WorldWide Drilling Resource

22 AUGUST 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Evolving Technology Improves Blasting Safety Adapted from Information by FLANDERS Mining is a journey of adapting available tools to changes in ore bodies, rock conditions, and operational requirements. It is crucial for methods and technology to constantly improve to keep up with these challenges. Over the years, surface mining has been faced with keeping people safe at the face of drilling and blasting. This has led to increases in safety requirements, higher rock stresses, and increased operational costs. In these circumstances, it is not surprising many mines are investigation opportunities to optimize practices to stay ahead of the curve. As a result of this demand for improvement, new autonomous technologies with a focus on safety and efficiency have evolved and helped reduce operational risk while increasing production rates. To improve mining outcomes, FLANDERS developed an autonomous drill system called ARDVARC (Advanced Rotary Drill Vector Automated Radio Control). The first ARDVARC drill rig was commissioned over 15 years ago, with considerable results. With personnel and equipment in mind, the company is taking automation to the next level with additional safety features. For example, 360-degree machine awareness provides object detection and tracking using PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras and LiDAR to detect and track objects all around the machine. Advances in ground topology detection and monitoring in the drill rig’s autonomous operation zone provide critical safety and equipment protection improvements to drilling operations. Another adaptation is the all-stop system functionality which enhances operations in several ways. This function: e averts an actual or impending emergency situation arising from personnel actions or an unexpected hazardous event. e averts arising hazards or reduces existing hazards to personnel, machinery, or works in progress. e can be initiated by a single human action. e is available and operational at all times. e overrides all other functions and operations in all operating modes of the machine. e is maintained until it is manually reset by an intentional human action. ARDVARC allows operators to work in a safer environment during the blasting process. The technology also facilitates operational efficiencies allowing for a shorter blast cycle and potentially improving production. This ever-evolving technology opens up new perspectives for surface mining operations. ARDVARC is compatible with any drill rig on the market and enables a single person to manage up to eight machines remotely. EXB 257 Caroline Street Punxsutawney, PA 15767 800-927-0560 • 814-427-2555 Fax: 814-427-5164 SERVING THE WATER WELL INDUSTRY Serving the Drilling Industry