Tag Archives: Hexagon

Blast Movement Technologies bolsters post-blast data acquisition with FED 2.0

Blast Movement Technologies, part of Hexagon, has released a new flight enabled detector to safely and expediently retrieve post-blast location data.

FED 2.0 is a specially fitted UAV that comes with improved detection depths of up to 12 m. By adhering to strict ‘stand-off’ guidelines, it enables the swift retrieval of BMM (Blast Movement Monitor) location data, post blast, without the need to walk the muckpile, according to BMT.

BMT released its first UAV detector in November 2019, establishing an alternate, semi-automated solution to retrieve BMM sensor data.

Like its predecessor, FED 2.0 is based on the DJI Matrice M600Pro flying platform, but now features an automated Winch mechanism to lower the detector closer to the surface and away from the main UAV body. This not only ensures greater detection depths but also lessens the interference from the motor and blades, according to BMT.

The Winch was developed in partnership with Australia-based, unmanned systems specialist, Insitu Pacific, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company. Insitu ensured the new winch technology worked seamlessly with the existing FED ground control software, as well as introducing several other user experience improvements, BMT said.

FED 2.0 features an automated flight control and customisable flight plan. It has a built-in GNSS receiver to enhance positioning information and a vertical and horizontal collision detection system. It can also resume the mission after low battery replacement from the point where it was suspended. The on-board computer allows for immediate processing of incoming data, ensuring access to the movement data while resolving safety and environmental considerations.

BMT CEO, Jacques Janse, said: “With many mines focused on recovering more ore quickly and safely, our FED 2.0 continues our journey towards an autonomous future. This safety aspect, along with the increased detection depths, opens up the ability to use our BMM system in more mines.”

Hexagon adds colour to drill and blast process with HxGN Split HSL

Hexagon has, once again, looked to improve fragmentation analysis within the drill and blast process by adding split colour features to its offering.

HxGN Split provides technologically advanced image-analysis techniques to help mines optimise fragmentation, saving significant costs while improving drill and blast processes, the company says.

New to Split’s solution suite is HSL (Hue, Saturation and Luminance), a colour analysis feature that empowers mine operators with real-time detection of ore types.

“Real-time tracking of product types allows for immediate decision making to optimise rock-size reduction and product-type treatments,” Hexagon says. “The new feature further supports operational efforts to improve product throughput and ore recovery.”

This is important when mining operations are continuing to maximise existing resources, using value-added technologies.

HSL’s key benefits include:

  • The ability to monitor product type blending for optimum processing;
  • Reduce ore dilution by tracking product source mining;
  • Maximise throughput with consistent product delivery to the plant; and
  • Immediately adjust ore recovery treatments based upon product type.

“Hue, Saturation and Luminance values are measured during live plant production and provide a statistically relevant sample required to aid decision making,” Hexagon says. “A colour wheel is applied to the images to provide calculated HSL values for every processed iteration. Evaluation of the Split HSL values are correlated to the mine geologic product types to find the unique image property signatures.”

The HSL values are measured for the image samples to be trended on live operator screens. Step changes in the Split results provide immediate indicators for product type changes that signal the need for operational responses, Hexagon says.

Timely decisions surrounding the operating conditions lead to improved plant throughput and product recovery, while additional detailed measurements for individual rock particles can be measured using the same Split HSL measurements to find the ratios of the product type blends.

The company concluded: “Drill and blast is a notoriously complex, multi-layered process. HxGN Split’s image processing technology delivers high-quality information, ensuring the key step of fragmentation analysis is managed from drill to mill, thus improving mine profits.”

Gold Fields installs CAS safety solution at Tarkwa gold mine

Gold Fields is upping the safety stakes at its Tarkwa gold mine in Ghana, employing a collision avoidance system (CAS) that should reduce the number of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-personnel interactions at the open-pit operation.

Having installed a fatigue management system back in 2012-2013 – which saw equipment interactions and accidents decrease – the company has now purchased the HxGN MineProtect Collision Avoidance System Pro as part of a “discrete, dedicated project”, a company spokesperson confirmed to IM.

Hexagon says the CAS Pro system protects all mining vehicles, assets and vehicle operators within 500 m of the installed cab-based unit in open-pit mines.

