Atlas Copco, the global leader in surface and underground mining equipment, will focus on automation at MINExpo 2016 (September 26-28) in Las Vegas, USA. The company’s booth will showcase a wide range of solutions aimed at tackling many of today’s toughest challenges in the mining industry.
Under the banner “The Future of Mining is Now,” the Atlas Copco booth will present its latest equipment all geared to increasing efficiency and lowering the total cost of operations. Several of these developments are seen as key solutions to the many challenges currently facing the industry.
Laying the Foundation for Optimism
Discussing the potential impact of today’s innovations, Johan Halling, Senior Executive Vice President of Atlas Copco and President of the Business Area Mining and Rock Excavation Technique, says he is optimistic for the future. “The global mining industry has experienced downtrends before, and each time it has managed to bounce back and become even stronger, largely thanks to the development of innovative products and new thinking,” he says. “I am certain that the current downtrend is no exception.”
Continues Halling, “At Atlas Copco, we are totally committed to helping our customers to tackle the present downtrend by offering our extensive knowhow in every area of the business. That’s why our innovations share the same objective – to help our customers do things easier, faster, safer and more cost-effectively than was previously possible.”
However, he also adds that Atlas Copco’s mission is not just to develop solutions that increase productivity and cut costs, but solutions that are environmentally sustainable as well. “We believe that this combination is the right formula for long-term success and makes us an ideal partner for future growth and prosperity.”
The recent advances made by Atlas Copco in automation are considerable and some have been described as game-changers for the industry. Among those that will be demonstrated at MINExpo include:
- Next generation automation for surface drilling with innovations such as Automatic Rod Changing, smart Auto Navigation, and the next generation of Auto Drill for rotary Pit Viper drills that uses bit information to make changes to drilling performance in real time.
- With remote control fast becoming a “must have”, Atlas Copco’s BenchREMOTE remote control station is the perfect solution. The station can be located up to 100 m from the drill hole and enables up to three rigs to be operated remotely at the same time. At the Atlas Copco booth, visitors will be able to experience BenchREMOTE surface drilling using virtual reality technology.
- BenchREMOTE is also available for the Pit Viper Series of blasthole drills and has been demonstrated to operate multiple Pit Vipers from distances of up to 1 km. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the BenchREMOTE trailer on display and learn how the actual unit on display has operated in real mining environments to offer customer a simple teleremote solution.
- RCS Lite, a new system that will soon bring the power of Atlas Copco’s Rig Control System (RCS) to the DM Series of drill rigs such as the DM-45 and DM-L.
- The recently improved Scooptram Automation system with multi machine capabilities which gives full control of the underground loading operation. Through the mine data network, up to 35 Scooptram loaders located in several production areas can be connected and controlled from one or several control rooms.
- Certiq, a telematics system that gathers, compares and communicates vital machine performance data together with other tools such as Machine Client, Surface Manager and Tunnel Manager, all of which improve workflow and enable monitoring and management of equipment fleets.
New in Surface and Exploration
The two newest products in the Pit Viper family of rotary drill rigs will be unveiled. These include the Pit Viper 231 – the latest rig for single pass drilling in the 6– 9.7/8 in. (152–250 mm) hole range – and the updated, fully autonomous PV-275, which offers large-hole drillers greater value and lower operating costs.
Visitors to the booth will also witness the prelaunch of SmartROC CL, a new rig using the COPROD drilling method, offering higher penetration rates coupled with lower fuel consumption and exceptional hole quality. The obvious benefit of lower fuel costs is now also available to users of the popular SmartROC D65, which has been upgraded with a fuel savings kit that reduces fuel consumption by up to 15%. In addition, it now comes with optional long and short feeds to suit most drilling applications.
It is widely acknowledged that exploration drilling has been particularly hit by the current downturn and market conditions. Against this background, safety has emerged as the most important competitive weapon and the new Atlas Copco Christensen 140 is a good example. This drill rig, which also gets a top spot at MINExpo, meets all international safety standards and environmental requirements. Furthermore, it has many new features such as a new, gear-driven rotation unit and a constant penetration rate, which increases productivity and lowers the costs associated with maintenance and downtime.
