Dyno Nobel blasts off with the Ranger

The Australian mining industry is set to reap the benefits from the Digishot Ranger, Dyno Nobel’s newest blast initiation system.

After a successful launch overseas, the Australian mining and quarrying industry is set to reap the benefits from the Digishot Ranger, Dyno Nobel’s newest blast initiation system.

Safe, simple and smart are three key words which drive Dyno Nobel, a company that prides itself on providing top-of-the-range blasting products and services.

A global leader in the commercial explosives industry, Dyno Nobel knows what the mining and quarrying industry is looking for when it comes to blasting and Ranger is a system that showcases the company’s innovation.

First launched in January in the US to wide acclaim, the Ranger system will make its way down under before the end of 2022.

“It’s just a great product,” Dyno Nobel’s North American sales manager Dennis Johnson told Australian Mining.

“It’s all about if your product can help your customer. Our product is robust, our downlines are the best in the industry, and we’ve got great software.”

With the construction and quarrying industries having made great use of the Ranger system in the US, the Australian team now wants to see the medium-scale mining sector enjoy its benefits.

Digishot mode allows the shotfirer to tag its location and send delays to the detonators when they are connected to the harness wire.

And the safety features of the Ranger system make it a key tool for mining and quarrying.

“This first thing we did (when the Ranger system was in development) was automated detonator detection,” Dyno Nobel vice-president initiating systems technology Dirk Van Soelen said.

“So what that means is you don’t need any user action to determine if a detonator is not connected, thereby lessening the amount of user interaction and increasing reliability and safety. The ability to do remote RF blasting with a 3km line-of-sight blasting distance from the system, provides great deployment flexibility and it means that people can fire from the correct exclusion zone.”

Having the ability to design, visualise and analyse blast sequences before running the shot is a massive benefit for miners. Viewing a shot plan prior to the blast means users can make sure all detonators are going off in the correct sequence at the time for which they were planned.

The Ranger system incorporates an application that lets users do just that.

Called ViewShot app, the application runs on a tablet to create a simulation of what the shot will look like. Its portability ensures operators can take it with them wherever their next shot sequence is.

“The Ranger system is simple to use, but it has all the smarts, safety, and learnings customers associate with Dyno Nobel’s electronic detonator product range,” Dyno Nobel technical marketing manager Dave Pearce said.

“We’re bringing a high-technology system to markets that want it, but don’t want the complexity that traditionally goes with it.”

Designing a blasting system that is simple enough to use, but robust enough to survive often-harsh Australian mining conditions is no easy feat. But Dyno Nobel’s years of blasting experience mean it has developed a system miners can feel confident in using.

The Ranger system was designed from the ground up to ensure it could connect to tablets, and has the ability to interface to the myriad of digital infrastructure found on a mine site. The path from designing to blasting is streamlined.

“The person who designed the blast might be different from the person who is actually conducting the blast,” Pearce said.

“We’re reducing human error by having the system deliver the right information straight to the detonator, rather than manually entering or translating information, thereby also reducing paperwork.”

The Ranger system offers two modes depending on what the shotfirer needs: Plan mode and Digishot mode.

Plan mode allows the shotfirer to pre-design with location and timing through the ViewShot app. Planning allows a tagging path to be created, which makes deployment easy and fast.

Digishot mode is a conventional tagging mode, utilising location-based tagging with sides, rows, and hole and detonator numbers. This mode allows the shotfirer to tag the detonator’s location and send the delays to the detonators when they are connected to the harness wire.

“These capabilities increase the mining sector’s adoption rate of electronic detonators,” Van Soelen said.

“And adopting new technologies means the industry as a whole becomes safer and more efficient.”

For Johnson’s North American customers, the vibration-reduction aspect of the Ranger system is a key selling point. With many quarries and construction sites located in built-up areas, there was a need to ensure the broader community wouldn’t be affected by the blasts.

This benefits Australian customers in that the Ranger system can also support bigger blasts while maintaining the same level of vibration reduction, which means blasting can occur less often.

It’s this commitment to communities as well as the broader mining industry that sets Dyno Nobel apart from the rest.

And with such a positive reaction to the Ranger system in the US, there’s little doubt Australian mining and quarrying sites are in for a treat once Dyno Nobel rolls the system out later this year.

This feature appeared in the August edition of Australian Mining.

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