Artificial Intelligence helps to avoid accidents in mining areas

The technology can be used to identify risks in the operation and prevent the occurrence of disasters, enabling the monitoring of operations in real time

The mining sector has been excelling in the use of so-called smart solutions, that is, in solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the use of excavation, loading and transport equipment, in addition to those that collect data from external areas and perform analysis of geophysical data, security and preventive maintenance.

Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and laser mapping sensors can capture detailed terrain data, for example. The technology analyzes data from the projected plant and compares it to the site in real time, making it possible to detect cracks or structural problems with the data being processed by machine learning algorithms and data analytics.

Despite the economic importance of mining, it still faces challenges related to safety and the environment. The tragedies of Brumadinho and Mariana, in Minas Gerais, are examples of how neglecting security issues can have serious and irreparable consequences.

“We already have technology that can help prevent accidents like these from happening again. Artificial intelligence is an accurate and fast way to identify risks in operation and prevent disasters, enabling mining companies to monitor their operations more efficiently and in real time. The use of drones allows for safer and more accurate inspections in areas of difficult access and today there are already drones with pre-configured flight plans, which means that any employee can monitor it without having to be an expert in drone flights”, Eduardo Vargas, business development manager for Brazil at Graymatics remarks.

According to him, artificial intelligence can be used to develop simulation models that help prevent accidents, simulate the ideal functioning of material flows carried by equipment and labor resources at the construction site to avoid accidents at work.

In addition, it can also be used to control and optimize processing processes, reduce waste of the water used, improve operational efficiency and increase the lifespan of high-value equipment with preventive monitoring, as well as helping to prevent leaks.

Remote operation provides operator safety

Do you know that typical scene of the operator who arrives at the construction site, goes to the equipment with his helmet, boots and badge to start another day of work? So, it is no longer the same, technological evolution today makes it possible for this professional to operate the machine virtually, based in an office or operations center miles away from the construction site. That is, he becomes a real-life gamer in concrete activities.

“The teleoperated solution makes it possible for people to operate machines dozens of kilometers away from the mine, without the need to comply with all the necessary protocols for a face-to-face situation. This eliminates several risks of accidents and unproductive time”, explains Marx Gutierrez, general manager of Sitech Brasil.

This solution serves companies responsible for working with equipment in the most varied applications, such as decommissioning works and readjustment of dams at risk, dredging dikes and/or dams with amphibious equipment, forestry and vegetation suppression, movement of radioactive materials, cleaning of ship hold, removal of undue materials in crushers, steel mill, operation, handling of wagons, among others.

On the screen, the operator can view the entire work environment and the interior of the cabin, with all the cameras. The information on the equipment’s panel is projected as if it were virtual reality, where it is possible to follow the machine’s speed, monitor handbrake alerts, oil, overheating, inclinometer, reverse and maneuver assistant, among other functions. “The professional has a gamer’s screen in front of him, where he activates all commands in real time, with no response delays”, concludes Marx.

By: Santelmo Camilo