Sandvik introduces AutoMine Interoperable Access Control System

(Image source: Sandvik) The system is designed to improve productivity and increase flexibility.
(Image source: Sandvik) The system is designed to improve productivity and increase flexibility.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has introduced the AutoMine Interoperable Access Control System (ACS) for autonomous underground mining.

Designed to improve productivity and increase operational flexibility, the AutoMine Interoperable ACS builds on the 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 fleet of underground loaders, trucks, drills and auxiliary equipment can now be managed with one safety system.

It increases the flexibility between Sandvik and third-party automated 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.

Sandvik product line manager, automation Robert McEwan commented on the system.

“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,” he said.

“This technology enables mixed-fleet customers to benefit from enhanced safety and improved productivity with the support of AutoMine.”

Extensive field tests conducted with MacLean Engineering at its research and training facility in Canada demonstrated the technology improved operational flexibility for both operators and equipment.

MacLean director of advanced vehicles and technology Patrice Corneau says the systems reinforces safety and efficiency in the mining industry.

“The key advantage of this collaboration with Sandvik was successfully addressing the critical challenges of interoperability related to safety in mining,” she said.

“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.”