Tag Archives: My Sandvik

Sandvik’s McCoy on ‘getting the basics right’ in digital transformation projects

The application of digital tools is key to continuously improving efficiencies in underground mines, Niel McCoy, Business Line Manager for Automation and Digitalisation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, says.

McCoy says the choice of digital tools needs to be based on each operation’s key performance indicators (KPIs). This is because the solutions that are implemented will be focused on monitoring and managing those KPIs. He then recommends a phased approach to introducing digital tools to an operation.

“The starting point is always machine telemetry and basic production or productivity reporting,” he says. “From there, the solutions can be expanded.”

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has extensive experience in designing and implementing digital tools, including equipment health monitoring and process management. Its AutoMine® automation offering operates on 59 mining sites globally, while its OptiMine® suite of digital solutions is active on 66 connected sites. The ‘My Sandvik’ customer portal, a web-based digital hub, serves 214 sites and its Newtrax technology in wireless IoT connectivity is operating on 115 sites.

“Monitoring equipment health through My Sandvik Digital Services Solutions allows users to draw down telemetry data from their equipment in real time,” he says. “The data is automatically compiled into the required report format for quick analysis and response.”

The next aspect to be addressed is the actual management of the process being monitored, he says. This is where Sandvik’s Task Management and Scheduler – part of its Optimine suite of digital solutions – can be applied.

“This allows a tablet to be fitted to an item of equipment so that an underground operator can accept tasks and provide real-time progress reports on those tasks,” he says. “The more advanced the equipment, the more data can be extracted and communicated automatically without operator intervention.”

The solutions allow for data to be recorded on equipment’s key operations – such as the weight of loads in a loader bucket. Telemetry on the equipment gives valuable insight into the equipment’s availability and performance so management can respond.

“When starting digital journeys, the focus must be on improving current operations,” McCoy says. “This means getting work started on time, for instance, before moving onto optimisation efforts. Most digital implementations will battle if the starting point is trying to increase productivity before getting the basics right.”

Sandvik to add rock bolter to battery-powered mining line up

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology plans to launch its first and one of the the mining industry’s first battery-powered rock bolters next year, as it continues to roll out new solutions to electrify the underground mining space.

The Sandvik DS412iE extends the zero emissions concept to the underground rock bolter class and opens a wide range of possibilities for mines driven to boost their productivity and safety with data-based analytics, according to the company.

In its core mission of delivering productive, secure and versatile rock support solutions, Sandvik rock bolters have a clear track record, according to the company.

“Still, these tools’ automation and data acquisition capabilities have not been as advanced as their production and development drill rig counterparts,” the company said. “Scheduled for launch during 2021, the new Sandvik DS412iE rock bolter will complement the intelligent family of next-generation battery-powered underground drill rigs.”

Anssi Kouhia, Product Manager, Rock Support Drills, said the DS412iE is basically an upgrade on its existing Sandvik DS411.

“We have received positive feedback about that model,” Kouhia said. “We made an accomplished model even better with more advanced automation capabilities, improved data acquisition and upgraded ergonomics.”

Like the battery-powered DD422iE  jumbo drill, the rig trams on battery and carries out drilling and bolting when connected to the mains power.

Along with its direct predecessor, the new intelligent bolter also has much in common with the larger Sandvik DS512i in the 5 x 5 m drift size. One example is their similar versatility in terms of bolting systems: Sandvik DS512i and Sandvik DS412iE can handle a wide range of bolt types and lengths, including a combination of automatic cement mixer and automatic resin injection on the same bolter.

The new Sandvik DS412iE will effectively complete Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s rock support drill range for the 4 x 4 m class, updating its entire product range to the latest i-standard of connectivity and automation capabilities, the company said. Additionally, the Sandvik DS412iE will be the supplier’s first battery-powered rock bolter.

“In other words, the zero underground emissions approach will now include all stages of the underground mining process: rock support drilling as well as development and production drilling and loading and hauling,” Sandvik said. “The ability to virtually eliminate underground particulate matter, NOx, CO2 and heat emissions is first and foremost a major health and safety benefit, but also offers cost savings by reducing mine ventilation power requirements.”

The new rig responds to major industry trends that customers have identified in feedback sessions, Sandvik said.

