Atlas Copco Drill Rig products for Mine Automation and Communication - A totally new technology platform for advanced mining systems

CIM Montreal 2003
Abstract In 2002 Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB released the new RCS technology for all of its drill rig families.
The RCS technology stands for a new generation of computerized drill rigs based on modern standard PC-computer technology. The new generation has taken a quantum leap forward with respect to drilling accuracy, logging capabilities, reduction of manpower in some types and serviceability compared to the previous generation of drill rigs.
The RCS (Rig Control System) technology is modularised and distributed. Distribution is accomplished by means of the CAN-bus technology, well proven in the automobile products, that forms a communication backbone on the rig. The modularity facilitates an almost unlimited possibility for expansion and adaptation of the drill rig functionality.

Up till today the development has been focused on establishing this new technology platform on all product lines of Atlas Copco drill rigs. Future RCS development will now automaticaly be availabe for all product families in Atlas Copco product lines. This is in line with Atlas Copco objectives to offer the mining industry products with selectable degree of automation, communication and integration.

Essential for Atlas Copco is also to contribute to the work with the on-going Data Exchange standard between mining machines and mining computer systems (IREDES). When accepted this standard will make mine automation programs affordable for a wider base of the mining industry, because of cost effective integration of different equipment with a minimum of system integration problems and machine specific interfaces.

Atlas Copco strategy for machine automation defines three levels of automation; Basic with manual operation, logging and diagnostics; Regular with semi-automated operation and extended logging and Total for fully automated operation.

Together with these automation levels there are several common options, as:
- Transfer of planning data and production reports over the mine network
- Remote supervision of drill rig operation
- Rig Remote Access for maintenance purposes
- Remote control for unmanned operations

The modularity and distribution of the RCS system has also made it possible to develop custom specific options. This presentation will cover one example of such a product:

Remote supervision of Simba ABC Total production drill rig
The Simba L6C production drill rig at LKAB in Kiruna does not only have the ABC Total fully automated system. It is also equipped with the latest networks options, allowing the rig to be connected to the mine internal network and further to the external Internet.
Keywords: Control system, Communication, drill rig, Automation
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