Drill & Blast, Features, News

Epiroc AI tech eases control of autonomous operations



In partnership with ASI Mining, Epiroc has created Mobius for Drills, a platform to convert data into useful, actionable information that will lead mines toward automation and connectivity.

Mobius displays data in an easy-to-use layout to map drill usage, evaluate statistics, track consumables, and compare planned outcomes against actual results.

Epiroc automation director for surface mining Tyler Berens said this innovation would streamline operations for quarries making the leap into automation. 

“We think of it as a tool to directly support making quick and effective interrelated decisions,” Berens said.

“Mines can get greater productivity and economies of scale as a single operator controls multiple remote and autonomous vehicles. Mobius for Drills is designed to tie the whole value chain together.”

ASI Mining is partially owned by Epiroc, which acquired 34 per cent of the company in 2018. 

ASI Mining is recognised for its products and solutions in robotics and autonomous vehicle technology, including autonomous haulage, semi-autonomous blasting, drilling, dozing, loading and other applications. 

In addition to providing solutions for some of the world’s largest mining corporations, ASI Mining is also an automation partner for several global mining vehicle manufacturers.

Taking this experience, Epiroc developed Mobius to provide a single platform for drilling operators. Users can quickly navigate information, filter it to their needs and streamline the decision-making process, day-to-day or over time. 

Epiroc surface division product owner for data solutions Christopher Blignaut said the integration of so much information into one clear program was a much-needed development.

“Mobius for Drills is an ideal management tool for smarter decision making,” Blignaut said.

“It provides access to powerful insights, the functionality to take action and monitor the impact all in the same application.”

Mobius for Drills is designed to be flexible and scalable, ready to work on small or large operations with expert support from Epiroc, and can work across Epiroc surface drills with various levels of technology.

An added value to Mobius for Drills is its ability to work across fleets with drills from multiple manufacturers, condensing all sources of information.

Epiroc surface division business line manager Craig Marsh said this integration of multiple models and manufacturers was a key point of difference in the company. 

“Our designs always consider the customer and how we can best enable smooth mining or quarrying operations,” Marsh said. 

“Not everyone is running on an entirely Epiroc fleet yet, so to include those operators in the progression of technology, we’ve enabled cross-brand accessibility.”

The system may be used as a fleet management system or integrated with a mine’s existing system, providing further options for those just making their way into the Epiroc world. 

Marsh said that just like a quarry, the integration of Epiroc equipment and technology was an evolution and one to be planned out over the coming years. 

“Mobius For Drills enables future potential to choreograph and coordinate navigation of drills with other autonomous and manually driven vehicles,” he said. 

“The technology is best used on an instantaneous basis, but it also helps in understanding where an operation will go next and how to get there.”•

To learn more about Mobius for Drills, visit epiroc.com/en-au 

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