Roy Hill plots new path for end-to-end automation

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Roy Hill Plots New Path For End-to-End Automation

Roy Hill has signed a contract with Epiroc to deliver their automated haul truck solution.

Leading global mining equipment and services provider Epiroc, in partnership with automation specialist ASI Mining, is set to convert Roy Hill’s mixed fleet of 77 haul trucks from manned to autonomous use.

Epiroc/ASI Mining will meet Roy Hill’s requirements to deliver a safe, interoperable solution for its truck fleet. The solution will have the ability to expand to other mining vehicle types and manufacturers, as well as capability to integrate with existing and future Roy Hill systems. As part of this project Epiroc/ASI Mining will work closely with Hitachi/Wencomine on truck conversion and integration of Roy Hill’s existing Wenco fleet management system.

“Roy Hill is well positioned to transition to automation. Our teams on site and in our Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Perth have demonstrated a clear capacity to deliver complex projects, sustainable change and operational excellence with the recent success of the autonomous drill program and fleet optimization initiatives. Now is the right time to bring the combined expertise of Roy Hill, Epiroc, ASI Mining and Wenco together to convert our haul truck fleet,” said Roy Hill CEO Mr Barry Fitzgerald.

“Our Chairman, Mrs Gina Rinehart, and our owners Hancock Prospecting, Marubeni, POSCO and China Steel Corporation, have led this project from the start in the interests of staff safety and sustainable productivity. Their vision has set us a challenge to seek out partners who have an aligned tenacity and commitment to bring viable autonomous solutions to the table, and I look forward to realising the significant safety and productivity benefits that will come with this shared goal,” he added.

Roy Hill’s people are at the forefront of the decision to undertake truck automation, with Mr. Fitzgerald confirming safety as a key driver of the project. The commitment to people also extends to the effective transition of impacted operators to other roles. In addition, Mr Fitzgerald anticipated a range of operational benefits including increased productivity of the fleet.

“Care is one of our core values, with safety at the heart of everything we do. Roy Hill’s Smart Mine program is driving innovation across our business, and the automation of our haulage fleet is central to delivering safety and production improvements,” Mr Fitzgerald added.

Having delivered major automation projects across the globe, Epiroc and ASI Mining will bring together a highly credentialled delivery team based in West Australia who will leverage the know-how of a worldwide team of experts.

“Epiroc is proud to collaborate with Roy Hill, ASI Mining and other partners to automate Roy Hill’s haul truck fleet, boosting safety and productivity for a crucial aspect of its mining operation,” says Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure. “This is a very strong example of how automation will take a mining company’s operation to the next level.”

ASI Chief Executive Officer, Mel Torrie, said “ASI Mining is pleased to partner with all key suppliers including mining technology integrator Sedna to deliver an AHS solution at Roy Hill – a world-class major iron ore operation. As a manufacturer-agnostic solutions provider, ASI Mining looks forward to highlighting the opportunities presented by an interoperable approach to autonomous mining.”

Roy Hill has carefully considered the impact of this project on its people, with re-skilling and re-deployment plans to assist operators’ transition to new roles within the business.

“Our people are the driving force behind our success. We are committed to an automation journey that creates an environment in which our people can develop new skills critical to the workforce of the future. Our focus is on setting people up to succeed and further contribute to the Roy Hill community,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The project will see a phased implementation, with testing and production verification of up to eight trucks undertaken in the initial phase prior to the second phase of full fleet expansion from mid-2021.

About ASI

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) is a world leader in industrial vehicle automation. ASI serves clients across the world in the mining, agriculture, automotive, government, and manufacturing industries with remote control, teleoperation, and fully automated solutions from its headquarters and 100-acre proving ground in northern Utah.