As the next level of EU emissions regulations comes ever closer, manufacturer Sandvik has chosen Volvo Penta as the ideal provider of Stage V solutions for its mining equipment. With some of the toughest working conditions in confined areas, underground mining has many physical aspects to consider and more requirements than most industries for stringent rules on emissions.
“Volvo Penta has been very accommodating in working with our technicians and designing an engine package to fit our machines,” says Wayne Scrivens, Vice President of Product Line, Load and Haul at Sandvik. “Our units have a low profile for working in confined spaces and tunnels, so they must be compact, and Volvo Penta has found solutions for us.”
Due to the nature of the industry, underground mining faces particular challenges in relation to environmental health and the ways in which emissions are minimized.
“Ventilation in mines requires fresh air being pumped underground both for human needs and to dilute the exhaust emissions, and this is then pumped back up to the surface,” says Scrivens. “In deep mines, this air can be refrigerated, so the processes all add up to considerable cost. With Stage V, reduced emissions from the engine means reduced ventilation requirements, so it lowers the costs for the operator.”
Robust engines for a harsh environment
Sandvik was founded in Sweden in 1862 and is now a global engineering company. The company’s Mining and Rock Technology division has been working with Volvo Penta for more than 10 years, and the two companies have partnered together several times in developing engine solutions to complement prototype machines that have subsequently gone into full production.
Sandvik is installing Volvo Penta’s Stage V solutions in its underground loaders and trucks, for underground mining operations, following prototyping and extensive testing. In particular, the 17-tonne Sandvik LH517 underground loader has shown to be running successful trials with a Stage V engine in Finland.
“The engine has to be robust to perform well in underground conditions – it’s a very harsh environment,” says Scrivens. “Both Volvo Penta’s technicians and ours have analysed results to see whether any modifications would be needed before going into serial production. So far, things have gone really well.”
Embracing a stricter emissions policy
Sandvik currently offers its underground loaders and trucks with several engine options – Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV– to accommodate different countries’ emissions requirements and customers’ abilities to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD); ULSD is used mainly in Europe, North America and Australia. To comply with forthcoming EU standards, Sandvik will offer Volvo Penta’s Stage V engine solutions which are certified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA (mine safety and health administration) and Canada’s CANMET – both of which stipulate regulations for ventilation in mining.
“We have found that many customers embrace lower emissions engines even when the regulations in their countries do not require the strictest levels,” adds Scrivens. “And as Volvo Penta’s Stage V engines are certified by MSHA and CANMET, it means we can offer our machines in the US and Canada with the correct certification already in place. It’s good for us that Volvo Penta is able to support us in this way.”
EU Stage V
“We weren’t well known in the mining industry when we first started working with Sandvik a decade ago, but we have good products and we have learned a lot about what is important to them,” says David Hamilton, Director of Global Key Accounts and Business Development at Volvo Penta. “Uptime in particular is very important in underground mining. The engines are put in extreme conditions in mining and their success shows we have a robust and durable range. We have proven ourselves, and as they are a well-known international brand with many customers, we are pleased that they have chosen our Stage V solutions for their underground mining machinery. Sandvik’s commitment to our Stage V range sees them taking a step forward in our relationship.”
Volvo Penta’s EU Stage V solutions feature a high-performance engine and perfectly matched exhaust aftertreatment system (EATS). The range is optimized for tomorrow and keeps the highest focus on maximized uptime and fuel efficiency, along with ease of installation, operation and maintenance. The Stage V range offers power from 105-565 kW (143-770 hp).