Remote control station for surface drilling safety
Atlas Copco’s BenchREMOTE on show at Bauma 2016
Surface drillers working in hazardous environments no longer have to stop work if things get a little too risky. They can just leave the rig, get set up in a safer spot, and then resume drilling. With operator safety as a top priority, Atlas Copco has come up with a system that enables bench drilling rigs to be operated from a distance in open pit mines or quarries. Developed with hazardous environments in mind, the BenchREMOTE mobile control station will be on display at the Bauma 2016 exhibition in Munich Germany (April 11–17). Specifically designed for operators of the company’s SmartROC D65 and SmartROC D60 drill rigs at sites where the stability of the walls may be in doubt, BenchREMOTE can be used instead, up to 100 m from the drilling area and 30 m above the rig’s position. BenchREMOTE stations use a video camera system, giving a complete view of the drilling site. In addition, the screen, joystick and control console are identical to those of the rig. Communication is via a WiFi network, making it independent of the local network infrastructure, and the station can be installed in a vehicle, on a trailer or inside a container. A case in point is the Savage River iron ore mine on the island of Tasmania. The mine is located in a region of frequent and heavy rainfall that sometimes threatens the stability of the walls. Here, a BenchREMOTE unit mounted in a vehicle is used to control the mine’s SmartROC D65 whenever necessary. It is particularly useful for footwall drilling, enabling the feed to get closer to the wall without risk to the operator. Apart from the obvious safety benefit, BenchREMOTE also has the potential to increase productivity as it can control up to three drill rigs in parallel. A precondition for BenchREMOTE drilling is that its associated SmartROC D65 or SmartROC D60 is equipped with the Atlas Copco Hole Navigation System (HNS). However, all existing SmartROC D65 rigs that lack this feature can be upgraded to work with BenchREMOTE. At Bauma 2016, BenchREMOTE can be viewed and tested at the Atlas Copco outdoor display, Stand 1108.
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Surface and Exploration Drilling is a division within Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area. It develops, manufactures, and markets rock and exploration drilling equipment for various applications in civil and geotechnical engineering, quarries and both surface as well as underground mines worldwide. Atlas Copco's strong focus on innovative product design and service support systems gives added customer value. The main production centers are in Sweden, Italy, India, Japan and China. The divisional headquarters is in Örebro, Sweden.