Komatsu shifts AHS towards dedicated private LTE network

Komatsu America has qualified its FrontRunner Autonomous haulage System (AHS) to operate on private long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology.

It is the mining industry’s first AHS enabled to run on private LTE in commercial operations.

Komatsu completed a year-long qualification program at the company’s proving grounds in Arizona, conducting extensive testing of the FrontRunner AHS on Nokia’s Future X infrastructure.

The company’s move towards LTE networks reflects the mining industry’s planned shift away from wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, which would 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,” Komatsu global officer and president/chief executive of modular mining systems Luiz Steinberg said.

“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. We have come together with Nokia to further this vision of delivering increased value to the mining industry.”

Komatsu pioneered the first AHS for the mining industry in 2008 with a commercial deployment at CODELCO’s Gabriela Mistral copper mine in Chile.

The company’s AHS has since become a regular feature at Australia’s largest mines, particularly in the Pilbara iron ore sector in Western Australia.

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