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Why you need machine guidance in your operations

Eltirus understands the importance of managing the extraction of resources and how machine guidance systems help address this.

Eltirus understands the importance of managing and controlling the extraction of resources. One tool that can greatly improve control is the use of machine guidance systems.

Machine guidance refers to the fitment of systems from companies such as Hemisphere GNSS, Topcon and Trimble that use precise GPS location of the bucket (or blade) of the machine to show the operator where they are digging, relative to the planned bench and face designs.

By installing machine guidance systems, you give plant operators better “buy-in” to the plan as they have all the required information in front of them.

The ability for operators to be able to see their spatial relationship to boundaries and designs improves operational efficiencies and gives them the ability to complete their tasks with survey accurate guidance and reduce reliance on surveyors to demarcate designs and boundaries.

Another benefit is the reduction in costly over-excavating outside of approved boundaries and designs and below approved levels.

Machine Guidance systems provide the interface between what has been planned and what is being excavated in real time.

This helps with critical decision making and keeps plans on track saving costly mistakes and maximising machines usage hours.

Reduction of over-excavation also reduces the amount of dust that is required to be brought back into level up benches.

Given that any material brought back into the pit counts as volume for the next blast, reduction (or elimination) of this requirement reduces blasting costs.

Experience shows that drilling rates (and fuel consumption in terms of litres per drill meter) are substantially improved as collaring is much faster when there is less dust to drill through.

The last aspect to this is safety. By removing the need to place survey pegs you are removing personnel on foot from the active work areas, hazards and can create “no-go areas” in the system to warn operators when they are in the vicinity.

It also ensures that floors are smoother, resulting in better travelling surfaces for haul trucks and less potential for injury to operators.

Eltirus has found that there is a lot to know about getting a system up and running for the first time and that the dealers in this type of equipment are generally more familiar with civil construction applications than quarrying.

Key factors to consider include how the system will get a correction signal (e.g., by base station radio or 4G) and how the designs will be managed.

“By this we mean that there must be a way that the operator can easily find the design for the area they are working in and that as designs change, redundant designs are removed to reduce confusion,” Eltirus founder Steve Franklin said.

“Preferably, the ability to revise and update designs is in real-time via remote access systems thus removing the need to physically access the machine (our experience with manual systems such as transfer of files by USB is that this is fraught with potential errors).”

“We have clients across Australia and New Zealand using machine guidance equipment on excavators, wheel loaders and dozers and find it is the perfect complement to drill rig hole navigation systems to ensure that what you plan to extract is what you do extract,” he added.

If you would like to know more about the cost and value of these types of systems and how they could bring benefit to your site, please contact us Eltirus to find out via email steve.franklin@eltirus.com or call  +61 474 183 939.

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