In 2018, Apatit installed Epiroc’s Teleremote options on three Simba production drill rigs, as well as ABC Total and Certiq telematics system for remote control and monitoring of the drilling units at the Kirovsk branch. During the pilot project, a special rig control station was allocated on the surface.
The smart features and the automated platform have been enabled by 6th Sense, the Epiroc way to optimize our customers' value chain through automation, system integration and information management. With 6th Sense comes system connectivity, using interoperability to unlock the full potential of automation for production gains at lower operating costs.
Traditionally, underground production drilling has been performed with special equipment controlled by operators underground at each rig. With the Epiroc solution, the operation of several production drill rigs is controlled by one operator from the above ground control room along with one drill runner underground. The control room operator manages the process with the help of video cameras mounted on the Simba drill rigs. Integrated sensors on the rigs send data to the control dashboard, allowing the operator to monitor performance and status in real time.
“Instead of one machine, the operator now controls six drilling rigs at once from a control station. And starting from October 1st, the second operator, who is located in the same control station, takes control of four additional drilling rigs. Today, this is the world’s largest teleremote project for production drill rigs” shares Artyom Yakovlev, Head of production excellence department at Apatit JSC Kirovsk branch.