Global mining technology company IMDEX developed the IMDEX MUD Automated In-field Diagnosis (AID) to optimise fluid management, as drilling fluids can be critical to how successfully the drilling programme runs, says IMDEX product development GM Michelle Carey.
The IMDEX MUD AID, which was launched onto the market in 2018, is a remotely monitored, in-field mud-testing unit that enables drill operators to monitor drilling fluids. It is part of a wide range of technologies designed to increase drilling productivity and efficiencies. When a drilling fluids specialist cannot be on site full-time, an automated system can be beneficial to measure and monitor drilling fluid properties.
The unit facilitates optimisation and execution of the drilling fluids programme by presenting real-time information on fluid properties. This complements the job of the drilling fluids specialist and may assist in optimising drilling fluid performance.
“This testing unit is portable, lightweight and easy to install and operate. Setup is provided by a certified drilling fluids specialist and includes pairing the IMDEX MUD AID with site-specific conditions, as well as setting parameters and automating alerts, helping to intercept any potential issues.”
Moreover, the drilling fluids specialist will remotely provide periodic monitoring and recommendations so that drillers can attempt to rectify variances in the system. This, Carey explains, provides drillers with greater control over their drilling fluids system.
She notes that near surface exploration projects are becoming fewer and it is getting more difficult to make new discoveries. “It is for that reason that projects under cover and deeper drilling programmes on existing deposits are taking place.”
Another means of aiding in the accuracy of drilling to target is downhole motors. The downhole motor is a displacement pump that provides additional power to the drill bit when drilling. Downhole motors are some of the technologies that assist in drilling to hit targets on existing mines.
“In directional drilling, downhole motors have the combined advantage of flexibility and driller operability.”
Carey explains that the downhole motor is a more active means of influencing the direction of the borehole to hit a target and is one of the aspects that affords the operator full control.
“The low cost to operate this system makes it an ideal option when compared with other active directional systems in the market and this, combined with a low service cost and ease of operation, allows for more metres to be drilled.”
IMDEX has a substantial range of drilling optimisation technologies, including AMC drilling fluids, AMC solids removal units, the AMC BOS system and the REFLEX TN-14 rig aligners.