The productivity and safety of BME’s mobile manufacturing units (MMUs) is enhanced by smart technology, making real-time data available on the loading of bulk emulsion into blast holes, the company says.
Smart MMUs are a key aspect of BME’s automation efforts, which leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence. The company’s digital solutions, such as Xplolog and Xplocharge, can automate aspects of blast hole charging, including the real-time tracking of emulsion volumes being pumped on the bench by smart trucks.
“These volumes are monitored by on-vehicle equipment, which compares the planned volumes with the actual volumes required,” Nishen Hariparsad, BME General Manager of Technology and Marketing, explained. “This data can then be transmitted wirelessly to be stored and analysed in cloud platforms.”
The data lends itself to ongoing cost optimisation, and to ensuring that there is no wastage of resources in achieving the optimal blast result. Truck performance can also be measured by digital telemetry through internet of things devices. This functionality improves productivity, maintenance control, product quality and asset use. The safe and smart loading technology of BME’s MMU’s is made possible at its specialised in-house assembly and fabrication facility in South Africa, where BME has built more than 200 MMUs.
The company is constantly evolving and improving its smart technology, and recently released a new version of its Xplolog system for capturing and analysing data on blast holes and decks. The performance of this version is enhanced with design and application code built from the ground up, and with a new and upgraded database using Google’s Cloud Services.
The installation of this technology on MMUs helps mines to monitor their block progress in real time and allows the quality of blasts to be continuously improved to provide sustainable outcomes for BME’s customers, the company says. Together with BMEs digitally smart MMUs and loading solution, a seamless integration of on-bench digital technology and electronic initiation systems also make an important contribution to controlled blasting, which prevents risks like vibration and fly-rock, further preventing poor blast outcomes, it added.