Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2017

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MINE DEVELOPMENT 34 E&MJ • AUGUST 2017 www.e-mj.com age a fleet of loaders (LHDs) and trucks. At the time of the announcement, Chris McCleave, general manager of the mine, said, "With the implementation of (the) system, we ultimately hope to improve productivity through increased equip- ment availability and improved utiliza- tion of mobile assets, while also positive- ly impacting operator safety." Accomplishing that would align with the history of the technology, described as a fully integrated mine management system. To summarize it, previous write- ups flashed adjectives like automated, scalable, full-featured, highly configu- rable, and end-to-end, descriptors in- creasingly common in press releases on modern open-pit mine management sys- tems. In this case, however, they describe a system for underground operations. The 2015 update, like its predeces- sor version, focuses on equipment sur- veillance in real time via a grid of RFID tags, readers and WiFi zones. When a loader, for example, is in a WiFi zone, the in-cab mobile computer talks to the DIS- PATCH FMS central server, sharing and receiving real-time data on planned and actual work. When out of range, the event data generated is saved to the computer. When back in range, the computer up- loads the data to the server, which then automatically compensates for the lag. Logically, the FMS also advertises facil- itated communication between manage- ment and operators. Company literature on the system itemizes the upgrade's new features, which target process optimization. They include advanced development and production process management, com- prehensive active task management, expanded workflow automation and heightened data capture abilities. In short, the system was upgraded to more tightly monitor operators and equipment, nix some common user errors, and fully ensure materials go where they should when they should. It does this by collecting more and better data, and by automating more tasks and workflows, Steven Peugh, glob- al sales manager, Underground FMS, Modular Mining Systems, said. "The over- all impression of the core fleet manage- ment functionality is that we are on the mark with the amount, types, and levels of data that the FMS collects and dissem- inates," he said. "The production track- ing, development workflow advancement, and equipment position tracking features greatly improve the mines' operational visibility, enabling them to be more effi- cient and productive." Two of the system's modules are de- signed specifically to help ensure muck, in this case, caved muck, is moved ac- cording to plan. Material Inventory mod- ule tracks quantities and qualities of ma- terials and enables survey personnel to reconcile planned and actual values us- ing data from manual surveys. And Draw Cards module, used exclusively in block caving environments, enables manage- ment of draw point extraction plans. Material Inventory module stores data on material type, grade, and density that has been previously imported or manually keyed into the FMS by survey or geology personnel. The module then tracks hauler position to deduce material movements. First, grade information, in the form of survey or assay data, is either import- ed or entered into the FMS from third- party mine-planning applications. Next, the RFID grid captures the exact move- ments of specific haulers, which reveals the exact movements of stock and waste. "The module uses LHD bucket or truck tray fill factor values to calculate by tonnage or volume the quantity of mate- rial moved among production locations," Peugh said. "Accordingly, material quan- tities are incremented or decremented in the system." Hauler arrival and departure data are automatically captured, Peugh said. "This functionality minimizes the operator's need for manual data capture by opera- tors," he said, "thus enabling the operator to remain focused on the tasks at hand." Modular DISPATCH Underground 2015 features Draw Cards module. Above, the operator interface dis- plays the draws completed for specific extraction points. (Photo: Modular) Last June, Glencore announces plans to deploy Modular DISPATCH Underground 2015 (fleet management system) to its George Fisher underground zinc mine. Above, a jumbo drill rig drives blast holes into the face at the mine. (Photo: Glencore)

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