Research Update Automated Bolting and Meshing Project Project Outline Summary of the Project • This project aims to help contribute to ACARP and the Australian’s underground coal industry’s CM2010 initiative in achieving production rates from a continuous miner of at least 10 metres per operating hour and 20 hours per day utilisation by 2010. • We aim to do this by developing a system integrated into a continuous miner platform that will fully automate the process of self loading and installing: 1. rib and roof SDB bolts, and associated plates, washers etc., 2. steel roof and rib mesh or other alternative roof confinement material, 3. materials handling systems needed to efficiently supply consumables at the expected rates of use. Today ACARP Funded Project C17018 Direct Industry Funded Pilot Study 2007 / 08 2008 2009 2010 Project Outcomes The expected major benefits of this project will be: • an overall decrease in roof and rib support installation cycle times that will directly increase roadway development production rates; • the reduced exposure of personnel to unsupported roof, dust, noise, water, moving equipment and outburst conditions. – For LTI frequency of hand/finger injuries by employer activity, roof/rib bolting had the highest incidence at 26% followed by materials handling at 16%. For injuries causing death, there have been 107 fatalities for NSW coal mine in the past 25 years with 61% occurring at the development face and 57% related to rock falls; • reduced manual handling injuries by improving the logistics and storage method for the loading and transportation of roof support consumables to and then within the development area and finally onto a continuous miner. • the removal of remedial and repetitive manual tasks that allows for better utilisation of mine operators elsewhere in the production process. Project Outcomes To date: • Preliminary study (Aug 07 – March 08) to identify technical risk, likely hood of success and to formulate preliminary concepts for industry consideration. Colliery Company Location Entry Miners Observed Strata Condition Dendrobium BHP Billiton Mt Kembla, NSW highwall ABM20 moderate West Cliff BHP Billiton Appin, NSW trolley car 12CM30 moderate with gas Appin West BHP Billiton Douglas Park, NSW shaft & cage 12CM12 moderate with very high gas Beltana XStrata Hunter Valley, NSW highwall 12CM12 very good Austar Yancoal Cessnock, NSW trolley car ABM20 ABM25 very poor Angus Place Centennial Lithgow, NSW trolley car 12CM30 poor Springvale Centennial Lithgow, NSW drift 12CM30 poor Crinum BMA Emerald, QL highwall ABM25 12CM12 very good Grasstree Anglo Coal Capcoal Middlemount, QL shaft & cage 12CM32 good to very good North Goonyella Peabody Nth Goonyella, QL drift ABM25 ABM20 good Northern Underground XStrata Newlands, QL highwall 12CM12 very good Major Observations • Although roadway development when simply broken down is “cut, bolt, convey”, there is an amazing amount of variance in the process that makes it difficult to automate. Physical Variance • Geotechnical conditions • Machinery preferences • Bolt pattern density • Cutting cycles • Seam height • Logistics Intangible Variance • Work force culture • Management standards “variation is Automation’s worst enemy” Can Lean Automation be the solution for bolt and mesh handling? Lean Automation • In general terms, Lean Automation is an alternative to rigid and inflexible dedicated automation machinery with light weight multipurpose reconfigurable flexible robotics. • This flexibility allows them to be used for multipurpose operations (like bolt, plate, washer and mesh handling) by using multitasking end effectors. Managing Variance in Automation • Difficult to make a ‘one-fits-all’ automation device that will load bolts, plates, washers and mesh. • Lean Automation provides the needed flexibility at minimal capital costs, while maintaining the typical automation benefits of increased control and efficiency. • Also allows for easy reconfiguration for various CM machine layouts and different mine roadway dimensions. Reprogrammable manipulators Intelligent sensing Managing Variance in Automation Managing Variance in Automation Industrial Manipulators Multifunctional end effector Mesh dispensing unit Two cooperating robots with additional linear motion Bolt, nut and plate presenter Mesh Handling Mesh Handling Delmia V5. Future Automation Tools Logic control integration 3D CAD integration DASSAULT SYSTEMS V5. Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) Abaqus suite of FEA and CFD Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Digital manufacturing and robot interfacing RD Simulation RD Process RD Simulation CSIRO Mine Mapping Where to from here Year one • Determine how the SDB will be combined onto a continuous miner. • Building a prototype materials supply delivery system for bolts, plates, washers etc. in the laboratory and demonstrating the automatic loading of SDB into mock up drilling rigs. Year two • Building a prototype materials supply delivery system for mesh and demonstrating the automatic placement of the mesh into a fixing position. • Interact the bolt and mesh cycles together for fully automatic cycle. • Design and simulate various configurations to suit the variation outlined earlier. • Determine and design a material supply chain to the machine at the expected tonnage rates.