Atlas Copco Introduces New Drilling Automation Software


Simba S7 D is a long-hole drilling rig adapted for small- to medium-sized drifts.

Dynamic tunneling package by Atlas Copco 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.

Improved Production at a Lower Cost

“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 km where we are going to excavate about 500,000 cubic meters of rock ”, said Jon-André Nilsen, Manager Surveying Technic Underground, Veidekke. “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.”

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More Precise Drill Plans

Today all tunneling models exist in a 3-D 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 3-D model but you only need to set up a set of rules (a rules file) in Underground manager. The set of rules and the 3-D 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.

Powered by Automation

Dynamic tunneling package is an automation offer for face drilling rigs within Powered by Automation. “Powered by Automation” means that Atlas Copco is 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 an operation,

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