RCT’s automation increases productivity at Spanish mine

September 18, 2017

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A base metal mineral mine in Spain has increased production at a newly developed mine thanks to innovative Smart Technology company RCT.

The site manager, who was already familiar with RCT’s products and capabilities, saw the opportunity to increase productivity at the mine by upgrading its loaders from a Line-of-Sight (LOS) remote system to a proven RCT solution.

Mine management and RCT collaborated to find the ideal solution for the site to directly answer its needs. It was decided RCT’s ControlMaster® Teleremote and Guidance systems (ATX2000) were best suited for the job. These solutions were installed on four CAT R2900G Underground loaders.

RCT’s ControlMaster® Teleremote and Guidance systems were specifically designed to improve operational efficiency and productivity by reducing impact damage to the machine while increasing general tramming speed to ensure KPI’s are met every time.

The previous technology the mine was utilising was basic and required a high level of concentration to navigate the complicated and often busy drives of the mines on top of this, LOS resulted in an interrupted mining sequence as the operator has to enter and exit the machine frequently which takes time.

The ControlMaster® Teleremote and Guidance systems would eliminate the interrupted mining sequence, assist with fatigue experienced by operators and make navigating the drives simple as the Teleremote and Guidance is equipped with lasers to avoid all walls and obstacles, which in turn reduces damage to expensive machinery.

The state-of-the-art system removes the operator from the machine, allowing them to control the loader from the comfort of an operator control station which is complete with chair, controls and screens. The loader itself is fitted with cameras and sensors which are relayed to the operating station.

At this particular site, two Automation Centres were deployed. One was adapted into an underground room in the mine wall, and the second was fitted on the back of Ford Ranger vehicle, making it mobile.

RCT training was also successfully delivered to numerous mine operators via an interpreter; ensuring workers had a sound understanding of the system in order to reap maximum results.

Within a few weeks of operation, the site experienced a substantial improvement in the number of buckets the loaders were completing in a day.

“The system is working and we feel confident about it,” said the site manager.

“We have allocated two dedicated guys –trained by [RCT] to ensure that is adequately implemented across all shifts.”

In addition to this, he said operator safety and operating conditions have improved.

“The system has been positively received by all the operators and working conditions have improved considerably with the use of this technology,” he said.

“This solution has also addressed unnecessary downtime we were experiencing.”

“The Teleremote solution allows the operators to work uninterrupted; they no longer have to raise and lower the blade continuously when entering and exiting the stope.”

RCT has successfully deployed numerous ControlMaster® Teleremote and Guidance systems in mining operations throughout the world, with great results. To date, RCT has engaged in projects in more than 64 countries however, this was the first significant project to be completed in Spain.