Caterpillar Releases MineStar™ FleetCommander 3.0 Featuring Software Enhancements and New On-Board Display

cat_logoCaterpillar announces the release of FleetCommander 3.0, which includes software and hardware upgrades that expand capabilities for improving day-to-day mine site operations. MineStarTM FleetCommander is a comprehensive surface mine monitoring and control system that uses technology to improve productivity and lower costs. Real-time interaction with mobile field equipment allows mine managers to improve machine utilization, manage operators, track material movement and monitor production in near real-time.

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FleetCommander has proven its value in mines worldwide. Operations that switched from manual control to FleetCommander typically have experienced a 10 to 15 percent productivity improvement. One mine implemented FleetCommander for managing its shift change process and gained 15 truck loads per shovel each shift. MineStar FleetCommander 3.0 builds on proven results and delivers an additional 5 percent productivity improvement compared to previous versions.

Software enhancements

The FleetCommander core truck assignment engine has undergone significant enhancements. Key improvements are closer integration with the mine model and optimization of the assignment algorithm. With these enhancements, mining operations are seeing even greater productivity improvements when they allow the system to assign trucks automatically with no restrictions. Letting the assignment engine run automatically also allows mine controllers to focus on other operational needs.

The new blending functionality included in the assignment module enables the mine controller to specify the type and quality of materials delivered to the dump, stockpile or processing plant. FleetCommander 3.0 assigns trucks based on the specified ore and productivity targets. The new feature is fully integrated with production planning and key performance indicator (KPI) summaries.

To enhance tire management, the controller can set a maximum TKPH/TMPH for an individual truck or a class of trucks. The feature is integrated with KPI summaries to allow complete tire management performance reviews.

New software also supports decision making by evaluating "what if" impacts of making changes to the production plan during the current shift. The software helps controllers make decisions that optimize mine productivity.

The new embedded dashboard enables mine controllers in the office to view shift-based and real-time KPI and production variance information. Graphics such as gauges, histograms and trend lines promote easy interpretation of data.

The upgraded site editor and computer-aided-design capabilities eliminate the need for an external mine site design program. New features enhance the ability to create and maintain accurate digital site representations.

On-board hardware enhancements

New FleetCommander hardware includes an upgraded on-board display that is easier to read due to 18 percent more viewing area and higher resolution. The easy-to-use touch screen enables operators to input information without memorizing keypad functions.

The upgraded system now supports standard wireless protocols, such as 802.11 and other IP wireless infrastructures. The expanded capabilities enable FleetCommander 3.0 to work with industry standard wireless communications networks, giving operations the opportunity to choose and implement infrastructure based on their site needs.

The new system is scaleable. For example, a mine can start with hardware for machine tracking and subsequently can upgrade the FleetCommander software for machine scheduling and assignment.

The same hardware is used across all equipment types equipped with FleetCommander. Standardizing components reduces service parts inventory and decreases the burden on technicians. Additionally, the display and GPS receiver are now separate, which allows more cost effective repair of components.

Looking toward autonomous mining

MineStar FleetCommander is a key building-block technology in the development of a Cat® equipped autonomous mine. A key element is the FleetCommander 3.0 assignment engine, which provides closer integration with the digital mine site model. Additionally, algorithm optimization and software improvements are targeted to future management of the Cat Autonomous Haulage System and Autonomous Drill System.

For more information about FleetCommander 3.0, contact your Mining Technology commercial representative or your Cat dealer, or go to www.cat.com.

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