Liebherr has launched its R 9600 hydraulic mining excavator, which enables automated capabilities for the mining industry.

As a successor to Liebherr’s well-renowned R 996B, the R 9600 features an array of advanced Liebherr mining technologies to enhance operations. This includes Liebherr’s assistance systems and semi-automated functions to boost the excavator’s automation capabilities.

Liebherr has launched it R 966 hydraulic mining excavator. Photo by Liebherr

Liebherr has launched it R 966 hydraulic mining excavator. Photo by Liebherr

The R 9600 features two QSK50 Cummins engines, which have Liebherr’s LPE (Liebherr power efficiency) solutions to save on fuel costs. The LPE solutions allow the engine of the 600-tonne excavator to reduce fuel consumption without reducing productivity.

Engines for emission-regulated regions are also available, which reduce nitrogen oxide by injecting a liquid reductant into the excavator’s exhaust system. Liebherr also expects an electric drive version of the powertrain to be available in the future. The R 9600 excavator was trialled by BHP and Thiess, proving worthy of entering production for the global market.

According to Liebherr, the R 9600 can handle more than 80 000 machine operational hours, thanks to reliability enhancements.

Liebherr has implemented a new design in the upper carriage structure of the R 9600, which includes fatigue resistant steel and a new hydraulic track tensioning system.

The excavator’s 14-cubic-metre cabin has been designed by operators to ensure it meets the industry standards expected. The cabin is designed to limit noise to 69 decibels, while enabling a comfortable environment and a four-camera visibility system.

A dedicated monitor inside the cabin provides 270-degree vision around the machine for added safety.

The company has also included the Liebherr Assistance Systems, designed to improve the efficiency of operators through analytics and insights from live data. Liebherr has also included a Truck Loading Assistant for the excavator, which features 99% measurement accuracy providing real time measurement data to the operator.

To enhance the R 9600’s automation capabilities, Liebherr has included a bucket filling assistant as an option for the machine.

The assistant is an adaptive or semi-autonomous solution available on the backhoe version of the excavator, allowing for quicker bucket filling and a consistent bucket fill, increasing productivity, and reducing operator fatigue.

The R 9600 is backed by a maintenance-friendly design, with the upper carriage accessible by a hydraulically controlled stairway.

By further building on the success of past Liebherr machines, the R 9600 is also inspired by the 800-tonne R 9800 and allows for significant gains to a mine site’s productivity and efficiency.