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View Full Version : Who makes autonomous machines in the mines possible?



ripper1199
18-01-2013, 02:50 AM
Looking for a change of field and this whole autonomous machines thing sounds interesting. I would like to know who makes, installs, sets up and maintains the systems necessary, what kind of professions are involved and what are the names of companies in the Perth/WA area.
Cheers guys

Samuelg
18-01-2013, 03:32 AM
skynet

stoner
18-01-2013, 06:04 AM
Remote control technologies in kewdale.

A lot of electrical engineering as well as manufacture and sales.

Falcore
18-01-2013, 06:30 AM
whs

this mob did the remotes for the boggers at work on the old site. was a hell of a lot less temperamental than the system on em before.

g0zer
18-01-2013, 07:10 AM
just about all industrial process plants are controlled by some combination of scada dcs plc. they are coded and designed by programmers, process and chemical engineers, electrical engineers sometimes by mechatronics engineers.

all the engineering firms such as gres lyco akers ausenco will either have in house human resources with specialities that cover these fields or will sub contract to electrical engineering specialists.

it is usually a combined effort. process knows the why and how, electrical implements the hardware and computing translates control narratives into the various code platforms required.

Rennis
18-01-2013, 07:41 AM
Minestar, the trucks up at Solomon are run by cat themselfs I believe

shtinky
18-01-2013, 08:23 AM
Yeah I did some survey work at Solomon for Cat
they had a few American guys setting this up for them inhouse

Turboknapp
18-01-2013, 08:35 AM
The CAT system is called MineStar, it covers a range of machines. From the large dump trucks to loading tools, at the moment only the trucks run autonomous. Other equipment interacts with it, but is still manned or remote driven.
There is also MINEGEM which is the product for underground gear such as boggers etc, this is autonomy as well. Solomon had the Autonomy GoLive date yesterday with all sorts of big wigs there.

jmoore
18-01-2013, 08:39 AM
A large amount of the push for Autonomy in Australian Mining is being done by Rio Tinto and comes through the Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation (http://www.acfr.usyd.edu.au/rtcma/).

They are the major leaders in this field but there are plenty of other smaller players and multi-nationals coming on to the scene now.

If you are looking at a university / academic role, send me a pm as I have contacts for people in this area.

Jobs in this area are few and far between and they tend to bring in more experts from overseas that want to immigrate to Perth rather than using local talent.

If you want to work for a multi-national that do some degree of design, sales and construction of these systems you could look at the likes of ABB, Honeywell, Siemens etc.

Transmin is a very good example of a local company that design and develop robotics solutions as well. There are a few other people in this area but their names escape me at the moment - will edit and update as I remember them.

Sookie
18-01-2013, 08:57 AM
CSEMAT do the programming and control for the Citech systems. Bayswater

mcmurray
18-01-2013, 09:29 AM
The larger installations usually run a DCS for automation. Design, programming and commissioning is carried out by the DCS vendor, some examples: Yokogawa, Siemens, Honeywell, ABB.

Take a look at these companies and see what is required for these jobs. If you're interested in going down this path, Murdoch university offers an automation degree specifically aimed at becoming proficient with these type of systems.

Sookie
18-01-2013, 09:36 AM
Also as mcmurray said murdoch's degree is valuable however if you want to focus on a broader less focuses automation role, may I suggest you also consider Mechatronic Engineering at Curtin. I have a guy I worked with for a few years do this degree and now he works for Siemens as a Research Development Engineer for the automation systems division

jmoore
18-01-2013, 10:19 AM
Mechatronics is the most useless degree ever - don't waste your time with it

Commander Keen
18-01-2013, 10:23 AM
The minestar system has been tested on Rio Tinto sites but they turfed in favour of the autonomous system Komatsu came up with as it has extra redundancies built in that Minestar isn't capable of.

I'm not sure who supplies the Komatsu gear but it works a lot better than Minestar.

Turboknapp
18-01-2013, 10:43 AM
^^^^
This isn't 100% true, RIO use Modular on all their sites they use Komatsu trucks for hauling. It isn't actually a Komatsu system, it is a stand alone that is installed on the machine. It doesn't intergrate with CAT gear as well, based on the fact that CAT has its own product. Why would they want it to, it would keep them out of business
RIO uses MineStar on all of its site for the loading and dozing and drilling tools, it is actually the prefered system for them. The only reason they have Komatsu trucks is because of a global alliance agreement in place between the two.

