Tag Archives: Tampere

Sandvik’s DD421i face drills go dual control in joint development with Byrnecut Australia

Sandvik has released a new Dual Controls package to improve fleet optimisation, versatility and performance for its leading Sandvik DD422i and Sandvik DD422iE face drills.

The Dual Controls package was designed to address a wide range of needs identified by mining contractors currently using development drills for a variety of tasks including boring, bolting and meshing, the company said.

This option combines better drilling intelligence with readiness to sustain rough, multi-task usage, with development of the Dual Controls concept carried out in close cooperation with Byrnecut, a leading global mining contractor.

“Sandvik approached us to give feedback on the development of the machine, which we were happy to do,” Pat Boniwell, Managing Director of Byrnecut Australia, said. “Our key operators, trainers and technical people were involved in that process.”

Johannes Välivaara, Product Manager, underground development drills at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, says many Sandvik customers, particularly mining contractors, have been using conventional Sandvik DD421 hydraulic controlled jumbos side-by-side with intelligent Sandvik DD422i and Sandvik DD422iE drill rigs.

“In this arrangement, the hydraulic drills are used for required ground support work, whereas intelligent drills are used for boring purposes, delivering long and accurate rounds with minimised overbreak,” he says. “Combined with Sandvik automation, the intelligent drills can maintain production even during shift changes. We wanted to challenge this paradigm with the new Sandvik DD422i Dual Controls package in order to make it a preferable option vis-à-vis traditional hydraulic controlled drills, allowing a single platform like Sandvik DD422i or Sandvik DD422iE to be used for multiple and different applications.”

To this end, Sandvik partnered with Byrnecut Australia to design what the company considers to be the revolutionary solution required to address the challenging and wide ranging needs of mining contractors for optimising their drill rig fleets.

“Operator safety and usability was the main focus of the design, as this is particularly important within multi-task operations, where the operator needs be comfortable in using the machine for both ground support and standard face drilling purposes,” Välivaara says. “We took our newest cabin design as benchmark and analysed what changes were required to the drilling controls to make it a preferable option over Sandvik DD421.”

These changes, combined with drastically reduced noise levels, improved drilling visibility and several other improvements, capitalise on the best features of Sandvik DD421, Sandvik DD422i and Sandvik DD422iE rigs, Sandvik says.

“The torque drilling control system has proven its performance in providing best possible drilling productivity while simultaneously reducing the costs of drilling consumables,” Välivaara says. “We wanted to make these benefits available for the ground support applications as well. The SB60 booms combined with Sandvik split feeds have long been the industry preference, particularly in Australian mining applications. This configuration allows us to provide both drilling intelligence and robustness packaged seamlessly together.”

A single platform for different drilling applications offers several other benefits, such as increased commonalities in spare parts, service principles and general ease of use across the whole fleet, according to Sandvik.

“With the updated Sandvik DD422i package options, our customers may choose from multiple specifications to suit their application needs,” Välivaara says. “This includes either; the Platinum option with long fixed feeds, with capabilities for full face drilling automation; or the new Dual Controls with split feeds, for manual multi-task operations. This provides modular options for the boom and drilling assemblies, whilst the carrier and cabin remain standardised.”

The new unit also comes with a battery-electric driveline as an option for improving sustainability.

“We launched the industry’s first highly intelligent mining jumbo with electric driveline system, and since then these units have performed in multiple mine operations globally,” Välivaara says. “Combining this technology with the Dual Controls package creates a truly viable diesel alternative.”

Development work for the Dual Controls package, including a usability study in Australia, was carried out in close cooperation between Sandvik experts and Byrnecut Australia. The combined team tested various drilling controls and concepts in a virtual simulator. This allowed the design process to be highly iterative, enabling new ideas to be easily implemented and validated before commencing the construction of the first prototype unit. Once the prototype was tested extensively at the Sandvik test mine in Tampere, Finland, it was shipped to Australia to validate its performance in real mine conditions and operations.

“The first Sandvik DD422i Dual Controls unit was field tested at the Jundee gold mine (owned by Northern Star Resources) in Western Australia in close cooperation with Byrnecut,” Välivaara says. “We wanted to compare its performance within true multi-task operations against Sandvik DD421.”

