Blasthole drillers can handle up to three rigs in parallel while working at a safe distance from the high wall with the new BenchREMOTE by Atlas Copco.
Traditionally high walls are one area of a quarry or surface mine that expose operators to the most risk. Using Atlas Copco’s BenchREMOTE remote operator station, drillers can now operate more than 100 yd. from the drill, which can be more than 30 yd. below them as long as they maintain line-of-site radio communications with the rig.
The increased distance from high walls and machines on steep or rough terrain enhances worksite safety.
Maurice Hunter, business line manager of Atlas Copco Surface and Exploration Drilling Equipment, said: “The main advantage of BenchREMOTE is enhanced safety. It means operators no longer have to work near high walls. But being able to handle up to three SmartROC D65 rigs in parallel also helps increase productivity and operator efficiency.”
The BenchREMOTE operator station installs in a vehicle, trailer or container. Its controls and displays are exactly those of the working rig, giving the operator the same capabilities as working from the rig itself.
A closed WiFi network communicates operator inputs and machine feedback independent of the local network infrastructure. Should the network be lost for any reason, the rig automatically shuts down as an additional safety precaution.
Product Manager Mike Wentworth said BenchREMOTE is currently available to U.S. customers. All SmartROC D65 drill rigs that have been equipped with the Atlas Copco Hole Navigation System (HNS) can be upgraded to BenchREMOTE operation.
Atlas Copco, www.atlascopco.us