Underground soft rock mining

Australian Mining: The future of automation

1 min read / November 17, 2023


Automation in soft rock mining isn’t just a driver of efficiency and productivity — it’s a key factor in driving toward zero harm. The safety of employees is every mine’s top priority and a core tenet of Komatsu. But how do you ensure the technology training that allows for automation, such as remote control operations, is done in a way that promotes zero harm while achieving the operational goals of the mine? 

Using advanced simulation technology is one answer to that question. Komatsu developed its Komatsu Remote Operations Centre (KROC) and Longwall Simulation Room to allow operators to learn in a safer, more controlled environment. The Longwall Simulation Room enables users to engage with remote equipment management, with a particular emphasis on autonomous automation.

“In the training room, customers have access to not only the trainers but Komatsu’s control and automation engineering team if required,” says Komatsu product manager, control and automation Shane Cooling. “People learn how to manage these machines by doing it, not by sitting in a classroom and listening to someone tell them how to do it. You get an opportunity to build that muscle memory before you go into a production site.”

“Our training room incorporates all the features that you would find in an underground longwall mine,” says Komatsu national training manager Wikus Louw. “The idea behind it was to have the full simulation of the mine in one place.”

*This article was written by Alexandra Eastwood for Australian Mining. Read the rest here: The future of automation - Australian Mining