Caterpillar is making remote-operated technology easier to use through technology research and customer feedback. The operator can switch between different bulldozers and manage different equipment through the platform provided by Caterpillar without a lot of psychological stress.
Caterpillar has developed the latest in remote operation technology. Operators can simultaneously manage three D11s, which are Caterpillar’s largest dozers, equipped with a semi-automatic operating solution. During the development phase, the system handled approximately 24 million cubic yards (18.35 million cubic meters) of material during 25,000 operating hours. In 2016, two other mines will also start using the semi-automatic equipment.
Bulldozers are often used in harsh environments, such as below the unmined face of open pit mines or near landslides. Even in stable environments, operators may face constant whole-body vibrations or are constantly exposed to sand and dust. In recent years, governments and companies have put increasing emphasis on the protection of bulldozer operators, hoping to reduce the time employees are exposed to hazardous environments. And the best way to help companies maintain productivity and achieve safety goals is to use this remote-controlled technology.
Adoption of this equipment allows the operator to operate remotely using a removable console, keeping the operator away from hazardous areas and machine vibration. Almost all equipment functions can be operated from the console, including engine starting, acceleration, deceleration and stopping, shifting, steering, directional control and braking, as well as additional functions such as lights and horns. Key data displayed by gauges and other displays in the operating room can also be viewed from the operator’s console. In the event of a problem with the console, loss of power in the system, or interruption of radio communication with the equipment, it can also be operated through the emergency stop function that the system has.
Caterpillar remote-controlled dozing technology is just one part of automating mine operations. Today, Caterpillar can also provide fully automated remote hauling technology for large mining trucks and semi-autonomous operations for scrapers, continuing to protect customer safety and help customers succeed.