iSURE® underground rock excavation software is a purpose-developed excavation process control tool for providing instrumented face drilling rigs with all the necessary information for optimized drilling & blasting (Figure 1). iSURE® works seamlessly with Sandvik’s iSERIES drilling rigs, combining pull-out analysis with the rig’s data collection tools and providing an accurate analysis functionality to improve the work cycle and process. The latest version, iSURE® 8.0, has many new features and tools to further assist geological interpretation.
iSURE® software (Intelligent Sandvik Underground Rock Excavation software) is a computer program for tunneling, construction and mining drill and blast process control, producing all the data needed for optimizing the drilling and blasting cycle.
Among other design tools, iSURE® 8.0 has a template-based drill plan generation tool that takes into account rock blastability, tunnel profile, quality target and explosives used. The key lies in the fact that successful operations consist of four essential points – quality, cost, schedule and safety – and iSURE® 8.0 is designed to help ensure that the best results are achieved, by making drilling and blasting even more accurate.
Optimization of drill and blast means taking into consideration the changes in rock blastability and other changes in the environment. An effectively-controlled blast results in good pull-out, a restricted fracture zone and greater rock strength around the tunnel. Furthermore, rounds’ length and detonation can be tuned to the permitted vibration level and geology. iSURE® 8.0 helps to achieve this, as it provides a set of plan templates for editing and feedback functions to achieve the best possible result from the blast, with blast patterns being easily edited to match the design parameter.
iSURE® 8.0 enables drill rig usage and drilling process efficiency to be maximized, assessed and measured on a round-by-round basis. Counters for percussion, power pack, drilled meters and net penetration, as well as average and gross drilling capacity (m/h/boom), are collected for each boom. A round’s duration is divided into main categories for navigation, drilling, boom control, idle time, or booms not finishing the job at the same time, further allocating them into sub-categories for drilling and boom. This provides valuable feedback that helps to finetune the rig’s behavior, while also acting as a learning tool for operators.
The program further assists in the analyzing of data collected along tunnel line, which reveals the trends of various KPIs. In addition, analyzing the “measure while drilling” (MWD) items give a histogram report of the achieved penetration rate for the used drilling power, flushing sufficiency or disturbances in drilling, both in general terms and each boom.
All of these features are achieved through the full-featured iSURE® 8.0 software utilizing the drill rig’s data collection, thereby improving the work cycle and the drill and blast excavation process. It also has an optional toolset for geological analysis (iSURE® GEO), a tunnel profile 3D scanning system (iSURE® 3D SCAN) and an interface to a third-party blasting vibration feedback system.
Optional onboard scanner records the tunnel profile at the face. iSURE® 8.0. creates surfaces based on scanned point clouds with a 3D view with under/overbreak visualization and a 2D view for feedback to drill and blast design optimization, along with production in numbers (realized, theoretical, under/overbreak m3).
GEO option includes rig and iSURE calculation and produces geological mapping information based on the drilling data. Parameters like Sandvik drilling resistance factors (MPa), rock mass fracture indicator, rock classification are calculated and extrapolated. 2D tunnel map views and 3D with cut planes are presented.
Sandvik’s avowed aim is to provide drill and blast tunneling and mining professionals with an updated version of iSURE® each year. This is being done to reflect the constant changes faced on a daily basis, as well as to reflect Sandvik’s close, integrated relationship with its customers. Based on feedback from users and experience gained during operations throughout the world, the new version of iSURE® 8.0 now comes complete with:
- wizard-tool to select ready-made drilling templates for drill plan creation;
- cloud system to share data;
- new user interface;
- new license system;
- excavated profile target quality;
- drilling rate index based estimate calculation for cycle (round) time.
New inbuilt cloud based data sharing helps to spread the project data between the group members. Cloud data is owned and controlled by rig owner, defining roles and access rights for members.
Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology