PRESS RELEASE: BlastIQ is the latest version of Orica's digital platform, designed to optimise blasting outcomes by integrating data and insights from digitally connected technologies across the drill-and-blast process.
According to Orica, solutions enabled by BlastIQ can deliver predictable and sustainable improvements that can reduce the overall cost of drill-and-blast operations, improve productivity and safety, and facilitate regulatory compliance.
Orica chief commercial officer Angus Melbourne described how Orica's digital technologies are helping customers: "The downstream impact of variable and poorly controlled blast outcomes today can impact as much as 80% of the total mine processing costs, this presents a significant opportunity for the industry.
"The new BlastIQ platform enhances blast performance and outcomes for customers by seamlessly connecting data under a single platform. Soon the platform will link geoscientific, blast modelling and design data with measured field operations data, optimised blast delivery and advanced learning for continuous improvement.
"Orica wants to transform how drill and blast unlocks mining value for our customers, utilising digital and automated technologies to create safer, predictable and more productive blast outcomes - BlastIQ enables us to collaborate with customers to realise this transformation."
The information management component of the BlastIQ platform provides a secure, centralised online location for users to collate and collaborate on data from across the drill-and-blast process. This accelerates planning, analysis and auditing of blast data to satisfy regulatory requirements.
Optimised blast designs are developed using Orica's SHOTPlus 3D design and modelling software.
Orica global digital product manager Angelo Labriola said: "Our SHOTPlus design tool improves productivity by integrating seamlessly with the BlastIQ platform. This allows blast loading instructions and rules to be communicated in near real-time to field operations, ensuring the right explosive type and quantity is used in the right place and subsequently initiated at the right time, every time.
"Improved in-field blast quality control and assurance is achieved using the new BlastIQ Mobile device, enabling the efficient capture of auditable data direct from the bench.
"Blasthole condition data is captured with the BlastIQ Mobile device in near real time, allowing data to be shared between operations and engineering personnel from anywhere on-site, at any time, empowering rapid decision making and improved operational efficiencies."
The complete Blast Control Solution, enabled by the BlastIQ platform, offers an integration between the explosives delivery control system, blast design and quality management systems.
"Orica's Mobile Manufacturing Unit (MMU) delivery systems, in particular the recently released Bulkmaster 7 unit, can be integrated into BlastIQ to wirelessly receive blast designs updated with near real-time blasthole quality data, while on bench," said Labriola.
"Using this data, Orica's connected, smart delivery systems load the correct explosive type and quantity according to the original design, adjusted based on blasthole condition measurement data and the automated application of a defined set of rules managed by the drill-and-blast engineer.
"This unique, direct integration with the delivery control system automates process control, thereby eliminating errors in manual product selection, process control and incorrect logging of loading actuals, as well as importantly reducing overall explosives loading times."
Where a BlastIQ-enabled delivery system is not available, a BlastIQ Mobile device can be used to capture and record as-loaded data during the delivery process.
In late 2018, multilingual support will be introduced to the BlastIQ platform, as well as new capability to optimise blast fragmentation through integration of drilling data, blast modelling, and automated fragmentation measurement. In early 2019, the platform will connect third-party mine planning, drilling and incorporate predictive modelling to deliver even greater blast control and optimisation for customers.