Orica’s new BlastIQ™ features take blast digitalisation to the next level

Orica, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems, has announced the release of new features to its digital blast optimisation platform, BlastIQ™. It states: “As digital and automated technologies continue to change the way the mining and quarrying industries operate, Orica continues to advance their world-class digital expertise and solutions. Building on more than 140 years of experience and innovation in blasting, they have set out to lead the digitisation of blasting with their latest platform release features.”

The new BlastIQ™ features have been developed to bring additional capabilities and help customers reduce the overall cost of drill and blast operations, improve operational productivity and safety, and facilitate regulatory compliance. Orica Global Digital Product Manager, Angelo Labriola describes how Orica’s digital technologies are helping customers, saying: “Every day around the world, engineers design blasts and those blast outcomes impact as much as 80% of the Total Mine Processing Costs. The process of designing blasts, adjusting designs for real conditions encountered in the field, and understanding the outcomes of blasts is a manual, time-intensive task involving multiple inputs. Optimisation efforts suffer due to lack of time and tools to support that objective in the face of daily operational demands. BlastIQ saves time and improves quality by automating processes across the blasting workflow. Inspired by our customers’ feedback, the latest release of BlastIQ will enable our customers to make better decisions, more rapidly and deliver improved blast outcomes across their operations.”

He adds: “We’re aiming to develop the most robust, most user-friendly set of digital drill and blast tools available, with easy integration across the value chain and delivery of whole of mine insights required to drive material impact for our customers.” Improvements to the BlastIQ™ user interface allows real-time access to the status of each blast through the centralised online BlastIQ™ Platform, enabling users to collate and collaborate on data from across the drill and blast process. Insights are easily interpreted from data gathered with new visualisation features, accelerating planning, analysis and auditing of blast data to satisfy regulatory requirements.

Multilingual support has also been added across the technology suite, now supporting Spanish, French Canadian, Russian and Portuguese, facilitating broader access and
adoption of BlastIQ™ for more customers around the world.

“BlastIQ™ Mobile technology now provides a wider set of loading conditions through the seamless integration of loading rules, increasing on-bench quality control management and productivity. Continuous loading rules can now be applied to blast holes in real-time, even in areas without bench wireless connectivity, creating efficiency and quality gains on-bench. Increased accuracy and efficiency of explosives delivery through seamless connectivity and integration.”

Accuracy and efficiency of explosives delivery is significantly enhanced through real-time synchronisation of blast hole data between Orica’s Mobile Manufacturing Unit (MMU™) and BlastIQ™ as changes occur in both design and actual loading data. Using this data, Orica’s smart, connected delivery systems load the correct explosive type and quantity according to the original design, adjusted based on blast hole condition measurements and the automated application of a defined set of loading rules managed by the drill and blast engineer.

“This industry-first, direct integration with the delivery control system automates process control thereby eliminating errors in manual product selection, process control and incorrect logging of loading actuals, as well as importantly reducing overall explosives loading times and increasing productivity on-bench.”

Hole identification functionality available in both BlastIQ™ enabled delivery systems and BlastIQ™ Mobile improves in-field blast quality control and assurance. The hole position identification feature helps operators to more easily identify holes on-bench, reducing errors from potential confusion over hole identification and ensuring accurate recording of which holes have been dipped or loaded. This real-time data flow empowers rapid decision making, such as accurately adding new holes and data as needed, improving operational efficiencies.

“The new features are now available and applicable across mining and quarrying operations globally. As customers increasingly look to transform their operations with
digitally connected technologies, Orica remains at the forefront of digital blasting to optimise blasting outcomes.”