A new 3D navigation system which uses satellite mapping for surface drilling has been launched by Sandvik Mining.

The TIM3D system can precisely guide the location and angles of drill holes in accordance with the drill plans at a mine or quarry. It is designed to work with Sandvik’s DPi and DX series surface top hammer drill rigs and improve the drilling accuracy and efficiency in quarrying, construction and open pit mining operations.

The company’s product line support manager Michael Zirbel says, “By bringing 3D machine automation to drill rigs, TIM3D covers three essential drilling operations: Rig navigation, feed alignment and drilling. The system improves hole quality and hole position accuracy, translating into better fragmentation due to straighter holes, less fines, shot rock and oversize.

“This results in increased efficiency further in the production process, both in crushing and loading and hauling.”

Drilling is also completed more quickly using the TIM3D as it removes the need for surveying and hole marks. The system uses a simple interface with all views integrated into the DPi drill rig’s control screen and the controls are integrated into the arm rest.

TIM3D is based on a multi-satellite RTK GNSS navigation system which is compatible with both the US GPS and Russian GLONASS satellite systems, allowing access to a broad range of satellites for signals.

“The system compares the actual position of the drill bit with the planned hole position and guides the operator to the correct starting point of the chosen hole,” says Michael Zirbel “During drilling, the operator can follow the penetration rate and hole depth, distance to target, number of required rods and current feed alignment. And once at the target depth, drilling stops automatically. The system also shows the status of the holes with colour codes.”

However, TIM3D does allow the operator to manually deviate from the drill plan if needed, perhaps due to a planned starting point that may not be achievable due to terrain, rocks or other physical obstacles.

The system’s other major feature is that all drilling data including the actual holes drilled, their location, depth and angles is stored in the system memory.


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