WorldWide Drilling Resource

22 JUNE 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Augmented Reality in the Mining Industry Adapted from Information by VSight and The Franklin Institute Augmented Reality (AR) is quickly becoming one of the most popular technologies for the mining industry, with many enterprises using it to improve productivity and work safety. AR enhances remote support allowingheadquarter experts to visually guide and co l l abo r a t e with individuals at work sites. By bridging the physical and virtual worlds, operators are able to remotely solve unexpected issues. An optimized mining process with reduced costs, improved efficiency, increased productivity, and enhanced safety are some of the many benefits for users of AR. One of the most important benefits is remote assistance can be easily incorporated into current work environments to maximize employee engagement and minimize costs of implementing new tools. Let’s take a closer look at some AR applications in mining environments: Critical inspection - The effectiveness of inspections to address potential problems and possible defects is critical in all subsequent mining processes. Remote assistance makes it possible for experts to virtually inspect all machinery, as well as the surrounding environment. AR, integrated into smart glasses through the zoom-in/out feature, shows every detail including dangerous areas without placing site operators in harm’s way. Maintenance and repair - The use of AR remote assistance ensures the maintenance and repair of machines in the most efficient way possible. In the event of a machine breakdown, all information necessary for its repair is served directly to site technicians. Through detailed explanations enriched with pictures or other supplemental files, site technicians can follow a step-by-step process to fix a certain part. Smart glasses enable hands-free performance so repairs can be completed simply and quickly. Drilling applications - Visual guide assistance through AR makes it possible to significantly increase the accuracy and efficiency of drilling. When applied to aid drilling practices, AR allows remote experts to deploy necessary information in real time. Drill operators also have a wider field of information to improve the accuracy of their work. Increasing accuracy during drilling enables a reduction of potential damages and avoidance of various risks. Real-time operator assistance - Mining operations can be quite difficult due to different environmental or climatic conditions. With AR visual aid, experts can warn site operators of potential dangers. This real-time information improves collaboration and significantly increases response time. Workers are less exposed to various risks and are more engaged in their tasks, thus increasing productivity. Site operator training - The mining industry has one of the highest mortality rates at work among all industries. Given the risks associated with this sector, the workforce must be highly experienced and have sufficient knowledge. Through the use of AR, even inexperienced workers can know exactly which steps to follow in each situation, allowing them to perform virtual moves before their eyes and gain necessary knowledge for later situations. This helps improve workforce quality by empowering and equipping workers with more skills, knowledge, and confidence to do their job. In addition to applications listed above, AR serves many other purposes in the mining sector as it continues to enhance collaboration, support better engagement and training of employees, and allow knowledge sharing beyond borders. During the pandemic, Rio Tinto employed Vuzix AR glasses at the Oyu Tolgoi mine, allowing experts from all over the world to interact and work with local teams. Photo courtesy of Vuzix. Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality e Augmented reality adds digital elements to a live view of the physical world, often by using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. e Virtual reality implies a complete immersion experience which shuts out the physical world. MIN