The solution provides 360° awareness for surrounding vehicles and selected assets, as well as a collision avoidance function based on path prediction, the company explained.

Using GNSS and RF technologies, the solution enjoys high operator adoption because of minimal nuisance alarms and enhanced safety for all mine and vehicle types, according to Hexagon.

The Gold Fields spokesperson said CAS Pro was being used in line with Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) guidelines. The solution includes operator awareness and advisory controls, the spokesperson added.

As part of the project, Gold Fields has issued 150 personal tags to employees working near operating equipment, including spotters and samplers. The operating equipment to benefit from the new solution includes 84 dump trucks, 21 excavators, 65 pieces of ancillary fleet (including loaders, dozers and service trucks) and 100 light vehicles (50 with fixed CAS units and 50 with removable units).

While the CAS solution does not include anti-braking functionality, it does have a range of other intervention procedures, according to the spokesperson.

“Stopping a plus-200 t haul truck in milliseconds in an open-pit environment may create other hazards,” the spokesperson explained.

Hexagon’s Mining and Trysome commit to South Africa mine safety partnership

Hexagon’s Mining division has announced a five-year partnership with Trysome Auto-Electrical Engineering in South Africa.

The long-term agreement renews a relationship established more than a decade ago to support Hexagon’s integrated life-of-mine solutions, particularly its MineProtect safety portfolio, the company said, adding that systems ensuring collision avoidance, operator alertness, personal protection, reverse assist and vehicle intervention are among the solutions offered.

Both companies believe the agreement will be particularly welcome news for mines seeking the technology and service to comply with South Africa’s safety regulations for all Trackless Mobile Machinery, such as trucks, Hexagon said. This includes Level-9 autobraking and intervention controls, which require technologies that automatically intervene and take some form of machine control to prevent or mitigate an unsafe action.

“Backed by global support and product development, trained technicians in Hexagon and Trysome’s Johannesburg offices are well situated to help customers meet new DMR (Department of Mineral Resources) standards,” Hexagon said. “Hexagon’s MinePlan portfolio integrates the market-leading collision avoidance system (CAS) with a vehicle intervention system (VIS). VIS automatically takes control of a machine if the operator does not react appropriately to a CAS warning.”

Andrew Crose, EMEA Managing Director for Hexagon’s Mining division, said: “Like our customers, we’re serious about safety so this is a timely agreement between our companies. We’re proud of the work we’ve done with Trysome over the last decade and excited to extend this relationship to help companies pursuing zero harm throughout southern Africa.”

Trysome COO, Gunter Haacke, said:”Hexagon’s international experience and Trysome’s 28 years of African market expertise, infrastructure, and coverage are ideally suited for customers complying with safety legislation. With more than 150 skilled technicians and a team of specialist engineers, Trysome is well geared to meet local demand.”

Hexagon MPPE brings about new era in strategic mine scheduling space

Hexagon’s Mining division has announced the introduction of HxGN MinePlan Project Evaluator (MPPE), a strategic planning software tool that, the company says, optimises ultimate pits and life-of-mine strategic schedules.

MPPE is part of the Engineering suite of products in the MinePlan portfolio, which built on almost 50 years of development and is proven in mines worldwide, Hexagon said.

“Today’s release provides mine planners with the familiar methodology to generate ultimate pits, plus an abundance of new functionality when it comes to strategic scheduling,” the company added.

Featuring a modern interface, MPPE allows planners to consider multiple potential scenarios both in the pit optimisation and scheduling process using robust case management tools. Reports are integrated into the interface and can be exported to many formats for inclusion in other documents. Pit-by-pit graphs can also be quickly created to identify the ideal ultimate pit.

Dustin Meisburger, Product Manager, said MPPE begins a new era in the strategic scheduling space: “MPPE scheduling uses the same MILP (Mixed Integer Linear Programming) optimisation technology that has made MinePlan Schedule Optimizer the industry standard.”

He added: “Together, these solutions make for a formidable engineering package that enables pit optimisation and strategic scheduling to maximise net present value.

