“We chose Huld as our partner in mechanical design based on previous positive experiences and their expertise in designing mining equipment. Despite the technical demands of the project, the collaboration was fluent throughout.” – Pekka Holopainen, Director, Global Engineering & Prototype Production, Normet.
Normet is a rapidly growing and innovative technology company that provides solutions to enhance the safety, productivity, and profitability of underground construction and mining processes.
Shotcrete plays a significant role in rock reinforcement in the mining and tunneling industry. When excavating mine tunnels, the rock can be unstable, and the tunnels are reinforced with concrete for safety. The more concrete a vehicle can transport to the mine at once, the more efficient the work is both in terms of resource utilization and environmental impact.
When the need for a more efficient concrete transportation was identified, Normet chose Huld as their mechanical design partner. Based on their previous collaboration, Normet knew they would receive bold and innovative ideas, which were essential for the task at hand.
Mechanical design for transport capacity
Normet’s need was clear: the transport capacity of the current machine had to be increased without changing its external dimensions or agility to navigate in mines. Although concrete transport machines can be larger than buses, the internal mechanics of the machine had to be compacted very efficiently to maximize transport capacity.
“When we explored alternatives, we soon realized that we wouldn’t gain the desired competitive advantage with traditional mechanical power transmission. Instead, electric power transmission would provide enough power and take up less space. A machine of the same size with electric power transmission could transport significantly more concrete with a smaller ecological footprint.” – Heikki Malinen, Project Manager, Huld.
When a common direction was found, the project team led by Normet rolled up their sleeves and began their close collaboration. Weekly progress meetings and daily communication ensured smooth information flow. In mechanical design, careful consideration was given to the safety requirements of the mining industry, and the maintainability of the machine was addressed without forgetting user-friendliness. Huld also participated in coordination of the technical suppliers.
Competitive advantage with electric power transmission
As a result of the collaboration, the concrete transport machine was born: Utimec XL 1100 Agitator ED, operating with electric power transmission. Thanks to its competitive advantage, it has already been sold to several global customers of Normet.
“The product performed extremely well and has attracted significant interest in the market. Utimec XL 1100 Agitator ED has a transport capacity of 10.5 m3 of concrete and can operate in the same-sized tunnel as a traditionally powered 5.6 m3 machine. This is very important when calculating the cost and emissions per transported cubic meter of concrete. The efficiency of mining operations improves overall when fewer machines are needed.” – Herkko Juntunen, Director, Logistics and Utility Product Line, Normet.