Fortescue unveils remote dozing capability

Fortescue has demonstrated the first remote operation of a dozer in Australia at the Christmas Creek iron ore mine in Western Australia.

The remote operation was demonstrated at the the Resources Technology Showcase in Perth and used Cat MineStar Command to achieve long-range remote operations.

Fortescue has collaborated with Cat to trial the dozing technology since October 2019 to expand the company’s foothold on autonomous operations to improve productivity and efficiency.

According to Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines, the remote operation of its machines has improved safety outcomes.

“Western Australia’s mining sector is the most innovative in the world, and Fortescue is pleased to be able to showcase some of the cutting-edge technology that is utilised in the sector to students and members of the public at the Resources Technology Showcase,” she said.

“Underpinned by our value of generating ideas, Fortescue has been at the forefront of innovation in the mining industry. We were the first in WA to control a railway from outside a region of operation and the first company in the world to deploy Caterpillar autonomous haulage on a commercial scale.

“This demonstration of remote dozing capability builds on our reputation as a leader in autonomous solutions, which not only improves productivity but importantly will continue to improve safety for our team members.”

Fortescue converted over 180 haul trucks at its Solomon and Chichester Hub mines to autonomous operations in October 2020.

Cat SATS senior product service engineer Steve Dougherty said the company is looking forward to pushing safety forward as it advances its autonomous capabilities.

“Cat is excited to witness our long-time customer putting our remotely operated dozing technology to work,” he said.

“We look forward to helping Fortescue expand their remote operations to achieve an improved work environment for operators, create a safer work area on site and enhance machine utilisation by leveraging the efficiencies made possible by Command for dozing.”

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