New Underground Mining Simulators
AUSTRALIA’S MINING MONTHLY – FEBRUARY 2013
ThoroughTec Simulation has extended its range of underground mining simulators for the resources industry. The South African firm has introduced a range of Caterpillar underground mining simulators and extended its range specifically for the soft rock resources industry.
ThoroughTec said its new products were developed in response to customer demand. The cab products include the Cat R1600G and R2900 load-haul-dump loaders and AD30, AD45B and AD55B articulated dump trucks. Additionally, ThoroughTec has introduced a simulator cab for the CAT 7495 (Bucyrus 495HR) rope shovel, which was previously owned by equipment manufacturer Bucyrus International.
This year, ThoroughTec has released a range of underground soft rock mining simulators for a Joy continuous miner and shuttle car, a Fletcher bolter, a Sandvik load-haul-dump truck and two utility-type vehicles.
“It was a rational progression for us to apply these proven training technologies and techniques to the underground soft rock environment.”
“The CYBERMINE range of mining simulators has been extremely successful in realising productivity gains and safety improvements in the hard rock, underground mining environment and in surface coal mining operations,” ThoroughTec executive director John Waltham said. “So it was a rational progression for us to apply these proven training technologies and techniques to the underground soft rock environment.”
All of the latest ThoroughTec products add to the family of surface Cat 992 wheel loaders, 773, 777F and 793F haul trucks and D10T and D11R dozers.
“These CAT products join the widest and fastest growing range of simulator cabs on the market, covering all major manufacturers, such as Sandvik, Atlas Copco, Liebherr, Komatsu, P&H and Hitachi,” Waltham said. BHP Billiton’s Khutala Colliery coal mine in South Africa has purchased a full range of underground soft rock mining simulators.
The Khutala Colliery mine is located 55km from Witbank in the Mpumalanga province and has 14 underground coal cutting sections in the room and pillar. BHP has also acquired ThoroughTec’s complete CYBERMINE training suite for its South African mine.
The suite includes a computer-based trainer (CBT) system and an operator familiarisation trainer (OFT).
Waltham said the CYBERMINE CBT system would be used to teach trainee operators at the Khutala Colliery mine the theory needed to operate specific pieces of underground mining equipment.
“The system uses photographic still shots, two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer animations, and site video, overlaid with audio to walk the trainee through the’ controls and operation of the equipment,” he said.
Trainee miners can operate the OFT system and controls of the replicated cab via a single touch-screen display.
ThoroughTec has previously sold its CYBEMINE4 mining simulators to Rio Tinto’s Block Cave Knowledge Centre of Excellence at Northparkes Mine, New South Wales, and to Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines.
Both purchased Sandvik underground mining simulators, including the DD420 drill rig, and the LH517 and LH514 load-haul dump loaders.
The latest CYBERMINE dragline simulator has been installed at the Wesfarmers Curragh mine in the Bowen Basin, central Queensland.
And a Sandvik LH517 underground load-haul-dump loader simulator cab is now being used to train staff at Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in the east Kimberley region of WA.
Manufacturing simulators for more than 20 years, ThoroughTec supplies simulator systems to the South African military, selling more than 500 simulator units to the mining and construction industries worldwide.