Collaboration of Mining Industry Leaders to Demonstrate Remote Semi-Autonomous Bulldozer Technology

Collaboration of Mining Industry Leaders to Demonstrate Remote Semi-Autonomous Bulldozer Technology

Thiess, in collaboration with Caterpillar and Hastings Deering, showcases off-site remote operation of Cat MineStarTM Command for bulldozing live at the World Mining Congress in Brisbane (27–29 June 2023).

Thiess, a prominent worldwide mining services provider, has joined forces with Caterpillar, the original equipment manufacturer, and local Cat dealer Hastings Deering. Together, they are showcasing Thiess’ remote semi-autonomous bulldozing operation, managed from a remote operating station (ROS) situated more than 850km away from the actual site.

At the World Mining Congress, Thiess operators will remotely control several Cat D11 bulldozers stationed at the Lake Vermont mine in Central Queensland. This live operation will take place from Caterpillar’s booth [Gold 4]. Notably, this event marks the first instance of off-site control for a customer using Cat MineStar Command for dozing’s semi-autonomous tractor systems (SATS) since its commercial introduction. Leveraging this layer of autonomy, operators can manage multiple dozers simultaneously without requiring their physical presence on the site.

At Lake Vermont mine, Thiess boasts one of the world’s most extensive active implementations of SATS technology, where six Caterpillar D11 bulldozers are in operation. According to Thiess’ data, the utilization of SATS technology has facilitated the movement of over 8.2 million banked cubic meters (equivalent to more than 3000 Olympic-sized swimming pools). This achievement is coupled with a remarkable 25% enhancement in dozer utilization, translating to up to 23 hours of daily operation. In contrast, conventional staffed dozers typically achieve around 17 hours per day. Notably, Thiess initially adopted the Command for dozing technology at Lake Vermont in 2019.

Trent Smith, Group Manager of Autonomous Services at Thiess, expressed enthusiasm regarding the collaboration with Caterpillar and Hastings Deering for this live demonstration. He highlighted the opportunity to showcase their profound expertise and extensive experience in the realm of autonomous mining services.

“Autonomous mining and reclamation stand as integral components of Thiess’ service spectrum – these initiatives have yielded enhanced safety, increased productivity, efficiency gains, and the successful upskilling of over 100 employees in autonomous mining systems.”

“We are pleased to witness Thiess presenting live semi-autonomous bulldozing directly from the exhibition space of the World Mining Congress, employing Cat MineStar Command for dozing,” stated Sean McGinnis, Vice President of Technology and Global Sales Support at Caterpillar.

He continued: “Alongside ensuring safe operations from a comfortable setting, Command for dozing users are experiencing heightened equipment utilization, enhanced production results, improved adherence to mining plans, and reduced operational expenditures.”

Simon Zillman, the Product Manager at Hastings Deering, supplemented:

“Over the past three years, we have embarked on a collaborative journey with Thiess to foster autonomous functionalities across their sites. Our support has encompassed the deployment of adept technicians both onsite and remotely. The World Mining Congress marks our inaugural chance to exhibit the semi-autonomous Command for dozing equipped with SATS technology, all operating from an urban setting. The SATS Technology facilitates the complete utilization of the machine’s potential, all within a product seamlessly integrated with Caterpillar dozers. This integration heralds amplified productivity and heightened on-site safety.”

the C13D diesel Previous post Caterpillar’s C13D: The Triad of Power
CAT D9 bulldozer Next post How are Construction Equipment Manufacturers Adapting to the Circular Economy?