Komatsu has begun commercial operation of its D375Ai-8 teleoperation dozer for mining, through its wholly owned subsidiary Komatsu Brazil International Ltd., in partnership with the Anglo American mining company.
Komatsu and Anglo American have been working together since June 2020 to establish new solutions that help create a safer operating environment while maintaining productivity at the Anglo American-owned Minas-Rio iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil. The two have promoted the introduction of remote-controlled dozers for mining operations. Through the collaboration, a remote operation demonstration trial was conducted at the production site in October 2022, and commercial operation has now been achieved.
"We take immense pride in the successful implementation of this technology, as it has led to a substantial enhancement in the safety standards of dozer operations at Minas-Rio's stockpile. Furthermore, we are delighted to provide our operators with a heightened level of comfort and improved quality of life. Komatsu's dozer teleoperation system has proven to be highly effective in overcoming the challenges faced by Anglo American, and due to the exceptional results achieved, Anglo American plans to install the teleoperations kit to all six D475A-8R Dozers that will be deployed at Minas-Rio this year," said Evilmar Fonseca, Iron Ore Operation Director, Minas-Rio mine, Anglo American.
The dozers are equipped with Komatsu's proprietary automatic blade control technology, working in conjunction with Modular Mining's ProVision machine guidance system. During the trial, it was confirmed that the dozer driving and blade operation can be controlled easily from a remote location, even by less experienced operators In addition, driving comfort has been significantly improved because teleoperation removes the operator from a high vibration environment.
Thanks to the trial, Anglo American has decided to introduce six D475A-8R machines that are ready to be equipped with teleoperation retrofit kits by the end of 2023, and plans to gradually proceed with teleoperation in the future.
"We express our profound gratitude to Anglo American Iron Ore Brazil for their invaluable partnership, which contributed significantly to the outstanding outcome attained during the dozer teleoperation system trial. We firmly believe that this cutting-edge technology will not only contribute positively to the achievement of excellent results in Minas-Rio but also enhance the safety standards in dozer operations," said Masayuki Moriyama, Representative Director, Senior Executive Officer, Komatsu Ltd.