Caterpillar considers all with spacious MINExpo show

The Cat R1700 XE LHD will be a star of MINExpo 2021.

It will be hard to miss Caterpillar’s exhibition at MINExpo 2021, not only for its size but also for the future-focused lessons and equipment the OEM now offers the industry.

Covering an expansive 5124 square metres – one twelfth of the event’s exhibition floor – Caterpillar’s display will be themed, ‘Together, we’re mining better.’

This title encompasses ideas of sustainability as well as overall productivity, both of which can be controlled by the quality of equipment and technology in an operation. 

Through Caterpillar’s expanding portfolio, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is hoping to do most of the heavy lifting around any one mine site, while sticking to these pillars of smart and sustainable practices.

To this end, the massive exhibit at the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Centre on September 13-15 will advocate three key themes: environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainability; technology and automation; and equipment lifecycle management solutions. 

Caterpillar Resource Industries Group president Denise Johnson says the company has plenty to show off after the industry missed out on MINExpo in 2020. 

“After waiting an extra year, the mining industry is ready to reconnect at MINExpo,” Johnson says.

“We are excited to show our customers and the industry the advancements Caterpillar has made not only in equipment, technology and services, but also in how we are helping customers mine more sustainably.” 

The OEM has gone a step further at MINExpo this year, understanding that not everyone from such a large industry can make it to the United States in 2021.

“While we are eager to exhibit in Las Vegas, we recognise that many of our dealers and customers will not be able to travel to the show. Therefore, we are also creating a digital Caterpillar experience at cat.com/mining, where we will place MINExpo specific content,” Johnson says.

The equipment on show will include Cat’s latest in load and haul – the R1700 XE LHD. 

As a fully electric mining vehicle producing less noise, the R1700 XE is just one move Cat has made to improve customers’ commitment to ESG goals and sustainability. 

The loader has a 15-tonne payload and a 24.19-tonne lift and tilt breakout, ensuring that no operation is made to choose between electrification and productivity.

In conjunction with the new loader, the OEM will also showcase the capabilities of its new portable Cat MEC500 Mobile equipment charger, furthering that productivity angle. 

The MEC500 can charge the R1700 XE in around half an hour with just one charger. 

Next in show will be the R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain for reduced maintenance costs; the D11 XE dozer for “the lowest cost of bank cubic meters (BCM) ever”; and Cat’s 992 wheel loader, which improves productivity by 32 per cent. 

And while some companies might be content with that line up, Cat has also extended its range in the technology space. 

Caterpillar Resource Industries vice president Marc Cameron emphasises the need to offer both equipment and technology solutions. 

“Technology and automation are critical components for substantially improving machine uptime availability and productivity,” Cameron says. 

One such piece of technology has been Cat’s autonomous MineStar Command, which has been proven around the world. 

The automated technology this year hit three billion tonnes hauled around the world, while at Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri operation in the Pilbara – touted as the world’s most advanced mine – MineStar Command has been implemented on a 777G Water truck.

Further to the MineStar Command, Cat released MineStar Edge in 2020 to complement its existing MineStar technology suite. 

Edge allows business to assess their operations, big and small, remotely and from a distance. This introduces aspects of safety and productivity by allowing those at management level to gauge their strengths and weaknesses at any one time. 

Cameron says MINExpo will provide many customers with their first chance to witness and experience MineStar Edge.

“Through Cat MineStar Solutions, Caterpillar offers customers scalable technologies to fit the mine’s specific needs. The exhibit’s technology and automation stage will focus on the real value that Caterpillar technology options provide customers,” Cameron says.

A raft of complementary technological advantages will be on show at the Caterpillar exhibit. No mining business will want to miss out, either in-person or online.   

This story also appears in the September issue of Australian Mining.

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