Wabtec Corporation – a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining markets – has celebrated the 5,000th mining drive system wheel built at its plant in Fort Worth, TX. The milestone highlights the commercial success of the mining wheel for heavy-haul mining trucks, which set the standard for reliable and fuel-efficient performance in the mining industry.
“In a decade, this team helped start up Wabtec’s mining plant and build 5,000 high-quality mining wheels for our customers,” said Rogerio Mendonca, Wabtec’s President of Freight Equipment. “Their efforts have positioned Wabtec’s electric drive system as the leader in the mining industry. That success is a tribute to our customers, employees, and suppliers. They are essential to the success and strong performance of these mining wheels.”
Wabtec started building mining components at the Fort Worth plant in 2012. The achievement builds upon Wabtec’s long history of producing drive systems for the mining industry. Wabtec introduced the first commercially viable electric drive system for large mining haul trucks in the early 1960s. With high-quality and service-proven transmission and electric components, the company is the recognized industry leader in electric drive systems ranging from 150 – 400-ton capacity and has delivered more than 10,000 drive systems to customers worldwide and over 1 billion hours of proven operation. The wheel drive systems built at the Fort Worth plant for 400-ton mining trucks provide more tractive effort than two locomotives combined. Wabtec’s technology also delivers roughly 5 percent fuel savings over mechanical drive-powered mining trucks, helping mines realize their emission reduction goals.
“We are experiencing significant demand for our mining equipment as customers look to invest in mining electrification to improve efficiency and lower costs,” said Bappa Banerjee, Wabtec’s Vice President of Mining Equipment. “We are confident in our mining business and are optimistic that demand will continue to accelerate for our products that help our customers get mineral and energy resources out of the mine and into the marketplace in a sustainable manner.”
Wabtec’s electric propulsion and electric auxiliaries also will be important enablers for the transition of mining trucks to alternative fuel sources, including natural gas, trolley, battery, and hydrogen fuel cell. Under trolley operation, it is estimated that a Wabtec-powered mining truck could reduce diesel consumption at a mine site by over 50 percent – thereby reducing both cost and emissions.
In addition to drive systems, Wabtec’s presence in the mining industry continues to grow. Wabtec offers a Digital Mine portfolio, cable reels, slip rings, pantographs, Shuttlewagons, trolley systems, cooling systems and more. When combined, these solutions can offer a more complete product offering to our customers and unlock additional safety and electrification benefits.