ABB Minerals/Underground Mining business unit and Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation have developed an innovative mobile integration system between ABB’s process control System 800xA and Atlas Copco mining machines. The solution is currently installed at the Atlas Copco test mine in Kvarntorp, Sweden. It will offer future mine operators unrivalled process control opportunity and information.

Sensors and automated data processing systems provide mine operators with essential information on-line for each product and process control. Future mining will require a high degree of integration in product and process optimization, maintenance planning, environmental control, etc. from one single control center in order to get the best overall performance from mining machines underground, as well as increase productivity and lower energy consumption.

This project integrates important data from Atlas Copco underground drill rigs, loaders and trucks into ABB’s process control System 800xA for better visualization and utilization of the machine fleet. By tracking locations of machines, their status and actual operating environments underground, this solution will provide the information needed to help mine operators make the right decisions at the right time to keep production running as smoothly as possible.

Atlas Copco and ABB will continue to develop and add more functionality to this concept. “I am excited about this cooperation with Atlas Copco,” said Andre Inserra, head of ABB’s Mining and Mineral Processing business unit. “As each company would focus on its core competencies, the joint development would create a lot of added value for the mining operation in underground mines.”

“Our future mine operators want a compelling, all-in-one information center to optimize the utilization of our machines underground. I am sure this project will take a big leap forward in optimization of underground mining,” said David Shellhammer, president, Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation.