The smooth and successful installation of Remote Control Technologies Control Master Teleremote Surface Station in a huge QLD underground mine has been followed by a second successful installation at the same site. These installations allow the operators to drive the underground loader from the surface in a safe and comfortable Control Station and are 'at the forefront of Teleremote development in the industry'.
Recently completed, by Remote Control Technologies, the project paves the way for rapid changeover of equipment operators during the shift transitions, increasing productivity, and various operator health and safety benefits.
Benefits from this project have shown reduced exposure to underground hazards such as DPM (diesel particulate matter), dust, noise, reduction of the number of light vehicles underground, less human intervention and a better working environment for Teleremote operators.
There are proven production benefits as the Teleremote loader may not need to shut down during firing times dependent upon the location of the machine and firing. This technology allows for shift change 'hot seat' operator changeovers, as the operators no longer have to travel to and from underground locations, while putting operators in a safer, cleaner work environment.
First results for one loader operated from the surface showed an increase in productivity of more than 8000 tonnes per week.
With utilisation of the Surface Control system each machine can operate for up to 22 hours per day, with meal breaks being utilised for machine maintenance.
The Surface control system consists of an underground level cabinet (TLC) which is connected to a fibre optic cable running to the surface and connects to the Teleremote Surface Operator Station. The TLC cabinet contains Remote Control Technologies Control Master products including a CM2200 transmitter, video receiver demodulators, LCD monitors, Comms, laser Guard Electronic barrier system, power management system with backup, Text On Video system health reporting, MUX and connects into the standard production level Tele Comms, Laser Guard system in the Tele Loaders work area.
The Surface Teleremote Control system operates as if it was located underground even though the Tele loader is working more that 2km away from the surface control centre.
The operator feedback has been very positive.
This mine has also recently upgraded a Teleremote system to use the new Control Master Guidance system to assist in reducing damage and improving productivity. This Guidance system is now also being operated form the 2nd Surface Control Station showing additional operational efficiency and even higher production.
Remote Control Technologies is a company that has supplied numerous remote and Teleremote control systems to Australian and International mines and is constantly bringing more technology based systems to enhance the remote control and Automation solutions already offered and proven under the harshest of conditions.
Other mining companies have already committed to implementing Control Master Teleremote Surface Control Stations or Centralised Control Stations and Guidance systems.
The future for the technology could see the operator working in distant city locations, reducing the need for fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and reducing the negative effects this can have on family life.