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Autonomous loaders help mine prepare for expansion while continuing production

To advance a new mine phase without slowing production in a developed seam, an underground mine in Canada turned to technology — retrofitting an existing loader with autonomous technology to allow it to develop the mine ramp without an operator on board.

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Showcasing fatigue & distraction management technologies at MINExpo

Two of the most prominent topics at MINExpo 2016 — safety and technology — came together in the Caterpillar exhibit, which featured a number of technology products that help improve safety. One of the main topics centered around operator fatigue and distraction.

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Increasing productivity

What’s impacting productivity in your operation? Technology can help locate inefficiencies and identify opportunities for improvement

In today’s mining industry, companies are taking a closer look at their operations and finding ways to work more efficiently in order to keep operations profitable. One of the most impactful ways to accomplish this goal is to increase the productivity of machines, processes and people. And one of the most impactful ways to address these challenges is the use of technology.

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Fatigue Risk Management System

ISSUE 11: Caterpillar Fatigue Risk Management System offers multiple layers of protection

Caterpillar’s Fatigue Risk Management system uses technologies, processes and expertise to offer multiple layers of protection against operator fatigue on your mine site.

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Caterpillar's mining automation journey

Caterpillar’s Mining Automation Journey

Fortescue Metals Group took innovation to the extreme with an autonomous hauling solution developed in partnership with Caterpillar.

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Fatigue and distraction management

ISSUE 11: Fatigue and distraction management: Improving safety through technology and continuous improvement

Fatigue risk management systems can help improve safety for operators and other personnel on site.

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Access to up-to-date information helps miners lower costs

In today’s mining industry, when companies have a laser focus on lowering their total costs of machine ownership, having the right data available can be the difference between a productive day and a costly period of downtime.

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Change management makes the difference

ISSUE 11: Change management makes the difference: Overcoming preconceptions to ensure the successful deployment of autonomous haulage

While operators may be resistant to change when it comes to new technology, a good change-management process can help reduce or even overcome that resistance.

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Fleet management systems address three big challenges

Fleet management technologies can help surface mines solve a number of common problems to increase productivity and reduce costs.

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Underground automation: Reducing time for shift changes

Underground Automation technology can keep operators safe, increase productivity and drastically reduce the amount of time needed for shift changes.

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Enabling safety, productivity and efficiency underground

Technology can make underground mining safer, more productive and more efficient in a number of ways, from personnel detection to full-on automation of machines.

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Help wanted: How mining technologies help attract great people

Advances in technology in the mining industry make mining an excellent fit for the skills of the next generation of workers, and technology itself can help attract new people and address the growing skills crisis in the industry.

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Shift change: Keeping operators productive and machines in motion

Using technology to maintain a consistent, efficient shift change schedule can have a positive effect on any mine’s productivity and machine availability.

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ISSUE 10: Fortescue Metals implements new Caterpillar autonomous mining solution

Fortescue Metals Group has established itself as one of the world’s leaders in iron ore production in less than a decade, thanks in large part to its significant focus on innovation and technology. The company’s Solomon operations recently took innovation to the extreme with an autonomous hauling solution developed in partnership with Caterpillar and Western Australia Cat dealer WesTrac.

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ISSUE 9: Leveraging technology in its safety journey: Newmont mine relies on remote dozing to keep operators safe

Like most mining companies, Newmont Mining Corporation considers safe work performance a top priority. In 2009, the company launched its Our Safety Journey program at Newmont sites throughout the world. The program is especially evident at the Phoenix mine in Nevada, which has earned a number of safety awards. The site works with local dealer Cashman Equipment to leverage the latest technologies — such as remote control dozing — to keep people out of harm’s way.

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ISSUE 8: Using simulators for better, easier training

While mines may know that their operators — and their operations — could benefit from increased and regular training, dedicating the time, money and equipment necessary to refine operator skills can be a deterrent. As technologies improve, a growing trend has been to use simulators for training — and the benefits are significant.

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ISSUE 6: Object detection: Making mine sites safer by reducing blind spots

A mine can have dozens or hundreds of moving vehicles at any time, some the size of a sedan and some the size of a house. For the operator of a three-story-tall mining truck sharing a road with standard pickup trucks, visibility is one of the most important concerns. Caterpillar offers a suite of cameras and sensors that help keep operators aware of their surroundings, increasing safety for everyone on site.

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ISSUE 4: Building the technologies for the mine sites of the future: The time is right for autonomy

While every mine is different, they all share a number of key priorities; safety, efficiency, and productivity to name a few. All of those priorities can be achieved through the use of autonomy on site. Operators are removed from dangerous areas, routes become more consistent and redundancies help reduce the risk of collision. As autonomous technologies become more and more viable, the mining industry stands to benefit more from their use every day.

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ISSUE 4: Building an award-winning autonomous vehicle

Caterpillar is a pioneer in developing autonomous technologies for mining applications, and one of their key partners in this endeavor is Carnegie Mellon University. In 2007, this partnership resulted in the Caterpillar-sponsored “Boss,” an autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe that took first place in DARPA’s Urban Challenge—an autonomous vehicle challenge involving simulated military supply missions, as well as traffic navigation and obstacle avoidance.

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ISSUE 3: Improving productivity through technology integration

Mining companies are constantly searching for ways to improve safety, cut costs and increase efficiency, and equipment manufacturers are constantly coming up with new technologies to better serve customer needs. For example, Newmont Mining worked with Caterpillar to come up with a fully integrated Cat Minestar™ solution that helps them monitor their entire operation and use their equipment more safely and efficiently.

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ISSUE 1: Technology keeping workers safe in Australian underground mine

Keeping operators safe is the first priority for Leviathan Resources Ltd. At the company’s historic Stawell mine, Leviathan is working with Caterpillar to keep underground employees safe in the easiest way possible: removing them from dangerous areas. Using Cat MINEGEM — a precursor to Cat Minestar™ — Stawell’s operators can control machines remotely from a safe, comfortable room with no loss in efficiency or productivity.

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