Epiroc provides the next ‘evolutionary step toward fully autonomous mining’

Epiroc has introduced the fifth generation of its Rig Control System (RCS) on Pit Viper blasthole drills as it looks to equip miners with all of the tools to embrace full automation.

RCS 5 for Pit Viper blasthole drill rigs is the next “evolutionary step toward fully autonomous mining”, the company said upon launch of the system earlier this month at the Bauma fair in Munich, Germany.

Features such as Machine-to-Machine Communication, sharing real-time drill plan updates between drills, Auto Tower Angle and Integrated Camera View advanced awareness are some of the early features introduced, Epiroc said.

“Whether operating from a remote location or on-board the drill, the new and improved RCS 5 intuitive main menu creates a user-friendly experience that ultimately increases productivity. This new design allows the operator to focus on the task-at-hand and switch seamlessly between screens in a well-organised and dynamic environment.”

RCS 5’s new Drill Plan Generator function allows for creation and editing of drill plans on-board the rig or from a remote location quickly and easily, according to Epiroc. The new Drilling Data Screen, meanwhile, features real-time depth and penetration rate feedback with histogram for easy in-hole monitoring.

Tyler Berens, Product Line Manager, Automation at Epiroc Drilling Solutions, said: “We’re excited to continue our automation journey, pushing the limits in sustainable productivity. Launching the RCS 5 platform will allow our customers and partners to further advance their operations, saving valuable time and dollars while increasing predictability and safety with either on board or autonomous operations.

“Autonomous operations began with RCS 4, wait until you see where we take it with RCS 5.”