From April 8 – April 19 2015, Thiess in conjunction with Rotec Engineering conducted trials on the Rotec Engineering Robotic Fueling System for mining trucks. Tests were completed utilising Caterpillar 785C and Caterpillar 793F haul trucks in Perth and at a Pilbara mine site. A practical demonstration was successfully completed at Thiess’ Hazelmere facility in Perth with invited industry representatives on 10 April. During this demonstration a Caterpillar 785C was driven into position and a simulated refuelling process was successfully initiated over multiple operations. On-site demonstrations were conducted at the Pilbara mine site from 15-19 April. During the site tests, Caterpillar 793Fs were used for both simulated and actual refuelling tests. The unit successfully connected and refuelled 793 dump trucks in conditions including daylight, rain, night and high frequency passes. Connection time for the unit in practical operation is approx. 55 sec from activation with disconnection taking approx. 15 sec.
The following video shows the Robotic Fueling System connecting to a 793F dump truck.
Thiess and Rotec Engineering are continuing development of the refuelling module for an updated release in the near future.