Komatsu guides development of EDEM for ANSYS tool to improve load prediction in equipment design

Komatsu is a worldwide leader in high-productivity solutions for surface and underground mining operations. Their portfolio includes a range of equipment designed to perform in the most demanding environments in the world.

Ensuring equipment durability and productivity requirements are met is essential.  EDEM technology offers Komatsu an alternative to traditional load prediction in the design of underground mining shuttle cars for optimized performance.



Joy shuttle cars from Komatsu are designed to operate in restricted space environments and are used to transport mined materials away from a working face. They must carry tons of product safely, efficiently and in a confined environment.

Ensuring shuttle car durability is vital and Komatsu perform Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to better understand the effects of material loads and the resulting stresses. To perform such analysis, it is essential to accurately predict the loads acting on their shuttle cars during operation.

Such accuracy is difficult to achieve with traditional methods, such has hand calculation or approximation, due to the complexity of the coal behavior and the variability of operational conditions.

EDEM's Role

Komatsu worked with the EDEM team to see how they could improve loading predictions by adding the insight of EDEM technology to generate realistic material loading profiles for use in ANSYS FEA.

Requirements were established and included the need for easily accessible, realistic bulk material models; robust CAD handling; straight-forward set-up methods; and tools to integrate and transfer data quickly into the ANSYS environment for use in structural analysis.

Equally the need for a straight-forward workflow without the need for high-level specialist know-how of EDEM or expertise in bulk material simulation was essential.


The input from the Komatsu team helped guide development of EDEM for ANSYS, an easy-to-use tool that enables engineers to model realistic material behaviors and improve force prediction accuracy without the need for expert know-how.

EDEM technology enabled Komatsu to transfer realistic, high-fidelity material load inputs into ANSYS that superseded traditional boundary conditions to provide results for stress and deformation of the shuttle car during operation.

This improved accuracy of material loads means engineers have greater confidence in their FE results and enables a wider investigation of layout and process options earlier in the design cycle, allowing for optimal performance and durability.

EDEM for ANSYS offers our engineers an alternative to traditional approaches to load prediction. Through simulation of the way material being loaded interacts with our equipment, improved accuracy in the load inputs can be obtained for our structural analyses allowing our engineers to perform analyses for improved durability and process optimization.

Diane Thompson, Director Technical Services Komatsu Mining Corp.

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