Digital Driller: Sandvik’s mobile operator training simulator

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has introduced its operator training simulator - the Digital Driller - to provide a compact and flexible solution for safely training operators and maintenance teams on its Sandvik DD422i, DD422iE,DL421 and DT922i drill rigs.

The Digital Driller provides a low weight safe training tool that is highly portable, enabling it to be used where it is most needed - on site. The simulator has been designed specifically to improve both operator and drilling performance, delivering real benefits for underground drilling applications.

This latest development is a fully mobile system that weighs less than 50 kg, enabling training to be undertaken anywhere. The simulator delivers ‘real life’ training in a simulated working environment, with drill rig operators and maintenance teams learning about rig capabilities before progressing to the actual equipment. The simulator acts like a real rig, is operated with authentic controls and combines the same control system software that is installed on the drills themselves.

The simulator comes with purpose-developed software that includes a range of specific exercises for recording and measuring operator behaviour. The trainer can initiate machine faults, incidents or hazards to train and assess operators, thereby ensuring they are able to respond correctly to any scenario with maximum efficiency.

Training sessions can also be conducted for multiple participants in a safe environment, preventing risk of injury or material damage. Furthermore, it facilitates regular operator retraining and the implementation of an operator assessment process without impacting on site productivity.

Learn anywhere, anytime

Thanks to its compact size and wheeled carrying case, the simulator can easily be carried by an individual to wherever it is needed. With a very short set-up time, operator training can begin even before the rig has been delivered and commissioned. This provides increased levels of operational efficiency, with no learning curve required prior to using the rig on site.

The simulator has been designed to enable tailor-made training sessions to suit trainee experience levels, using a range of exercises and simulated conditions within a variety of applications and situations. A report evaluates and measures trainee performance, ensuring that the training is of direct benefit to operators.

The simulator safely develops and refreshes operator skills within a protected environment and significantly reduces the drill start-up period. It has been designed to ensure that rig operators are fully familiar with the features and the capabilities of the Sandvik rig from day one. The shorter transition to using the real equipment results in quicker familiarisation, improving efficiency and productivity. Moreover, there is no risk of equipment damage, zero consumption of rock tools and fuel, zero emissions and no exposure of the trainees to risk in familiarising them with a new drill rig.

Fast up and running

Ensuring that operators can use the drill rig to its full potential safely and productively as quickly as possible is what the simulator is about, with the training simulator performing all boom and feed movements as well as the entire drilling cycle. It is fully compatible with Sandvik iSURE software – Sandvik’s tunnel management tool for accurate drilling, charging and blasting plans.

Thanks to the training course management tool, the trainer can customise training and use multiple pre-planned training scenarios. This ensures 100% peace of mind, with training routines and exercises repeated until the appropriate level of knowledge is reached.

According to Sandvik, the use of the Digital Driller is estimated to produce a 5% increase in annual productivity in rig availability. In addition, training costs are reduced by up to 35%, with training sessions being easily and safely conducted on site for multiple operators.