Getting real-time data from a blast block during drilling, charging and stemming operations is difficult with traditional manual reporting systems – but BME’s Xplolog system has changed all that.
By allowing on-site personnel on the block to enter key parameters electronically using a rugged mobile hand-held device, Xplolog gives managers the power to improve the quality of blast preparation – leading to better blasting results and more profitable mining.
According to Dr Rakhi Pathak, Product Manager at BME, the key advantage is that information about each hole can be easily captured on the device and will upload to a centralised database as soon as a data network is available.
“This ensures quick and seamless integration of data, removing the time lag and reducing the chances of data-related errors in the capturing phase,” said Pathak. “Decisions can then be made timeously about any issues picked up in the data – before the blast is detonated.”
The user can upload their survey and blast designs to the central Xplolog database, and this can in turn be downloaded onto all the hand-held devices out in the field. The database also automatically synchronises all data coming in from the blast blocks.
“Our system is designed to be very simple to operate – both to upload and download data – as well as for the whole mine to gain a holistic picture of exactly what is happening on the blast blocks,” she said. “The most important part of the system is that it presents all the data on a dashboard for management decision-making.”
A mine blaster can use the system to closely monitor the activity and performance of the various teams responsible for drilling, charging and stemming – which can help to control the utilisation of key resources like emulsions.
“There are also safety benefits to using Xplolog,” she says. “Where there is reactive ground on a block, for instance, this can be recorded as a safety issue on the database. In line with safety regulations, the rugged hand-held device is inherently safe.”
BME does not believe in the one-size-fits-all principle, so the system is designed to be customised for each customer’s specific requirements – and is tailored to suit the mine’s application and the data they need to generate.
“In one of our customisations, for example, we introduced a parameter on sleeving for a customer who required this information on their dashboard,” she said. “We were able to create an entry for this data, as well as report on it; our standard package can be easily modified to add further value for the mine.”
The Xplolog system is able to integrate fully with BME’s powerful Blastmap software, allowing users to view and edit Xplolog designs in Blastmap, and to sync designs from Blastmap to the Xplolog database.