Aug. 28, 2018

China's First Underground Mine Driverless System Successfully Applied in Masteel Zhangzhuang Mine

On July 26-28, 2018, the China Metallurgical and Mining Enterprise Association's integration of information technology and industrialization committee meeting was held in Lu'an, Anhui Province. Nearly 200 experts witnessed China's first fully automated, uninterrupted underground mine Driverless System successful applicated in the Zhangzhuang Iron Mine in Maanshan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd.. It indicates that intelligent and driverless has begun to play a key role in the mining industry in China.

The system was developed by DFMC in cooperation with Zhangzhuang Iron Mine. Different from the general remote control driving system, the Driverless System adopts technologies such as locomotive unmanned operation control system, locomotive optimization dispatching and letter collection system, automatic loading system, etc., it solves the problems of bad underground production environment, track skidding, ore drawing containing large blocks, and realizes the unmanned running and self-driving of underground locomotive. The core functions of the Driverless System, such as unmanned operation of underground electric locomotive, automatic ore drawing, track obstacle identification, anti-collision warning and so on, are realized. Moreover, it has reduced the number of underground workers for Zhangzhuang Mine by more than 30 people, improved the working environment of first-line workers, increased equipment operation time, improved mine management level, and achieved intrinsic safety.

At the meeting of the integration of information technology and industrialization committee, more than 80 directors, members and nearly 200 experts from all over the country visited the Zhangzhuang Iron Mine site during the meeting, and observed the DFMC Driverless System in the underground -480 platform and dispatching room.

Experts attending the meeting witnessed the implementation of the driverless system and learned that the system can reduce the level of transport operators, including underground locomotive drivers and ore-drawing workers, and one person in the control room can supervise the operation of vehicles. This system improves the working environment, increases the running time of equipment and improves the production capacity. Truly mechanized substitution, automatic reduction, to achieve the purpose of reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Experts agree that this is the first true sense of the production process of unmanned driving system.

The driverless system is an important branch of AI technology and one of the symbols of intelligent mine. At present, Kiruna Iron Mine in Sweden has become the first intelligent underground iron mine; Rio Tinto in Australia has proposed to invest $2.5 billion in the next few years to build an unattended intelligent open pit iron mine.

The successful application of electric locomotive driverless system in Zhangzhuang Iron Mine marks a great breakthrough in the development of this field in China and lays a foundation for the popularization and application of underground unmanned mining in the industry.

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