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Metals & Mining

Retro-fit autonomous drill that enhances safety, boosts production and cuts costs

Key facts

Up to 30%

OPEX reduction

Up to 25%

increase in productivity

Next Steps
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Top business benefits

Enhanced health and safety

Increased productivity

Improved drill utilisation

Increased drill grid

Reduced payroll

Lower OPEX

Increased drill-bit life

In more detail

Full description

The competitive nature of the mining industry means companies are always on the lookout for systems which deliver more ore at less cost, while meeting the industry’s strict zero harm goals.

This teleremote technology is retrofitted to existing staffed-drills to make them autonomous. These newly autonomous drills can then be used 24/7 and consequently help increase production, while lowering operational costs and cutting safety risks.

By removing the operator from the drill cabin, drilling not only becomes safer and more cost-effective, it also allows your drills to access areas too dangerous for staffed drills to reach.

The challenge

Worker-operated drills can expose operators and other mining personnel to serious injury risks. Human error, often caused by fatigue or distraction, can also lead to higher wear rates on tyres, engines and other drill components, such as bits, which are expensive to repair or replace.

Operators of drills also need to take breaks, change shifts and will sometimes call in sick. These unavoidable human factors impact productivity levels, while the inefficient operation of a staffed drill can adversely affect fuel consumption and bit life.

Autonomous drill systems address these challenges, but new fully-autonomous cabin-less drills are expensive and costs mount when you need to replace a full fleet. Retrofitting traditional drills to make them autonomous is a much more economic solution.

The approach

This retro-fit system, which turns manually-operated drills into autonomous drills, provides operators with an attractive cost-effective alternative to off-the-shelf autonomous drills that require substantial capital investment.

Existing drills, from any vendor, can be retrofitted to become autonomous with this system. Integrated with a Fleet Management System (FMS), constant real-time monitoring of the drill ensures efficiency and delivers a significant increase in productivity, as the drills can then operate 24/7. These newly autonomous drills can also reach areas deemed too dangerous for staffed equivalents to reach, such as edges and benches, which increases the drill grid by 0.5-1m and cuts explosive use by 15-30%.

Used in conjunction with this company’s high-precision Global Navigation Satellite System-based (GNSS) automated drill rig management system, the drill will also have near 100% on target and drill length accuracy, which significantly reduces re-drilling and costly drill bit damage.

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