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Remote access for safe production in Chile 26 Apr 2018

RCT News Release

Australian teleremote company RCT has used a custom built ControlMaster automated guidance system fitted to Sandvik loaders to help safe excavation in mud at the Codelco owned El Teniente copper mine in Chile.

The site is prone to mud rush caused by ice melting on the Andes mountain range, a hazard that closed the exploration area for many months.

Safe remote control from surface
Safe remote control from surface

With the guidance system fitted to the vehicles, the operators are able to relocate from the site to a surface control room complete with amenities to guide the loaders remotely using the digital wi-fi communication network already installed at the site.

The RCT Automation solution ensures the loader travels along the optimum path at a speed that will deliver consistent cycle times across all drivers, during every shift. The loader is also able to avoid walls and obstacles to reduce machine damage and unplanned downtime, and can be driven faster, in third gear, to increase productivity.

“It was quite a challenging engineering project which required the combination of proven RCT solutions linked to an exisitng network – but projects like this are the reason we have our specialised custom division,” said RCT Senior BDM, Phil Goode.

“This project highlights just how versatile RCT automation solutions are. It was a significant bespoke engineering project and required the new solution to be factory tested before installation at the El Teniente site. It was good to spend time with the operators to deliver hands-on training and guidance to help them take ownership of the new technology.”

“The system uses a standard wireless network, configured and managed with its own resources, as is used in various systems of underground work,” said Rafael Guzmán, Chief of Mine Automation.

Sites that were once abandoned due to safety concerns can now be accessed and the technology can be used in other underground excavation projects facing similar conditions.

Since the 1970s, the RCT team has grown to 150+ committed people working with clients in over 64 countries worldwide, from Australia to Africa, Asia, Russia, North America and Latin America.

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