The project includes two ABB remote control stations with ABB remote control desks as well as process and safety controllers, all of which are being integrated along with a real-time video system into the ABB System 800xA automation platform. ABB also developed a 3D simulator, to aid in training and to verify the rock breaker’s remote control system.
The 800xA will integrate rock breakers and their hydraulics within Garpenberg’s unified system of mill drives, hoists, ventilation and crushing equipment, coordinating what had been fragmented sub-operations into seamless tasks. All fixed equipment can now be controlled from the same control system, ensuring safety and boosting efficiency.
With the remote-control rock breaker, Boliden crews on the surface can continue rock breaking a kilometer or more below ground without pausing for shift changes or waiting until blasting has been completed, meaning they can significantly boost productivity while simultaneously reducing the potential for accidents.
“ABB’s remote control technology will make the operation of the rock breakers underground safer and more efficient by enabling operation in a remote station above the ground during blasting and shift changes,” says Patrik Westerlund, product manager for underground mine automation at ABB. “The modularized design will also allow Boliden to add more rock breakers as the mine expands by simply adding another ABB remote control station to the network.”