growing demand for loader and truck automation and connectivity. Customers are asking for increased safety, productivity and lower operating cost through use of automation.”

Te company has just made a big

purchase. Pirkkanen explains, “Our ambition is to lead the market for battery

electric vehicle (BEV) solutions. Sandvik has just acquired Artisan Vehicle Systems, a manufacturer of battery-powered underground mining equipment based in, California, USA. Artisan’s core technology is battery packs, electric motors, power electronics, software and control systems. Last year we opened an advanced Battery Electrification Innovation and Development Centre in Finland. Te recent acquisition of Artisan will strengthen our capability to develop BEV solutions for underground mining needs.” Research is important at Sandvik. Te

product development process starts with input from customers, who drive the scoping of new products and upgrades. “Customers become part of the process,” confirms Pirkkanen. “To meet the needs that arise from the mining industry electrification requirements, we are further developing battery electric solutions for hard rock mining operations. To support

Sandvik hopes to lead the market in BEVs


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