Milestone for automation
By Andy Brown22 January 2019
Komatsu America has announced that the FrontRunner Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) has qualified to operate on private long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology.
This is the mining industry’s first AHS enabled to run on private LTE in commercial operations. Komatsu says that this will increase availability and reliability.
The FrontRunner AHS allows unmanned operation of ultra-class mining trucks. FrontRunner is said to reduce worker exposure to harm, improve mine-site safety and reduce operating costs.
The company completed a year-long qualification program at the company’s proving grounds in Tucson, Arizona, US, conducting extensive testing of the FrontRunner AHS on Nokia’s Future X infrastructure.
Mining operators demand wireless networks with high-availability, seamless mobility and the ability to support multiple applications and services simultaneously.
Accordingly, the industry is moving away from less predictable wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, and towards private LTE networks, that improve security, capacity and overall performance within a multi-application environment.
“This industry milestone represents a key step in Komatsu’s exploration of private LTE and highlights Nokia’s role as the leading global supplier of mission-critical solutions and services for the mining industry,” said Luiz Steinberg, Komatsu global officer and CEO of Modular Mining Systems.
“As the leader in autonomous haulage technology, we are firmly on our way to helping the industry move the next billion tons of material with autonomous technology.”