MineStar is a far superior system, hence why BHP dumped Modular after 20+ years and signed all of its sites up for the CAT system. FMG is the same they have turfed Jigsaw and implemented MineStar at all their sites. Currently there is over 1000 machines in the state running something from the CAT MineStar system.

shan
18-01-2013, 10:54 AM
Mechatronics is the most useless degree ever - don't waste your time with it
This sounds like a joke
Mechatronics WTF , did some boffen just make that shit up or what

Brougham
18-01-2013, 11:04 AM
Remote control technologies in kewdale.

A lot of electrical engineering as well as manufacture and sales.

Yep. My bro-in-law works there building the robots. Pretty awesome stuff they come up with.

Commander Keen
18-01-2013, 11:10 AM
^^^^
This isn't 100% true, RIO use Modular on all their sites they use Komatsu trucks for hauling. It isn't actually a Komatsu system, it is a stand alone that is installed on the machine. It doesn't intergrate with CAT gear as well, based on the fact that CAT has its own product. Why would they want it to, it would keep them out of business
RIO uses MineStar on all of its site for the loading and dozing and drilling tools, it is actually the prefered system for them. The only reason they have Komatsu trucks is because of a global alliance agreement in place between the two.

MineStar is a far superior system, hence why BHP dumped Modular after 20+ years and signed all of its sites up for the CAT system. FMG is the same they have turfed Jigsaw and implemented MineStar at all their sites. Currently there is over 1000 machines in the state running something from the CAT MineStar system.

I wasn't sure if I was 100% on that, I left Komatsu years ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy.

Cheers.

Turboknapp
18-01-2013, 11:12 AM
Don't worry I live the fuzzy existance :-)

Rennis
18-01-2013, 12:53 PM
Belive minestar at westrac are looking for number with jimbalbar(bhp site) starting up on the 27th

Turboknapp
18-01-2013, 01:00 PM
^^^^
This has already happened, 22 machines installed with the MineStar system. The total project is catering for 71 machines with the technology, the 27th is just the "go-live" date for the Fleet Management System.

Cbr1k
18-01-2013, 09:58 PM
So with the autonomous drills does the computer ring you up and call you a cunt because you have no parts? ;)

thro
19-01-2013, 03:19 PM
Yeah most of the stuff on our sites is Minegem (underground).


So with the autonomous drills does the computer ring you up and call you a cunt because you have no parts?
;)

Lol.

AFAIK there's still usually an operator, in a cushy air conditioned office next to the coffee machine. Who can still contact you to say you're a cunt.

:D


eventually they'll get moved off-site, and then eventually back home and not even need to commute to work... only a matter of time.

filbert
19-01-2013, 03:29 PM
i bet they kill less kids than the drone operators....

Turboknapp
19-01-2013, 04:06 PM
I can't wait for the day that there is no operators in the machines!

spudda
19-01-2013, 05:31 PM
As a dispatcher of 5 years roll on autonomous fleet! 170 people on site with rain recovery. This is 100% union pit staff management mind you and when I asked for people to help hits eat the very little equipment we actually had running......12 people put there hand up. Useless lazy self indulgent shits. I've had a ride at west ang in the passenger seat. Weird feeling, no toilet breaks, no crib, no I'm a whiny little bitch. Bulk tonnes baby!

spudda
19-01-2013, 05:31 PM
That's hot seat....

Turboknapp
19-01-2013, 06:19 PM
As a dispatcher of 5 years roll on autonomous fleet! 170 people on site with rain recovery. This is 100% union pit staff management mind you and when I asked for people to help hits eat the very little equipment we actually had running......12 people put there hand up. Useless lazy self indulgent shits. I've had a ride at west ang in the passenger seat. Weird feeling, no toilet breaks, no crib, no I'm a whiny little bitch. Bulk tonnes baby!

By far the best reason for autonomy, no more operators.
No more "my air con is to cold" or "this truck is really loud"
.

