The company made the announcement at #DisruptMining, an event focused on fostering new technology in the mining industry that took place in Toronto, Canada yesterday during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's (PDAC) annual convention.
To enable interoperability, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology will introduce the AutoMine Access API. This is designed to provide standard, pre-defined interfaces for connecting third party loaders and trucks for control by Sandvik's AutoMine system. An application programming interface (API) is a set of functions and procedures that allows the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.
In addition to APIs, to be compatible with AutoMine, third party equipment designs must conform to the functional safety requirements specified for AutoMine.
The company stated that this API is another step in Sandvik's journey to drive a digital ecosystem that makes mining smarter, safer and more efficient.
"As a world leader in underground automation, we have a responsibility to make this game-changing technology easier to implement for the mining industry," said Patrick Murphy, president rock drills & technologies at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. "While we feel that customers will achieve the highest level of performance when purchasing Sandvik equipment, we recognise the need to unlock automation's full potential for all equipment regardless of manufacturer. Customers with mixed fleets will have the full power of AutoMine behind them as well."
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology released its Interoperability Policy in April 2018, outlining the principles by which Sandvik systems can communicate within a digital ecosystem including data accessibility, fleet data compatibility, data rights and control and data privacy. The company stated that the addition of AutoMine for underground loaders and trucks to this policy is the next step in Sandvik's continued journey to set the industry standard for mine automation and digitalisation.
"Sandvik has been leading the market in automation for decades, with more than 400 pieces of equipment using AutoMine around the world without an injury," said Murphy. "As more customers embark on their digital journeys, interoperability will be a requirement. We are proud to leverage our experience to drive digitalisation further in the mining industry."