In addition to reducing underground emissions and improving working conditions, the safety and environmental improvements also make economic sense by reducing time lost to injuries and costs. The advanced automation capabilities will increase the speed and safety of the bolting cycles as well as open a range of possibilities for process optimisation, the OEM said. “This will translate into more reliable rock supporting and safer working environments.”

Like one-hole automation that has been a standard feature in Sandvik mining and tunnelling jumbos, the one-bolt automation feature of Sandvik DS412iE now extends this capability to rock bolters, Sandvik said.

“The rig can carry out a single bolting cycle unassisted, so that in optimal conditions the operator only needs to manually relocate the boom from one bolt location to another,” the company said.

The battery-powered unit will come with two automation levels: the standard Silver package from the outset and, in the near future, the optional extended Gold level. The main difference between the two packages is in the remote monitoring and operating capabilities and in the measurement-while-drilling functionality.

The automation packages seamlessly mesh with Sandvik iSure software, according to the company. Available as a standard tool for designing drift drilling plans and blasting plans, iSure now increasingly extends to bolting operations and comes in three levels: iSure Basic and iSure Plus for the standard Silver automation package, and iSure Premium for the optional Gold level automation. The advanced automation solutions can offer a significant productivity and quality boost, Sandvik said.

“With iSure, you can design a bolting pattern in the office, transfer it to the rig over Wi-Fi or on a USB flash drive, carry out the bolting according to the pattern, and, on top of that, you can retrieve a report that compares the plan and the realised bolting pattern,” Kouhia says.

iSure compatibility, in particular, enables more extensive data acquisition and reporting, Sandvik said.

In addition to the bolting pattern, the retrieved data will also include various parameters that characterise the quality of the bolting process, such as grouting concrete consumption and bolt tightening torques. This can serve to document the bolting process in much greater detail than it did previously, which enables more accurate quality control of the rock supporting measures.

The verifiable track record of the rock support measures taken provides systematic safety documentation and, should a failure still occur, the bolting process reports can help to determine the cause of it, down to the level of an individual bolt – when it was installed, how it was installed and whether it complied with set specifications.

Full compatibility with the My Sandvik fleet management portal and the OptiMine suite of digital mine automation and analytics solutions further enhances the connectivity of Sandvik DS412iE, providing all-round data-based control for rock support operations, the company said.

While the main areas of focus for Sandvik DS412iE surround automation, connectivity and data acquisition capabilities, productivity has not been neglected, Sandvik said.

The new boom control system, advanced boom manipulator mode and optimised bolting head movements help the operator to achieve a smooth and efficient process by keeping the bolting head automatically aligned with the correct bolt fan positions and angles, the company explained.

In terms of sheer mechanical power, much of the new bolter’s high productivity derives from the new control system of the Sandvik RD314 rock drill, which substantially increases the output and penetration rate. Overall, the productivity upgrade is roughly 25% from previous models, according to Sandvik.

The Sandvik DS412iE includes many safety and ergonomic features.

The bolter is designed to be compliant with the EN16228 standard for drilling and foundation equipment, which is harmonised with the requirements of the European Machinery Directive. One of the EN16228 requirements is an access detection system (ADS). In the Sandvik DS412iE, the ADS automatically scans the surroundings of the bolter and alerts the operator should a person enter the work area, which effectively reduces potential accidents. The safety improvements also include a fully covered steel strand reel.

The Sandvik DS412iE continues the bolter class’ legacy of secure and effective cabin design, Sandvik says, with a 55% percent improvement in visibility, better effective vibration control and significant noise reduction adding up to a safer and more comfortable workplace for the operator.

Future launches will also include a diesel-powered version, Sandvik DS412i, which will be compliant with the latest engine emission specifications, Sanvik said.

This is an edited version of a story that first appeared on Sandvik’s Solid Ground platform here.

Sandvik’s largest electric LHD receives an upgrade as it heads to Kiruna

Sandvik says it is preparing to deliver its renewed Sandvik LH625iE electric loader for field testing at the LKAB-owned Kiruna mine, in northern Sweden.

The unit to be tested is the 600th electric loader from Sandvik, and is custom-designed to meet the needs of the underground iron ore mine, it said.

The underground loader, which features a 9.5 m³ bucket and 25,000 kg payload capacity, is designed to operate in the world’s largest underground iron ore mine.

