Komatsu launches intelligent control mining dozer

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Komatsu releases first mining dozer with intelligent Machine Control

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Komatsu has released its first dozer with fully integrated intelligent Machine Control

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Komatsu has released the D375Ai-8 ‘intelligent’ dozer; the company’s first mining dozer incorporating its fully integrated intelligent Machine Control (iMC) system, which delivers proven productivity, efficiency and cost-saving benefits, it says.

The 72.9-tonne D375Ai-8 is powered by a US EPA Tier 4 Final emission certified Komatsu SAA6D170E-7 diesel rated at 455kW in forward gears, and 558kW in reverse, to provide more reversing power for higher productivity.

According to Michael Hall, Komatsu Australia’s mining product manager, the iMC version of the dozer can carry out both bulk and final trim dozing in fully automatic mode from start to finish, delivering final grade performance and accuracy.

While this is Komatsu’s first mining machine fitted with iMC, the concept has been successfully used on its smaller and mid-sized dozers across Australia and New Zealand over the past three years.

"The concept has been shown to significantly increase productivity and efficiency – up to twice as productive as dozers fitted with ‘bolt-on’ third party machine control systems according to Australian users and operators – while reducing the cost of each metre of material moved," he says.

"This will deliver major benefits to mining operations across the board, whether in bulk overburden moving, chasing thin or narrow seams, for mine infrastructure works, for stockpile management, or in rehabilitation projects."

As well as mining operations, the D375Ai-8 also has applications in quarrying and heavy construction projects.

The D375Ai-8 intelligent dozer incorporates as standard a factory-installed fully integrated Global Navigation Satellite System machine control system.

"Because the machine control system is fully integrated, it eliminates the need for coiled cables between machine and blade, the operator or service technicians don’t have to climb up on the machine to remove and replace antennas or masts, and there’s no requirement for daily connections and recalibrations," says Hall.

"As well, an enhanced sensor package combined with an intelligent logic system provides for high accuracy in a fully integrated system without the need for traditional blade-mounted sensors – which can be subject to damage, theft or vandalism."

Komatsu’s integrated Machine Control system automatically controls blade elevation and tilt according to target design data, using common industry standard design data software and systems.

"With these machines, not only can the automatic machine control features be used for final grading but also for bulk dozing – a capability which is unique to Komatsu intelligent dozers," Hall says.

"Loading of the blade at the start of the cut is controlled via set parameters; during the pass, if the load on the blade increases, automatic blade control manages the load and minimises shoe slip, ensuring effective dozing at all times.

"Then when the material level approaches the target design surface, the machine reverts to fine blade control for close final grading," he says.

"Highly experienced dozer operators have reported that, with this technology, they can be more productive than they have ever been before – placing material faster and with more accuracy than any existing dozer/machine control combination."

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