ABB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hitachi Construction Machinery to share their expertise and collaborate in creating solutions that will reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with heavy machinery in the mining industry.

The agreement between ABB and Hitachi Construction Machinery was signed by Joachim Braun, division president, process industries, at ABB, and Sonosuke Ishii, president of Mining Group, senior vice president, and executive officer at Hitachi, on 22 March 2021.

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The companies will explore possibilities to apply ABB’s electrification, automation, and digital solutions to mining trucks and excavators, provided by Hitachi Construction Machinery as part of wider efforts with mine operators to electrify all processes from pit to port.

Ishii said: “This collaboration will enable the two companies to more effectively work towards our shared vision for mining. We are delighted to be collaborating with ABB as we continue to invest our efforts in introducing eco-friendly technologies and systems for the mining industry.”

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Hitachi Construction Machinery will also bring expertise in driverless operation and labour-saving technologies. The aim of the combined solutions will be to enhance the efficiency and flexibility of customer businesses, contributing to the reduction of carbon dioxide and the goals of a sustainable society.

Braun said: “ABB is calling for more collaboration between OEMs and technology companies to fast-track the development of new emissions-reducing systems with electrification and automation of the whole mining operation the goal.

“We are ready to work more with OEMs to establish a common approach for the market and, through strategic collaboration, provide solutions that can help enable a low-carbon society and make mining operations more responsible. New emissions-reducing technologies can transform the energy-intensive mining industry to achieve an even more productive, but also sustainable future.”

ABB’s global head of mining Max Luedtke emphasised that one of the challenges for its customers is electrification of trucks, so the co-creation of solutions with OEMs and mining companies is the key to “successfully integrate electrification in mines”.

The news comes after ABB recently launched a new version of its ABB Ability Performance Optimisation solution for hoists to provide agile and secure remote support to underground mine operators.

ABB’s digital applications aim to reduce process complexity while integrated with existing equipment. ABB Ability MineOptimise is a digitalised portfolio of connected solutions that can improve energy efficiency and productivity of CAPEX and OPEX of open pit and underground mines worldwide.