Waikikablukar
20-01-2013, 12:03 PM
^^^^
This isn't 100% true, RIO use Modular on all their sites they use Komatsu trucks for hauling. It isn't actually a Komatsu system, it is a stand alone that is installed on the machine. It doesn't intergrate with CAT gear as well, based on the fact that CAT has its own product. Why would they want it to, it would keep them out of business
RIO uses MineStar on all of its site for the loading and dozing and drilling tools, it is actually the prefered system for them. The only reason they have Komatsu trucks is because of a global alliance agreement in place between the two.

MineStar is a far superior system, hence why BHP dumped Modular after 20+ years and signed all of its sites up for the CAT system. FMG is the same they have turfed Jigsaw and implemented MineStar at all their sites. Currently there is over 1000 machines in the state running something from the CAT MineStar system.


Isnt modular their tracking and run loggin system not the automation that is installed on the AHS trucks? Komatsu do the work on the automation systems to these trucks and will not let anyone else near it I believe

Turboknapp
20-01-2013, 12:21 PM
Modular is the Mine dispatch system, with autonomy you need the systems to integrate. The mine map is loaded into the dispatch system, from there the truck has "lanes" in which to run in.
So Komatsu will have its on board system, it also needs the modular system for mine/map vision. Machine location etc is all done via hi precision GPS.
With CAT MineStar the dispatch system and on board systems are all intergrated, don't need 3rd party interfacing etc.

Waikikablukar
20-01-2013, 02:23 PM
Cheers for the clarification :)

Turboknapp
20-01-2013, 06:38 PM
No problems happy to help. I work with autonomy/ technology solutions

ranmar850
20-01-2013, 07:24 PM
As a dispatcher of 5 years roll on autonomous fleet! 170 people on site with rain recovery. This is 100% union pit staff management mind you and when I asked for people to help hits eat the very little equipment we actually had running......12 people put there hand up. Useless lazy self indulgent shits. I've had a ride at west ang in the passenger seat. Weird feeling, no toilet breaks, no crib, no I'm a whiny little bitch. Bulk tonnes baby!
..and you don't have boneheads breaking the trucks, either. They do better with a computer driving them than the average human.Reduced maintenance requirements Safer, too, had a number of incidents lately with "microsleeps", trucks hitting windrows, or actually heading for another truck, in one case. Good thing the other driver was awake..yes, i'm still at *d, spuddy.

I Like ( . Y . )
20-01-2013, 09:10 PM
Robots Replace Miners In Oz - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0RCSX95QmE)

This is rios small video, look at the guy Dave Booth, he no longer works with us but thats my desk now lol

Waikikablukar
21-01-2013, 06:11 AM
..and you don't have boneheads breaking the trucks, either. They do better with a computer driving them than the average human.Reduced maintenance requirements Safer, too, had a number of incidents lately with "microsleeps", trucks hitting windrows, or actually heading for another truck, in one case. Good thing the other driver was awake..yes, i'm still at *d, spuddy.


Where are you Ranmar? We are having some of the same issues too

jmoore
21-01-2013, 08:48 AM
Robots Replace Miners In Oz - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0RCSX95QmE)

This is rios small video, look at the guy Dave Booth, he no longer works with us but thats my desk now lol

Sweet desk bro! How much damage can you do if you accidently that e-stop ?

I Like ( . Y . )
21-01-2013, 09:22 AM
Its a friggin hassle, locks everything out including the train and it has to be reset on site

Stephan
21-01-2013, 01:30 PM
Modular Mining Systems is a Komatsu subsidiary and was formed to develop autonomous machine operations in open cut mining. I saw the first working machines at Alcoa in 1995. They were HD985-3s...

Sunshine & F'n Rainbows
21-01-2013, 02:30 PM
Looking for a change of field and this whole autonomous machines thing sounds interesting. I would like to know who makes, installs, sets up and maintains the systems necessary, what kind of professions are involved and what are the names of companies in the Perth/WA area.
Cheers guys

What do you want to know?

This is the kind of thing I deal with all day, I'll trade coffee for a very honest discussion on what the industry currently is VS what the papers say it is, and answer any questions I reasonably can without dropping any secret sky-net-esque shit (hint, there's no sky-net-esque shit in this end of the market, sadly).

I realise you said you want to know who makes, installs, sets up, etc..etc..etc... to go over all that shit I'd be typing for a month.

