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Thunderbird Mining Systems - Blasthole Drilling Instrumentation, Monitoring, GPS and Software


For over 25 years, Thunderbird has been supplying drilling instrumentation to the mining industry.

Thunderbird has been supplying drilling instrumentation to the mining industry for over 25 years. Its products are proven to provide high paybacks and are extremely useful for both the drill operator and mine management.

Thunderbird's products ensure more accurate drilling and thus blasting, resulting in reduced explosives costs. They help to eliminate over or under drilling of holes, as well as optimizing ROP for the drilling conditions, identifying coal and/or hard or soft strata, and eliminating bent drill steel.

The company's products provide more accurate data by eliminating handwritten reports and are a training tool for new operators.

Blasthole drilling instrumentation


The DEI tools can help to reduce your drilling and blasting costs.
Two factors are essential if a goal of your surface mining operation is to increase rotary blasthole drill performance and reduce drilling costs. The operator must be provided with information on key drilling parameters, and critical data must be logged, reported on and measured.
Drilling efficiency indicators
The original drilling efficiency indicators (DEI) were introduced to the mining industry in the early 1980s. Many of these systems are still operating at surface mines around the world.

The DEI can help to reduce your drilling and blasting costs. With a unique 'pipe-in-hole' warning feature, the tool prevents drill component damage caused by tramming while the drill pipe is still in the ground. An output relay is available to lock-out or prevent tramming of the drill.

Enhanced DEI drilling tool
The DEI was replaced by the DEI Plus several years ago. It has an enhanced display, which features the drilling depth, rate of penetration, target depth, drill time and estimated time to complete the hole. The operator also has access to production data, including current shift statistics, total number of holes, total depth, total drill time, average depth, average ROP and average hole drill times.

DEI logger for recording drilling information

The DEI Plus has a screen which features the drilling depth, rate of penetration, etc.
The DEI Plus system can be upgraded to the Logger version to provide a permanent record of the drilling performance. The DEI+Logger will provide both the operator and the office with all the times associated with the drilling operation. An ROP plot can be generated for each hole to help improve the blasting productivity.

Data entry can be accessed via the DEI+Logger display keys. The drill operator can enter alphanumerical characters or can select from drop-down menus, to record information such as hole and pattern numbers, operators, delays, drill bits and other consumables and drilling conditions.

A handheld PDA is used to offload the recorded data from the DEI+Logger. Thunderbird uses a Microsoft SQL database to generate a number of standard reports on drill performance.

GPS drill monitoring system
The IMS Mobile HPGPS guidance system has set a new standard for drill instrumentation. Designed from the ground up by a team that pioneered the development of the first drill monitoring and GPS navigation systems, the product provides its mining customers with a higher rate of return on their investment.

A state-of-the art user interface enables the user to have 3D views of pattern and drilled holes; surface features, including operator warnings for 'no entry' or danger zones; drag drill to any position on pattern; show bench terrain contours; zoom-out to view all drill patterns; view strata of multiple holes in 3D; and customize screens to meet their specific requirements.

IMS Mobile includes drill-to-drill communication and monitors the status of all holes; shows multiple drill locations; provides real-time office updates of drill data; makes drill status available in the field; and offers two-way text messaging. Optional upgrades include cameras, sensor monitoring for specific energy or drilling index, a PLC interface, and health monitoring.

Drill and blast software
Thunderbird is a distributor of Datavis' DBS drill and blast software. This allows Thunderbird to provide its customers with a total drilling and blasting solution. DBS offers a wide range of integrated software products specifically developed for use in open cut and underground mines and quarries. DBS includes software to:

  • Manage topography and surfaces
  • Lay out blastholes
  • Charge blastholes
  • Collect drill and blasthole data
  • Manage drill and blast consumables
  • Report on drill and blast performance

Datavis products are designed to keep up with the demands of a high-productivity mining environment. The flexibility of the system enables a fast response to day-to-day changes in mining schedules and plans.

Drill and blast management system
Datavis provides the world's best drill and blast management system. The database stores all your blasthole data for the life of the mine and has the tools to provide complete blast design functionality, data input and analysis.
Contact Details

Thunderbird Mining Systems
2609 – 151st Place NE
WA 98052-5522
Tel: +1 425 869 2727
Fax: +1 425 869 2735

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