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In the Spotlight: Richard Wittich, Supervisor, AHS Training and Deployment

February 6, 2020
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It takes years to fully understand the intricacies of autonomous systems and deployment, making experts in the field highly sought-after.  SMS Equipment has a strong foundation of training and deployment specialists working with employees and customers to advance autonomy in the industry.

Richard Wittich, SMS Equipment Supervisor of AHS Training and Deployment, started at one of the largest below water-table autonomous mines in Australia as an operator, mine coordinator, pit patroller and field trainer of the Komatsu FrontRunner® system.
“From understanding efficiencies and data analytics, which are part of the new mining age and how an AHS mine works, teamwork is required from all involved,” says Wittich.  “It’s not just about autonomous trucks driving in the pit.  It takes many personnel to make an autonomous mine run, from soft and slippery pit conditions in Australian mines with a below-water table project, to our soft oilsands mines in Canada and the freezing conditions.”
Wittich came to Canada to offer specialized training to our customers of the Komatsu FrontRunner® system with his knowledge from years of industry-leading training and development in autonomy.
Becoming a trainer with SMS Equipment meant that he was able to meet his goal of giving back and extending what he knows about autonomy.  “I can’t say enough about the drive that SMS Equipment has to be an industry leader in Smart Mining technology.  I had to join a company that wants only the best for its customers and employees.”
With an engaged group of colleagues, Wittich has expanded SMS Equipment’s AHS team to a group of over 20 highly skilled AHS trainers who share their knowledge with employees and customers, moving the industry forward from a solid foundation.  Achievements in 2019 included customer awards and the Komatsu’s President Award for the development and implementation of the 930E-AT and 980E-AT, in addition to operational testing on the frontline and the development of new functions that resulted in the oilsands.  Wittich predicts, “I’m sure we will get to see many years of smart mining achievements with SMS Equipment and its Smart Mining sector led by a very passionate team.”
And, the growing Aussie community. With a mix of ten Aussie families and their Canadian counterparts, the team is deployed from Fort McMurray to Edmonton, to customer sites all over Canada.  A small group with big hearts and passion for what they do, the team enjoys the snow, the outdoors and travelling this beautiful country with all it has to offer.

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