Greater Sudbury, Ontario, is quickly becoming recognized as the epicentre for mining technology globally and Sudbury-based Hard-Line has been a proud member of the community for the past 23 years.
Since 1996, Hard-Line has been enabling tele-remote operation of heavy equipment in the mining industry, proving consistently that while clearly enhancing safety by keeping operators out of harm’s way, implementing this technology also increases production and bottom line through the ability to operate during shift changes, upgrade to varying levels of automation, and easily switch from one machine to another using a single control station.
Although Hard-Line’s Teleop isn’t news, the company’s dedication to innovation continues to drive improvements to the product line. Hard-Line has partnered with its clients, many of the world’s biggest mining companies, to develop and implement new technology like Teleop Auto, which is being used to autonomously operate haul trucks in a major gold mine in Southwestern USA.
Hard-Line’s newest release, Teleop Assist, responds to the demand from mining companies for semi-autonomous driving, featuring guided steering and ‘cruise control’ without the need for preliminary drift scanning and collision avoidance assistance. This option is added to the Teleop product line including other enhancements to Teleop’s core functionality like Teleop Multi and Teleop Auto, allowing the operation of multiple machines from one control station; manually or with auto steering, braking and speed.
Hard-Line has a strong international presence, with offices in Peru, Chile and the USA, as well as a global network of distributors, but Sudbury continues to be home to Hard-Line’s headquarters with a second location in the Greater Sudbury area opening this summer. The new Technology Centre in the heart of downtown Sudbury will be the innovation hub with a growing team of software developers, designers, engineers, and technicians focused on research and development, testing and technical support.
With several mines in close vicinity, world-class schools like Laurentian University and Cambrian College, and access to a tight-knit community of industry experts, the decision to open the Technology Centre in Sudbury was an easy one. As Ryan Siggelkow, Senior Vice President of Technology, explains “Our community has vast mining knowledge and lots of experience. Being able to draw on that experience and knowledge and export that expertise all over the world has been useful for us as a company. Also, we have a unique talent pool here with the education and the interest in the mining sector.”
Being centrally located downtown aims to further facilitate the collaboration between mining companies, educational institutions, research facilities like NORCAT, branches of government, industry associations and technical groups, with the goal of accelerating technological advancements and continue to grow the area’s outstanding reputation for innovation. These partnerships are increasingly important with the rate of technology adoption in mining, a sector no longer characterized by its slow pace of modernization. Felicia Brunelle, Vice President of Business Development at Hard-Line, states “The heart of these relationships is the united vision and dedication we have to bringing new tech to the industrial marketplace. Keeping open lines of communication through this network, or ecosystem, ensures a focus on the most important challenges that mines are facing with consideration for every front of that change, from legislation, funding, training and product development.” Hard-Line is confident that calling Sudbury home is an important facet of the company’s plan to constantly challenge conventional thinking, enabling the ultimate in safety and enhanced productivity.
The grand opening of Hard-Line’s Technology Centre at 7 Cedar Street, Sudbury, will take place late this summer.
— The preceding Joint-Venture Article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by Hard-Line, and presented in cooperation with The Northern Miner. Visit www.hard-line.com for more information.