The Caterpillar Underground Display

Built on the company’s most popular load haul dump (LHD) platforms, the Cat R2900 XE LHD will feature a diesel electric drive system that delivers high productivity, smooth and quick machine response, and improved digging and tramming performance. Employing a high-efficiency electric drive system, the R2900 XE will reduce fuel consumption to help customers achieve their goals for lower greenhouse gas emissions and total cost of ownership.

Cat R2900 XE LHD. Courtesy of Caterpillar

Allowing MINExpo 2021 attendees to see inside the new diesel electric drive design, slated for commercial availability in 2023, an R2900 XE drivetrain was a part of the Caterpillar Underground display. The exhibit has emphasized the model’s high-efficiency Switch Reluctance (SR) electric drive system and redesigned axles, wheel and brake groups.

Productivity, less fuel

Increasing payload more than 9% over the Cat R2900G, the R2900 XE offers an 18.5-tonne (40,785-lb) rated loading and tramming payload for a 3- to 4-pass match with the Cat AD63 truck. The electric drive system delivers 52% faster acceleration and improved machine response, while reducing fuel consumption by more than 30% in many applications. The redesigned lift arm and components geometry, combined with load-sensing hydraulics and new bucket geometry, increase the R2900 XE’s breakout force by 35%.

The machine’s high-efficiency SR electric drive system replaces a mechanical transmission to deliver improved power and faster cycle times compared to the R2900G, with variable speed control and implemented virtual gears for machine controllability. With no driveline or powertrain shock loads, the diesel electric LHD offers smooth directional changes. Programmable speed management improves operator efficiency and reduces fatigue, while automatic retarding controls help to maintain speed on grade. Steering and transmission integrated control (STIC) maximizes loader responsiveness with a single lever that combines directional selection, virtual gears and steering into a single lever.

Built for the global market, the Cat C15 engine powering the R2900 XE comes in configurations to meet a range of emissions regulations, including EU Stage V and U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final. Its Stage II- and Tier 2-equivalent Ventilation Reduction (VR) engine configuration can be equipped with diesel particulate filters to reduce diesel particulate matter. The diesel electric design enables the engine to operate at a lower 1,600 rpm to reduce fuel burn, heat generation and exhaust emissions, while increasing power. Mines have the option of equipping the loader with a high-efficiency radiator.

Cat R2900 XE LHD. Courtesy of Caterpillar

Improved technology and hydraulics

The R2900 XE features Autodig to optimize loading and traction control to maximize tire life.  The machine easily integrates available technologies to further increase operating efficiency and productivity with factory-ready Cat MineStar for Underground. Scalable levels of remote operation from line of sight to full automation help to increase production efficiency and operator safety. Standard Product Link Elite delivers machine health monitoring to improve uptime availability.

The diesel electric LHD’s lift and tilt system includes variable piston pumps for higher flow rates, faster cycle times and powerful lift forces. Load sensing hydraulic piston pumps deliver the exact flow and pressure required for hydraulic functions to improve efficiency and reduce heat. Improving cycle times and operator comfort, optional ride control dampens the lift circuit to reduce fore and aft pitch.

Cat R2900 XE LHD. Courtesy of Caterpillar

Durability and ease of maintenance

The R2900 XE is built for long life and easy maintenance. It leverages the heavy structure rear design of the R1700 to further enhance long-term durability. Improvements to the brakes, axles, auto retarder, frame and articulation increases machine longevity and operating reliability. Its electric drive system has fewer moving parts than mechanical transmissions to reduce service requirements, provide easy maintenance and extend maintenance intervals.

Source: Caterpillar