Dual Controls package tests were completed over four months with impressive results, the companies said.

“We’re seeing approximately a 10% improvement in productivity and nearly 20% improvement on drill consumable costs,” Boniwell says. “The operators really like the upgraded platform; everything from the improved cab ergonomics, sound reduction and general comfort of the machine. They’ve got all the benefits they’ve had historically in terms of usability, with the additional benefits of improved drill control, and future potential automation sequences.”

He added: “One of the best things to come out of the trial has been the interaction between the two parties. The operators can see that their feedback has directly resulted in changes to the machine, which has gone a long way in making the operator acceptance almost seamless.”

Sandvik to accelerate rock drill developments with new innovation centre

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, in an effort to speed up rock drill innovations, has opened a new Rock Drills Innovation Center in Tampere, Finland.

Announced during day one of its Innovation in Mining event this week, the centre will introduce state-of-the-art production and testing facilities for this core Sandvik technology. It will be home to extensive rock knowledge and drilling technology expertise, creating a hub for innovation, the company says. The centre will also complement Sandvik’s existing leading drilling technology competence centre, consisting of an R&D centre, an underground test mine with laboratories, a modern factory environment and university cooperation.

IM put some questions to Timo Laitinen, Vice President of the Rock Drills business unit, to find out more about the €18 million ($21 million) investment.

IM: How will the new innovation centre help the Rock Drills business unit more rapidly develop new products?

TL: We wanted to bring all key functions needed in the development and production of rock drills under one roof. This makes communication between different functions more effective and enhances cross-functional work when developing new products.

Also, as reliability is the most important characteristic in rock drills – and the key feature of Sandvik rock drills – based on our recent customer survey, we increased our durability testing capacity. Now we can do even more endurance testing in a shorter calendar time.

Thirdly, our factory investments speed up prototype production, minimising waiting times between the iteration rounds. All these speed up time to market.

IM: What new technology, expertise, innovation, etc will you be leveraging to speed up the R&D and product development pipeline?

TL: In addition to what I mentioned above, we utilise a Lean & Agile methodology in our R&D with increased customer involvement, transparency and cross-functional cooperation. As Sandvik’s drilling equipment development, as well as digital technology development, happens for the most part here in Tampere at the same site, we can leverage that work for rock drill development too. Digital technology helps read data from Sandvik drilling equipment and service operations around the world, which we utilise to create even better rock drills. Sandvik’s expertise in machining solutions has helped us to integrate advanced quality assurance solutions in our production system. This generates valuable information for rock drill research and development.

IM: Will the Rock Drills business unit have a designated area of the Tampere Test Mine to test prototypes? Was the division previously using the existing test mine facilities?

TL: We have always had a certain designated area in our test mine for rock drill testing. With this investment program for the Rock Drills Innovation Center, we did build a new area in the test mine for this purpose with increased safety and functionality, more capacity and more space.

IM: In terms of R&D, what areas will the innovation centre focus on? What problems/challenges are your customers continuously talking about that you hope to address with this new facility?

TL: Drilling the holes for explosives comes first in the drill & blast production cycle, followed by the other phases of the cycle. Therefore, it was not a surprise to us when the customer survey result was that ‘reliability’ was the most important feature of a rock drill; followed by productivity and operating cost per metre. In addition to further developing these features in Sandvik rock drills, digital technology is sneaking into our rock drills. Our Rock Pulse technology is a prime example of new technology, which helps our customers drill more, better and at lower cost.

Metso to establish new service centre in Lithuania

Metso has decided to establish a new Metso Business Services (MBS) centre in Vilnius, Lithuania, initially offering services for the company’s finance operations before moving into logistics.

The investment supports the company’s profitable growth strategy by improving operational excellence and scalability of business services, Metso said, with the opening of the new centre expected to take place during the December quarter.

“The objective is to centralise the related services to the new centre and thus gain benefits from process harmonisation, standardisation and digitalisation,” Metso said.

The centre will employ some tens of experts, but the number of personnel is expected to grow in the coming years, according to the company.

