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Sandvik takes the lead in battery-run loader race

Oct 5, 2020

As the world moves further and further into battery-based power and energy delivery systems, one company is ahead of the curve when it comes to underground equipment. 

Sandvik has unveiled a new battery-electric loader, the 18 tonne LH518B. The company says the all new loader is the result of Sandvik’s decades of engineering expertise, matched with Artisan Vehicle’s innovative powertrain technology and battery system expertise. 

The LH518B from Sandvik has been designed, ground-up, entirely around the loader’s Artisan™ battery system and electric driveline to best utilize the possibilities that the battery technology brings. It was not enough to replace some components or redesign only a part of the equipment: the designers were compelled to rethink the whole machine. For the customers, when the OEM rethinks the machine, it means that the mine doesn’t need to rethink its whole infrastructure. In practice, changing the loader battery does not require any cranes or forklifts, thanks to the patented AutoSwap feature.

Unmatched productivity

The new LH518B battery-electric loader comes with an exceptional capacity for its size: its design solutions allow the loader to fit in a 4.5 x 4.5 meter tunnel and carry 18 tonne loads. In addition to an innovative boom and bucket system, the LH518B features independent front and rear drivetrains, allowing high payload capacity while keeping a low overall height.

For superior productivity, the LH518B is equipped with three 2000 Nm permanent magnet motors. With no torque converter, transmission or engine to rev up, the loader is fast and agile. There are no emission restrictions based on installed power to limit the electric motor selection, which enables the use of the most powerful motors available that are suited for the underground conditions.

Fast and easy battery AutoSwap and AutoConnect

The LH518B is equipped with AutoSwap, a patented self-swapping system for the Artisan™ battery pack. Battery swapping is made fast and easy with minimum amount of manual handling: changing the battery only takes about 6 minutes, and it can be done in a passing bay or old re-muck bay with no overhead cranes or external infrastructure needed. The brand new AutoConnect feature available for the first time on the LH518B is making swapping even easier and faster by automatically connecting and disconnecting the battery pack to the machine. Aside from unplugging and plugging in the charger, the operator doesn’t need to leave the cabin, which saves minutes on the swapping procedure and decreases effort and risk in the swapping process.

The purely battery-powered loader helps to reduce heat and emissions underground, helping mines reach their sustainability targets and reduce ventilation costs. The robust battery pack uses Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry (LiFePO4) and is purpose-designed for use in underground mining.

From innovation to globalization of battery-electric vehicles

Currently, Sandvik is expanding the BEV loader and truck offering and prepares to enter new market areas, which will happen in phases and model by model. When the battery loaders and trucks are introduced to new markets, Sandvik will be ready to offer full product support and aftermarket services for its customers.


Tags: Europe / Machinery / Battery Metals / All Articles