12/08/2021 - 10:30

Ausdrill to co-develop system for rock scaling

12/08/2021 - 10:30

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Perenti subsidiary Ausdrill has partnered with the University of Technology Sydney and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC to co-develop a system for safer rock scaling operations.

The HALO virtual reality technology is expected to create safer rock scaling operations. Image: Ausdrill

Perenti subsidiary Ausdrill has partnered with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) to co-develop a system for safer rock scaling operations.

The new platform, called HALO (High Access Localised Operations) is a robotic system with high-level autonomous control that the organisations expect will create a safer way to conduct rock scaling operations, using virtual reality (VR).

The $460,000 project is funded by Perth-based Ausdrill and IMCRC.

IMCRC director industrial transformation Simon Dawson said the technology could be used to advance and support the manufacturing industry.

“We are happy to be supporting Ausdrill in developing a tool that can be used across the world,” he said.

Rock scaling is used to remove loose and unstable substances from the surface that is blasted before mining.

The HALO project intends to solve health and safety problems, as well as address the shortage of qualified personnel required to perform rock scaling activities.

Ausdrill chief operating officer Roy Coates said the VR technology will help in creating safer customisable process for the first time.

“We are using technology to re-engineer how we perform rock scaling to eliminate the risks associated with working at heights and reduce our employees’ exposure to hazards,” he said.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to safety and eliminating hazards for our workforce.”

He said the new process would also reduce the costs of rock scaling operations.

Ausdrill plans to develop a prototype that can be tested and produced in its Perth manufacturing facility.

Shares in Perenti were down 0.3 per cent at 12:09pm AEST to trade at 93 cents.

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