Orica brings ORBS centralised blasting system to underground mining sector

Orica’s next generation centralised blasting system, ORBS™, has made a leap into the digital world, with underground mining operations set to feel the benefits.

ORBS (Omni Remote Blasting System) is now available to i-kon™ and eDev™ customers. It is designed to provide operations with the ability to safely initiate multiple development headings and production blasts concurrently from a remote, central location.

Building on Orica’s flagship Blaster 3000 architecture, ORBS enables greater productivity by initiating up to 30 Remote Blaster 3000s, or up to 90,000 detonators, in one blast sequence, Orica says. Its browser-based interface provides users with full visual oversight of all connected hardware and detonators and has enabled a host of valuable new features, according to the company.

Orica’s Head of Initiating Systems, Dr Rodney Williams, said: “We’re focused on providing the latest innovations and technology advancements to our customers. Upgrading our electronic blasting systems is as much about strengthening the capability as it is about enhancing our customers’ experience. We were conscious about developing a secure, simple-to-use and powerful system, and we’ve achieved this with ORBS.”

A key feature of ORBS is that it’s a ‘plug and play’ system that doesn’t require customers to invest in additional infrastructure, according to Orica. It connects to a mine’s communication network over LAN, Wi-Fi or LTE and users operate the system from a similarly connected electronic device such as a PC, tablet or iPhone.

With improved firing capacity and compatibility with Orica’s range of electronic detonators (i-kon III and eDev II), ORBS provides customers with greater versatility, Orica added.