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Sandvik Launches TIM3D Advanced Navigation for Surface Drilling

Fri March 04, 2011 - National Edition

Sandvik’s TIM3D navigation system for surface drilling uses satellite navigation to guide the starting point and the correct course of drilling in accordance with the drilling plan. It significantly improves drilling accuracy and efficiency in quarrying, construction and open pit mining applications, according to the manufacturer.

Sandvik TIM3D is a drill rig navigation system that brings drilling rigs into the realm of 3D machine automation. It is an operator aid consisting of three essential operations: rig navigation, feed alignment and drilling.

The TIM3D navigation system improves hole quality and hole position accuracy, translating into better fragmentation and decreased amount of boulders and fines. This results in increased efficiency in the production process, both in crushing, and loading and hauling. The system also eliminates the need for surveying and any hole marks, and correspondingly the risk for marking errors, significantly speeding up drilling production. Due to a modern and clear user interface, the system is easy to use, according to the manufacturer.

Based on multi-satellite RTK GNSS navigation, TIM3D is compatible with GPS and GLONASS satellite systems. The navigation uses drilling plans made either with standard office programs or with the system itself. The plan is imported to the rig with USB memory in IREDES standard format, containing the target coordinates in three dimensions. Local base station, or VRS correction, keeps navigation accuracy within 10 centimeters.

TIM3D system compares the position of the drill bit with the planned hole position and guides the operator to the correct starting point of the chosen hole. During drilling, the operator can follow the penetration rate and hole depth, distance to target, number of required holes and current feed alignment. The system stops drilling automatically at the target depth. The system also shows the status of the holes with color codes.

TIM3D allows the operator to deviate from the drill plan if needed, for example due to an infeasible planned starting point. Despite the modification, the hole bottom remains as planned: TIM3D system automatically calculates a new course based on the actual starting point of the hole.

The drilling data — the actual parameters — are stored in the system memory, from where it can be imported to various programs, such as blasting simulation. The data includes a quality report, position and depth of the drilled holes, drilling time, and start and end points.

The TIM3D navigation system is available for Sandvik DPi and DX series surface top hammer drill rigs.