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Sandvik and Flanders link up for autonomous drills

Sandvik Mining and Construction has entered a formal partnership with electric-power systems  and large motors manufacturer Flanders Electric to automate surface-mining drill rigs and  provide autonomous operation.

The new partnership enables Sandvik to offer factory-supplied Flanders ARDVARC systems as an
option on new Sandvik drills.

The initial automation modules will be offered from early this year on machines with electric-over-
hydraulic controls.

The exclusive agreement makes Sandvik the only OEM company  able to offer ARDVARC as
a factory-supplied option.

Flanders will continue to supply retrofit systems to existing drill  rigs in the field from other manufacturers.

According to the companies, since ARDVARC systems have been field-proven on multiple blasthole drills around the world, the collaboration will offer customers the most effective and efficient drilling systems in the industry.

It will ensure drillers get the best combination of technologies for state-of-the-art automation or machine autonomy.

Gregg Scanlan, vice-president  of surface-drilling equipment at Sandvik, commented: “Together,  we will deliver automated and autonomous machines directly  from the factory, and offer sophisticated retrofits for more  than 2,000 Sandvik drill rigs currently operating globally. Our strategy is to combine proven automation with world-class drill rigs and a strong global aftermarket support.”

Allen Patterson, chief operating officer at Flanders, said: “By listening to customers and serving their needs, our mining solutions deliver real operational, safety and financial value for our customers.

“Our ARDVARC automated drill system continues to prove that. Together, we can better standardise the offering and formalise field support on a global scale.

“Our partnership will accelerate implementation and acceptance  of automation on drill rigs, and benefit a growing number of mining companies.”

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