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Sandvik launches updated underground rock excavation software

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

iSURE® underground rock excavation software is an excavation process control tool for providing instrumented face drilling rigs with all the necessary information for optimised drilling & blasting.

The software works with the company’s iSERIES drilling rigs, combining pull-out analysis with the rig’s data collection tools and providing an accurate analysis functionality to improve the work cycle and process. The latest version, iSURE® 8.0, has many new features and tools to further assist geological interpretation.

iSURE® 8.0 (Intelligent Sandvik underground rock excavation software) is a computer programme for tunnelling, construction and mining drill and blast process control, producing all the data needed for optimising the drilling and blasting cycle.

Among other design tools, the software has a template-based drill plan generation tool that takes into account rock blastability, tunnel profile, quality target and explosives used. The key lies in the fact that successful operations consist of four essential points - quality, cost, schedule and safety - and the software is designed to help ensure that the best results are achieved, by making drilling and blasting more accurate.

Optimised drill and blast

Optimisation of drill and blast means taking into consideration the changes in rock blastability and other changes in the environment. An effectively-controlled blast results in good pull-out, a restricted fracture zone and greater rock strength around the tunnel. Furthermore, rounds’ length and detonation can be tuned to the permitted vibration level and geology. The software helps to achieve this, as it provides a set of plan templates for editing and feedback functions to achieve the best possible result from the blast, with blast patterns being easily edited to match the design parameter.

Data driven productivity

The software enables drill rig usage and drilling process efficiency to be maximised, assessed and measured on a round-by-round basis. Counters for percussion, power pack, drilled meters and net penetration, as well as average and gross drilling capacity, are collected for each boom. A round’s duration is divided into main categories for navigation, drilling, boom control, idle time, or booms not finishing the job at the same time, further allocating them into sub-categories for drilling and boom. This provides valuable feedback that helps to fine tune the rig’s behaviour, while also acting as a learning tool for operators.

The programme further assists in the analysing of data collected along tunnel line, which reveals the trends of various KPIs. In addition, analysing the ‘measure while drilling’ (MWD) items gives a histogram report of the achieved penetration rate for the used drilling power, flushing sufficiency or disturbances in drilling, both in general terms and each boom.

All of these features are achieved through the full-featured software software utilising the drill rig’s data collection, thereby improving the work cycle and the drill and blast excavation process. It also has an optional toolset for geological analysis, a tunnel profile 3D scanning system and an interface to a third-party blasting vibration feedback system.


  • Optimised drill and blast design.
  • Systematic bolting design.
  • Grouting (long hole) plan design.
  • As drilled (planned versus drilled).
  • Face shape feedback.
  • Rig and drilling cycle in numbers.
  • Gross drilling capacity [m/h/boom].
  • Net penetration.
  • Drilled meters, number of holes.
  • Drilling time, boom movement time.
  • Per round, user trip or lifetime.
  • Drill steel consumption.
  • Pull-out analysis of blasting efficiency per round or trend.

Optional onboard scanner records the tunnel profile at the face. The software creates surfaces based on scanned point clouds with a 3D view with under/overbreak visualisation and a 2D view for feedback to drill and blast design optimization, along with production in numbers (realised, theoretical, under/overbreak m3).

GEO option includes rig and iSURE calculation and produces geological mapping information based on the drilling data. Parameters like Sandvik drilling resistance factors (MPa), rock mass fracture indicator, rock classification are calculated and extrapolated. 2D tunnel map views and 3D with cut planes are presented.

Further features

Sandvik’s avowed aim is to provide drill and blast tunnelling and mining professionals with an updated version of iSURE® each year. This is being done to reflect the constant changes faced on a daily basis, as well as to reflect Sandvik’s close, integrated relationship with its customers. Based on feedback from users and experience gained during operations throughout the world, the new version of iSURE® 8.0 now comes complete with:

    Wizard-tool to select ready-made drilling templates for drill plan creation.
  • Cloud system to share data.
  • New user interface.
  • New license system.
  • Excavated profile target quality.
  • Drilling rate index based estimate calculation for cycle (round) time

New inbuilt cloud based data sharing helps to spread the project data between the group members. Cloud data is owned and controlled by rig owner, defining roles and access rights for members.

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