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Liebherr presents next generation, interoperable automation

Image from Liebherr.

Liebherr Mining presented the world premiere of its new Mining Technology Product portfolio at MINExpo in Las Vegas last week. The portfolio defines the company’s interoperable and scalable approach to their equipment, technology, and service product offerings.

The Liebherr Mining Technology Product portfolio includes machine automation, digital services, and assistance systems and onboard analytics product lines that provide customers with flexible scope of supply solutions to increase safety and asset operational effectiveness. Together, these products will support operator’s performance, optimise diagnostic processes, and automate machine functions, while integrating machine data and OEM expertise within the customers chosen technology landscapes.

Liebherr’s scalable solutions meet all use cases, ranging from stand-alone to fully integrated large scale life-of-mine deployments:

● Autonomy ready kit: machine designed and configured with drive-by-wire capability.

● Autonomy kit: autonomous machine equipped with onboard perception and robotics, capable of integration via an open protocol to traffic management solutions.

● Complete solution: complete autonomous haulage solution integrated with traffic and fleet management systems.

Liebherr has developed and proven the world’s first open software interface between its autonomy kit and independent suppliers of traffic management systems (TMS). The protocol will not only enable customers to choose their preferred TMS solution, but will also enable autonomous machines, including autonomous light vehicles, to coexist within a common autonomous ecosystem.

Having just announced a global framework agreement, Liebherr and Hexagon Mining have integrated their complimentary technology products using the open software interface. As a result of this agreement, Hexagon technology, including its autonomous mission management system, will be used in the mine automation options offered by Liebherr to customers.

Autonomous equipment solutions

Liebherr’s autonomous haulage solution delivers the next generation of onboard intelligence, with reduced dependency on site infrastructure and centralized supervisory systems. Together with vehicle-to-vehicle technologies, Liebherr’s smart autonomous solutions provide onboard obstacle avoidance and load area path planning capabilities for optimisation of traffic flow. Liebherr’s solutions offer an 8-layer safety concept in combination with the latest onboard perception technologies for long range, high resolution and 360° coverage, which is unique to the Liebherr offering.

Liebherr excavators are designed with the technological foundations to enable the integration of the future automation systems. Liebherr automation readiness provides drive-by-wire capability with the required interfaces, technical support, and access to excavator built-in functions, including onboard control and actuation systems to provide semi-automatic machine functions supporting the operator with productivity, consistency, and safety performance.

The bucket filling assistant (BFA) provides semi-automatic bucket filling. The operator can initiate the bucket filling cycle automatically with a single joystick movement.

Introduced for the first time at MINExpo, Liebherr remote control (LiReCon) teleoperation system offers increased safety, comfort, and productivity for all dozer applications. This next generation system consists of the Liebherr remote control teleoperation stand and onboard dozer installations: cameras for all different angles and views, microphones for recording machine sounds, radio link receiver and transmitter. The high-resolution main screen provides complete view of the worksite and around the dozer. The standard LiReCon uses a secure self-contained radio mesh network that can be extended by additional gateways, enabling high signal quality even in difficult terrain or long range.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)