Smart technology for mobile explosives units

1st December 2023

Mining explosives and blasting technology supplier BME is leveraging smart technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning as a key aspect of its automation efforts to enhance the productivity and safety of its mobile manufacturing units (MMUs).

The smart MMUs provide realtime data on the loading of bulk emulsion into blastholes.

Further, the company’s digital solutions such as Xplolog and Xplocharge can automate aspects of blasthole charging, including the realtime tracking of emulsion volumes being pumped on the bench by smart trucks.

“These volumes are monitored by on-vehicle equipment, which compares the planned volumes with the actual volumes required,” explains BME technology and marketing GM Nishen Hariparsad.

He adds that this data can then be transmitted wirelessly to be stored and analysed in cloud-based platforms.

According to BME, this data lends itself to ongoing cost optimisation, and to ensuring that there is no waste of resources in achieving an optimal blast result.

Truck performance can also be measured by digital telemetry through Internet of Things devices – functionality which improves productivity, maintenance control, product quality and asset use.

The MMUs are built, with safe and smart loading technology, at a specialised in-house assembly and fabrication facility in South Africa, where BME has built more than 200 MMUs.

BME continues to innovate and improve its smart technology, including the recently released new version of its Xplolog system for capturing and analysing data on blast holes and decks.

The performance of this version is enhanced with design and application code built from the ground up, and with a new and upgraded database using technology company Google’s Cloud Services.

The installation of this technology on MMUs helps mines to monitor their block progress in real time and enables the quality of blasts to be continuously improved to provide sustainable outcomes for BME’s customers.

Together with BME’s digitally smart MMUs and loading solution, a seamless integration of on-bench digital technology and electronic initiation systems also make an important contribution to controlled blasting, which prevents risks like vibration and rockfly, further preventing poor blast outcomes.