Engineering & Mining Journal

MAR 2019

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MACHINE AWARENESS 28 E&MJ • MARCH 2019 MineOperate OP Pro and the FMS provide "all real-time information, equip- ment positions, ETA and dump direc- tions, which are updated automatically by the system," Romero said. "If, for any reason, during the shift the trucks need to dump in another place, but in the same dump, the controller needs to update the new dump guidance and the system sends automatically the new information to all equipment." Assignments are relayed using the mine map. "This map is active and the operators can see FMS equipment loca- tions," Romero said. The map shows the area where haul- ers are to dump the material. "The infor- mation is the same for both equipment types," Romero said. "Additionally, on the dozer screen, the dozer operator has what trucks are coming to dump and when they are going to arrive," he said. "With this real-time information, the dozer operator knows when he can push the material." Both the onboard software and FMS are equipment brand agnostic. "Hexagon is committed to offering integrated solu- tions," Romero said. "We know there are a lot of isolated onboard solutions that strug- gle to share data between equipment." Integrated solutions further two com- pany missions, he said. "What we are doing here makes the process safe and productive," Romero said. Separately, Hexagon Mining reported some of the research it is conducting in partnership with the University of Arizona into hyperspectral imaging-based solu- tions could have machine vision and situ- ational awareness applications. Hyperspectral imaging captures the electromagnetic signatures of targets, such as leach stacks, rock faces or stock- piles. The typical scanner captures a con- tinuous measurement for a range of bands. For example, it generates a reflectance count for the 10-nanometer band, one for the 20-nanometer band, and so on. A hy- perspectral scan of a muck pile could give instant information on its grade. Last summer, the research team tri- aled stationary and airborne scanners at an open pit mine in Utah. The aerial drone-based scanner "worked well," John Lyons-Baral, senior application engineer, Hexagon Mining, said. "What is great about the UAV is if you combine it with LIDAR, you can create the topography and the geologic mapping at the same time," Lyons-Baral said. "The workflow on that, however, is a little harder than with the tripod-mounted scanner data." Geospatial, Hexagon's GIS-leveraging open-pit mine planning platform, can assimilate hyperspectral data. In the fu- ture, it could process data from scanners mounted on heavy equipment or suspend- ed over haul roads. "These sensors can be processed re- ally quickly on board," Lyons-Baral said. "Some of these are used in plants al- ready," he said. "It is actually being run on belts." It could also be mounted to a shovel, he said. "It can have an alerting system and a routing system put in." One possible application would be to have "FMS and our autonomous systems use it actively, saying, oops, that is not what you thought it was," Lyons-Baral said. "There are different places it could be positioned," he said. "It is going to depend on the mines, the methods, and what makes sense for them, where they need it to measure." More research willl be done soon. Facilitating Double-side Loading Komatsu subsidiary Modular Mining Sys- tems reported its ProVision Guided Spot- ting System can in some cases increase shovel productivity by more than a third. The system, announced last month at the Society for Mining Metallurgy & Ex- ploration's annual conference in Denver (SME), provides situational awareness to hauler operators trying to back into place at the shovel. It was developed to nix the pro- cedural shortcomings common to the task, Braden Weisheit, global sales manager, ma- chine guidance, Modular Mining Systems, told E&MJ. "Traditionally, mines utilize in- efficient practices such as bucket spotting and single-side loading, which reduce the productivity of shovels and trucks," he said. The system guides haul truck operators without input from the shovel operator. Instead, it uses advanced guidance tech- nologies, high-precision GNSS positioning and proprietary onboard software "to pro- vide centimeter-level accuracy for truck and shovel operators," Modular reported. It "automatically tracks, collects, cap- tures, stores and utilizes, in real-time, all GPS information on the shovel, includ- ing the spotting location," Weisheit said. "The truck system also collects and uti- lizes real-time positional information, dy- namically providing truck operators with guidance to the optimum load location." Two in-cab LED displays provide the information to the operator. When the hauler approaches the shovel, the dis- plays present detailed guidance. The guidance is based on the specs of a "load zone polygon" at the shovel, Weisheit said during a presentation at SME. When the truck breaches the poly- gon, instructions on maneuvering into the optimal "spot" are generated, he said. "The shovel operator has to set the spot point on each side when they are setting up their position," Weisheit said. "The spot will stay with the shovel for a short amount of time in terms of movement, so there is some leeway given to the shovel to move within that space around some predefined characteristics," he said. "To- day, from a safety standpoint, we eliminate Above, data from a hyperspectral imaging scanner is used to overlay a mine model with ore chemistry information. The scanners could be used in machine vision applications. (Photo: Hexagon Mining)

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