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Sandvik introduces Access Control System for autonomous underground mining

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is introducing AutoMine® Interoperable Access Control System (ACS), a new feature for its AutoMine Core underground system for autonomous mining operations.

Sandvik introduces Access Control System for autonomous underground mining

Designed to improve productivity and increase operational flexibility, this new capability builds on the proven AutoMine Flexible Safety Zone by enabling non-Sandvik, third-party autonomous equipment to operate seamlessly in AutoMine access-controlled isolated zones.

With AutoMine Interoperable ACS, a mixed fleet of underground loaders, trucks, drills, and auxiliary equipment can now be managed with one seamless safety system. Third-party equipment designs must conform to the functional safety requirements specified for AutoMine operations and non-Sandvik equipment can be retrofitted with an AutoMine ACS Onboard Box to provide the needed interface between ACS and the machine’s safety circuit.

“While we are confident that customers will achieve optimal performance with Sandvik equipment, we understand the importance of maximising automation’s potential across all equipment, regardless of manufacturer,” said Robert McEwan, Product Line Manager, Automation, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. “This technology enables mixed-fleet customers to benefit from enhanced safety and improved productivity with the support of AutoMine.”

AutoMine Interoperable ACS increases the flexibility between Sandvik automated equipment and third-party equipment by allowing access to a shared automated zone at different times. Each machine can be independently controlled by its own system while operating within the unified AutoMine Interoperable ACS system. This leverages optimised control of each OEM’s machine while maintaining a safer working environment.

Extensive field tests conducted with MacLean at its Research and Training Facility in Canada have demonstrated that the new technology improved operational flexibility from both operators and equipment.

“The key advantage of this collaboration with Sandvik was successfully addressing the critical challenges of interoperability related to safety in mining,” added Patrice Corneau, Director of Advanced Vehicles and Technology, MacLean Engineering. “The technology development not only increases operational flexibility between various vehicle types and operators but also allows MacLean to remain productive and not stop Sandvik autonomous operations while we do other ancillary functions around the mine. It also reinforces MacLean’s and Sandvik’s commitment to safety and efficiency in the industry.”

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