As part of the initiative, employee negotiations have been held at Metso Minerals in Tampere, Finland, to review the possible employee arrangements and implications, with the company deciding to transfer its Financial Services operations entirely from Tampere to Vilnius.

As a result, 28 permanent positions in Metso Financial Services in Tampere will be discontinued in 2020, after a transition period. Metso will support the affected personnel, for example by offering re-employment services and possible relocation support, it said.

Metso’s CFO, Eeva Sipilä, said: “In the past couple of years, Metso has invested in its Tampere operations by, eg strengthening its R&D and manufacturing activities. Currently, we are also exploring options for a new, modern facility in Tampere. However, the best location for the new service centre turned out to be Vilnius, which has a strong service centre culture supporting international companies.

“With this new centre, we aim to improve the efficiency of our business services and increase digitalisation to support Metso’s growth,” she said.

Metso is in the middle of trying to complete the acquisition of fellow mining OEM Outotec.

Crushing the mining numbers at Metso’s Tampere facility

Metso’s Tampere, Finland, facility is due to deliver some 1,000 crushing and screening units this year as the company makes full use of the €1 million ($1.15 million) Speedline assembly line it started up in January.

The investment, targeting both efficiency and safety improvements, has enabled Metso Tampere to produce more of its famous Lokotrack® mobile track-mounted crushing units, while also speeding up production of C-series jaw crushers and GP-series cone crushers.

The assembly of a 50 t, track-mounted crushing plant now takes two working days. The serial production line operates in two shifts and has increased Metso’s mobile crushing plant production capacity by 25%.

The majority of these products will find their way into the aggregates industry, but the largest equipment will be seen in mining operations around the world – for example, the Lokotrack LT200 in use at the Altay Polimetally LLP copper mine in Kazakhstan.

IM Editor Dan Gleeson toured the centre last week and found out about the company’s extensive crushing database and how its rock laboratory is offering customers a preview of how its machines could perform.

Piles of rock

Metso’s crushing R&D facility in Tampere is receiving rock samples from all over the world on a weekly and, sometimes, daily basis.

As IM approached the 10-year old rock laboratory in Tampere, piles of rock were waiting outside for testing in a full-scale, enclosed crushing facility configurable with a jaw crusher and either a cone, gyratory, or impact crusher. Various screens were also able to be installed.

Powered by a 300 kW motor and housed inside a roofed facility, this crushing circuit provides customers looking to buy a Metso crusher with the sort of information they only normally receive after the new plant is delivered and commissioned at site.

But, for those not wanting to transport a few tonnes of material to the Tampere facility, Metso has devised a much smaller rock test that only requires a 4 kg sample and tests the hardness, crushability and abrasiveness of the rock in question.

Inside the test centre, manager Ville Viberg talked IM through this much smaller process, explaining the rock test also indicates how quickly a crusher’s wear parts may reach the point of failure – a boon for customers already planning their maintenance shifts years in advance.

Viberg said the company had carried out some 17,000 rock tests to date across the globe, plus some 5,000 crushing tests on the much bigger scale.

This has provided the company with a massive database to refer back to, which it often does in the cyclical mining industry.

On top of this, the company’s Bruno simulation software, mainly used for aggregates applications, offers another level of expertise, allowing users to enter basic feed material and machinery data into the process with the software predicting how the process will perform. Today, there are more than 7,000 users of Bruno, which was developed by Metso all the way back in 1994.

In the future, Metso’s R&D for mining is clear on the direction it is taking – finding solutions to increase energy efficiency and prolong machine life.

This has already seen the company launch its Superior™ MKIII; a gyratory crusher offering 30% higher capacity than other high-speed crushers and 70% lower downtime with a rotable top shell design. The third-generation machine also comes with a five-year warranty for all main components.

The MKIII gyratory crusher was developed in Metso’s mining competence centres with the development headed by the Waukesha centre, in the US, which focuses on mining crushers.

From IM’s visit, it was clear that the more than 100-year old factory in Tampere, which is one of several Metso minerals R&D centres around the world, has plenty of new innovations up its sleeve.

Like the rest of the Metso group, the addition of a digitalised platform like Metso Metrics for Mining – due to be launched next month – will enable the factory to keep developing products to solve the industry’s needs.