“Planners will be able to quickly generate a large number of mining schedule scenarios, with NPV optimised over the life of the mine using multi-period schedule optimisation. This will help to increase overall project NPV by ensuring the best mining strategy is selected.”

Hexagon to fill the rockfall monitoring void with IDS GeoRadar RockSpot

Hexagon AB has announced the launch of IDS GeoRadar RockSpot, a radar system that fills a gap in the monitoring of natural and engineered slopes.

The system detects, tracks, and analyses the slightest movements from rockfalls, avalanches, and other fast-moving landslide debris flow, according to the company.

“RockSpot creates real-time alerts that can be connected to on-site alarms (eg sirens, automatic road closures or other alert devices). Georeferenced, recorded event data provides advanced statistics and analytics for risk assessment and vulnerability zone mapping, the company said.

Ola Rollén, Hexagon President and CEO, said Hexagon is committed to empowering customers to put data to work and, in the case of RockSpot, “they’re able to leverage data to protect workers and the general public in high-risk areas of potentially catastrophic events”.

He added: “This intelligent safety solution, designed to withstand all weather conditions, continuously monitors day and night.”

RockSpot can identify rockfalls up to 2 km from the slope, as well as avalanches and other fast-moving events, like mudflow and debris flow, up to 4 km from the slope.

With a coverage field of 40° vertical and 80°horizontal, the system can consistently monitor an entire mine wall or natural slope at high resolution with a single radar unit, according to the company.

Hexagon said: “RockSpot’s alerts can be customised sector by sector using advanced algorithms that distinguish rock movements from other moving objects, such as haul trucks, animals and people.”

Hexagon to showcase mine planning software and fleet management solutions at Bauma

Hexagon’s Geosystems and Mining divisions will present an extensive portfolio of construction and site management technology at the Bauma trade fair, in Munich, Germany, from April 8-14, 2019, the company said.

The company will be announcing several new products and solutions that will be shown at its booth, it said.

Johan Arnberg, Heavy Construction Portfolio President for Hexagon’s Geosystems division, said: “This year at Bauma we are proud to present solutions that provide easier access to data that improves workflow and safety around machines while moving toward autonomous operation.”

Among several solutions being shown on the company’s booth during the show were, the company said:

  • “How our technology solutions keep you flexible, yet open to constant data change around you — from start to finish of the entire project;
  • “How a unified digital strategy built on the integration of mine planning and fleet and task optimisation can help remove administrative burdens, reduce complexities and improve decision making;
  • “How a web-based reporting and analytics platform can unlock a mine’s numerous data sources to reveal critical insights into safety scenarios and performance trends;
  • “How the mining industry’s growing need to push deeper underground for deposits can be answered with technology that manages fleet and task optimisation below the surface in real time.”

Rob Daw, Chief Technology Officer for Hexagon’s Mining division, said: “We’ll be highlighting the digital realities capabilities of our mine planning software and our task and fleet management optimisation solutions at Bauma.

“The integration at the heart of our portfolio is helping mines to remove administrative burdens and reduce complexities. We’re looking forward to connecting with customers and anyone else interested in pursuing the benefits of a digital strategy.”

Hexagon’s CAS to protect workers and equipment at Conuma Coal Resources ops

Hexagon’s Mining division has signed a safety solution deal with Conuma Coal Resources Ltd that will see its HxGN MineProtect collision avoidance system employed at the miner’s metallurgical coal operations in British Columbia, Canada.

The three-year subscription package will cover Conuma’s Brule (pictured), Willow Creek and Wolverine mines, near Tumbler Ridge, in north-eastern BC. These operations employ about 800 staff and have a fleet of exceeding 180 pieces of equipment.

Hexagon said: “Used in more than 30,000 vehicles and in over 60 mines worldwide, HxGN MineProtect CAS will give Conuma vehicle operators 360o proximity detection at any speed and in all conditions via unobtrusive cabin display units.”

The system is fully integrated with HxGN MineProtect Fatigue Pro, which uses computer vision technology to monitor operators unobtrusively while driving, according to Hexagon.

“Further integration with HxGN MineProtect Tracking Radar will help characterise a potential threat’s position and motion, providing drivers and operators the information they need to prevent incidents,” Hexagon said.

