Underground Automation: Shift Changes

Underground Mining Automation: Reducing Time for Shift Changes


When it comes to productivity in an underground mine, uptime is everything. Parts wear out, engines need overhauling and operators need rest. Your machines can only produce when they’re running—and even the most reliable, well-built underground mining equipment has to stop for a shift change.

Underground mining automation systems can drastically reduce how long this time-consuming (and therefore costly) process takes every day. With these systems, operators can control load-haul-dump vehicles from a single remote location, removing the need for a complete underground shift change.

Using a remote facility with ergonomic, familiar controls also reduces the amount of time spent training operators and operator fatigue. A suite of on-board computers, cameras, lasers and operator station software autonomously steers the vehicle during haulage, reducing damage to your machines from contact with walls. A shift change is as simple as one operator taking another’s place in the mining control room, instead of the entire mine coming to a halt while operators enter the work zone.

Increased machine automation also allows an operator to control multiple mining machines, maximizing production and simplifying your schedule. With fewer operators entering and leaving the area, a shift change can be accomplished quickly and safely without anyone needing to go underground. Faster mining shift changes improve mine uptime and increase productivity.

Removing underground shift changes is a simple, effective way to increase mining uptime. How much time do you spend on shift changes at your mine? What are other ways you’ve streamlined your shift-change process? Share your feedback on Facebook or Twitter.

 


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