The founding team of the RockFeel project at the Technical University (TU) Bergakademie Freiberg is celebrating a milestone with the commissioning of a mobile cutting test stand. RockFeel is designed to detect changes in rock strength, material differences, chisel blockage and wear during operation, making mining, tunneling, civil engineering and demolition significantly more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly in the future.
“Several industrial partners were heavily involved in achieving this important interim project objective, which, through advice and action, ensured that, with a tight project budget, we could operate adrum cutting machine specifically adapted and equipped for our requirements on a medium-weight tracked excavator on a well-equipped site with all the necessary emissions permits,”
explains Dr. Jörg Bretschneider on behalf of the RockFeel team.
Erkat – drum cutter machine and extensive user training
Erkat adapted an ER 650 transverse drum cutter for the cutting test bench and intensively instructed the team in the optimal handling of the cutter on a tracked excavator. Next, excavators and drum cutter are equipped with various sensors and the wireless transmission of data is tested so that the actual data collection and analysis can begin.
Sensors live on the opening day
After a brief project presentation, visitors were able to experience the challenges for the sensor technology live when the drum cutter was used to make initial cuts to the concrete test specimen as preparations for the first measuring cuts. How the preliminary examinations were carried out was also demonstrated on the fixed test bench.
Safer, more efficient and good for the environment
“Reliable real-time analysis of the rock would bring a whole range of advantages for our customers,”
explains Erkat – Managing Director Martina Schierholz.
For example, the yield of a deposit would be improved and, according to RockFeel, waste material would be reduced by at least 10%. Mining safety would be increased by timely detection of the risk of caving. An extended pick life would result in fewer interruptions for the pick change – more time for extraction.
And the environment also benefits: significantly less water and energy consumption, fewer chemicals, no more explosive gases. By streamlining the process chain, RockFeel would enable so-called lean mining, a cheaper and greener mining.
“We save time, improve yield, increase safety and contribute to our environmental protection efforts. We couldn’t ignore these many good arguments,”
“We are following the progress of the RockFeel project with great interest and hope that this innovation will be a milestone for our customers.”