SimQuarry – optimising the process

24 April 2008

SimQuarry combines Sandvik's years of quarrying experience and computing power into an effective sim

SimQuarry combines Sandvik's years of quarrying experience and computing power into an effective simulation service.

Running a quarry involves literally hundreds of production variables, all of which have an impact on the profi tability (or loss) of the whole operation. How best to lay out the site? How to drill? How to blast? Type and position of crushers? Preferred fragmentation? and so on. Added to these are business factors such as customer requirements, profi tability targets and investment budgets. Fortunately, a combination of computing power and Sandvik Mining and Construction's years of quarrying experience has been distilled into an analysis service using a special software tool called SimQuarry.

SimQuarry is different to many computer simulation systems on the market in that it has been built using many years of research data from real life quarries around the world. “There are 20 years of practical knowledge converted into a programme,” said Pasi Järvenpää, who heads the surface drilling division's quality and production.

Xavier Thérin, Manufacturing Performance Manager at Lafarge Branche Granulats & Beton has worked with SimQuarry and Sandvik's team to optimize operation's at a 5 million tonnes per year quarry in the UK. “I fi nd the progress being made with SimQuarry encouraging. To my knowledge it is the only system that has managed to bring together all the concepts in quarrying in a useable and logical form,” he said

Bottlenecks can be identifi ed by analysing the process from the rock face to finished product production, and with over 100 variables available SimQuarry can identify the true cost of drilling, blasting, breaking, loading and hauling. This data is invaluable in identifying where money is being spent. And by knowing this, areas for cost savings become readily apparent. It's not just the mechanical processes that SimQuarry highlights - even easily overlooked aspects such as landscaping, safety, management and control can be factored into the analysis.

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