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Transportation

Suncor to proceed with autonomous haul truck fleet at oil sands mines

Oil sands producer Suncor has announced it will proceed with the phased implementation of autonomous haulage systems (AHS) at company-operated mines, starting with the North Steepbank mine. Over the next six years, the company expects to deploy more than 150 autonomous haul trucks in the full program, which will be one of the largest investments in electric autonomous vehicles in the world.

Following thorough evaluations over the past four years, the company has validated that AHS technology can be used safely, effectively and efficiently in its operating environment. Evaluations have shown that the technology offers many advantages over existing truck and shovel operations, including enhanced safety performance, better operating efficiency and lower operating costs.

"Suncor was the first company to transition from bucketwheel to truck and shovel operations in the early 1990s and we're continuing to be on the leading edge of oil sands technologies today," said Mark Little, chief operating officer, Suncor. "To be the very first company to test these systems and implement them at a commercial scale in our oil sands mining operations speaks to our long history of embracing and implementing game changing technologies - it's simply part of our DNA."

Autonomous trucks operate predictably and employ a suite of safety features like prescribed route mapping and obstacle detection systems. "Safety is our number one value at Suncor. Autonomous haulage systems reduce interaction between people and equipment, which decreases incident rates and injury potential - helping us ensure everyone goes home safely at the end of every day," said Little.

The implementation of AHS will change roles and required skill sets for some employees at Suncor's operations over time. The company will continue to work with the union on strategies to minimize workforce impacts. Current plans show that the earliest the company would see a decrease in heavy equipment operator positions at Base Plant operations is 2019.

Taking a staged approach to deployment will allow the company to deliberately focus on each mine and apply lessons from one to the next.

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Pipelines

Michels receives 10,000th Cat excavator from Victoria facility: PLM

Michels receives the 10,000th machine to be produced at Caterpillar's Victoria, Texas facility. Present at the ceremony were Tyler Sternat (Fabick Cat), Kent Podobinski (Caterpillar), Chuck Riggert (Caterpillar), Art Strother (Victoria facility manager), Doug Fabick (Fabick Cat), Mary Morris (Victoria O&D Planning), Kevin Michels, Pat Michels and Terry Gassner (MICHELS Corporation), Adam Helleberg (PLM), Roger Montalvan (Victoria supply chain manager), and Craig McArton (Fabick Cat).

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM) has announced that the 10,000th machine to be assembled and delivered by the Caterpillar Hydraulic Excavator Facility in Victoria, Texas - US. The new 336F Hydraulic Excavator went to mainline pipeline contractor Michels Corporation, and was presented in ceremony to them on May 16, 2018.

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DPL Telematics AssetView tracking system offers innovative self-contained GPS solution

The DPL Telematics AssetView unit is compact and works for up to 3.5 years on three AA batteries.

DPL Telematics announced the release of the AssetView Tracking System. AssetView is an advanced solution for wireless monitoring and remote tracking of any powered or unpowered asset to improve logistics, manage inventory and curb theft. The small, portable GPS unit is completely self-contained and may be hidden on any asset, installing in seconds. 

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Industry News

ExxonMobil, BASF form natural gas processing, petroleum refining development deal

ExxonMobil, BASF form natural gas processing, petroleum refining development deal

ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and BASF Corporation have signed an alliance agreement to jointly develop new gas treating solvents and process technologies for use in natural gas processing and petroleum refining. Under this new agreement, BASF will market and license technologies developed from this collaboration, along with FLEXSORB and OASE technologies.

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Transportation

Michelin Tweel introduces airless radial tire for UTVs

Michelin Tweel Technologies, a division of Michelin North America, Inc., is introducing a new 26-inch airless radial tire with a four-bolt wheel-pattern hub designed for use on UTVs that will initially be sold as a fitment for the replacement market. Originally designed for military special operations use on light-tactical vehicles, the MICHELIN X TWEEL UTV 26x9N14 airless radial tire is a single unit that replaces the current pneumatic tire/wheel/valve assembly. Once bolted on, there is no air pressure to maintain, thus eliminating the need to carry spare tires, tools or repair kits.

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Pipelines

NETZSCH brings multiple screw pumps to GPS in Calgary

NETZSCH Canada, Inc., experts in solutions designed specifically for difficult pumping applications, will be highlighting its NOTOS Multiple Screw Pumps at the Global Petroleum Show (GPS 2018), which will be held June 12 - June 14, 2018 at the Stampede Park, in Calgary, Canada. The pumps will be featured in the NETZSCH booth, number 1394, highlighting the capability to pump everything from light fuel oil to viscous asphalt; the NOTOS Multiple Screw Pump is an excellent choice for rail car and ship loading and offloading, as well as tank-to-tank transfer. 

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Transportation

Keyera to develop new Cushing terminal

Keyera to develop new Cushing terminal

Keyera Corp. has announced the development of a crude oil storage and blending terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma. The Wildhorse Terminal ("Wildhorse") will include 12 above ground tanks with 4.5 million barrels of working storage capacity. The majority of the capacity is backed by fee-for-service, take-or-pay storage arrangements ranging from two to six years in length.

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Instrumentation, Systems & Automation

Pneumatic cylinders from Festo offer new variants and installation options

The latest generation of Festo's popular CRDSNU round stainless steel pneumatic cylinders boasts new variants and installation possibilities for extended and contaminant-free operations. Based on the ISO 6432 standard and ideal for operations in harsh environments or where frequent and effective cleaning is a must, CRDSNU now offers options like an extremely long-life dry running seal as well as self-adjusting end-position cushioning. 

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Transportation

SMS Equipment makes big statement in support of cancer research, mental health

Messages supporting breast cancer and prostate cancer awareness, as well as mental health awareness, are part of the unique paint jobs on two Komatsu mining trucks.

SMS Equipment Inc. and KMC Mining have partnered to make big statements in support of prostate cancer research, breast cancer research and mental health awareness - unusual, bright, giant, and mobile statements, in fact, that are intended to spark candid conversations.

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