The basic LH625iE design is well-proven (and based on the LH625E, pictured), according to Sandvik, with the equipment manufacturer delivering electric loaders powered by a trailing cable for more than 35 years.

In addition to using the proven design and robust structures, today’s Sandvik LH625iE belongs to its i-series, featuring advanced technology, latest digital solutions and smart connectivity. This sees the new Sandvik LH625iE equipped with Sandvik Intelligent Control System and My Sandvik Digital Services Knowledge Box™ as standard. To utilise the payload capacity it offers, the loader can also be fitted with Sandvik’s Integrated Weighing System, as well as AutoMine® and OptiMine® solutions, Sandvik said.

With a total length of 14 m, bucket width of 4 m and cabin height of 3 m, the LH625iE is able to offer a roomy, ergonomically designed operator’s compartment, Sandvik said. “For example, the spacious cabin is equipped with a unique 180° turning seat which significantly improves operator ergonomics because it can be turned to face in the direction of travel rather than requiring over-the-shoulder visibility. The upgraded Sandvik LH625iE has an IE4 classified energy-efficient electric motor, with a further significant improvement being the totally new, low-tension reeling system to increase the trailing cable’s lifetime. “

The collaboration between Sandvik and LKAB’s mine in Kiruna dates back 20 years, during which time Sandvik has delivered a total of 28 loaders.

Michael Palo, Senior Vice President, Northern Division at LKAB, said: “We are satisfied with the loaders delivered from Sandvik, with 14 still in production today. We have had a long and good collaboration and look forward to a good continuation.”

Sandvik concluded: “The Sandvik LH625iE is living proof that it is possible to achieve enormous carrying capacity and productivity without the use of traditional diesel engines and fossil fuel.”

Battery-electric loaders are also providing evidence of this, with Sandvik saying it had received positive results from its testing of Artisan A10 battery-electric loaders in Canada.

Sandvik unlocks ‘automation’s full potential’ with AutoMine Access API

Sandvik has opened its AutoMine® platform to the rest of the industry with what it says is the mining sector’s first interoperability platform for autonomous underground loaders and trucks.

The AutoMine Access API delivers on the company’s promise made earlier this year at Goldcorp’s #DisruptMining event and is the next step in Sandvik’s continued journey to “set the industry standard for mine automation and digitalisation”, it said.

The application programming interface (API) gives mines the power to connect non-Sandvik equipment to AutoMine – moving underground mining digitalisation even further, it said.

This interoperability move comes just over a year since

Patrick Murphy, President Rock Drills & Technologies, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, said: “As a world leader in underground automation, we have a responsibility to make this game-changing technology easier to implement for the mining industry.

“While we think customers will achieve the highest performance with Sandvik equipment, we recognise the need to unlock automation’s full potential for all equipment regardless of manufacturer. Customers with mixed fleets will now have the full power of AutoMine behind them.”

The AutoMine Access API is a standard set of pre-defined interfaces for connecting third-party loaders and trucks to AutoMine. This means a mixed fleet of underground loaders and trucks can now be managed and controlled with one seamless system.

“An API is a set of functions and procedures that allows the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service,” Sandvik said, adding that the third-party equipment is required to meet the AutoMine safety standards.

The API is another step in Sandvik’s journey to drive a digital ecosystem that makes mining smarter, safer and more productiv, it said.

In 2018, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology released its Interoperability Policy outlining how Sandvik systems can communicate within a digital ecosystem including data accessibility, fleet data compatibility, data rights and control, and data privacy.

The momentum continued in 2019 with the acquisition of Newtrax, a leader in wireless IoT connectivity for underground hard-rock mining, and the announcement that My Sandvik, Sandvik’s telemetry solution for machine health and productivity data, would also be available for non-Sandvik equipment.

“Sandvik has been leading the market in underground digitalisation for years, with thousands of pieces of equipment around the world connected to our digital technology,” Murphy said. “As more customers embark on their digital journeys, interoperability will be a requirement. We are proud to leverage our experience to drive digitalisation further in the mining industry.”

Sandvik ups the drilling ante with DT1132i jumbo

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has launched a new underground jumbo that, it says, is purpose-designed for fast and accurate drilling in tunnelling and cavern excavation.

