Operating Surface Mine Haulage Systems Autonomously

2019

Allan Boddy, Peck Tech - Mining Technology Solutions; Mark Sawyer, Peck Tech Consulting; Jonathon Peck, Peck Tech Consulting Ltd

Autonomous Haulage Systems have been in development for several decades. Their technical maturity is demonstrated in the number and variety of their deployments. Over 300 autonomous trucks are currently operating in a production context at over 12 sites on 3 continents, with those numbers expected to increase rapidly over the next 1 to 5 years. Integration of autonomous systems into existing or proposed operations pose many challenges. In most operations, the organizations, processes, systems and mine designs are structured for mannually operated equipment and must now adapt to ensure that the full benefits of automation can be achieved. The required changes stretch across the business and must be considered holistically across all of its elements. Many of the early adopters, as well as the OEM’s, are contributing their knowledge in the development of guidelines that should enable others to more efficiently adopt and integrate this new technology to their sites. Now that the operating benefits of AHS have been identified by the early adopters and several OEM’s have begun to openly market their systems, the time is right to examine the operational change management aspects around successful automation solution selection, integration, use and support. This presentation will align content from the OEM’s with some general insights learned from the assessment, evaluation and/or deployment of autonomous haulage systems in a range of mining operations.
Keywords: autonomous haulage systems, AHS, surface mine operations, change management, technology and systems integration
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