Epiroc developing autonomous mine solutions

Epiroc autonomous mining

NEXGEN SIMS is an EU-sponsored consortium of 13 partners including Epiroc that aims to demonstrate working autonomous processes in real mining environments.

Increased demands on safety, carbon emissions, energy efficiency and productivity are driving this technology transition in the mining business which is expected to be in process within the next three years.

NEXGEN SIMS will work to develop autonomous carbon-neutral, sustainable mining solutions, building on the successful SIMS project, which ran from 2017 to 2020.

“Our task at Epiroc is to drive and coordinate the early stages of R&D technology and innovation,” Epiroc global R&D technology and innovation manager at Epiro Katarina Öquist said.

“Getting renewed EU trust after SIMS feels huge, and I’m proud that Epiroc once again is taking on a leading role for NEXGEN SIMS. The network we’ve built up during SIMS is already in place and active, and our partners are ambitious, accomplished and forward-thinking.”

The task this time is to link together system solutions, and by the time NEXGEN SIMS reaches its conclusion in 2024, Epiroc plans to have successfully helped the consortium towards autonomous mining and be able to define the next hurdles.

‘This is the biggest technology shift ever in the mining business, with electrification, connectivity and autonomy all being developed concurrently,” Öquist said.

“At the same time, we have to keep our portfolio of existing machines since the global market differs in its level of maturity.”

Epiroc will put a big effort into Work Packages 6 and 7, developing autonomous functionality in the interface between loaders and dumpers, working in a mixed traffic environment.

This is a major and vital part of mining operations, and there is a lot of work and complexity to introduce autonomy into the process and make it digital.

Leave a Reply