Sandvik AutoCut system for minerbolters wins Australian technology award

first_imgSandvik Mining has won the NSW Minerals Council’s Mining Technology Award for the development and implementation of the AutoCut system for its MB Series of miner-bolter continuous mining machines. These types of innovations allow the industry to achieve more efficient mining and development. Sandvik Mining’s AutoCut system is an automated cutting system for miner bolter operations, designed to provide a consistent interaction with the coal seam and the mining horizon. This kind of technology forms part of the remit of our annual Rapid Development conference, held in Sydney this year from 14th to 16th August. The dates and venue for the 2014 event will soon be announced on www.im-mining.comThe Award was announced at the Minerals Council’s second annual NSW Mining Suppliers Awards held in Sydney on October 24, and was presented by NSW Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher. In addition, Sandvik Mining was runner-up in the Manufacturing and Engineering category for its MB Series AutoBolt eBox rock-bolting system –which was invented and developed in Australia. Originally developed at Centennial Coal’s Mandalong mine, southwest of Newcastle, AutoCut was adapted to overcome issues with poorly cut and uneven floors – which resulted in equipment damage, potential slips and falls for personnel, and reduced coal clearance speeds.Since AutoCut was introduced at Mandalong in 2009, monthly production records have increased to well over 40%, slips/trips and falls have been reduced by 60%, and incidents/near misses involving development panels have been reduced by over 80% per month. In addition, with the smoother roadway, there has been a marked reduction in rubber-tyred vehicle fatigue and jarring injuries to passengers and operators. Damage      previously attributed to rough roadways, wear and tear on vehicles, re-work and roadworks has been reduced by 50%.Since the development of AutoCut, Sandvik Mining has established a Miner-Bolter User Group, aimed at delivering the benefits of the system to other mines in Australia, and setting up networking opportunities among mine personnel, from managers to operators. According to Rowan Melrose, Sandvik Mining’s Global Automation Manager, all Sandvik Miner Bolters can be upgraded to AutoCut with a small software upgrade, along with implementation of a minesite-based process control to ensure improved safety, development and sustainability. “We expect that all Sandvik Mining MB Series machines will at some point in the future operate in AutoCut mode as standard – with manual operation being the exception. For underground coal mine operations, the benefits will continue to multiply as this technology optimisation process continues to roll out.”He adds: “With process optimisation, process integration and automation technologies all critical enablers for mining operations of the future, Sandvik Mining’s development of AutoCut and our collaboration with the customer in successfully implementing it has clearly demonstrated the benefits of our approach. The resulting significant improvements in safety performance, productivity and operational efficiency have created a great deal of value for our customers. In addition, the consistent machine performance we have been able to achieve through the AutoCut automation process has delivered major reductions in preventative machine maintenance costs, not only for the bolter-miner but also for all auxiliary equipment as a result of improved development panel conditions.”Melrose said this award was an example of how Sandvik Mining continued to optimise its existing machinery, as well as delivering operational improvements through a holistic approach to machine development. “Sandvik Mining is proud to have won this award, which is a recognition of the efforts of our customer support and engineering people in working with customers to develop innovative ways to increase site safety and productivity.”last_img read more