Caterpillar introduce new remote dozer operator station
Latest operator system provides a safe, comfortable environment and boosts efficiency
THE new remote operator station for dozing, part of Caterpillar’s MineStar Command for dozers, provides a safe, comfortable environment away from the active dozing area. The station is modelled on the actual cab of the machine, with all ergonomic controls, alarms and features operating just as they do in a dozer.
The system can be equipped for ‘line-of-sight’ operation or for ‘tele-remote’ operation with the addition of video feeds from the site and optional video and audio feeds from the dozer.
The new remote operator station is available for the Cat D10T, D10T2, D11T and D11T CD track-type tractors. The remote station controls are fully integrated with the Cat dozers, providing quick response and allowing use of on-board dozer systems including Auto-Carry, auto blade assist and automatic ripper control.
The remote operator station also integrates with Cat MineStar terrain capabilities, such as grade control and avoidance zones. It also allows switching control quickly and easily from one dozer to another, which allows the operator to control multiple dozers when the work does not require simultaneous operation.
Remote operation allows dozers to be used under highwalls and in other situations that present potential safety and health hazards. Typical applications include: highwall and edge work; operation on or near unstable ground; aggressive ripping; and pushing stockpile material to underground feeders.
The Cat operator system has been specially designed to make shift changes simple and quick. Fast shift changes reduce machine downtime and optimize productivity. Remote operation also enables a dozer to continue production immediately after blasting operations, rather than waiting for the air to clear. The design of the remote operator station allows it to be configured for easy transportation in a truck/trailer, adding flexibility in its use.
The line-of-sight remote operator station is currently available, while the tele-remote system will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.
Building further on these technologies, Caterpillar are working with chosen mining customers to develop and field test a semi-autonomous dozing system, which will allow an operator to manage multiple dozers simultaneously.