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Augmented reality in the mining industry with Maptek

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Maptek’s new software brings together 3D modelling, laser scanning and handheld communication devices for effective monitoring of excavation progress by comparing actually surfaces against designs.

PerfectDig automatically combines mine plans and design information from Maptek Vulcan with laser scans of the working area.

Detailed 3D visual and spatial analysis information is provided in near real time, directly to production managers and mine crews. This streamlines communication between surveyors, mining engineers, supervisors and equipment operators.

Pit or shift supervisors can access PerfectDig via smartphone, tablet or laptop, creating a real-time decision support and quality control system for mining.

Adjustments can be made before problems arise for effective overburden removal and maximum mineral recovery.

A Maptek I-Site laser scanner captures surfaces while mining continues without needing to stop equipment to scan an area.

PerfectDig automatically determines the location and registers the scan data against the mine survey grid. The data is geospatially accurate and up-to-date.

The user then pulls up PerfectDig on a tablet and compares scanned surfaces against the design imported from Vulcan. Different layers can be selected for display so the user can instantly view detailed sections, photos, volumes and other data.

The degree of conformance to plan can be assessed, the excavation can be adjusted and the design updated based on specific tolerances.

Overlays showing the conformance to plan parameters are then available via secure online server to others in the organisation. The visually rich spatial feedback reaches mine production in less than 10 minutes.

With PerfectDig, there is less need to access working areas by foot for survey and set out of planned works. Also, the high level of detail and measurement accuracy will ensure wall design batter angles are met.

Any non-conformity is managed during construction, reducing the risk of problems later.

Field trials at major Australian mines have provided evidence of the measurable benefits of the system, according to Australian general manager of Maptek Peter Johnson.

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