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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Orica explode into UK drone industry

Orica flying a drone

Training from Consortiq sees explosives and blasting specialist add drone capability to UK product portfolio 

FOLLOWING recent training with Consortiq, a team of Orica specialists in the UK now have a powerful new tool in their arsenal – drones. Through their training with Consortiq, the team has achieved UK certifications in both General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) and A2 Certificate of Competency (A2CofC).

Hailing from a variety of fields, each team member combines their own area of expertise to develop the right solution for the client. Comprised of an explosives engineer, senior specialist engineer, and a digital product lead, those selected and trained are now poised to lead this innovative process throughout the UK market.

Welcoming the positive step into the drone industry, senior specialist engineer Stephen Barnett said: ‘Orica had been providing solutions to other regions of the world across a broad spectrum of industries, utilizing drone technology in conjunction with our digital technology for some time now, so we are well placed to bring that knowledge into the UK.

‘When it comes to blasting with explosives, getting the right information is everything. With drones now at our disposal, real-time data will provide accurate profiles of quarry faces that can be imported into Orica’s own advanced blast-design software, SHOTPlus.’

By partnering with Propelleraero and using the latest real-time kinematic (RTK) equipment and technology, Orica can now deliver an efficient end-to-end solution for any mine and quarry site, including blast design, short-term blast block planning for quarries, videography, stockpile surveys and reports, excavated volumes reconciliation, and fragmentation analysis.

This efficiency is specifically driven by the use of drones and the usable data that are captured. Using the profiles of quarry faces, accurate measurements through orthophotos, digital elevation models, and textured 3D models, a complete picture of the worksite can be safely achieved. All these data outputs can be used to help site planning and earthwork logistics before and after each blast.

Lee Barfoot, Consortiq’s commercial manager in the UK, said: ‘It’s been fantastic to work with Orica UK. Within just a few days they have added a new capability that Orica UK can now use with their clients, in turn adding significant value to their product portfolio.

‘As drones prove themselves to be an invaluable solution across countless industries, the future is limitless. Whether it’s a 3D scan, a digital twin, asset allocation, or progress information, drones offer unique solutions to keep your project running smoothly. The economic benefits of the technology are simply too beneficial to pass up.’

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