Hauler features Hitachi’s new ac drive control

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  • Image: Hitachi_SkyAngle.jpg
Image: Hitachi_EH5000AC3.jpg

Hitachi is the only company in the industry that designs and manufactures all components of its drive control system. It started producing its own drive system four years ago with the introduction of the EH3500ACII and has introduced improvements over that time.

Hitachi took advantage of the MINExpo venue this year to introduce its new rigid frame hauler, the EH5000AC-3.

According to the company, the hauler is the first to feature the company’s brand new advanced ac drive system, the only system available on the market that is designed and built by the same company that designed the truck.

The EH5000AC-3 officially becomes Hitachi’s largest rigid frame hauler. It features a Cummins QSKTTA60-CE diesel engine that generates 2850 hp (2125 kW) at 1900 rpm and meets U.S. EPA Tier 2 emissions requirements. The all-hydraulic actuated braking system provides precise braking control and quick system responses, and a new Hitachi system monitor provides display information and diagnostics of all onboard systems and controls.

Its ROPS/FOPS cab complies with ISO 3471 and SAE J1040-May 94 for ROPS (roll over protection systems), and FOPS (falling object protection systems) complies with ISO3449. A three-point rubber ISO-mount arrangement to the high-arch cross member minimizes vibration transfer to the operator compartment. The cab is wider, with double full-size seats available and enough trainer's leg space to offer comfortable operating and training.

A closed-center, full-time hydrostatic power steering system uses two double-acting cylinders and a variable displacement piston pump. Hitachi accumulators provide supplementary steering in accordance with ISO 5010 (SAE J1511), supplying a constant steering rate under all conditions. A tilt/telescopic steering wheel with 35° of tilt and 57 mm telescopic travel is standard.

Independent trailing arms make up the front axle. Neocon struts containing energy-absorbing gas and compressible Neocon-ETM fluid are mounted between the trailing arms and frame. An “A” frame structure, integral with axle housing, links the drive axle to the frame at forward center point with a pin and spherical bushing. A track rod provides lateral stability between the frame and drive axle.

Heavy-duty rear-mounted Neocon struts containing energy-absorbing gas and the Neocon-ETM fluid suspend the drive axle from the frame. Inherent in the Neocon front and rear struts are integral variable damping and a rebound feature.

A new Hitachi system monitor provides display information and diagnostics of all onboard systems and controls, which include the engine and Hitachi ac drive. Data links offer complete integration, while a color LCD clearly details machine functions.

A new Hitachi load monitoring system offers benefits such as better equipment utilization on the jobsite, accurate unit and fleet production results, and benchmark unit statistics against fleet results. Cycle time, distance, and cycle count can all be measured and recorded as information that can help in developing higher productivity. The Hitachi load monitoring system is fully integrated with the Hitachi vehicle monitoring system and display interface, avoiding potential failure or error common in aftermarket systems.

Most significant, however, is the hauler’s new ac drive system. At the core of the new system is the advanced propulsion technology, which Hitachi says delivers “a whole new level” of efficiency for enhanced global machine operations.

In addition, Hitachi claims the new technology, which also powers Japan’s bullet trains, outperforms previous and competitive systems with features that include slip control for traction, similar to active control; slide control for grip, similar to an anti-lock brake system; pitch control for smoother ride control and control of bouncing when stopping; and skid control for stability in cornering under slippery road conditions.

While slip and slide control were already available on the existing Hitachi trucks with Hitachi ac drive systems, the new advanced system now features sensors on all four wheels. It also incorporates additional feedback from the drive system, front wheels, steering, suspension, and other systems on the truck to enhance the slip/slide control feature. Pitch and skid control are brand new features.

Hitachi is the only company in the industry that designs and manufactures all components of its drive control system. It started producing its own drive system four years ago with the introduction of the EH3500ACII and has continued to offer improvements to this technology over that time.

Also new at MINExpo for Hitachi was SkyAngle, a brand new camera monitoring system, developed in conjunction with Clarion Co., Ltd. It takes synthesized images from several wide-angle cameras mounted on the truck and displays them in the cab. This results in a comprehensive “bird’s-eye-view” of the surrounding machinery.

In addition to the proximity of machinery, the operator can switch to a zoom display or wide display mode, enabling more comprehensive monitoring of a wide area.

“The safety benefits of the SkyAngle system include allowing operators to quickly grasp what is occurring around the machinery, such as position of other equipment, service vehicles, or people,” said Ryan Blades, Division Manager, Hitachi Mining. “This technology is yet another example of how Hitachi—by focusing only on shovels and haulers—is able to produce highly efficient and productive machinery for mining operators across the world.”

The new overview monitoring system is Hitachi’s latest development in a number of initiatives designed to enhance on-site safety. In 2001, the company was the first to launch a monitoring system that featured a rear-view camera and display as optional equipment for hydraulic excavators. And in 2006, Hitachi Mining was the first company to introduce this type of monitoring system as a standard feature on all hydraulic excavators that are 6.5 ton or larger.

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