Electric evolution

Online Editor

Battery-electric equipment offering expands, with many units already operating around the globe.

Normet launched its SmartDrive battery-electric vehicle (BEV) offering with zero local emissions during the Bauma19 event. Since then, the company has gradually expanded the SmartDrive offering and gained even more experience in the field. SmartDrive is a modular BEV architecture designed to optimise energy consumption and performance in underground mining and tunnelling applications. It allows for higher productivity, lower operating costs and zero local emissions.

Combining Normet’s decades-long experience in underground operations with advanced BEV technology, SmartDrive is the pinnacle of the company’s encompassing expertise in designing and manufacturing purpose-built underground equipment. The offering is comprised of underground logistics and transportation applications, explosives chargers, concrete sprayers and lifting & installation equipment along with fast battery chargers.

The company currently has many battery-electric units working in underground mines and tunnel sites in Europe, Asia and South America. Their operators summarise that key benefits of the equipment are improved air quality with no diesel particulate matter (DPM), lower noise and heat levels and increased performance.

In the process of electrification, the underground mining industry is gaining a head start over tunnelling. For mining, the most popular SmartDrive application is a concrete transmixer, the Utimec MF 500 Transmixer SD, as the benefits of BEV technology for concrete transportation and underground logistics in general are both demonstrated and undeniable. However, the electrification of process equipment like explosives chargers, scissor lifts and sprayers are also increasingly interesting among miners on a global scale.

In tunnelling, Nordic countries are paving the way to larger-scale electrification by already having eight units of Spraymec 8100 SD concrete sprayers in use, and at least four more beginning operation in 2023.

As the technology is now proven and recognised as the future of underground operations, the demand for battery-electric equipment is only increasing in the future. Consequently, Normet is constantly expanding its SmartDrive offering to cover even more applications.

Expanding the battery-electric offering

The newest additions to the SmartDrive offering are two applications for lifting and installations, Utilift MF 330 SD and Utilift MF 540 SD, and Utimec MF 100 Material SD for material transportation.

The SmartDrive architecture combined with the company’s proven personnel lifting system enables safe lifting works with zero local emissions, improving the working comfort significantly. The Utilift MF 330 SD with a lifting capacity of up to 3 tonnes and a maximum platform height of 3.5m is designed to provide a safe working platform for all kinds of installation works in tunnels up to 5.5m high.

The Utilift MF 540 SD is a scissor lifter offering reliable performance for all lifting and installation needs in underground mines up to 6.5m high. A 4.5-tonne maximum lifting capacity and 4.5m maximum lifting height makes the installation of even the heaviest mine ventilation fans possible.

Both lifters can be equipped with line-of-sight remote driving system to further increase the safety and productivity by allowing the operator to relocate the machine easily with wireless remote control from the ground or from the platform.

The Utimec MF 100 Material SD is designed for efficient bulk material transportation in underground mines and tunnels. It has a payload capacity of 10 tonnes and comes in two different platform versions with either low or high platform edges. The vehicle can be equipped with an optional crane with up to 2 tonnes lifting capacity for effortless loading and unloading of heavy objects.

Battery electric SmartDrive architecture is a perfect choice for underground logistics. The new Utimec MF 100 Material SD transports the goods to the mine site efficiently.

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