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Sandvik adds autonomous capabilities to Leopard DI650i drill rig

Sandvik Leopard DI650i


Sandvik has developed the iDrill automation platform to enable fully autonomous blasthole drilling for the Leopard DI650i down-the-hole drill rig.

iDrill enhances the rig’s on-board automated drilling cycle and AutoMine Surface Drilling system by adding new features including drilling stabilisation, automated collaring, automated cleaning and detaching from hole.

Sandvik stated the operator is only required to monitor the process when fully autonomous drilling is enabled.

Sandvik’s product manager for surface drilling Jari Läntinen said upgrading the DI650i is another step the company is taking in automation.

“The latest development is a major step on Sandvik’s DTH drill rig automation journey,” he said.

“This means shifting from individual automated tasks and sequences towards a genuine ecosystem of automation platforms and operating with a connected fleet of automated mining equipment.

“This will also change the role of one operator handling a single machine into a specialist controlling multiple drill rigs remotely and utilising their expertise to optimise drilling process productivity.”

Sandvik have designed iDrill to produce consistent and high quality drill holes, minimising errors including hole inclination, depth and positioning errors.

The iDrill drilling cycle also features anti-jamming pullback monitoring and an intelligent collaring sequence, which includes suction head automatics and centraliser automatics to match hammer and pipe size to support collaring.

It also allows for manual intervention and can be activated or deactivated at any time during the drilling cycle.

In June, Sandvik showcased some of its solutions at the 2021 MineX Roadshow, which was held at Mount Isa in Queensland.

The Sandvik Toro LH517i loader was on display which allows for automated operations. A Digital Trainer loader simulator was on display which enabled MineX participants to drive one of the Toro loaders in a virtual mine environment.

The company also demonstrated its Eclipse Fire Suppression unit, with the fluorine-free system automatically activated to protect people and equipment from flames.

Sandvik Rock Processing also exhibited examples of its screen media and wear protection.  MineX participants were able to touch and feel to feel the quality and durability of Sandvik’s HX900 cast-in carbide, versatile wear plates and samples of its WT7000 rubber wear plates.

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