Mining's heavy hitters eye off smart iron Cat technology

10 September 2018

'The future of performance is now' summit.

Smart iron and developing technology is being credited with transforming the mining industry so it was not surprising a roll call of mining heavy hitters took to the Brisbane RNA Showgrounds (yesterday) to hear about the latest machinery innovations.

It was a roll call of mining with more than 160 mining industry executives coming together to see how Caterpillar had filled a gap in machinery offerings unveiling their 796 off highway dump truck: a new machine never before seen by this market.

Caterpillar Mining Director for Global Mining Janpeter Bekkering, flew in from the USA to launch Hastings Deering’s “The future of performance is now’ summit.

Caterpillar heavyweights also out from the US included Product Performance Manager (large mining trucks) John Ingle who launched a brand new machine class to the Cat range with Commercial Manager (Surface Rock Drills) Matt Jacobs showcasing the new MD6310 and MD6200 drills. Product Application Specialist Carlos Lazo, large tractor expert Yong Chong, Regional Vice President Australia from Immersive Technology Greg Karadjian and Mining Technology Regional Manager Carl Henricks all provided key information about machines and changing technology. 

Hastings Deering Chief Operating Officer Mark Scott said the turnout was clear indication confidence had returned to the sector, but also that improved and changing technologies were critical to streamlining mining operations.

“The latest downturn brought with it a global slowing down of operations, but Cat continued to invest in new technology knowing when the cycle righted there would be increased need for advanced machines,” Mr Scott said.

“Fast forward to today and the results of that innovation and investment into technology is being launched for the first time in Queensland and indeed Australia. While we are showcasing the latest in dozers, trucks, drill and graders: which all leverage state of the art technology: two receiving the most interest are the 796 and the new D11 dozer.

“The 796 has everyone talking because this machine is new to the market and a new machine for Cat, who has never provided a machine in this space before. With mining operations becoming more nimble the need to put a mid-size Ultra-class machine into the fleet became critical to filling a gap, and this is the first time anyone is seeing this 320 tonne payload truck which comes with Tier 4 technology.  

“As for the D11 – this machine is synonymous with Caterpillar and has long been a staple, workhorse for many and varied operations. We have an unprecedent market share off the back of this machine’s reputation, so anything new was sure to be met with enthusiasm.”

The new D11 will be available in 2019 with production improvements guaranteed across areas from fuel efficiency with load sensing hydraulics and stator clutch torque dividers to reduced maintenance and running costs including a 6% lower BCM, along with extended pitch tilt cylinders increasing productivity. 

It is also future proofed so it can be upgraded to a remote control dozer or semi-autonomous tractor system.

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