Sandvik Partners With Byrnecut to Develop Diesel-Electric Mining Equipment

At The Electric Mine 2024 conference in Perth, Sandvik and Byrnecut, an underground mining contractor, signed an agreement under which the companies will work together to develop diesel-electric mining equipment, such as loaders and trucks. Through this partnership, Sandvik and Byrnecut aim to boost sustainability, efficiency and productivity underground.

(Image source: Sandvik)

The overall goal of the agreement is to create equipment that matches Byrnecut’s specific capability requirements and helps optimize operations.

“Diesel-electric equipment has a proven ability to combine the low-maintenance benefits of electric machines with the flexibility of diesel. We have a long association with Sandvik and we’re pleased to be providing input and feedback that will help shape the new Sandvik diesel-electric range. We’re also looking forward to passing benefits of this collaboration on to our customers.”

said Pat Boniwell, Managing Director at Byrnecut Australia.

(Image source: Sandvik)

“An immediate switch to full battery-electric isn’t feasible for every operation. We have extensive expertise in both battery-electric and conventional diesel technology within Sandvik, and we believe combining this expertise will lead to new productive solutions for our customers. We’re delighted that Byrnecut is sharing its knowledge of underground and will provide feedback to help us develop the best diesel-electric loaders and trucks.”

said Mats Eriksson, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.

Diesel-electric machines typically have a diesel engine that drives a generator which, in turn, provides electricity to motors responsible for movement and operating equipment. Unlike conventional diesel, diesel-electric machines generally have no torque converter and fewer rotating components, allowing for a more flexible design, requiring less maintenance and enabling lower operating costs while maintaining high availability.

Sandvik announced last year that it was moving ahead with developing a diesel-electric range of underground loaders and trucks to complement its leading battery-electric offering. The decision followed the showcasing of Sandvik’s Toro diesel-electric truck demonstrator to customers at a technology workshop in Turku, Finland in 2022.

(Image source: Sandvik)

The collaboration between Sandvik and Byrnecut will initially involve establishing a common vision for optimizing Sandvik diesel-electric machines for Byrnecut’s needs. Byrnecut will then work together with Sandvik on the design of the machines and provide feedback at various testing stages, including pre-factory testing, operational testing and trial testing.

Boniwell said Byrnecut is exploring a wide range of different technologies and is eager to embrace innovations that reduce costs, improve safety and increase productivity and sustainability.

“It’s likely the transition to battery-electric will be a gradual process with both electric, diesel and potentially diesel-electric machines operating side by side in the meantime.”

said Boniwell.

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