For greater safety and efficiency in underground mining, Epiroc announced several automation features for its Scooptram underground loader. The Scooptram Automation Regular package allows the Scooptram to be controlled through an operator station from a remote location. “With the new regular package, the operator can control the loader from a safe stationary or mobile control station, even while the loader is out of sight,” said Clint Byington, business line manager – underground rock excavation for Epiroc U.S.

“The automation package also makes it possible for our customers to quickly and easily transition from manual to automatic mode, which is crucial in mines with a dynamic environment or quick advancements,” Byington said. “It is an effective way for our customers to boost their productivity in today’s world, where mining operations have to contend with a variety of complicated production issues.”

To minimize environmental impact and keep personnel out of harm’s way while production proceeds quickly and smoothly, automation is key. Production and the efficient utilization of machinery can continue even during shift changes and when personnel are not safely permitted in the work area; for example, when the mine has not yet been adequately ventilated or when there is a substantial risk of falling debris after blasting. The operator can make swift transitions from manual to automatic mode to quickly adapt to the situation at hand.

“The regular automation package allows our customers to automate a single loader without having to spend lots of time and money making extensive infrastructure alterations,” Byington said.

The automation package includes cameras, sensors and safety modules that are mounted onto the Scooptram as well as a safety system that can be easily installed in the mine. If a person or another machine should enter the Scooptram’s work vicinity while the safety system is enabled, it will automatically shut down to avoid causing potential harm.

“Productivity and workers’ well-being go hand in hand,” Byington said. “An automated loader from Epiroc works to protect both.”