ABB recently held its first global Mining User Conference in Basel, Switzerland, from October 12 to 15, at the Hilton Hotel Basel. This conference – an extended version of the successful ABB Gearless Mill
Drive (GMD) User Meeting – included participants from the underground and open-pit mining
community for the first time. The event succeeds four global GMD User Meetings in Switzerland
(2007 and 2009), Peru (2008), Las Vegas (2010) and two regional events in Santiago de Chile and
Sydney, Australia (both in 2006).
The conference included a visit to the new ABB GMD Assembly site in Basel Birsfelden. Marcelo
Schumacker, Global Head of Material Handling and Grinding, used the opportunity to officially
inaugurate the assembly site in presence of ABB Mining User Conference guests during their visit on
Friday, 14 October 2011.
Extending the distinctive and interactive GMD User Meeting networking platform to other areas of the
mining industry broadens the field of discussion and information exchange. End users, suppliers and
ABB specialists present educational sessions and share experiences that benefit everyone. The
event helps to strengthen the bonds and trust between all involved parties by giving operators and
suppliers their say. This eases and improves future operations.
The conference hosted over 200 key leaders from the mining industry, coming from over 70 countries
and all continents. End users, major mill and motor suppliers as well as consultants, EPCMs, OEMs
and insurance representatives accepted ABB’s invitation and came to Basel. It is an important forum
for end users to learn about the latest developments in mining applications and support capabilities
and to make contacts for other services. It also provides valuable customer feedback for ABB
regarding performance improvements.
Uwe Köhler, head of system engineering for Vattenfall Europe Mining AG, Germany stated: “The
conference is a great forum to combine the diverse interests of electrical and mechanical OEMs with
the end users’ interests to increase mutual understanding. I see great opportunities for the future if
electrical and mechanical OEMs and end users both take on a complete integrated systems
Meanwhile, Guilherme Amaral, senior electrical engineer from Vale, Brazil, added: “I liked this
conference model with new areas such as open-pit and underground mining because it improves the
networking opportunities and exchange of knowledge. The presentations gave insights to new GMD
technologies and enabled discussions about operator experiences and possible actions on how to
reduce operating costs.”