MINExpo, the world’s premier exhibition for mining equipment and technology, kicks off Monday, September 26, at the Las Vegas convention center. The show, held every four years, will spotlight innovative new equipment and products that help increase productivity, efficiency and safety and control costs for machine builders and operators alike.
The show organizers expect to host more than 40,000 attendees from 130 countries—everyone from company executives to engineers to maintenance technicians. Twelve halls and outdoor areas will hold more than 1,800 exhibitors and cover more than 830,000 square feet of space.
Attendees can get a hands-on look at hydraulics-intensive mining equipment ranging from loaders and trucks to excavators, dozers and drill rigs, just to name a few. Fittingly, well over 100 fluid-power companies will cover the latest in hydraulic power-transmission systems and components such as pumps, valves, filters, fluids, hose and fittings and seals, as well as compressors and pneumatic tools. Numerous companies will also display the latest in controls, software, sensors and networking systems necessary for precise, efficient and safe machine operations.
In addition to static displays, live demonstrations will showcase the latest technology advances in areas such as robotics, automated equipment, energy-storage systems, wireless communication, and industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications.
Attendees can also learn more about industry and market trends, and take part in educational programs during the show. On Monday morning the Opening Session brings together a panel of mining industry leaders and executives from major machine builders to discuss the impacts of current market conditions, provide perspectives on ongoing challenges, and share visions and insights for the industry’s future role in global development, prosperity and sustainability. Participants include executives from Newmont Mining, Hecla Mining, Freeport-McMoRan, Joy Global, and Caterpillar.
Add to that, 20 educational sessions will tackle timely and pressing issues affecting the mining industry, with many of the industry’s top professionals leading the discussions. The sessions will cover topics such as R&D, maintenance, safety, processing, and surface and underground mining, as well as offer perspectives on mining markets and major domestic and international projects. Attendees will earn professional-development credits.
Of particular interest are two separate sessions on automation technology. Among the topics, an expert from Komatsu will review its successful autonomous modular mining system and discuss the lessons they’ve learned in developing and deploying the haulage system. The session will share results from current systems, quantify significant benefits that highlight the value of autonomous mining and present some surprising challenges and future opportunities. Autonomous technology will likely expand into other equipment and be incorporated in the next generation of haulage vehicles.
The mining technology chief engineer at Caterpillar will discuss how mining companies are focused on autonomy to operate more efficiently, improve productivity and keep people safe—with an ultimate goal of operating at the lowest possible cost. Some companies are interested in automating a single process or remotely controlling one machine. Others are looking to automate multiple types of equipment across an entire fleet that operates around the clock with no human intervention. While full autonomy may be the ultimate goal, individual technologies can be used alone or combined in multiple ways to take advantage of immediate gains and serve as building blocks leading to autonomous mining operations.
And an expert from GE Mining will discuss how IIoT will increase efficiency. Pressures from lower commodity prices are driving a push toward technologies that can improve mining operations. By combining machine sensors, connectivity, data capture, visualization and big data analytics, IIoT supports asset lifecycle management, remote monitoring and operations, condition-based and predictive maintenance and real-time operator intelligence—ultimately providing significant efficiency gains.
The show runs September 26 to 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn more at www.minexpo.com.