Tag Archives: equipment simulators

Sandvik to unveil new battery-powered bolter, simulator and app at MINExpo

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is set to unveil three new underground drilling solutions at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, based around a common theme of electrification, sustainability and digitalisation.

The new products to be unveiled at the show, taking place from September 13-15, include a new battery-powered bolting rig, an accompanying portable training simulator and a new mobile application for enhanced drilling.

The new Sandvik DS412iE (pictured) is a highly automated, productive, battery-electric powered rock bolter for underground mining and tunnelling applications. It is equipped with an electric driveline system and battery package with electric motor for zero emissions while tramming and drilling, thereby reducing thermal load and underground ventilation requirements, Sandvik says.

The rig’s iSeries platform offers various levels of automation for rock support drilling as well as providing component commonality through the 400i drill range. The introduction of Sandvik DS412iE rounds out Sandvik’s first range of battery-electric vehicles for all underground drilling applications, according to the company.

Sandvik Digital Driller™ training simulators provide a compact and flexible solution to safely train underground drill rig operators or maintenance teams, the company says. The latest Digital Driller module is specifically designed to support the new Sandvik DS412iE battery-electric rig, with the new version retaining the key features of being low weight and highly portable, enabling it to be used where it is most needed – on site.

Use of the simulator is estimated to increase annual productivity by 5% due to increased rig availability alone, Sandvik claims. In addition, training costs are reduced by up to 35% through less energy and consumables costs and reduced rig damage.

The new Sandvik DrillConnect mobile application transfers drilling plans – including those created in iSURE® – drilling reports and MySandvik machine data in environments where network coverage is inadequate or not available. Sandvik DrillConnect removes paper-based processes and automates the data transfer between the office and drill rig via a customer’s preferred mobile device. The app also provides easy access to the machine’s troubleshooting and manuals and is designed to be scalable for future development, according to Sandvik. The first version will be compatible with iOS devices, with plans to introduce Android compatibility in future iterations.

Patrick Murphy, President of Underground Drilling at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “Our latest developments are based on the feedback we have received from customers. We have listened to their challenges and are developing solutions that ensure we will continue to lead the industry shift toward a more digitalised and electrified future.”

In addition to the new underground drilling solutions being introduced at MINExpo, a Sandvik DL432i tele-remote operator chair will be on display. Sandvik will also showcase the latest updates to its underground drilling product offering.

Immersive to supply simulators, solutions for Rio’s Gudai-Darri automation

Rio Tinto has enlisted the help of Immersive Technologies and its equipment simulators to further its autonomous haulage footprint at the new Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia.

The mine, which will operate Caterpillar autonomous trucks equipped with Cat MineStar™ Command for Hauling system, will use simulation-based training solutions from Immersive Technologies to address the workforce development challenges within autonomous haulage operations with a focus on improving the safety and efficiency of their operator workforce, Immersive said.

Rio has used such systems from Immersive for over 17 years, understanding the value of investing in simulators for operator capability development, including equipment productivity and reliability initiatives, Immersive said.

Rio Tinto Vice President, Human Resources, Scott Browne, said: “This is an important component of our comprehensive training program for AHS, which includes supporting new team members as well as upskilling existing employees. Gudai-Darri will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced mines. Preparations are well under way to ensure its workforce is ready to take on the high-tech jobs on offer.”

Focused on capability development in the usage of the autonomous system, Rio Tinto partnered with Immersive Technologies to provide a solution to support the mine-readiness schedule and objectives, Immersive said. Specific training products include a platform which simulates a Cat 6060 excavator, Cat D10T dozer and Cat 18M grader. All simulator modules are equipped with an autonomous system panel and provide a safe and effective environment for training by allowing learners to operate their equipment while interacting with the autonomous trucks and managing their work areas as required, the company added.

The simulator solution is complimented by machine pre-start inspection software, which provides a detailed visualisation of equipment components, including autonomous components fitted to machines. Additionally, a ‘Virtual Classroom’ product hosts complex autonomous procedures that immerses learners in a safe and repeatable virtual environment which enables the development of deep knowledge and muscle memory of operational procedures, Immersive said.

Greg Karadjian, Regional Vice President Australia of Immersive, said: “Immersive Technologies is at the forefront of workforce development for autonomous haulage mining operations with deployments of simulation-based training solutions in more than 17 autonomous sites globally, by utilising blended learning systems, simulation and human performance analytics our solutions are preparing the workforces of the future.”

Back in 2019, Rio, Caterpillar and WesTrac signed an agreement to supply and support mining machines, automation and enterprise technology systems at Gudai-Darri, with Rio confirming the supply of a fleet of 20 autonomous 793F trucks as well as four autonomous blast drills.

Gudai-Darri will deliver a new production hub for Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in the Pilbara. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the Pilbara Blend, Rio’s flagship iron ore product.