Thursday, July 19, 2012

Caterpillar opens new assembly line of underground mining loaders in Brazil

Caterpillar has opened a new assembly line of underground mining loaders in Brazil. In response to the continuing strong demand for mining equipment, Cat now is manufacturing the R1600G LHD in the long established Caterpillar facility in São Paulo State. The new line establishes a second source for Cat® LHDs, which previously have been manufactured solely in Tasmania, Australia.

The R1600G is one of five models of Caterpillar® underground loaders, and it is the most popular of the line in Latin America. Its increased availability especially will benefit miners throughout Central and South America. Caterpillar has seen particularly strong growth in demand for underground equipment in Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico. Moving all R1600G manufacturing to Brazil also opens space for expanded production of other loader models in Australia.

The Caterpillar Brazil plant near Piracicaba has a 53-year history of manufacturing excellence. The plant now employs about 5,000 people and manufactures 28 different machine models within the families of hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, compactors, motor graders, backhoe loaders and track-type tractors. The plant consistently delivers new products at high quality levels and has earned many ISO certifications and quality awards.

The newest Brazil product, the R1600G, is a 65,700-pound (29 800-kilogram) machine when loaded. It carries a payload of about 22,490 pounds (10 200 kilograms), and it is powered by a Cat engine producing 268 horsepower (200 kilowatts). The versatile loader is designed to load its bucket and to carry the material to a dump point, or it can load underground trucks. The machine’s robust structures are designed especially for durability in the challenging underground environment.

“The expanded manufacturing base will have a significant impact on the availability of new machines for our customers,” said Chris Curfman, president of Caterpillar Global Mining. “This is an important step, too, in moving toward our goal of being the global leader in underground hard rock mining equipment.”


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