Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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AUTONOMOUS HAULAGE JANUARY 2019 • E&MJ 39 Brunner Lay & Mining & Construction Tools American made and Family owned since 1882 Mining & Construction Tools PAVING BREAKERS Mining & Construction Tools Mining & Construction Tools Mining & Construction Tools Mining & Construction Tools DEMOLITION TOOLS ROCK DRILLING Call (800) 872-6899 or visit ROCK DRILLING 1510 N Old Missouri Rd, Springdale AR 72764 ph 479 756-0880 fx 479 756-5366 American Made! Quality, Performance, Value and Reliability, since 1882. during shift changes, blast clearance times and other breaks," Pulli said. "Because of the high-precision of the InfraFREE navi- gation system, there is less damage; and optimized control of the truck results in less wear and tear, lowering the mainte- nance cost," he said. "The higher produc- tivity is due to more hours available, but also fast cycle times due to the InfraFREE navigation system allowing TH540 trucks to be operated at optimum speeds." Prior to that deal, in November 2018, Hindustan Zinc tapped Sandvik to imple- ment "a major digital transformation" at the Sindesar Khurd (SK) mine. Sandvik will de- ploy OptiMine, "which will deliver person- nel tracking with cap lamps, tracking and telemetry data for the entire mobile under- ground fleet, including non-Sandvik equip- ment, numbering more than 150 drills, loaders, trucks and other equipment." The miner deploys AutoMine at other sites, "allowing them to run underground loaders autonomously and unmanned," Pulli said. By adopting OptiMine at SK, the miner is positioned for "fast deployment of autonomous Sandvik trucks" when needed. The platform will "make the mine one of the most advanced in the world," Pulli said. "The technology will make the min- ing process fully transparent across the mining value chain, including people, Sandvik equipment, non-Sandvik equip- ment and associated processes," he said. "Everything can be seen and controlled in real time, and the advanced data analyt- ics algorithms will process all the gener- ated data and convert it into a simple and user-friendly form that allows the mine to identify bottlenecks and various process optimization opportunities easily." At SK, OptiMine will replace the his- torically voluminous paper reports with real-time dashboards tracking key perfor- mance indicators, facilitating process op- timization projects, Pulli said. "The next natural step in the mining optimization journey is to allow the full fleet of equip- ment run autonomously based on Auto- Mine," he said, "and the Hindustan Zinc SK-mine will be exceptionally well-posi- tioned for this after this project." With the evolution of AutoMine propel- ling it "to the forefront of mining automa- tion," any downsides to the technology, such as some of the dystopian scenarios envisioned by Asimov when he penned his rules for robots in 1942, have not present- ed, according to Pulli. "Nowadays there are AutoMine systems successfully operat- ing on six continents," he said. "More than 400 AutoMine loaders and trucks have ac- cumulated more than 2 million hours of operation with zero lost-time injuries in actual mine production use." Stats like that reveal the demand driv- ing the development of the technology. Consequently, improved workplace safety is one of AutoMine's primary deliverables, Pulli said. "AutoMine takes people out of hazardous environments and straining re- petitive tasks and makes them higher-level decision makers in the mining process," he said. "In many mine sites, the significantly increased productivity and profitability with use of the system has actually already led to increases in the number of people em- ployed as the cost of human labor becomes more marginal in relation to the overall pro- ductivity gains enabled by automation." Pulli said what emerges as one result of the new age partnerships described by Jacques is "a shift in some of the tradition- al job profiles, for example, from equip- ment operators to system supervisors." Emergent automation-centered "technol- ogies may actually provide more job op-

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