Earlier this month a release came across my desk that blended machines with survey data capture; something that I have been excited about since the conception of this website! The ability for smaller, cheaper scanning capabilities to be built into the workflows of existing machines at the mining face could deliver great value to mining projects. Normet has released its latest addition to its popular SmartScan functionality, which allows spray crews to now geo reference their scans in place.
SmartScan Align will leverage existing survey control networks in the mine to place the collected scan data correctly in space, capturing data before and after the spraying process. This allows operators to view heat maps in situ, notifying them of any areas that require additional spray application. Plus, it will allow as-built data to be generated for every working face. This could reduce hold ups on surveyors having to fit into the cycle and improves self sufficiency of shotcrete QA/QC seen at mines with very technical ground support strategies.
Scanning takes 2.5 minutes for each pass, with a couple of extra seconds on the existing process to geo reference the survey targets. It is a definite value add for underground projects, not only due to the quality of data but also the time saving in the often time sensitive development process. Data share between surveyors and the spray crew could become problematic and an auto sync of data would be beneficial! However, one problem this will definitely stop is spraying over the precious survey control points by concrete crews into the future (a problem that often plagues us surveyors!). The system can easily be fitted to most existing Normet spray rigs, so a new fleet is not required for implementation.
“Many of our customers have been requesting this feature when they have seen the potential that the SmartScan has in advanced reporting, as-built documentation and BIM modelling” says Panu Oikkonen, Director Underground Process Excellence from Normet. “SmartScan Align is available throughout our sprayer fleet and with it our customers can georeference the scan results and thickness maps in any coordinate system of their choice.”
Congratulations to Normet, who have built on this successful technology initially offered to market in 2019! The blending of improved transparency at the work face through data capture, coupled with market leading equipment is definitely the way of the future.
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