General Electric Aims to Rival Caterpillar in Sustainable Mining Train Race
Global company General Electric (GE) (NYSE:GE) is leading the rat race in providing railroad locomotives that comply with the tougher US emission standards to the mining industry. The company’s early success is giving equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) a run for its money.
GE is taking the first step in designing new trains with sustainability in mind. The company is currently testing freight trains which adhere to new diesel-engine exhaust regulations which will go into effect on January 1., including adding a pollution-reduction system to its existing locomotive engine.
"We've got units operating so we can demonstrate performance," Tina Donikowski, vice president of GE's locomotive business, said.
General Electric’s early development of sustainable locomotive will give it a major edge against chief rival Caterpillar, whose efforts in the area have been subpar.
Caterpillar, which is gearing up to launch its own sustainable locomotive unit called Electro-Motive Diesel, has been a little sluggish out of the gate. The company has fallen far behind GE in its race to offer a railroad locomotive and could lose market shares if it doesn’t speed up production. The company’s late release of an emissions compliant mining engine could cost the company dearly.
Caterpillar is "definitely going to lose market share for the years that GE will have something ready to sell," said Lawrence De Maria, an analyst for William Blair & Co. Caterpillar expects to launch its Electro-Motive Diesel unit by 2017.
"History indicates that the railroads are slow to adopt new technology until it is fully proven in the field," a Caterpillar spokeswoman said.
General Electric currently owns 60 percent of the U.S. locomotive market.
Locomotive sales are expects to surge to as much as $6 billion in 2014, with rail companies expanding their fleets due to the imminent emission requirements.
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.