Digitalisation will improve drilling accuracy and cycle times, and reduce operation costs by improving the efficiency of the drilling and bolting phase, says global engineering group Sandvik.
“Drilling as planned, with accurate visual information, leads to continuous improvement across the whole mining process,” notes the company, highlighting that its Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology business area is drastically improving the drilling experience with its new Sandvik AutoMine compatible underground offering.
Based on proven Sandvik AutoMine technology that has been in use for more than ten years in numerous underground mines, the company states that its customers are now able to significantly upgrade their operations’ productivity and safety. New intelligent rigs, led by the Sandvik DD422i development jumbo, will soon include long hole drills and bolters.
New three-dimensional (3D) scanning technology makes drilling and bolting more efficient by bringing in fresh tools and methods for continuous quality control. Blasting quality, overbreak and underbreak analysis, together with continuous mine mapping, increase overall drill and blast process efficiency significantly. Combining this with the Sandvik OptiMine information management platform is posited to provide a powerful tool for creating true transparency within and integration of underground mining operations.
Sandvik has successfully delivered highly automated underground drilling systems for selected customers for many years and is now finalising the commercialisation of these offerings for global markets. This will bring Sandvik AutoMine-type teleremote capabilities into new underground mining applications, including long-hole and development drilling.
Sandvik underground drilling equipment is now also fully compatible with Sandvik OptiMine monitoring and future data-driven productivity technology. The connectivity comes standard for new equipment but retrofit kits are also available for existing equipment out in the field.
Scalable Sandvik automation solutions allow customers to choose the level of automation they are ready for, starting with teleremotely controlled operation through to full-fleet automation, explains the company.
“With a range of automation options built into Sandvik drill rigs and bolters, customers are granted assurance that their equipment is used efficiently and that the results meet the most demanding production requirements.”
Sandvik’s South African head office is in Boksburg, Johannesburg.