Do you have a fleet management background?
Do you have a system engineer background?
Do you have a mining process background?
Do you have a mining fleet management background?
Do you have an IT background?
High precision GPS?
Auto sparky?

Tell me more about you, then we'll talk about automation.

Nero Diablo
21-01-2013, 04:26 PM
What do you want to know?

Tell me more about you, then we'll talk about automation.

Interested, tried to pm you, you need to clear some space!

ranmar850
21-01-2013, 05:01 PM
Where are you Ranmar? We are having some of the same issues too

These are mostly notifications right across the Pilbara business, although we have had a microsleep event recently. But we have to look at it right across the business, too, can't operate in isolation, as we used to. The new system of red/orange/blue banner notifications means it all goes out to everyone, now. I am at HD1.

Sunshine & F'n Rainbows
21-01-2013, 05:12 PM
Interested, tried to pm you, you need to clear some space!

Will clear room when I get home tonight mate, my apologies.

In a nutshell, I'm in the software end of automation and fleet management systems, have a good deal of experience with the in-fleet machines and the surrounding infrastructure, the reporting systems, what people are using them for, what people want to use them for, what the totally automated stuff does, why you'll not see it too wide spread in Australia for some time, etc..etc..etc.. Have kicked dirt in a few holes in the ground around the world (not enough mind you), and mostly kind-of pretend to know what I'm talking about.

If I have the knowledge and the means, I'll answer questions about it all. I'm the first person to admit I am not the greatest mind out there on the subject (probably not even on these forums), but I'll answer what I can.

Turboknapp
21-01-2013, 07:29 PM
Happy to add from a deployment and hardware side, can possibly even organise a tour out at Westrac for a look see

Sunshine & F'n Rainbows
22-01-2013, 10:16 AM
Happy to add from a deployment and hardware side, can possibly even organise a tour out at Westrac for a look see

I had a guy put an emergency escape hammer through one of my mobile screens once. No idea how he managed to keep his job.

I wasn't happy about it. The poor dude that had to replace it in the 50 degree pit was even less happy. I feel for the guys jerking cables on production gear, you do it hard.

spudda
27-01-2013, 05:39 PM
By far the best reason for autonomy, no more operators.
No more "my air con is to cold" or "this truck is really loud"
.

I'm now BHP mount Arthur coal in NSW with staff for management and specialty roles whilst the operations (plant/operations) are full time but on an EA with the union. . Let me put a few things into context for you. We are the only mine left in the Southern Hemisphere on penalty rates, every new employee must have three skills by the end of there 1 year traineeship. No swipe cards, if the trucks broken I will be in the crib room watching DVDs or sleeping. The union rep looking me in the eye and saying if you start disciplining people with the modular system we will start ripping out cords and breaking screens. This can easily total into the 70k's for a single truck in 2 minutes of malicious damage. Yet no file note or sackings. NSW mining industry is a joke. I miss hard rock.

spudda
27-01-2013, 05:43 PM
..and you don't have boneheads breaking the trucks, either. They do better with a computer driving them than the average human.Reduced maintenance requirements Safer, too, had a number of incidents lately with "microsleeps", trucks hitting windrows, or actually heading for another truck, in one case. Good thing the other driver was awake..yes, i'm still at *d, spuddy.

I used to think HD was bad with all the new greenies. We usually roll a car a month, hit a windrow weekly and in the last quarter dropped a digger off a float, dropped a digger off the face and rolled four moxys. This place raises the bar. The amount of operators on soft tissue injuries and return to work programs is ridiculous. Out of a crew of 220 with the allowance of 33 annual leave we usually have 45 to 55 people away a shift. Every shift!

ranmar850
27-01-2013, 08:13 PM
I used to think HD was bad with all the new greenies. We usually roll a car a month, hit a windrow weekly and in the last quarter dropped a digger off a float, dropped a digger off the face and rolled four moxys. This place raises the bar. The amount of operators on soft tissue injuries and return to work programs is ridiculous. Out of a crew of 220 with the allowance of 33 annual leave we usually have 45 to 55 people away a shift. Every shift! FFS, where are you now? I,m not seeing that come through on the rio notification system:o

spudda
28-01-2013, 06:38 AM
BHP mount arthur. NSW is a whole new ball game. I left rio About a year ago, the east coast is amazing but when you here the saying "they are 20 years behind in saftey and practices" i would add another 10 years to that total. I still have workers here that complain that the day they went from 8 hour shifts and started with modular was the day mining became to hard. Bloody slave drivers we are!.......We are currently swimming from this rain on the east coast, have already caught several putting there time cards in which is triple time fro a public holiday and trying to sneak out. No file notes, no sackings. Naughty boy, now back into your hiding spot in the crib room. Im trying to do Modular training presentations, been told to fuck of twice before 8 am.

