Tag Archives: Christiaan Liebenberg

BME launches Blast Alliance brand to encourage blasting technology collaboration

Blasting technology is moving mining towards a more sustainable future, with BME and its recent launch of the ‘Blast Alliance’ brand looking to add impetus to this evolution.

The Omnia Group company has announced that Blast Alliance will encompass its portfolio of digital innovations including its BLASTMAP™ planning software, BME Blasting guide app and XPLOLOG™ cloud data platform. Solutions such as AXXIS™ integration, custom development and training also fall under this brand.

“Our new Blast Alliance brand represents the company’s journey of digital innovation and the collaborative approach we take in this exciting process,” BME Managing Director, Joe Keenan, said. “We believe this collaboration must be holistic, so we partner in three arenas: internally to optimise our solutions; through direct engagement with our customers; and working with third-parties where the need is identified – to enhance outputs for customers.”

Keenan said by giving BME’s software and solutions portfolio its own brand and identity, it will assert a unique market position underpinned by the company’s spirit of enterprise and the highest levels of integrity.

Michelle Fedder, BME Manager: Marketing and Brand, emphasised that the step was part of enhancing BME’s reputation as a technology and innovation-orientated partner.

“Blast Alliance provides our software portfolio with its own values, character, essence and value proposition,” Fedder said. “From a marketing perspective, the brand assures our customers of collaborative, innovative and integrated digital and automated mining and blasting solutions – further enhancing their value chains.”

The portfolio will adapt and evolve with key solutions as needs are identified, applying BME’s growing depth of digital and technological expertise, according to BME Software Product Manager, Christiaan Liebenberg.

“We are delivering flexibility, fluidity and future-facing solutions to our customers,” Liebenberg said. “A key focus here is the integration of our technology with mine-wide platforms, as part of the drive to support mining’s ongoing productivity efforts. Our initiatives also leverage digital technology to allow greater availability of real-time data.”

Keenan said that the Blast Alliance brand underscored the company’s core objectives in its offering to customers. These include optimising productivity, efficiency and safety while minimising risk through predictability – as well as reducing costs, promoting data-driven and real-time decision making, and enhancing process optimisation.

“As the mining sector embraces more technology, it is likely to be increasingly viewed as a forward-looking contributor in the transition to a more sustainable economy,” he said. “Implementing digital communication infrastructure at mine level can also have positive spin-offs for local communities – potentially improving connectivity in remote areas as part of mining’s environmental, social and governance commitment.”

BME ups blast design ante with new mobile app

BME has launched a new, free Blasting Guide application for Android mobile devices that, it says, enables users to rapidly calculate and check blast designs.

Currently available for download from the Google Play Store, the new BME Blasting Guide mobile app replaces traditional paper booklets carried and referenced by in-field users, BME says. It includes a blast design calculator, quick calculators and prediction calculators. Other app features include surface blast design rules of thumb, environmental guidelines, a table of common rock properties and a BME contact directory per country.

“The new app is an integral part of BME’s pioneering approach to harnessing the power of digital technology in the blasting sector,” Christiaan Liebenberg, Software Product Manager at BME, said. “This platform gives our Blasting Guide a mobility and ease of use that makes a blasting engineer’s job easier and more productive.”

Liebenberg said that while the app is not a blast design tool, it is a powerful means of verifying blast design outputs and making important blast planning decisions.

BME Global Manager Blasting Science, D Scott Scovira, said the blast design calculator is a series of guiding formulas that allows a blaster or engineer to plan a blast from start to finish.

“The blast design calculator utilises user inputs including burden, spacing, stemming height, sub-drill, hole diameter, bench height and explosive type to determine explosive loads, powder factors and other outputs,” Scovira said. “It could be used, for example, to investigate potential blast patterns for a greenfield site, where numerous scenarios can be quickly generated and calculations checked.”

Scovira added that the rules of thumb table – which summarises surface blast design guidelines – can be referenced by users as they access the blast design calculators.

The quick calculator includes a BME in-house formula for the target powder factor, as well as calculations related to the volume of rock to be blasted – either volume per hole or volume per blast, BME said.

There are energy equations to compare different types of explosives based on their relative bulk strength, while hole-charging equations determine the mass of explosives going into a hole and address loading with gassed emulsion products, according to the company. This helps determine column lengths and stemming lengths – with gassed and ungassed explosives.

“The app’s prediction calculators include estimation of peak particle velocity and maximum charge weight per delay based on industry standard scaled distance equations and user defined ground transmission constants,” BME said.

One of the prediction calculators can provide the user with guidance in estimating the blast clearance radius. This is based on maximum projected rock throw, calculated from scaled depth of burial equations and parameters. The scaled depth of burial equations and parameters are propriety to world recognised blasting consultant R Frank Chiappetta of Blasting Analysis International Inc and used by BME with permission, the company clarified.

“In line with its strategic commitment to collaboration in the digital space, BME engaged VIGA Interactive to create a world-class user experience and design, as well as Sympl Technology Solutions for the development work,” Liebenberg said.