Sandvik launches underground simulator for safer drilling

Sandvik has introduced an operator training simulator to provide a compact and flexible solution to safely train teams on the DD422i, DD422iE and DT922i drill rigs.

The development provides a low weight safe training tool that is highly portable, enabling it to be used where it is most needed – on site.

Sandvik has designed the simulator specifically to improve both operator and drilling performance, delivering benefits for underground drilling applications.

The fully mobile system weighs less than 50 kilograms, enabling training to be undertaken anywhere.

Sandvik aims to deliver real-life training in a simulated working environment, with drill rig operators and maintenance teams learning about rig capabilities before progressing to the actual equipment.

“The simulator acts like a real rig, operated with authentic controls and combined with the same control system software as that installed on the drills themselves,” according to Sandvik.

“The simulator comes with purpose-developed software that includes a range of specific exercises for recording and measuring operator behaviour.

“The trainer can initiate machine faults, incidents or hazards to train and assess operators, thereby ensuring they are able to respond correctly to any scenario with maximum efficiency.”

Training sessions can be conducted for multiple participants in a safe environment, preventing risk of injury or material damage.

Furthermore, the simulator facilitates regular operator retraining and the implementation of an operator assessment process without impacting site productivity.

The simulator safely develops and refreshes operators’ skills within a protected environment and significantly reduces the drill start up period, according to Sandvik.

“It has been designed to ensure that rig operators are fully familiar with the features and the capabilities of the Sandvik rig from day one,” the OEM added.

“The shorter transition to using the real equipment results in quicker familiarisation, improving efficiency and productivity. Additionally, there is no risk of equipment damage, zero consumption of rock tools and fuel, zero emissions and no exposure of the trainees to risk in familiarising them with a new drill rig.”

Sandvik estimates the use of the simulator will produce a 5 per cent increase in annual productivity in rig availability alone.

In addition, training costs are forecast to reduce by up to 35 per cent, with sessions being easily and safely conducted on site with multiple operators.

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