In 2015, the Belarusian manufacturer of quarry equipment presented the first unmanned mining dump truck BELAZ-7513R with a lifting capacity of 130 tons. After a cycle of all necessary factory tests, two such machines are now being prepared for shipment to the Siberian Coal and Energy Company (SUEK), the largest coal miner in the Russian Federation.
The unmanned mining dump truck BELAZ-7513R with a carrying capacity of 130 tons at the test site of OJSC BELAZ.
Two robotic BELAZ dump trucks will work in the Abakan section (Khakassia, Russia) in conjunction with the robotic excavator produced by Uralmash factory. Robotics can not yet be built into a normal workflow, so a special section has been created for the three robots, an experimental one, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the complex.
Unmanned BELAZ vehicle complex during a demonstration of capabilities.
The creation of a robotic dump truck became possible due to the close and fruitful cooperation of the manufacturer of mining equipment and VIST Group, an international company in the development and implementation of information technologies for the mining industry and metallurgy. Mining robots is a promising direction, and robots-quarries are already attracted a special interest in the Kola Peninsula, in Chile and Peru, where it is not safe for a person to work for many reasons.
The project which arose about five years ago at the VIST Group as a theoretical one with the prospect of using it where it is necessary to increase the efficiency of work without human participation. Its implementation was possible only with the participation of the career equipment manufacturer and the choice fell on BELAZ, whose cooperation with the VIST Group lasts about 20 years. This is how the robotic BELAZ-7513R was born on the basis of a 130-ton serial dump truck. As they say in both companies, the practical implementation of such a project is possible only in close cooperation of many parties, which has been proven.
Launching robotic technology in a real career requires some preparation. For its successful work an appropriate infrastructure must be developed for each pit, a completely different system than a simple dispatching, and much more than in a “simple” quarry.
All of these are steps towards an “Intelligent Mine”, where the following will be provided:
- automatic dispatching of robotic technology;
- intellectual remote control with autonomy elements;
- universal system for the creation of fully autonomous dump trucks.
The following tasks are solved:
- management and cost control of creating infrastructure in remote and hard-to-reach places;
- maximum increase in the efficiency of the fleet;
- solving the problem of shortage of qualified personnel;
- compliance with strict safety requirements for personnel in a career;
- change of parameters for mining (width of roads, width of loading area, change of corners of the pit walls).
The potential effect of the introduction of “Intelligent Mine”:
- complete lack of personnel in hazardous areas;
- an increase in TPF and EUR of dump trucks and excavators by up to + 25%, reduction in payroll, consumables, maintenance and repair - + 10–15% per year;
- the possibility of open mining without increasing the stripping factor in the rock-hazardous zones.
The first steps to an Intelligent Mine will be made already at the end of the current year, when the BELAZ robotic technology begins to work in the Abakan section