International Mining (June 2022)

GHH strengthens offering with LF-10 NEO

With GHH’s drive to constantly provide customers with mining equipment that maximises productivity while complying to the latest legislative, regulatory and safety requirements, it says it is strengthening its offering with the latest edition to the GHH family, the LF-10 NEO, which will be launching in Q4 this year, replacing the well-known LF-10. The LF-10 NEO is a powerful 10t loader, with a 4.6 m3 standard bucket. At 9.6 m in length, 2.3m in height and 2.6m in width and good ground clearance, this loader has a high installed power of 240 kW. The CE-certified LHD is designed to operate in ambient temperatures of up to 52° C and is available in Tier 3, Tier 4 Final and Stage V.

The company says “the LF-10 NEO cabin was designed against stringent ergonomic principles, with its large foot box and ergonomic layout of controls supporting high efficiencies in operation, as well as a full air suspension seat ensuring maximum operator comfort leading to excellent productivity. With its best-in-class tipping height and bucket reach the LHD’s operational flexibility is maximised to ensure excellent truck loading. The modular machine design, including the plug-and-play operators’ cabin, also supports a quicker and easier rebuild process as well as simple and cost-effective shaft access. The LHD is able to be slung down extremely small shafts with a minimal invasive effort to the workings of the machines and also making re-assembly after slinging extremely efficient and timeous.”

From a real-time analytics and maintenance perspective, the LF-10 NEO can be fitted with GHH inSiTE digital analytics solution, which can be customised to support specific customer and application needs. The LF-10 NEO also has electronic brake wear sensors, full electronic monitoring of pressures, volumes, temperatures, cylinder movements etc “supporting improved maintenance efficiencies on-site as well as enabling the customer, for example with the brake wear sensors, to identify the difference between a worn brake or just the housing heating up which can also lead to unnecessary maintenance costs and downtime. Using this machine information on hand, and real-time analytics, are absolutely key to continuously improving maintenance efficiencies.”

When it comes to the operational flexibility of GHH equipment, it has recently also added a ‘high lift boom’ option to the LF-3 narrow vein loader, significantly improving the versatility and operational flexibility, especially for 15 t truck loading. This loader is also available in air-cooled and water-cooled engine packages and is able to operate at altitudes of up to 4,000m.

The LF-19EB is the latest in the line of battery-electric loaders that GHH has put into the field. This LHD has a 36 kWh battery pack to support panel to panel movement, of around 2.7 km, and negates the need for a generator or towing device thus improving flexibility and reducing time and cost wastage in getting to the next production end. The decades of experience in electric loaders design, development and manufacturing have provided a strong foundation for this current offering. “The new SLP-14E LHD under development has a brand new, innovative direct-drive electric drive train that will form the baseline for future developments. Axle to the motor to axle with no gearboxes and direct frequency controlled – this design has significantly fewer components resulting in less maintenance, fewer breakdowns and ultimately reduced maintenance costs and improved availability and potential utilisation.”

And with very little hydraulics, except for the brakes and boom and bucket, the expected reduction in hydraulic related breakdowns soars even further. The proven vertical coiling cable reel design, with spooling control, which significantly improves the cable life, is a standard on this machine. “The SLP-14E is not only a technology trendsetter but also provides for improved visibility and comfort for the operator, with a brand new ergonomically designed cabin and frame layout. GHH is taking the next steps with this electric drive train and battery-electric drive and moving towards full battery drive train designs in the development pipeline.”

All of the GHH loader and truck range are all available with a PDS level 9 interface as well as being automation-ready and available with GHH inSiTE, its digital analytics solution. In an effort to constantly improve the benefits of real-time analytics for customers, as well as maintenance efficiency, GHH Group, together with its partners, continue developing the GHH InSiTE offering and tailoring it to customers’ specific needs. The GHH inSiTE digital solution is aimed at building digital workflows for underground mining operations. The solution’s first large-scale implementation of over 150 machines is currently underway at four underground potash mines in Germany. “The high degree of deployment of GHH underground LHDs foresees timely understanding of maintenance requirements based on real-time data of errors and warnings registered on the machines. These events are filtered based on their potential severity and displayed to the mining company’s maintenance crew in order to prevent breakdowns and long downtimes. Moreover, understanding of operational insights of single machines as well as the entire fleet enables structured planning of maintenance activities throughout the production cycle, thus ensuring continuous improvement of maintenance efficiencies.”

Another area of development activities in the project is focused on integrating fully electric equipment, designed and developed by GHH. The analysis of the first machine integrated on the GHH InSiTE platform reveals visible benefits that can be calculated using near-real-time machine data. This year’s activities will focus on the operational aspects of fully electric LHDs and the opportunities to improve them in the overall process.

“As a tailor-made, customised, digital analytics solution GHH inSiTE supports customers in improving performance and maintenance strategies and enhancing safety. Getting access to all recorded signals, through customisation allows customers to better understand where the issues are and improve preventative maintenance practices. Notification of pending technical problems also allows for technicians to conduct immediate troubleshooting activities and potentially avoid catastrophic failures resulting in significantly higher costs and downtime.”

Finally, the GHH Automation solution suite ranges from tele-remote operations to semi and fully automated machine operations. The latest developments include a fully autonomous LHD, which works through the full LHD cycle, with auto-loading, navigation, auto-dumping and repeat. “The GHH Automated Vehicles can operate completely without supervision and network coverage, as all required algorithms run on the vehicle itself. Also, the effort to expand the automated operation area is very small as only battery-powered tags need to be added to the stop every 50 m. GHH Automated LHDs also work in collaboration with automated dump trucks. Once the dump truck is in loading position it informs the LHD to load it. All fully autonomously. GHH and its automation partners will also integrate any other make of equipment into the automated loading and hauling system of the future.”