As Epiroc and Orica claim, they have co-developed the world’s first semi-automated, wireless explosives delivery system for using in blast operations and hard rock drill. The technology intends to guarantee that the right explosives are safely delivered into the right holes within the right timeframe for improved efficiency and safety.
‘Avatel’ enables charge crews to execute the development cycle by staying in-cab, removing their exposure at the face, thus decreasing time-consuming, costly and potentially dangerous activity. It has been seen as the first step towards autonomous charging.
Presently, set-up as a twin-boom drill rig with a fully mechanized development charging solution and semi-autonomous, the Avatel system enables a single operator to finish the whole charging cycle from the safety of the rig’s cabin. It is expected that future developments are to be extended to other Epiroc drill rigs.
“The mining industry is moving rapidly toward a digitally integrated and automated future, and Avatel will fulfil our shared vision of developing safer and more productive blasting solutions,” stated Angus Melbourne, Orica’s chief commercial and technology officer.
President of Epiroc’s underground division, Sami Niiranen asserted: “The Avatel prototype represents the first step towards autonomous charging – a vital step in the journey toward safer and more productive blasting operations underground.”
Examinations of Avatel will happen throughout 2021 prior to the primary commercial systems brought to market, probably by the end of that year.