Atlas Copco has developed an innovative digital tool that brings the benefits of ease and speed to the task of choosing loading solutions for tunnels and mines.
With the task of mucking out often being a case of trial and error, we have different solutions tried and tested at the worksite until the most suitable one is found, however that is costly and time consuming.
The Loading Optimizer app was developed by Atlas Copco, and is available at loadingoptimizer.com.
A new digital tool from Atlas Copco called Loading Optimiser (loadingoptimizer.com) allows various methods and types of equipment to be evaluated in relation to key parameters from the worksite and then identifies the most favourable option.
Atlas Copco Global Projects Manager Johannes Hansson explained the Loading Optimizer tool is able to process a large number of variables that can be altered and fine-tuned multiple times.
“This means that key factors such as methods, equipment specifications, the type of ventilation system, and other factors can be combined evaluated in variety of ways,” he said.
“This is a huge advantage because it enables you to clearly see the impact of these variations on efficiency, productivity and costs.”
In this context, one of the most crucial parameters is the ventilation arrangement.
The dimensions of a tunnel or drift, the space required in the roof for ducting and the area that is left for equipment is not an easy equation.
“Loading Optimizer takes care of all that by synchronizing the data with our Serpent ventilation system to get just the right balance,” Hansson said.
“The tool also simulates alternative solutions on screen and shows how these will impact on efficiency and productivity.”
A typical case in point involves the location of loading bays.
By reducing the number of bays, the distance between each bay increases, meaning less rock needs to be excavated.
However, the program demonstrates how the loading capacity can be maintained by changing the loading method, for example from front end loading to side-dumping or continuous loading.
“It’s all about making it easier to find the right setup that will result in high loading capacity and cost efficiency,” Hansson said.
Other benefits of the Loading Optimizer include the possibility to evaluate selected method/equipment options and produce complete overviews of costs as well as customized spread sheets of the selected solution.
The full version of Loading Optimizer is currently offered only in conjunction with consultations with Atlas Copco specialists.