Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is a global leading supplier in equipment and tools, parts, service and technical solutions for the mining and infrastructure industries. Applications include rock drilling, rock cutting, loading and hauling, tunneling and quarrying.
The focus lies on bringing value to customers through high-performing products that increase productivity and safety, as well as providing services and flexible maintenance programs that extend uptime and cut costs.
A fast-growing part of the Business Area's offering are automation solutions and remote monitoring of equipment, increasing safety, operational efficiency and process reliability. Mine automation systems range from single equipment to full fleet control.
The challenge to solve
Safety is #1 priority at Sandvik. Having complete situational awareness is crucial for safety and efficiency in an underground mining operation. We believe that new smarter technologies should be used to help keep people away from unsafe conditions. In case of anomalies, real-time information helps to plan and execute corrective actions without unnecessary and costly delays in operation.
The drill and blast method is commonly used in underground mines – consisting of drilling holes in the rock, filling the holes with explosives, and firing charged holes. Before every blast, mining personnel need to leave the mine or go to authorized safe locations within it. Due to the dangerous nature of blasting, it is forbidden for people to re-enter the tunnels right after the blast because of fumes, dust, the risk of misfire and the possibility of changes to the ground conditions that could make the area unstable. After each blast, we need to investigate if the blast was successful or whether there was any impact on the infrastructure (e.g. ventilation, water lines, electrical- or connectivity components) or anomalies in the blast outcome. These inspections are normally done by trained blasting personnel once a set period of time has elapsed since the blast, to minimize exposure to potentially hazardous conditions.
We are looking to develop an automated solution for detecting possible anomalies after blasting in a tunnel.
The challenge is focused on developing an automated solution that removes humans from this dangerous environment, while using technology to receive real-time information on the following:
- Blast outcomes
- Rock face/tunnel condition
- Infrastructure condition
- Potential obstacles
Your solution would need to be able to address the need to identify fumes, dust, etc. when operating in dark and rugged conditions, without human interaction in the immediate vicinity.
Are you interested in collaborating with us to find a solution?