Many times, the activities of a key company can set a barometer for an entire region’s industry. MacLean’s Stuart Lister recently offered NAM a technology update, including its dynamic product development progress.

The MacLean value proposition to the mining industry over the past 50 years has been its focus on mobile equipment innovations that deliver safety and productivity improvements in the underground environment. According to MacLean’s Stuart Lister, the company’s product development pipeline remains very active, powered by the acquisition of an underground test facility in Sudbury in 2018 and the embedding of an Advanced Vehicles and Technology engineering team at the site.  

“MacLean continues to lead the mining world with its battery electric mining vehicle (BEV) product development and site support,” Lister said. He noted that, since the launch of its fleet electrification program back in 2016, MacLean has shipped over 50 battery electric mining vehicles across North America, Africa and Australia, with over 20 MacLean mining vehicle models electrified, and the fleet has amassed over a quarter million operating hours to date. 

Additionally, MacLean BEV fleets at Borden mine in Ontario and Odyssey mine in Quebec are operational, and the next fleets to be deployed will be in Ontario at the Onaping Depth project and in Mexico at the Media Luna project.  

The company is also continuing to push forward with the refinement of the on-vehicle technology systems at the foundation of its automation and digitalization product development. This includes the rollout of Quickscan (near-instant shotcrete depth measurement) and Chemsave (technology that delivers a step-change reduction in shotcrete sprayer accelerant consumption); a new MacLean vehicle telemetry offer that features a cloud-based customer dashboard; a completely redesigned cab and control system; and the unveiling of the latest additions to the company’s 5-Series product line – the GR5 Underground Grader, the ML5 Multi-Lift, the MC5 Explosives Charger, and the BT5 Boom Truck.

Lister also put focus on what’s to come.

“There is the upcoming launch of the next generation of MacLean ground support installation,” he said. “The 985 Abi-Bolter (a nod to founder Don MacLean’s childhood years in the Abitibi mining towns of Malartic and Chibougamau) builds on the 30-plus years of the MacLean Scissor Bolter’s value proposition to the mining industry – best-in-class productivity (bolts per hour, and all shift consumables able to stored on unit), best-in-class versatility of bolt-type installation, and consistent quality of installation based on the operator being able to clearly see what they are doing while using the unit to drill holes and then insert bolts.”

He confirmed the new 985 Abi-Bolter will deliver the 975 Scissor Bolter’s value proposition but with “no boots on the deck” for drilling and bolting. 

“This is achieved by integrating ruggedized industrial robotics capabilities and vision system precision that allow the operator to guide the drilling, screen handling, and bolt insertion from the safety and comfort of a cab, which can subsequently evolve to full ‘tele-remote’ surface-controlled operation,” Lister said.

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