Caterpillar Plans to Develop Cooperation with Mining University
A delegation of Caterpillar – one of the world's largest construction-equipment manufacturing corporations – headed by Regional Director for Eurasia and the Middle East Markus Gebauer paid a working visit to Saint Petersburg Mining University. During the meeting with Rector Vladimir Litvinenko, the top manager discussed the future development of the Cat research and educational centre, which was set up in the partner university a year ago.
The visit started with a tour around the Mining Museum, moving on to the acquaintance with the university's infrastructure. Of course, Mr Gebauer was most interested in seeing the classroom wherein the simulator sessions on operating dump trucks and other Caterpillar machines are delivered.
"The idea of establishing here a lab is not mine but of my predecessors. They were Russians, graduates of Mining University, so they knew what it could offer. I am glad this has enabled us to cooperate with such a strong partner," explains Markus Gebauer.
Vladimir Litvinenko suggested that the guest not remain complacent with what had been achieved but take the centre's functionality to the next level. He cited another major corporation, Schneider Electric, as an example. Its collaboration with the university has been more than fruitful as the latter literally became a demonstration site for the developments of this power engineering company. Many flagships of Russia's mining industry decided to work with the company right after seeing the innovative equipment displayed at Mining University.
"We could establish a site for testing new models of your equipment, similar to the university's drilling test facility in Sablino. By extension, we could then organise on its premises advanced training courses for employees of mining companies who work with Caterpillar machines. On the completion of the studies, the participants would be certified by Cat experts as professional engineers. If there were such a system, it would thereby raise the status of the companies employing predominantly certified engineers. This, in turn, would contribute to increased efficiency of mining machinery and equipment as well as boost the level of industrial safety," proposes the rector.
Vladimir Litvinenko notes that Caterpillar should assign at least two representatives to the university to achieve effective collaboration. Their tasks will include lecturing and organising workshops for students and employees under retraining. A result of this will undoubtedly be an improvement in their competencies.
"We will definitely be expanding our presence at the university. If we talk about certification, it is a great idea, especially since the Mining University has gathered a pool of experts in various fields. The students have access here to state-of-the-art equipment. And for them, representatives of the generation that is to replace us, it is indeed vitally important," sums up Markus Gebauer.
The parties discussed the prospects for joint research on the reduction of exhaust emissions from quarry vehicles. They also brought up the question of introducing zero-emission mining machines.