The Sandvik DT1132i jumbo is the latest addition to Sandvik’s already extensive range of underground drill rigs. Together with the new high frequency rock drill Sandvik RD535 and rock tools designed for high speed drilling, it provides users with a heavy duty solution for their underground drilling needs, according to the company.

“All Sandvik DTi tunnelling jumbos have been developed with a special modular design that makes them highly flexible and versatile,” Sandvik says. “Suitable for fast face drilling or mechanised long-hole drilling and bolting, they are proving be highly productive, reliable and effective across the world.”

These rigs also use the latest developments in automated drilling solutions such as the iSURE® tunnel management software and SICA intelligent control system.

The new machine is a three-boom, electro-hydraulic jumbo. The computer-controlled rig can use both operator-controlled boom positioning and full-face automatic drilling functions, and also incorporates some of Sandvik’s latest developments in digital solutions. It comes equipped with Sandvik’s new high frequency RD535 rock drill, robust booms and advanced drill string guides, “making it a complete and new high-speed drilling solution”, Sandvik says.

New features

The RD535 rock drill automated drilling features and new rock tools mean that that the DT1132i delivers the results required, but with 40% less exhaust particles, up to 20% higher penetration rate and with 25% more side coverage (3 x SB160i 190m2 -19,400m x 12,200m), Sandvik says.

The premise behind the development of the new DT1132i is to provide users with increased drilling performance and accuracy, thanks to its fast and adaptive drilling control capabilities, able to account for changing rock conditions. The rig design also maximises operator safety and ergonomics, with improved fleet standardisation (high parts commonality) enabling extended rig usage across different work sites.

Among the new features on the new rig is a 3 m telescopic TB160i boom, optimised with a front wrist structure that provides 1 m additional side coverage as standard, and 4 m side coverage with telescopic adjustment. The new boom also uses a new fully proportional boom control for accurate and fast manual boom handling, with intelligent compensation models to give accuracy in all operating conditions, according to Sandvik.

The rig also comes with an ergonomic vibration-dampened cabin, providing the operator with excellent all-round visibility, low noise level inside the cab – thanks to its acoustic windows – a filtration system to minimise dust inside the cab (according to standard EU6/7) and an open and spacious operator environment.

To further boost the efficiency of the rig and the operator, diagnostics information is integrated into one display. These include drilling diagnostics for boom instrumentation, drilling control system and shank lubrication, together with carrier diagnostics for electric motors, pumps (hydraulics and water), transmission system, diesel engines, brake system, jacks and cable reels.

Power and efficiency

The new RD535 rock drill has maximised power transfer capabilities leading to a high drilling speed without compromising hole quality, Sandvik says. It has an efficient and powerful patented percussion mechanism, as well as a tool-saving, efficient and patented stabiliser structure for increased reliability. These features, together with improved flushing and efficient cooling, provide uninterrupted high-speed drilling.

The DT1132i possesses a powerful transmission system with a Cummins B6.7, 168 kW diesel engine (Stage V) which can be operated up to 5,000 m above sea level without any modifications. The new engine provides up to a 90% reduction in NOx emissions (compared with stage III engines), with more than 90% mass reduction for diesel particulate monitoring. The rig uses a new carrier that has more efficient hydraulic and water systems – including separate circuits for both drilling and tramming hydraulics, proportional flushing valves to adjust the flushing flow and inlet/outlet pressure monitoring.

The rig steers by hydraulic rear wheel steering and its electric current reducer unit provides electric reactive power element from an on-board capacitor, reducing electric current draw by up to 20%. The 3 x 90 kW IE3 electric motors require 2.5% less energy, with all working lights based on LED technology, automatically controlled based on tramming direction and with directional lights available where needed, Sandvik says.

A new feed – TF535i – also provides increased feed force for high power drilling, while a saving hose reel structure gives longer service life for the hoses which are of an increased size.

Automated drilling

The DT1132i is available with some of the latest developments in automation, including a SICA control system for intelligent torque control/feed percussion, with monitoring and fleet management for My Sandvik. To further improve the excavation process, remote access via WLAN can be chosen to allow web-based data transfer as well as online measurement while drilling.

