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Liebherr's next generation R 9600 delivers the goods

Liebherr's next generation R 9600 delivers the goods
Photo credit: Liebherr
This article was published by Kerrie Walker on 22 March, 2022

It has been some time since Liebherr launched the last iteration of their 600t excavator, so when developing the next generation, they were determined to deliver a best-in-breed machine. To achieve this, their team adopted a collaborative approach, taking in feedback from operators, maintenance crews, procurement teams, and mining execs. The stakeholders have spoken, and Liebherr has listened.

Weighing in at 698 tons, Liebherr's R 9600 mining excavator sets new industry standards for technology, performance, safety, and futureproofing in open-pit mining. For the last 25 years, the R 996 B, R 9600's predecessor, set the standard for machines in the 600t class. However, changing industry needs and advances in automation and efficiency called for a platform that will be up to scratch not just now but well into the future.

The machine sports a brand-new platform that meets every requirement and satisfies every aspect of modern mining. Liebherr went to great lengths to include their stakeholders in the development process. Regular communication between the company and customer representatives ensured the R 9600 was designed to perfection. When designing the cabin, Liebherr conducted multiple workshops to gather expectations from stakeholders. They asked the question, what does the operator need? And they took the answers on board.

As a result, the 14 cubic meter cabin hosts a wealth of features to ensure operator comfort, safety and efficiency. The cab includes a 270o, four-camera vision system, HEPA filtration, 15” touchscreen displays, and increased operator comfort through decreased noise and vibration and advanced air conditioning systems. The machine also boasts a reliable undercarriage, high-performance attachments, and onboard assistants. Ultimately, Liebherr considered all operator needs regarding information, screens, data, comfort, and ergonomics.

Maximising power, productivity and efficiency is also of high importance. Utilising 2 x QSK50 Cummins 2500 kW engines, the R 9600 delivers up to 20% less fuel consumption than its predecessor. This is achieved through the LPE (Liebherr Power Efficiency) system, that is dedicated to engine and hydraulic system control. Pro-active intervention in the engine management system, adjustment of the swing angle of the hydraulic pump and of the engine speed, provide for optimum efficiency of the drive components. If infrastructure allows, the R 9600 can be cabled-up and operate with a 2400kw electric motor which is a more efficient alternative to diesel engines and of course reduces on-site emission.

Liebherr's commitment paid off, with the company receiving nothing but glowing reviews from fitters, operators, and maintenance personnel. Not only were they impressed by the result, but by the fact that Liebherr really had considered all their feedback in making the final design. Further feedback and field data have revealed huge cycle time and productivity improvements compared to the R 996 B, meaning a lower cost per ton.

By incorporating the latest technologies and brand-new developments, the Liebherr machine will be viable for years to come. Further, the collaborative design approach and attention to detail for futureproofing will make superseding the R 9600 very difficult. There is no doubt the relationship between Liebherr and their customers, like the machine, will flourish well into the future.

This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the March 2022 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.

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