Cloud and Mobile Makes Blasting Intelligence and Optimization Accessible Anywhere, Anytime
By Amit Bhandari, MineExcellence
Blasting is a core activity in mining and impacts downstream operational activities such as excavation and processing. Software technology used in blasting has been prevelant for many years (the use of blast designers is common) but it has not been readily accessible to an average blaster. Integrated tools for blast data collection and blast performance analysis are largely missing from the industry.
MineExcellence provide an integrated cloud and mobile-based technology platform for blasting. This platform takes an integrated view of blasting. It enables an average blaster to not only design their blasts but also anlayze how a blast is performing and prepare for adverse impacts commonly seen during blasting, such as vibrations and flyrock. All of this, in an intergrated manner.
This platform is a significant innovation since it makes high-quality drill and blasting intelligence available to an average blaster, supervisors and senior mine management, and is accessible anywhere, anytime, via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and mobile-based enterprise platform. A person can simply register on the MineExcellence website and start using the platform.
KEY ASPECTS OF THE PLATFORM
Organization of a blast’s lifecycle: The platform accommodates a blast’s entire lifecycle (blast design, blast data collection, analysis, predictors/optimizers (vibration, fragmentation, flyrocks, etc).
Flexiblity: SaaS means anyone can access it anytime from anywhere without the need for infrastructure (servers, computers). You can use the platform by paying on a month-by-month basis.
A smart blasting mobile app: This app is integrated with the online platform which provides the ability to capture detailed blast information and do analysis in the field, including capturing GPS locations, date/time, photographs, video, etc.
- Integration with major GIS packages like Esri and MapInfo.
- Integration with ERP modules such as payroll and leave tracking.
- The ability to see all your past blasts on a map.
- The ability to view doucments in the field.
- The ability to capture pre-blast approvals in the platform and on the app itself.
- The ability to see personel and plant clearance zones on a map at your site.
BLASTS PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
You can use this program for systematic storage, retrieval and analysis of blasting data to determine how blasts are performing. Industry has typically only concentrated on blast designs but the analysis of how blasts are performing and appropriate actions is important too. Blast Information Management System (BIMS) makes paper-based data collection redundant, and enables real-time in-the-field recording.
BLAST DATA COLLECTION
A blaster can capture pre-starts, perform quality assurance and quality control on blast holes, track the explosives per hole and perform a post-blast performance analysis for future planning purposes, statutory requirements and/or environmental compliance. The review and analysis of past data can improve blast design, execution and help in the achievement of desired blasting outcomes, downstream productivity and process improvement. Analysis can provide opportunities for taking corrective steps.
This platform enables blasting personnel to vary critical parameters, such as dilution, vibration, fragmentation, fly rock and fines generation. It is expected that in due course this will result in significant productivity gains. It is also a move towards safer blasting, factoring in vibration and flyrock prior to a blast.
BLASTERS MANAGEMENT PORTAL
The blasters management portal provides visibility to central mine management and blasting supervisors across all the mines in a large organization, from the same central system. It enables assessment/comparison across all mines for important parameters (powder factor, costs, production, etc).
THE ABILITY TO BE USED ACROSS AN ORGANIZATION
A crucial feature is the ability to be used across a number of mines within the same organization. This enables clear visibility organization-wide of the blasting function, whether it be design, blast data collection, or a comparision of crucial parameters between mines.
A number of large tier-1 miners (and small miners too) are using this platform centrally across all of their mines. Multi-tenancy makes this platform exteremly flexible and can provide access to clients as well.
The mining industry has been slow to adopt technological innovations. However, we feel this system is going to be a valuable tool of the future. The cloud-based model ensures years of academic research and industry knowledge is available to an average blaster, anywhere, anytime. This also eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure (servers). The modular nature of the platform provides flexilbity, advanced versions/enterprise versions are available with greater functionality.
MineExcellence is also about to release an integrated platform for drilling.