Shovel Load Assist Program (SLAP)
CRCMining has an active research program, supported by the Australian Coal Association and JoyGlobal, which is working towards automating large mining shovels.
The Shovel Load Assist Project is developing operator assistance technologies that will help operators of electric mining shovels load trucks more efficiently and safely. The Shovel Load Assist Project (SLAP) has developed two technologies:
- TruckShield: A layer-of-protection that prevents metal-on-metal collisions between the shovel and truck that might injure truck drivers or damage the truck or shovel.
- AutoLoad: A semi-automation swing technology that automates the swing, dump and return phases of the shovel loading cycle.
The benefits of SLAP technology span shovel safety, availability, productivity and maintenance through faster shovel cycle times, lower machine duty, improved material distribution in trucks, fewer impacts between truck and shovel and lower operator workload.
- Employs a functional safety lifecycle to iterate the prototype TruckShield and AutoLoad systems to achieve tolerable risk of operation.
- Has developed and proved a fit-for-purpose truck positioning technology to enable TruckShield and AutoLoad to establish the relative position of the shovel and trucks.
- Has sccessfully trialled TruckShield in a production environment with a manned truck at Bracalba Quarry, demonstrating the integrity of the system and its component technologies.
- Conducted a human factors analysis of shovel operation to identify areas that operators find difficult, where SLAP technologies can assist operators, and what gaps remain.
- Extended the understanding of various sensing technologies that can be used to perceive the shovel work area (including terrain and equipment units).
The project has shown that TruckShield and AutoLoad have the potential to help operators by addressing some of the main avenues for human error in shovel operation.
The current work of the project are to deploy the technology at a production mine site to allow for an evaluation of the benefits of shovel operator assist technologies on of the benefits of shovel operator assist technologies.
Ezymine is the CRCMining spin-off company that owns and earns royalties from the IP of the SLAP project, and is marketed through joint venture partner (and CRCMining member) JoyGlobal. Contact us for more information.