New Mining Technology (Minestar)

Published on November 1, 2016

Technical Tuesday: New Mining Technology Delivers Customer Benefits

Caterpillar development teams have finalized a number of updates to the technologies in the Cat MineStar suite. These improvements have recently become available to our customers and will deliver significant benefits in the areas of productivity, connectivity, and information access.

Wheel Loader Operations
New releases of MineStar Fleet (v4.4) and Terrain (v5.3) integrate to offer a significant advancement to wheel loader operation. Fleet now provides wheel loader load-haul dump (LHD) production recording, which measures production movement via load count and tons moved by wheel loaders in LHD mode from source to dump location. This function supports the agile nature of wheel loaders during multiple modes of operation in a single shift, switching modes and cycle recording between a run of mine (ROM) pad / stockpile work, loading trucks in-pit and auxiliary work. Additional features include automated material tracking using Terrain for loading, accurate stockpile definitions and crusher feed tracking. Fleet also aids in the management of blends and recipes by providing guidance and feedback to the operator for the correct delivery of materials.

Access to Information
A new enhancement for Fleet will enable productivity through information. A new operational status key performance indicator (KPI) page allows the user to monitor production for a shift and measure those activities that have significant potential impact on mine productivity. The page delivers real-time productivity and material movement statistics at the site and machine level, as well as real-time KPIs for loading tools and destinations. Fleet highlights the elements that need the user’s attention, navigates between shift, and provides annotations against productivity charts.

The new KPI page provides visualization of information that wasn’t previously available. Users can immediately see how they are performing against the plan and make adjustments within the shift. “We are very happy with the new system KPI page and web client,” according to the mine superintendent at Bowen Basin in central Queensland, Australia. “There is a lot of value in us being able to offer this kind of transparency around production to more people on site. From our point of view, the more relevant, clearly summarized data we can access in real time allows us to take corrective actions intra-shift rather than post-shift analysis when the ship has already sailed.”

Terrain for Atlas Copco D65 Drills
New in drilling operations area are improvements and enhancements to Terrain that provide an independent machine interface for Atlas Copco D65 Drills. The interface supports both the FlexiROC and SmartROC models of the D65. Terrain for drilling now uses the Caterpillar global navigation satellite system (GNSS) solution, eliminating the need to purchase the Atlas Copco guidance system. Additionally, no connections to the Atlas Copco Rig Control System are required.

Additional Updates
New features of Terrain for grading and loading include block-focused, material-aligning ore control management for Fleet sites; text messaging enhancement using free and pre-canned message; a new capability for customers to transfer data into custom data warehouses; and, improved editing tools and consumables tracking capability.

Terrain for drilling has also been updated, with an enhanced ability to optionally end the drilling of a hole based on motion detection (GNSS-based Automatic End of Hole), and an enhanced ability to resume a previously started hole based on the position before and after power cycle (GNSS-based Hole Drilling Continuity). In addition, a drill simulator kit is now available to facilitate training.

Cat MineStar Command products also have new features. Command for dozing now features a vision system that allows non-line-of-sight operation of D10T and D11T dozers from the Remote Operator Station. In addition, the remote console and operator station have been expanded for use on the D10T2. Command for hauling, which enables total autonomous operation of mining trucks, is now available on the 793F and 793F CMD Mining Trucks.

The most recent upgrades also include two upgrades for Cat MineStar Detect. The first is an expanded offering to Object Detection (OD) that uses the current OD system capabilities to automatically detect other equipment or vehicles around machines and shows operators where potential hazards are located. This new offering significantly expands the installation base to virtually any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) equipment. The second is a new incident recorder system that records video footage from up to four cameras and provides playback capabilities.

For more information on any of these products, contact Courtney Welch at 775-778-6552 or