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Sleipner Finland Oy unveils fully electric and autonomous transport system for mines



Sleipner Finland has unveiled a new generation of fully electric and autonomous transport system for moving mining and construction equipment. The world premiere of the new emission-free transport system took place today at the international Electric Mining 2024 event for mining professionals in Perth, Australia. The first deliveries are planned for 2026.


The new autonomous and emission-free electric transport system is aimed at mines that already use automated equipment, such as drills, and therefore have the infrastructure to support autonomous solutions. Several patents are pending for Sleipner’s innovative transport solution.


Emissions and life cycle costs significantly reduced


Autonomous mining requires all equipment to be automated – from the giant vehicles that transport blasted rocks and the drills. The entire site can be operated and monitored remotely and safely without mining personnel having to work among the automated vehicles.


“There are already dozens of autonomous mines around the world, and more are coming all the time. Australia is one of the pioneers. Currently, the big mining companies are the driving force in autonomous mining, in part due to their emission reduction targets. By 2030, the goal among mining companies is to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by half and at the same time automate operations as much as possible. We want to be a pioneer in this development and a market leader in mobilisation solutions,” says Jukka Koponen, CEO of Sleipner Finland.


“Several large equipment manufacturers have already been interested in our new transport system concept, and cooperation discussions are currently underway. We plan to deliver our first autonomous and electric transport system as early as 2026,” Koponen continues.


The new transport system that has been unveiled by Sleipner Finland is battery-powered, which enables the use of renewable energy for the autonomous transport of mining and construction equipment.


“Our new transport system makes it possible to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions completely when transporting equipment, whereas current solutions consume significant amounts of diesel. In the future, it will be possible to move machines with battery-powered, environmentally friendly solutions. At the same time, the productivity of the equipment being transported will also improve by about five percent, while life cycle costs will decrease by up to 10 percent,” Teijo Höylä, CTO at Sleipner Finland.


Big step forward for electrification of mines


The company says that the new autonomous and electric transport system will be scaled to different weight classes, and the autonomous control system interface will be brand independent.


“The autonomous and electric transport system can also be connected to the ecosystems of other OEMs since it has an open interface. Versatility and future needs have been taken into account in the design. The transport system can be used to transport, for example, drills, bulldozers and also battery packs at mines. In this way, battery power can be provided on a large scale, which helps in the electrification of mines and the efficient operation of battery- powered equipment,” Höylä says.

Like all other Sleipner Finland products, the new lowbed trailer is designed to operate reliable in temperatures ranging from -40 to +50 degrees Celsius, which is taken into account in the high-quality materials and components. Components from well-known manufacturers are also used, ensuring that maintenance is as smooth as possible globally.


Innovative product development and new market openings globally


Sleipner Finland continues to grow steadily despite the economic recession and Covid years. The company more than doubled its turnover in 2023 compared to the previous year, and its profitability also improved. New products and market openings have had and will continue to have a growing impact on employment both in production and in its globally expanding cooperation network, as well as in the future in connection with its autonomous control systems. Sleipner Finland’s most recent market openings have been in Poland and Canada. In addition to the Nordic countries, Sleipner Finland already has a strong presence in markets such as Australia and Africa.


“The new transport system supports our growth strategy. We are investing significantly in product development and our cooperation network. Our goal is to be the strongest trendsetter within our own narrow field as a provider of transportation solutions for mining equipment. Thanks to our innovative R&D, we are able to serve the mining companies of the future in their emission reduction targets and operational efficiency,” Koponen emphasises.


Improves working conditions and eases labour shortages


In addition to reducing emissions, the automation of mines is also a solution to the prevailing labour shortages in the sector. Technological advances also have an impact on occupational wellbeing due to changing job descriptions.


“Finding sufficient personnel for mines is a global challenge. Automated machines and equipment, such as our new transport system, enable mines to be operated by remote control. In this way, personnel do not have to be exposed ton dust and vibration, which improves their wellbeing. Similarly, personnel do not have to work in the field among large machines, which increases safety. If a worker needs to enter the area, all activities must be stopped completely within a certain safety radius. Automated equipment, on the other hand, can work with each other with only certain limitations,” Höylä explains.

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