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Hmm … Komatsu & GE In Mining Equipment JV

Posted on January 30, 2014

The mining equipment markets just got a lot more interesting with the announcement that GE Mining, a division of GE Transportation, has entered into a new collaboration with Komatsu Ltd. to develop what it called next-generation mining equipment. The newly announced joint venture is expected to further deepen GE’s presence in mining equipment, especially in underground mines.

The companies will combine their expertise in mining equipment and propulsion systems in order to meet the needs of customers and partners worldwide, according to a joint press release.

The new company, Komatsu GE Mining Systems LLC, will be located at the GE Transportation facility in Erie, Pa., and is expected to begin operation in April 2014. Komatsu and GE will each own 50% of the new company.

Komatsu and GE Transportation have been partners on Komatsu’s diesel-electric haul trucks used in open-pit mines, for which GE has supplied electric drive systems for years.

The new company is expected to combine GE’s expertise with electric power, electric drive systems, and battery technologies with Komatsu’s vehicle expertise, as well Komatsu’s work on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for construction and mining equipment. Komatsu’s ICT applications include KOMTRAX (Komatsu Machine Tracking System), which the company said is in more than 330,000 construction machines worldwide, as well as its Autonomous Haulage System that is being used on unmanned mining trucks in Chile and Australia.

GE Mining supplies global customers a.c. and d.c. electric drive systems for heavy- and medium-haul off-highway vehicles and tethered electrical and battery vehicles for intrinsically safe underground applications. In May 2012, GE acquired two underground mine equipment manufacturers, Fairchild Intl. in Virginia and Australia-based Industrea Ltd.