Spina
28-01-2013, 07:37 AM
^^^^
This isn't 100% true, RIO use Modular on all their sites they use Komatsu trucks for hauling. It isn't actually a Komatsu system, it is a stand alone that is installed on the machine. It doesn't intergrate with CAT gear as well, based on the fact that CAT has its own product. Why would they want it to, it would keep them out of business
RIO uses MineStar on all of its site for the loading and dozing and drilling tools, it is actually the prefered system for them. The only reason they have Komatsu trucks is because of a global alliance agreement in place between the two.

MineStar is a far superior system, hence why BHP dumped Modular after 20+ years and signed all of its sites up for the CAT system. FMG is the same they have turfed Jigsaw and implemented MineStar at all their sites. Currently there is over 1000 machines in the state running something from the CAT MineStar system.

Yes, until we found out that mine star had 36 trucks parked up doing sfa. Every day I hear of operators screen faults telling them to go to the wrong digger, no instruction, etc. A lot of fudging the figures to hide some of the inefficiencies of minestar is happening, its a good system in theory but has many flaws in use. Probably just a design evolution of the system to improve issues, but its true value is probably hidden behind the number shuffling. The guys installing the system were responsible for at least one truck fire as the installation practices of westrac is pretty average. Installing minestar on existing circuits in the trucks, overloading and blowing fuses were rife at the handover of the system.

We have one ginger beer onsite that no-one wants and keeps getting shuffled around - guess what he is? Mechatronics is good for sfa in mining. No expertise in either field or maybe he is just a true dud.

ranmar850
28-01-2013, 09:05 AM
BHP mount arthur. NSW is a whole new ball game. I left rio About a year ago, the east coast is amazing but when you here the saying "they are 20 years behind in saftey and practices" i would add another 10 years to that total. I still have workers here that complain that the day they went from 8 hour shifts and started with modular was the day mining became to hard. Bloody slave drivers we are!.......We are currently swimming from this rain on the east coast, have already caught several putting there time cards in which is triple time fro a public holiday and trying to sneak out. No file notes, no sackings. Naughty boy, now back into your hiding spot in the crib room. Im trying to do Modular training presentations, been told to fuck of twice before 8 am.

Ahh, the joys of the old legacy, unionised sites. And don't they piss and moan when they are shut down as "economically unviable", seem to think a hole in the ground is a job for life. And then they have the f** hide to tell you that you are "safer" on a unionised site. Cesspits of corruption , theft, and slacking, most of them. And Collie in WA had plenty of that shit going on, too, from stories heard from those who had worked there.

The east coast can be awesome, I grew up there, so many natural advantages, spoilt by all those people.

shan
28-01-2013, 10:36 AM
Yes, until we found out that mine star had 36 trucks parked up doing sfa. Every day I hear of operators screen faults telling them to go to the wrong digger, no instruction, etc. A lot of fudging the figures to hide some of the inefficiencies of minestar is happening, its a good system in theory but has many flaws in use. Probably just a design evolution of the system to improve issues, but its true value is probably hidden behind the number shuffling. The guys installing the system were responsible for at least one truck fire as the installation practices of westrac is pretty average. Installing minestar on existing circuits in the trucks, overloading and blowing fuses were rife at the handover of the system.

We have one ginger beer onsite that no-one wants and keeps getting shuffled around - guess what he is? Mechatronics is good for sfa in mining. No expertise in either field or maybe he is just a true dud.
Hahahha reminds me when we used to hack into PITRAM if the pitram operator wouldent play ball with the work shop.
We would hack them and drive them nuts till they either went and left on there own or where run for being usless.
If work shop says the truck / digger needs work done on it, better listen .