Atlas Copco’s new automation software lets the drill rig do the work
Dynamic tunneling package is a new automation software for face drilling rigs, which gives improved accuracy of the excavation thanks to the fact that drill plans always will be fitted for the current section. With this software the drill rig can create its own drill plans directly at the face of the tunnel. Simply by downloading the contours of the tunnel or mine drifts to the drill rig together with a drill rule file and the drill rig can create drill plans tailored for the section it is navigated within. No more going back and forth with drill plans is needed.
“Today, in tunneling projects, especially large ones in urban areas, there are differences in the cross section. You go up and down with your drill plans”, said Johan Jonsson, Product Manager Boomer, Atlas Copco. “The Dynamic tunneling package helps you so you don't have to go up and down anymore. The drill plan is made on the drill rig and at the face.”
Successful pilot project in Norway
Atlas Copco’s customer Veidekke and their RV80 project in Bodø, Norway was one of the pilot projects for Dynamic tunneling package.
“Veidekke is working on the State highway 80 project in Bodø. There's a tunnel that's two times 2.5 kilometers where we are going to excavate about 500 000 cubic meters of rock”, said Jon-André Nilsen, Manager Surveying Technic Underground, Veidekke. Jon-André Nilsen continued “The collaboration with Atlas Copco to develop the Dynamic tunneling package went well. Atlas Copco were responsive to our feedback and made adjustments to the program. Today, the drill rig operators make niches manually. They can turn out way too big or way too small. Dynamic tunneling package makes our drilling more precise. We can make changes to drill plans directly on the rig. We can move cuts or drill-holes. We are more flexible at the tunnel face compared to making all changes at the office. We use the Dynamic tunneling package to make niches (areas of the tunnel with larger cross section). This makes the work more precise”, concluded Jon-André Nilsen, Manager Surveying Technic Underground, Veidekke.
“The Dynamic tunneling package is very easy to use. It is two keystrokes and you are started. The contour turns out very accurate”, said Kent Simensen, Drill rig operator, Veidekke. “The end result is identical to the drawing. Dynamic tunneling package has made my work in the tunnel a lot easier”.
Today all tunneling models exist in a 3D model. Previously you imported the model into Underground manager (an Atlas Copco software used for planning and reporting of drill rig data and information) and then do all the drill plans manually in Underground manager. With Dynamic tunneling package you still import the 3D model but you only need to set up a set of rules (a rules file) in Underground manager. The set of rules and the 3D model is then brought to the drill rig by USB or WiFi-connection. The drill rig will then make its own drill plans based on where in the tunnel it is navigated and according to the tunnel model. Due to this, the drill plans will always be precisely made for the section and size that should be excavated.
It’s not always in the one big thing, but in the many little things. Our little thing is called “Powered by Automation”. This means that we are not only talking fully autonomous products, but different steps of automation based on the task at hand and on the current level of automation in a mining or construction operation. The Powered by Automation-concept contains four steps – from data monitoring and product function control, to calculated optimization and in the end full autonomy. When these steps are applied to various parts of your operation, the little thing becomes part of something greater.