3 Reasons Your Mining Operation Needs Cat® Minestar Command

20 July 2021

When Imperial Oil made the decision to implement autonomous haulage at its Kearl operation in the oil sands, the company pulled together a team of experts from Imperial, Finning and Caterpillar to apply the technology. Kearl was the first application of Cat MineStar Command for hauling in the oil sands, and it was the first time Command for hauling was used on a Cat 797F. A remote northern location and unpredictable weather and ground conditions made implementing technology and converting the entire operation a big challenge, but Finning was there to tackle the challenge and provide support to Imperial Oil through this journey.

Here are some reasons why your operation may benefit from MineStar Command.

1. Safety first

Cat Command enhances safety by removing operators from hazardous or remote sites and reduces the number of people required on site. It can also alert maintenance personnel to machine faults, enabling repairs before failure and reducing downtime.

For Kearl, protecting their operators was the only way forward. Now with an autonomous system in place, their operators can focus on productivity rather than worrying about where a truck will stop or what path it will be taking.

2. You can use a combination of software to meet your needs

Converting an entire operation like this is a huge challenge but possible with the right expertise.

The team utilized a combination of the MineStar suite of software including Fleet which is the dispatch system, Terrain which is the loading and grading system, and Command, which allows the truck to haul autonomously.

In order to get the value out of this autonomous mining system, everything needs to be working perfectly. Imperial Oil leveraged the expertise of Caterpillar and Finning and they all came together as one team. While the application itself was new, the technology itself had already been proven on a number of mine sites around the world, and its implementation was being supported by a team of experts committed to its success. Working together as a team meant new ideas, new ways of doing things and a one team approach.

3. You gain access to real-time information

Command puts you safely in the remote driving seat, improving safety, equipment availability and site productivity. The real-time information delivered tells you exactly what’s happening at your site, from machine utilization and health to the movement of material against the daily plan. This real-time vision of a site’s operation helps to improve both the productivity and efficiency of each asset, optimizing overall performance. This also means a wealth of management data on machine locations and operational status is available. With so many capabilities, combined with expert support, you can start the journey to autonomy.

Click here for more information on how to increase safety and boost productivity with Cat MineStar Command.

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.