LIMA, SEPTEMBER 24 2021 Epiroc: Automation in mining means integrating the different machinery fleets

The general manager of Epiroc Peru, Ángel Tobar, said that automation has reached an unsuspected degree of specialization in the mining sector, that today this technology should not be understood as exclusive to a single area, but must be integrated into the different fleets of machinery that work in the same way in the mining operation.

"The next step in mining automation is not only integrating fleets of the same element, but also with fleets of [machinery] for blasting, loading, bolting, material transport, among others," said the executive during the presentation of the conference "Autonomous drilling in surface mining in Peru, a reality today", in the prelude event Heading to PERUMIN.

Epiroc has more than 2,600 surface drilling rigs distributed in various parts of the world, and operating with certain levels of remote operation or automation. But what is trending today is that "automation needs in the mining sector are growing more and more", given its benefits in productivity, personal safety and environmental protection, he said.

To date, Epiroc's fleet of remote surface drills has achieved 540,000 man hours, 1.19 billion meters drilled, an 85% improvement in depth accuracy, and 85 tons of CO2 saved with automated drilling.

Automated and remote activation drills

"In Peru, we are operating four drilling rigs autonomously, which are monitored and operated from a control station, which is manned by a single person," said the General Manager, Ángel Tobar.

Dewi Cano, Automation Product Manager of Epiroc, added that, apart from the equipment in operation in our country, they will soon launch three additional autonomous drilling rigs, which are currently in the process of assembly and commissioning. The destination of these modern solutions was not specified.

"This technology not only works with the product itself, but it also influences people and processes. We provide support from the moment the client decides to opt for our equipment for the definition of processes, training and qualification, until 100% automation is achieved ", he emphasized.

Similarly, he mentioned that 11 surface drilling rigs with remote operation technology are already working in Peru, and that another rig with the same characteristics is on its way to be delivered to a client.

RCS smart platform

The key to automating Epiroc's surface drilling fleet lies in the RCS (Rig Control System) interface system, which enables interoperability, intercommunication, data transfer, mesh reception, and other functions.

"This smart platform is installed on more than 4,000 rigs globally and is the foundation for our scalability to automation," said Dewi Cano.

Currently, Epiroc is a startup with more than 140 years in the market and has a strong presence in the Andean region, in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. It has more than 14,000 employees worldwide and a turnover level of USD 4 billion.

Newsletter PERUMIN 35

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