Conuma will also use HxGN MineEnterprise Platform, a web-based reporting and analytics solution, to monitor and control critical risk events by connecting a multitude of data sources via live dashboards. This will help visualise all aspects of CAS, according to Hexagon.

Hexagon Mining President, Josh Weiss, said: “We’re hugely impressed by Conuma’s commitment to safety. This is a great example of how subscription licensing and an integrated portfolio package adds flexibility while allowing mines to maximise safety. We share Conuma’s core belief that protecting people and equipment is the smartest investment a mine can make.”

Conuma President, Mark Bartkoski, said: “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Hexagon to implement an integrated safety solution that provides protection for our employees. We are truly dedicated to providing our people with the tools to run a safe, productive and efficient operation that provides security for all of our partners.”

Hexagon launches industrial computers for ‘toughest’ mine sites

Hexagon‘s Mining division has released new rugged industrial computers designed for the toughest mining environments with the launch of the HxGN MineDiscover Core LP and Core HP products.

The new computers, which come in low-precision and high-precision options, feature an extremely robust design tailor-made for the most challenging conditions, it says. “They deliver exceptional performance, flawlessly capturing telemetry and production data and boosting site efficiency and productivity,” the company adds.

Both modules feature a powerful Intel-based computing platform that improves performance and enables better machine application integration, according to Hexagon. “The units deliver unsurpassed flexibility and scalabilty, future-proofing mining customers’ investment in the machine platform.”

The MineDiscover Core units come with a variety of integrated connectivity options. These include dual Wi-Fi modules, cell modem and UHF radio. Additionally, Core HP integrates a high-performance chassis sensor to improve machine tool accuracy.

Hexagon Mining Principal Product Manager, Joe Arico, said: “We are very proud to introduce the new Core LP and Core HP products to our MineDiscover portfolio. We have worked tirelessly to ensure this is the best mining machine computing platform in the market.”

The mining division has accumulated tens of thousands of field test hours with its MineDiscover hardware (Core and Display 9) and the results have been “outstanding”, Arico said, adding reliability and performance were “exceptional”.

Core LP and HP will become the standard offering for all machine applications, consolidating and simplifying all machine solutions offered by Hexagon‘s Mining division, the company said.

Metso’s valves business looks for Smart solutions with Hexagon PPM partnership

Metso’s valves business area has joined forces with Hexagon PPM as the Finland-based company looks to ramp up its quotation efficiency for engineering firms.

The agreement complements Metso’s digital quotation tools and will enhance the “efficient exchange of enquiry, quotation and project execution data between Metso and its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) customers who use Hexagon PPM’s SmartPlant and Smart software suites”, according to Metso.

Oscar Bronsveld, responsible for Global Project Sales at Metso’s Valves business area, said the majority of the company’s EPC customers in the oil and gas, and petrochemical industries use the Smart Instrumentation software suite.

“Our target is to improve our responsiveness and bring value to them by saving them precious engineering hours in data processing,” he said.

Hexagon’s PPM division is a leading provider of asset life cycle solutions for design, construction, and operation of industrial facilities. It transforms unstructured information into a smart digital asset, allowing clients to visualise, build, and manage structures and facilities of all complexities, ensuring safe and efficient operation throughout the entire life cycle, according to Metso.

Back in July, Ausenco, a global consulting, engineering, project delivery, operations and asset management company, selected the suite of engineering design tools, information management solutions and cloud services from Hexagon’s PPM division to execute global projects,  including in the mining and oil and gas sectors.

Metso’s existing digital valve project quotation tool will be integrated with Hexagon’s Smart Instrumentation tool, which offers a “single engineering environment to create and manage instrumentation data, as well as create and manage change consistently across required deliverables”, according to Hexagon.

Metso said: “This integration will provide a bi-directional data exchange capability with the EPCs, allowing a reduction in the quotation processing time and an increase in accuracy when configuring and documenting projects in the quotation phases.”

Rashmi Kasat, VP, Head of Digital Business Development at Metso, said: “Our vision is to provide our clients with a seamless customer experience by combining the power of Metso’s digital tools, knowledge of the end customers’ technical needs and process requirements together with Hexagon’s solid experience in engineering and information software development.”