Remote rock breaking

ABB is working with a Swedish mine to implement  a remote control rock breaking  system that combiner increased safety and productivity with the Internet of Everything. 

According to ABB the rock breaking project includes two ABB remote control stations with remote control desks as well as process and safety controllers, which have been integrated into the mine along with a real time video system into ABB's 800xA automation platform installed on the site. 

ABB also developed a 3D simulator to aid in training, and to verify the rock breaker's remote control system. 

"The 800xA will integrate rock breakers and their hydraulics within Boliden's Garpenberg mine's unified system of mill drives, hoists, ventilation, and crushing equipment, co-ordinating what had been fragmented sub-operations into seamless tasks," ABB stated.  

"All fixed equipment can now be controlled from the same control system, ensuring safety and boosting efficiency. 

"With the remote control rock breakers, Boliden crews can continue rock breaking a kilometre or more below ground without pausing for shift changes or waiting until blasting has been completed, meaning they can significantly boost productivity while simultaneously reducing the potential for accidents." 

The system includes AC800 high integrity process and safety controllers, four ABB rock breaker remote control units, remote control desks, and a range of safety equipment such as gates, light curtains, warning lights, and emergency stops. 

Patrik Westerlund, ABB's product manager for underground mine automation, added: "ABB's remote control technology will make the operation of the rock breakers underground safer and more efficient by enabling operation in a remote station above the ground during blasting and shift changes." n 

"The modularised design will also allow Boliden to add more rock breakers as the mine expands by simply adding another ABB remote control station to the network." 

The project is slated to begin in the second half of this year. 

 

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