Obtaining stockpile measurements: A cost-effective solution

With tripod mounted laser systems now accepted in the industry, quarry owners are seeking a new, more efficient and accurate approach to stockpile. The latest mobile laser scanning technology offers quarry operators a more efficient, safe and cost-effective solution.
The Dynascan is a lightweight mobile mapping system that can be mounted on a vehicle and used to acquire accurate 3D topographical data. The system consists of a high speed laser scanner, high accuracy Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) positioning and Inertial Navigation System (INS) mounted in a portable pod.
The Dynascan?s portability enables it to be mounted on a number of different quarry vehicles from site 4x4s to haul trucks. The Dynascan 3D mobile mapping system from MDL is ideal for scanning harsh environments such as quarries. The rugged design of the system and resistance to water ingress enables the Dynascan to be used for the complete mapping of a quarry, even in adverse weather conditions. 
This ?one pod solution? can be mobilised in under an hour and can carry out surveys in a fraction of the time of conventional survey techniques. The Dynascan provides a complete, accurate asset management data set. It reduces the time spent on-site in hazardous environments and helps to increase profitability and operator safety. The factory-calibrated Dynascan combines the latest motion sensor, GPS and laser technology to provide accurate XYZ co-ordinates. 
Mobile mapping offers a number of benefits over traditional survey techniques by enabling stockpiles to be measured quicker, safer and more accurately. The system collects survey points numbering in the millions, allowing for highly accurate models and volumes to be calculated. The accuracy and speed of surveys gives operators greater confidence in their results with stockpiles being measured to +/-2% of the actual volume.
The Dynascan provides real time data acquisition that allows values to be interrogated and volumes calculated in the field. Through regular surveys and year end audits the Dynascan can accurately monitor inventory. This allows for optimised production and better operational planning, which leads to increased efficiency throughout the overall mining cycle. The reduced number of surveyors on-site also provides significant health and safety benefits.
MDL was asked to perform a volume survey on product stockpiles at the Lysterfield quarry in Melbourne?s southeast for the Hanson Group. The site comprised over 15 different stockpiles over an area of around 60 hectares.
Most of the stockpiles were in active use and so had continual traffic either dumping loads or extracting. As is the case for most quarry sites, the managers needed to accurately assess the quantities in the stockpiles without compromising safety or interrupting the busy workflows.
Alternative survey techniques such as using a traditional tripod-mounted scanner were considered but were too slow. Again, the aerial survey method can be quite expensive. The MDL Dynascan is a ?plug and play? LIDAR system that is simply mounted on the back of a vehicle. As well as its integrated INS, RTK GNSS and high speed laser scanner, other key features include its unique, rugged construction and the range of its laser. These features enabled the Dynascan to access areas quickly and without interruption.
MDL?s Dynascan was used to collect data in order to satisfy those stringent requirements and produce a comprehensive ?snapshot? report on the quantities.
The stockpile survey was conducted by driving around the quarry with the Dynascan mounted to a 4×4 vehicle. The total time taken to conduct the survey was less than an hour and did not cause any production delays. The scanner produced real time data in a point cloud. The operators then filtered out the unwanted point cloud data and processed it into a digital terrain model with the actual quantity of the stockpile.
Mobile mapping proved to be an effective solution and provided a rapid, safe and accurate means of collecting a large amount of data in a few hours.
?MDL?s tripod mounted static scanner has been used in stockpile volume surveys for the past 20 years,? MDL business manager Julia Reynolds explained. ?Our aim is now to provide our customers a solution on how to collect data more efficiently and produce a better result.?
?Our Dynascan is able to collect 36,000 data points per second. It takes only an hour to complete a stockpile survey of a medium size quarry. Now we?re collecting point clouds of stockpile sites with points numbering in the millions. These ?point clouds? allow for highly accurate models and enhanced visualisation tools that give managers greater confidence in their results. 
This new approach has also allowed us to provide more services to our clients. We were searching for ways to help our clients solve some of the fundamental problems they face, eg how to more efficiently track production and inventories and how to monitor the efficiency of the overall production cycle.?
Source: MDL Australia

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