Onboard ore analysis for mining equipment – laser guidance helps miners ‘see’ through rock

The Rockathon Mining Challenge, a co-creation and open innovation event, was organised by EIT RawMaterials partner, Sandvik and EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub (CLC) Baltic Sea team. The Rockathon gathered technology and software development companies, as well as subject-matter experts, to collaborate intensively on an onboard analysis project. The challenge was to create and design a workable and compatible system for onboard ore analysis for mining equipment. Rockathon participants were asked to contribute via brainstorming, ideation exercises and co-creation design thinking to real-time and onboard analysing system for moving mining machines. The analysing system should “see” inside the rock utilising mining equipment with a new intelligent rock mass analyser. It should also measure ore grade to define ore boundaries and avoid mining and processing of waste material.

We are always trying to figure out how to enable customers to be more productive and effective without compromising safety. The Rockathon challenge is a good continuation for our research work. At the end of the Rockathon, we set out concrete next steps with the winner of this challenge to follow up the discussions, agreements and further development of the prototypes. Participants are given comprehensive feedback in the form of reports and recommendations.

Sirpa Launis, Research Manager at Sandvik

The winner of the first Rockathon was the team from SPECTRAL Industries. SPECTRAL Industries develops a system that uses laser guidance to help mining engineers “see” into rock and make precision cuts.

As the winning team, SPECTRAL Industries was awarded a collaboration agreement with Sandvik.

The concept of a hackathon creates very intense co-operation in a pressure-cooker mode. The information input density was high, due to a combination of field demos with expert team interviews. We learned a lot and experienced enormous efficiency in terms of results achieved versus time invested.

Ad Maas, SPECTRAL Industries

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