For developing the Maverick range of dedicated light duty vehicles (LDV) for mining, which provide maintenance, repair and lifecycle advantages never before seen on the market, Fermel has been named a finalist for the Swedish Steel Prize 2017. The Swedish Steel Prize is an international prize that honors the art of engineering and innovation in the steel industry. Fermel, from South Africa, is one of four finalists for this year’s prize, which will be awarded during a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on May 11.
“We identified this opportunity on the basis that new mining legislation and tighter safety requirements were due in the not too distant future, and we knew the commercial units would soon be under pressure,” explains Corné Wehr, Product Design Manager at Fermel. The resulting Maverick range of LDVs is designed specifically for the harsh underground mining environment. It is an uninhibited mining vehicle that can be used for a wide range of applications and outperforms current offerings.
In total, roughly 90 per cent high-strength steel is used in the design of the Maverick range of vehicles. The combination of high-strength steel and wear-resistant steel provides improved safety and wear resistance, as well as higher payloads of up to 2.5 tonnes without compromising the vehicle’s fatigue life.
The jury’s motivation for selecting Fermel as a finalist for the Swedish Steel Prize 2017 is: “Fermel has developed a unique range of multi-purpose vehicles for safe transportation in mines. The vehicles meet new, more stringent safety legislation and are intended to replace the re-built standard vehicles currently used. Design optimisation of the entire vehicle, including the car body, has given superior performance regarding personal safety, higher payload, agility, damage resistance, reliability and service life. All these benefits are achieved by extensive use of advanced high-strength structural and wear-resistant steels.”
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