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Robotic breaker system wins technology award

Transmin?s Rocklogic, a rockbreaker automation system, was one of 27 finalists for the awards, taking out the Innovation category. The awards honour companies and individuals at the cutting edge of technology innovation and the role they play within this industry on a worldwide scale.

Improving mine safety and efficiency are the main goals behind the intelligent automation system, designed in response to increasing industry demand. Rocklogic is the only automated system applied to hydraulic boom and hammer assemblies used to reduce the size of material in crushing operations at hard rock mine sites.

Rocklogic is an Australian-engineered technology that provides safety integrated remote operation, collision avoidance, and automated parking technology for rockbreakers. The system improves mine site safety by eliminating hazards to site personnel.

Senior engineer Dr Adrian Boeing presented the Rocklogic system at the Collision Avoidance in Mining conference earlier this year.

?Remote operation protects the operator?s health by removing them from exposure to dangerous mining conditions, allowing them to operate the equipment from a safe office environment,? said Boeing. ?This can either be on-site or at a city-based control room where operators can control several rockbreakers at different sites around the state.

?Our Collision Avoidance technology increases safety and eliminates downtime and maintenance costs from collisions. Operators feel more confident that a collision system is protecting them and this improves their operating speed and efficiency.

?The system can also be integrated with industry standard fleet management systems to avoid collisions with vehicles. Rocklogic?s fault tolerant dedicated emergency shutdown system is customised to each site?s needs and ensures the health and safety of all surrounding personnel.?

Each rockbreaker carries sensors fitted to calculate its position relative to the surrounding plant. This information is used to compute the closest obstacles to the rockbreaker and pre-emptively reduce its speed to avoid collisions. In addition, Rocklogic can generate movement plans for the rockbreaker that it can automatically follow, allowing the operator to park the rockbreaker with the touch of a button.

?Our system is unique because of its 3D data. We use either CAD data or a laser scan of the mine site to produce a virtual layout of the rockbreaker?s surrounds,? explained Daniel Adams, Rocklogic?s lead technical engineer. ?With that information and the sensors fitted, we determine where the rockbreaker is within the scene to prevent it from colliding with nearby objects or structures.?

Western Australian miners have embraced remote operation technology, with major miners including BHP, Rio Tinto and Roy Hill constructing remote operations centres in Perth. Collision Avoidance technology is a crucial element to avoid damaging equipment being operated remotely.

Along with multiple safety benefits, Rocklogic?s remote operation increases efficiency by lowering travel times and removing travel and accommodation costs for operators at remote sites.

Although the technology has targeted mining applications, it is also applicable to waste handling and recycling. Technical project manager Angie Kings-Lynne said that the technology can be adapted to any hydraulic arm.

?Our technology has also been applied to the recycling industry,? she explained. ?We built two pairs of grappling arms for overseas waste processing centres, where we equipped the machines with our collision avoidance software.

This allowed the grapples to work closely to each other without collisions to make processing more efficient. Waste processing is a growing industry worldwide due to an increased demand to reduce landfill and work towards sustainability.?

The 21st Annual WAiTTA Awards were presented on Friday, 30 March at the Hyatt in Perth, during the ICT Award ceremony. Transmin will now continue on to the National iAwards and have the opportunity to enter to win the Asia Pacific ICT Awards. Past WAiTTA winners include the Department of Mines and Petroleum, NearMap and iiNet.

Source: Transmin Breakers & Attachments

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