Recognising a growing need for the mining and infrastructure industries to look to digital technologies to enhance productivity, sustainability and safety, Epiroc has created 6th Sense to allow its customers to optimise processes by connecting machines, systems and people using automation, information management and system integration.
"6th Sense is a formula we have developed for getting the right solutions in place and achieving operational excellence in mining and infrastructure operations," said Helena Hedblom, senior executive vice president Mining and Infrastructure. "The name 6th Sense implies that the solution brings something extra and that is just what it does, providing a significant advantage such as track and respond to real-time working conditions and equipment needs."
With 6th Sense comes a great focus on system connectivity, using interoperability to unlock the full potential of automation for production gains at lower operating costs. One example comes from the Hollinger mine in Timmins, Canada. Together with long-term partner Newmont Goldcorp, Epiroc has put the world's first fully autonomous SmartROC D65 surface drill rig in production. The operator can be positioned remotely and perform other tasks while the drill rig completes a full drill pattern autonomously. Besides increased operator safety, this boosts productivity thanks to Global Navigation Satellite System accuracy, non-stop operations and less wear and tear on drilling tools, reducing production costs and improving reliability.
A further example of automation and integration is the new Teleremote e-tramming option for Epiroc's Simba long-hole underground drill rigs. The automation package includes functionalities to monitor, plan and automate drilling operations from onboard the rig or from a remote location.
"The 6th Sense approach is based on our customers' needs for implementing digitalisation, automation and new process integrations. We are continuously rolling out new innovative features, always with the customers' needs in mind," Hedblom added.