Caterpillar recently took major strategic steps to focus on its core surface mining and underground hard rock mining equipment products, technologies and systems. This has included a licensing and intellectual property agreement with India Gainwell Technologies, first for Gainwell to manufacture high wall surface miners in India, then more recently extending these agreements to include medium seam continuous underground miners and high and other room and pillar products, including face carriers, roof support carriers, scoops/multiple utility vehicles and feeder circuit breakers.
On February 23, a similar agreement was announced with Simmons Equipment Co in Virginia, USA, for the low-seam and pillared lines. Additionally, Caterpillar had confirmed in 2020 that it was closing its coal-fired underground mining equipment (and plow) plant in Luenen, Germany, with production moving to Asia.
I AM can now exclusively reveal that Caterpillar Inc is set to exit underground coal and soft rock mining altogether with the sale of its longwall business to Germany’s Hauhinco Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co KG, based in Sprockhövel, North Rhine-Westphalia. There is a history of cooperation between Hauhinco and Caterpillar – including Hauhinco working with the Caterpillar factory in Luenen to design complete hydraulic systems for Caterpillar underground mining systems. Hauhinco, a company with over 111 years of history, focuses on mining by designing customer specific high pressure emulsion pump stations for roof supports in long walls as well as spray pump stations supplying the shear water jet or the coal plow water jet and the cooling systems of the drive motors with the necessary pressure and volume flow.
The executive office of Caterpillar Inc made this statement to I AM: “Caterpillar has entered into a preliminary agreement with Hauhinco to divest itself of the long face product line. Subject to the negotiation of a final agreement, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022. caterpillar and Hauhinco will work together to ensure a smooth transition to minimize any impact to customers and dealers. Regarding the reasoning behind this decision, the company said, “To remain focused on Caterpillar’s core products and services, the company has made the decision to exit the longwall product line.”
No further details were given, but Caterpillar’s remaining longwall business includes hydraulic roof supports, high horsepower shears, automated plow systems and shielded face conveyors with intelligent controlled drive technology. and supported by advanced longwall automation.