Drilling on another plane

SANDVIK Mining has launched a three-dimensional navigational system for surface drilling.
Drilling on another plane Drilling on another plane Drilling on another plane Drilling on another plane Drilling on another plane

Sandvik Mining's TIM3D drill navigation system covers rig navigation, feed alignment and drilling.

Staff Reporter

The TIM3D system designed for Sandvik Mining’s DPi and DX series surface top hammer drill rigs uses satellite navigation to precisely guide the location and angle of the drillholes.

Sandvik Mining product line support manager – surface drills Michael Zirbel said TIM3D covered three essential drilling operations – rig navigation, feed alignment and drilling.

“The TIM3D navigation system improves hole quality and hole position accuracy, translating into better fragmentation due to straighter holes, less fines, shot rock and oversize,” he said.

Get those things right and not only do the holes get drilled better, other parts of the mining process improve.

Better fragmentation means smoother loading and easier crushing.

The system also removes the need for surveying and hole marks and therefore the risk of marking errors – significantly speeding up drilling.

“TIM3D also incorporates a simple, easy to use interface – with all views integrated into our DPi drill rig’s control screen so no separate screen is required,” Zirbel said.

“In addition, the controls are integrated into the armrest.”

Based on a multi-satellite RTK GNSS navigation, TIM3D is compatible with both the US GPS and Russian GLONASS systems, giving it access to a wide range of satellites from which it can get a signal.

TIM3D can use drilling plans made either with standard office-based survey programs or with the system itself.

Drilling plans are imported to the rig in an International Rock Excavation Data Exchange Standard format with a USB memory stick containing the target coordinates in three dimensions.

Local base station or virtual reference station correction ensures drillhole and navigation accuracy is within 100 millimetres.

“The system compares the actual position of the drill bit with the planned hole position and guides the operator to the correct starting point of the chosen hole,” Zirbel said.

During drilling the operator can follow the penetration rate and hole depth, distance to target, number of required rods and feed alignment.

Once at the target depth drilling stops automatically. The system uses colour codes to show the status of the holes.

“In addition, TIM3D allows the operator to manually deviate from the drill plan if needed, for example due to a planned starting point that may not be achievable due to terrain, rocks or other physical obstacles,” Zirbel said.

“Despite the change in starting point, the hole bottom remains as planned.

“The TIM3D system automatically calculates a new course based on the actual starting point of the hole.”

All drilling data – the actual holes drilled, their location, depth and angles – are stored in the system memory and are transferable to external systems in IREDES format.

From there they can be imported to various programs for review.

Data includes a quality report, position and depth of the drilled holes, drilling time and start and end points.

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