Sandvik testing Stage V-compliant underground trucks in Ireland

Sandvik TH663i Credit: Sandvik. As part of its long-term commitment to sustainability, Sandvik continues with its program to develop Stage V-compliant underground loaders and trucks for the mining industry. The company is now testing the first truck with this new engine technology at the Tara mine in Ireland.

This follows the launch of its first Stage V loaders in December of 2019. Sandvik’s flagship truck – the TH663i – is now equipped with brand new Stage V engine technology and is undergoing an extensive field trial period at Boliden’s Tara mine in Ireland. Trials of the unit, coupled with first-hand customer feedback on technical and operational performance, are an integral part of Sandvik’s customer-focused mindset.

The Stage V engine in the 63-tonne truck is expected to generate lower emissions, for reduced mine ventilation requirements

The Stage V engine in the 63-tonne truck is expected to generate lower emissions, for reduced mine ventilation requirements.

The engine system is designed specifically for underground use and includes built-in fire prevention solutions, increased wiring protection with a shrink mesh wiring harness and electric hardware designed for demanding conditions, with corrosion, heat and water resistance.

Based on the studies conducted, the optional sintered metal DPF reduces particle mass by approximately 99%

The new Stage V engine, which requires ultra-low sulphur fuel and low-ash engine oil to operate, will be an optional feature for the TH663i. To reduce particle emissions in the lower stages, standard engines on both in TH663i and TH551i trucks can be equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Based on the studies conducted, the optional sintered metal DPF reduces particle mass by approximately 99%.

From a reliability and maintenance viewpoint, the DPF is well protected but designed for easy cleaning to reduce downtime and operating costs and is also available as a retrofit kit. Pia Sundberg, product line manager for trucks at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, explained that thorough field tests are of the utmost value for both the original equipment manufacturer and customer. “We want to allow enough time for sufficient testing of new technology, since it is of benefit to both sides,” Sundberg said.

“Possible hiccups that can often occur when developing something new are identified prior to the product being fully commercialized, which enables us to serve our customers better in the long run. Based on the feedback that we receive, we are still able to do some modifications if necessary and thereby make sure that the TH663i meets expectations when it is released to the market with the latest engine technology at a later stage. Of course, there is also some additional new technology on the test truck that we are testing at the same time.”

The TH663i also benefits from recent improvements to Sandvik’s AutoMine offering, with AutoMine for Trucks now allowing autonomous truck haulage underground as well as on surface, which is often part of an underground truck’s normal duty cycle. In addition, Sandvik’s Artisan Z50 battery truck did an extensive tour earlier this year in Australia and gathered customer feedback for the upcoming new generation of battery-powered vehicles. Sandvik is a high-tech, global engineering group offering products and services that enhance customer productivity, profitability and safety.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is a business area within the Sandvik Group and a global leading supplier of equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

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