Atlas Copco introduces new automation software

Atlas Copco has launched the Dynamic tunnelling package, new automation software which it says improves accuracy of the excavation as drill plans are always fitted for the current section.

With this software, the drill rig can create its own drill plans directly at the face of the tunnel, according to Atlas Copco.

By downloading the contours of the tunnel or mine drifts, together with a drill rule file, the drill rig can create drill plans tailored for the section it is navigated within.

Atlas Copco product manager, boomer Johan Jonsson said: “Today, in tunnelling projects, especially large ones in urban areas, there are differences in the cross section.

“You go up and down with your drill plans. The Dynamic tunnelling package helps you so you don’t have to go up and down anymore. The drill plan is made on the drill rig and at the face.”

The software package has been tested in the Northern Hemisphere, by Atlas Copco customer Veidekke at the RV80 project in Norway.

“There’s a tunnel that’s two times 2.5 kilometres, where we are going to excavate about 500,000 cubic metres of rock,” Jon-André Nilsen, Veidekke manager surveying technic underground, said.

“The collaboration with Atlas Copco to develop the Dynamic tunnelling package went well. Atlas Copco were responsive to our feedback and made adjustments to the program.

“Today, the drill rig operators make niches manually. They can turn out way too big or way too small.

“Dynamic tunnelling package makes our drilling more precise. We can make changes to drill plans directly on the rig. We can move cuts or drill-holes. We are more flexible at the tunnel face compared to making all changes at the office.

“We use the Dynamic tunnelling package to make niches (areas of the tunnel with larger cross section). This makes the work more precise.”

Today, all tunnelling models exist in a 3D model. Previously, the model was imported into Atlas Copco’s underground manager software for the drill plans to be implemented manually.

With Dynamic tunnelling package the 3D model is still imported but now only a set of rules need to be set up in underground manager. The set of rules and the 3D model are then brought to the drill rig by USB or WiFi connection.

The drill rig will then make its own drill plans based on where in the tunnel it is navigated and according to the tunnel model, Atlas Copco outlined. Due to this, the drill plans will always be precisely made for the section and size that should be excavated.

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