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Digging Into Reliable Solutions

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Global Mining Review,

From its EX-7 Series mining excavators to its advanced haul trucks and sustainability technologies, Hitachi focuses on providing reliable solutions for its customers while helping lead the mining industry and fleet operations to new frontiers.

Mining excavators

One of Hitachi’s newest solutions is the EX-7 Series mining excavators. Building on the success of the EX-6 Series line, the EX-7 Series showcases improved features and sustainability technologies, which help customers reduce total costs of ownership. The product line includes the EX1200-7, EX2000-7, EX2600-7, EX3600-7 and EX5600-7.

“With reduced fuel consumption and hydraulic system improvements, the EX-7 Series excavators are designed to help minimise operating costs while going greener without sacrificing performance,” said Kendall Mattson, Hitachi Mining Production System Specialist.

With the EX2600-7, EX3600-7 and EX5600-7, customers can choose from a Cummins or MTU EPA Final Tier 4 (FT4) engine, or for non-regulated countries, engines with Fuel Consumption Optimization (FCO) technologies.

The most recently released model, the EX2000-7, is a good example of these excavators’ measurable efficiency. It features main pump electronic regulators, high hydraulic efficiency regeneration, and a cooling package that work together to help reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% (compared to the previous EX1900-6 model with Cummins engine).

These excavators also enhance operator safety and comfort with features such as a newly designed cab, an emergency evacuation system and Aerial AngleTM system.

Advanced haul trucks

Hitachi’s line of haul trucks, the EH3500AC-3, EH4000AC-3 and EH5000AC-3, are designed, built and supported by Hitachi through vertical integration.

“Our trucks provide customers with essentially a one-stop-shop solution,” added John Schellenberg, Hitachi Mining Trucks Product Manager. “We believe this is an advantage to our customers. For example, it streamlines maintenance and customers are supported by Hitachi certified technicians instead of multiple manufacturers and technicians.”

These trucks feature Hitachi’s Advanced AC-Drive System propulsion technology. This system includes features such as pitch control for improved stability and slip-slide control, which increases traction and reduces tire slippage on acceleration and tire lock-up during braking. The AC-Drive system and additional integrated technologies help provide the trucks with a competitive edge.

“Technology integration is one of our biggest advantages with trucks,” Schellenberg continued. “It ultimately helps improve operator awareness and helps reduce risk through technologies such as Aerial Angle, our automatic stopping systems and autonomous haulage systems.”

Road to zero emissions

Hitachi is committed to helping solve global challenges facing the mining industry today. The company offers several solutions on its road to zero emissions such as electric excavators, trolley trucks and trolley battery technology. These sustainable and environmentally friendly products can be leveraged to optimize mining operations.

Hitachi’s EX-7E (Electric) Series mining excavators, which includes the EX2000-7E, EX2600-7E, EX3600-7E and EX5600-7E, reduce carbon emissions by running directly off substations. These excavators feature Hitachi electric motors that produce high torque with greater efficiency than diesel engines. Customers can also experience reduced ownership costs from minimised maintenance and reduced consumable parts that are no longer required, such as radiators, air filters and mufflers.

“Along with the benefits of these electric excavators producing zero emissions, we utilise Hitachi built and designed electric motors, so we have full control of the production and design process of these machines,” Schellenberg said.

Hitachi’s trolley truck technology is another contributor to more sustainable mining operations. This technology utilises DC-powered overhead lines to power trucks up hills. When the truck operator connects to the line, the hauler switches to trolley power, resulting in an increase in speed up the grade and reduced emissions when compared to engine power alone. The system integration is all packaged through Hitachi – from components to support.

“Hitachi’s vertical integration from its group companies provides sophisticated energy management capabilities,” Schellenberg commented. “Right now, the trolley infrastructure is a perfect midway point between diesel and full electrification. Hitachi is focused on making the transition to reduced emissions easier for customers by keeping total costs of ownership in mind.” In the future, Hitachi plans on offering retrofitted trolley battery technology for existing trolley truck fleets where engines are already in place. The trucks would then be able to maintain productivity in a reduced carbon environment. As Hitachi continues down the road to zero emissions, the company keeps its customers at the forefront.

“We want to create more reliability and productivity for our customers along the way,” concluded Schellenberg. “The whole journey is about having a better bottom line in a more environmentally friendly way.”

Written by Kristin Stires, originally for Hitachi’s Breakout magazine.

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