As ‘Gold’ standard, the DT1132i comes with torque based semi-automated drilling, manual boom control and rod handling, all enabling drilling to a predefined depth with feed angle measurement and drill bit location measurement. Drill plan visualisation and rig navigation are also included. In addition to these standard features, the rig is also available as part of the ‘Platinum’ package with automatic long hole drilling and fully automatic face drilling.

New drilling tools

For face drilling, the DT1132i comes with the new Sandvik Alpha 360 drilling system for the RD535 rock drill. This has features such as an optimised rod diameter with increased flushing hole size, increased flushing and higher penetration rates, as well as a new Sandvik Alpha 360 connection. The latter possesses a new larger bit thread for increased drilling power and straighter holes which gives higher advance rate per blast. For grouting, the GT38 system provides 50% less deviation and increased service life.

Sandvik opens up connections following Newtrax buy

Following the acquisition of Newtrax, Sandvik has announced that the My Sandvik telemetry offering will be extended, creating the opportunity to connect non-Sandvik fleet to the My Sandvik platform.

The move, which is expected to see the first non-Sandvik machine connected to My Sandvik via Newtrax technology in the December quarter, will be done in line with Sandvik’s Interoperability Policy, released in April 2018, it said.

The company explained: “Through solutions such as My Sandvik, OptiMine® and AutoMine®, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has developed and deployed a leading suite of technology offerings to enable digitalisation of mining operations.

“These products and related services have proven to be extremely valuable in helping customers to improve safety, drive productivity to new levels and reduce costs.”

To date, Sandvik has connected well over 3,000 pieces of mobile equipment to My Sandvik, OptiMine and AutoMine, according to the company.

The company continued: “Although Sandvik has built an impressive portfolio of digital solutions, the first step of the digitalisation journey is often for customers to connect mobile assets through My Sandvik. This Sandvik telemetry solution provides significant, valuable operational insights and enables easy fact-based decision-making through the reporting and visualisation of machine health and productivity data.”

The acquisition of the digital mining technology company Newtrax, completed earlier this year, “strengthens Sandvik’s leading position in automation and digitalisation”, the company said. “The digital tools for analysing and optimising mining production and processes, in combination with Newtrax’s leading technology in wireless IoT connectivity, provide the customer with a streamlined digital solution regardless of the origin of their fleet.”

Michaël Bruninx, VP Parts & Services Commercial, says: “We regard mixed fleet interoperability to be the next logical step for the My Sandvik platform. While we believe Sandvik has the best products within our scope of offering, mixed fleets at our customers’ mine sites are a reality.

“We’ve formed an impressive foundation with Sandvik machines at over 170 mine sites around the world connected to My Sandvik. Now those customers, and new ones, will be able to leverage My Sandvik telemetry reporting across their entire fleets, regardless of brand.”

Sandvik bolsters underground automation and digitalisation capabilities with Newtrax buy

Newtrax Technologies says it has now officially been acquired by Sandvik to be run as an independent business unit within the Rock Drills and Technologies division of the Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology business area.

Newtrax, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, generated revenues of approximately C$26 million ($19 million) in 2018. The deal was previously announced in April, with Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, saying, at the time, the inclusion of Newtrax into the Sandvik family helped “further strengthen our leading position in areas related to automation and digitalisation”.

The combined expertise of Sandvik and Newtrax will, according to Newtrax, create the “most powerful, streamlined digital solution to improve safety and efficiency for underground hard rock mines” with Newtrax’s leading technology in wireless IoT connectivity, and Sandvik’s leading suite of digital tools for analysing and optimising mining production and processes, including OptiMine® and My Sandvik.

Founded in 2009, Newtrax started as a university project led by Alexandre Cervinka, Founder and CEO, with Co-Founder Vincent Kassis. In 2014, Newtrax received a major investment from Jolimont Global Mining System, an Australian private equity investor in high growth mining equipment, technology and services.

Since acquiring the mining division of ISAAC Instruments in the December quarter of 2016, Newtrax says it has reinforced its position as the world leader in vehicle telemetry systems for underground hard rock mines.

“Newtrax will operate as an independent business unit committed to having an open architecture and will continue to interface with other vendors in the mining digital ecosystem,” the company said.

Cervinka, President of Newtrax, said: “By joining Sandvik Group, we can now confidently say that we have the world’s leading digitalisation solution for underground mining customers.”