New underground truck engine developed

Volvo Penta, in collaboration with Sandvik, have developed the new TAD1643VE-B engine for Sandvik’s latest underground mining trucks.

The companies worked together after Sandvik sought help from Volvo Penta to replace the existing 19-litre engines in their TH663 trucks.

Mark Ryan, product line manager for trucks, loading and hauling at Sandvik’s mining division said, “We needed a high horse power engine of the right size and class, which is robust and more cost effective to install and run than the previous engines.”

The engine features a water-cooled turbo charger, new fuel injectors and more efficient fuel combustion, and increased torque and torque curve which enables better performance at a wider range of rpm, making it more powerful particularly at the lower end of rpm.

It also has a modern engine control unit (ECU) and the same electrical interface as the latest Stage IV/Tier 4 final engine for easy installation. It has a rated power of 565kW at 1900rpm, the highest output per litre of displacement, making it the best 16-litre engine in its class.

After extensive tests of Sandvik’s TH663 underground truck with the new engine, it is now operating in Australia’s hard rock mines.

“These are very harsh environments underground,” Ryan said.

“The engines on our trucks need to withstand really heavy-duty cycles and continuously haul heavy loads up a steep ramp.”

He added that with the better torque delivery, the trucks can haul up ramps faster than the previous 19-litre engine variety.

“It also produces fewer emissions, which not only makes ventilation better for workers in the mines, but has an improved environmental footprint – so it’s a better option all-round.”

Ryan also said that capital and operating costs as well as downtime is reduced due to better fuel efficiency.

The engine complies with US EPA’s Tier 2 Power Band E regulations and China’s NS III emissions regulations for non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). It shares common electrical and physical interfaces with Stage IIIA, Stage IV, and Tier 4 Final engines.

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