The same high standards of safety apply to the new Diamec Smart 8, the largest exploration rig in the Diamec range, which is capable of taking cores at depths of up to 2,000 meters. The rig’s advanced control system enables all drilling and adding and removal of drill rods and core barrel inner tube to be carried out automatically, allowing the operator to work from a safe distance.
Good News Underground
There will also be plenty of good news for underground miners at the Atlas Copco booth, not least in the shape of Minetruck MT65, the latest addition to the Minetruck range, the tougher and smarter Boomer S2 underground drill rig and the easy-to-move Easer raisebore unit.
Building on Atlas Copco’s years of underground haulage experience around the globe, the new Minetruck MT65 offers superior performance in a compact profile. With a 65 tonne capacity and an effective powertrain, Minetruck MT65 promises to dramatically increase productivity. The truck is designed to maximize uptime thanks to its service friendly design and easy access to daily checkpoints. Comprehensive safety features, a comfortable work environment and a proven control system that enables smart solutions, all contribute to increased production and improved underground haulage.
According to Atlas Copco, no other rig in this class can match the productivity of the new Boomer S2 drill rig at such low operational cost. The rig is said to work harder and longer with strengthened components and increased parts protection resulting in minimal internal wear, faster drilling and overall durability.
The rig’s newly introduced COP MD20 rock drill is said to be 10% faster in blast and bolt hole drilling than comparable rock drills on the market, while at the same time Atlas Copco’s dampening technology improves drill steel economy and increases drill uptime.
A new, intuitive interface, upgraded software, automated add-ons and user-friendly environment add up to safer, more productive rock drilling.
Visitors who want to try their hand at operating the new Boomer S2 in a realistic mining environment will be able to do just that in a specially designed Boomer S2 simulator at the Atlas Copco booth.
Easer, the Atlas Copco mobile raisebore, operates in the same way as a traditional raiseborer, drilling both upwards and downwards, but can be easily moved to wherever it is needed in the mine. In addition, to make the work safer and more efficient, all moving and lifting is done with a remote control crane. The rig is wheel mounted, making it exceptionally easy to move, and for fast and easy set-up, no concrete platform or site preparation is necessary. Atlas Copco’s years of experience and ongoing dialogue with mining customers around the world have also resulted in many automated add-ons designed to make raise boring safer and easier.
Rock Drilling Tools at the Forefront
When it comes to rock drilling tools, Atlas Copco Secoroc will reaffirm its position at the forefront of technical development with a complete range of tools for mining, both new products as well as updates of existing solutions. These include bits for rotary and DTH (Down-The-Hole) drilling, the new exploration bits Azure and Discovore, and the Powerbit tophammer range for surface drilling (a Powerbit version for underground drilling is also slated for launch soon). Added to this, there will be a presentation of a new DTH hammer range for mining.
Forward Thinking in Portable Energy
Easy access to reliable energy is a big issue in the mining industry. Atlas Copco has a full range of portable energy solutions, the latest of which will be showcased at MINExpo. This portfolio demonstrates the company’s forward-thinking approach to product design. Anticipating the need for continuous improvement in versatility, reliability and efficiency. The range consists of mobile air, power, light and dewatering solutions which can be easily set up at any work site and includes diesel and electric compressors, generators, light towers and dewatering equipment.
The XAS1150, is a compact, versatile and powerful diesel compressor providing a flow of up to 1,150 cfm and a working pressure of 58–225 psi. The new XATS 900E electric compressor delivers compressed air from 100-150 psi with a flow of up to 900 cfm. The QEC 1200 mobile generator provides one megawatt of containerized power that can be easily transported and features a Power Management System (PMS) enabling the optimization of fuel consumption.
Added to this is the HiLight Tower range of light towers, perfect for mining applications. The V5+ model will be on display, incorporating the latest LED lighting technology. When it comes to dewatering solutions, visitors can see the WEDA range of electric submersible pumps, featuring the industry’s leading power-to-weight ratios.
The Atlas Copco booth at MINExpo 2016 will be located in the North Hall, Booth 2121.