“The pandemic has been an accelerating element in the transition of mining companies towards increasingly autonomous operations. The prevention protocols aimed at limiting the transmission of the virus have led to a reduction in the capacity in offices and workplaces and, therefore, new means and locations have been necessary so that workers, not only administrative but also operational, can comply with their work in a safe way and in a controlled environment.
Both in surface mining and in underground mining, the number of projects that include different levels of automation of our equipment has grown very significantly during the pandemic, not only in those that require new drilling machines, but also in retrofit projects for existing machines, incorporating remote and even autonomous operation functionalities into said machines.
As an example, the Level 6 of Automation or Total Autonomy of Epiroc’s production drilling equipment in surface mines allows us to operate our well-known Pit Vipers from hundreds of kilometers away, both from an office and from the operator's home”
Ángel Tobar, General Manager – Andean Region, Epiroc