SSR Mining Inc. announces the receipt of the required regulatory approvals from Türkiye's Government authorities and will commence restart of all operations at the Ҫӧpler mine as of September 22nd, 2022.
New Vehicle Autonomy System to revolutionise the Mining Industry
New Vehicle Autonomy System to revolutionise the Mining Industry (credits ABD Solutions
Leading vehicle automation provider, ABD Solutions, has launched Indigo Drive, a software eco-system that enables any mining vehicle to be quickly and cost-effectively automated.
Indigo Drive is set to transform the mining industry by lessening the impact of a decreasing workforce through automated vehicle fleets. The Mining Association of Canada estimates that 10,000 new workers are required annually for the next decade to fill new positions and replace current ones. Likewise, the Australian Minerals Council predicts a shortfall of 86,000 workers.
"What sets Indigo Drive apart is that it can be installed into vehicles already in use, so autonomy can be achieved much faster and requires significantly less investment than by replacing the entire fleet,” said Matthew Price, Managing Director of ABD Solutions. “Driverless vehicles enable site operations to become more streamlined by removing downtime and delays caused by staff shortages and ensuring continuity of projects. The industry also becomes safer by limiting driver exposure to extreme and dangerous environments.”
Secure and certified, as a comprehensive system, Indigo Drive contains everything needed to create driverless fleets. From a user-friendly software interface for route-planning to the technology needed to create movement (such as drive-by-wire and driving robots), to communication (Radio, V2X, GPS/GNSS), obstacle detection (LiDAR, camera, radar) and vehicle health and diagnostics (OBD2, telemetry, sensors), what’s included can be tailored around the specific vehicles and environments.
The modular architecture allows for easy integration with systems already in use, such as fleet management software, meaning creating driverless fleets can be faster and smoother than ever before.
As well as improving safety, automation significantly increases productivity by enabling vehicles to operate for longer. It also provides a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, which has running cost and environmental benefits.
Price adds, “We work with our customers to provide tailored systems for their environment by assessing the level and type of automation required, enabling fleet transformation without investment in new vehicles, maximising the return on existing high-value assets.”
The hardware used to provide automation requires only minor modifications to the vehicle and is semi-permanent, allowing it to be moved from one vehicle to another should requirements change, or if the vehicle needs maintenance. The equipment is non-intrusive to allow a driver to take control while it is fitted, significantly increasing the vehicle’s operational flexibility.
In a mining environment where tasks are often repetitive, the entire fleet can be synchronised to maximise productivity and efficiency. Task planning software ensures that vehicles take the most efficient routes, reducing fuel consumption and time to complete operations. Vehicles that can detect obstructions can communicate them to the fleet management system to prevent others from encountering the same issue. Once the obstruction has been flagged the vehicle management system can generate an alternative route or a human can remote into the vehicle to immediately assess the situation.
A critical indirect benefit of vehicle autonomy is the digitisation of information from the vehicle. It creates new data streams that are invaluable to fleet operators. The vehicle’s speed, location, fuel level, diagnostic status, distance to target etc can all be relayed via the vehicle management toolset. Data analytics can automatically process this information to assist with operational decisions, fleet maintenance scheduling and logistics planning.
ABD Solutions is currently undertaking an investigation into the potential introduction of Indigo Drive at Amaroq Minerals’ Nalunaq site in Greenland. The goal is to provide a framework for ABD Solutions to deliver the support, software and hardware solutions needed to operate a diverse range of automation-enabled equipment.
The company has also agreed a long-term working partnership with Kyokuto Boeki Kaisha Ltd, one of Japan’s foremost engineering and project management consultancies. The partnership aims to accelerate autonomy in the industrial and mining sectors in that region.
ABD Solutions is a global operation with sales and technical support offices across three continents. It is a member of the AB Dynamics Group and benefits from its knowledge of developing and supplying thousands of driving robots to the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, proving grounds and regulatory authorities. The Group has decades of experience in vehicle autonomy and simulation.
“The AB Dynamics Group has been automating vehicles in one way or another for development and test purposes for decades,” continues Price. “Now, through ABD Solutions and the development of Indigo Drive, the mining industry can take advantage of this expertise to automate their existing fleets.”
ABD Solutions will be attending Bauma, the world’s leading construction machinery trade fair, in Munich, Germany on October 24-30th.
About ABD Solutions
ABD Solutions enables fast and cost-effective automation of existing vehicle fleets in the materials handling, defence, mining and agriculture industries. As part of the AB Dynamics Group, it has access to a global network of simulation, testing, and autonomy expertise.
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