Self-driving has been widely talked about when it comes to ‘concept vehicles,’ yet Sandvik’s automated loaders and trucks have been working in real mines for over 20 years. That’s more than 2 million operating hours of self-driving underground and, at the same time, there have been zero accidents involving people.
Recently Sandvik launched its next generation. For the first time ever, the loader’s bucket filling has been automated. This means that from loading to hauling and dumping, the whole production cycle can be fully automated.
“It wasn’t an easy task,” says Jouni Koppanen, Senior Systems Engineer for Automation at Sandvik. “You need to consider the different types of mines, different rock sizes and you need to fill the bucket just the right amount. But we did it, and we’re the only ones who have an autoload function.”