China Coal Pingshuo starts its autonomous fleet journey with tests at Antaibao on NHL trucks with VIPioneers technology

In late 2020, China Coal Pingshuo Group Company organised relevant personnel in a project to conduct a phased acceptance trial with a single intelligent driverless truck at the Antaibao open-pit mine, northern Shanxi Province, in a dedicated testing area.

Pingshuo Group's production technology management centre, technology centre, electromechanical management department, equipment management lease centre, open-air equipment maintenance centre, information centre, Antaibao open-pit mining teams, and China Coal Xi'an Design Engineering Co Ltd are all involved. External players include the autonomous tech provider VIPioneers (official name Qingdao Huituo Intelligent Machine Co Ltd, also known as Waytous) and the OEM of the original truck that has been retrofitted, Inner Mongolia North Hauler Joint Stock Co Ltd (NHL).

The acceptance tests cover unmanned mining truck mining, including a haulage and dumping whole process test, perception system test, tracking control accuracy test, vehicle shovel alignment function test, and dynamic unloading point function test. The work is also focusing on the truck anti-skid ability, obstacle recognition and automatic parking capacity, dynamic adjustment capacity of the autonomous loading and unloading areas.

Through these tests, China Coal says the safety, operability, and effectiveness of the large-scale open-pit mine single intelligent truck driverless project were verified in detail.

"Intelligence, safety, greenness, and efficiency are the development directions of the open-pit mining industry" says China Coal.

China Coal Group also listed the 'Research and Application of Unmanned Technology for Intelligent Trucks and Drilling Rigs in Large Open-Pit Mines' as a key technology project in 2020. Pingshuo Group Company has signed a cooperation framework agreement with China Coal Xi'an Design Institute and VIPioneers, and signed a truck line control transformation agreement with NHL.

Currently just one NHL electric drive 186 t class NTE200 truck has been retrofitted but an unmanned truck test base has also been built, which China Coal says will provide strong support for the continuous advancement of the project.

Pingshuo is already known as an innovative mining group in China, as an example having successfully commissioned the world's largest, and most technologically advanced Fully Mobile Sizer from MMD - it consists of a 300 t capacity hopper, a D9 low angle feeder, and a 1400 Series Sizer machine, which all feeds material onto a slewing discharge conveyor. The Mobile Sizer can be remotely stopped, started or slowed down as production needs dictate.

For effective manoeuvreability the Fully Mobile Sizer sits on a pair of MMD 425 pitch heavy duty crawler tracks.

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