RPAS system with PPK from Position Partners provides ease-of-use, consistency of product and reliability

21 February 2019

“Mavinci is hard to top because of ease of use, consistency of product and reliability,” said Brent Manuel, Superintendent – Survey, BHP.

Brent Manual and his team at BHP are working on site at Mt Arthur, one of the largest producers in the Hunter Valley producing 19mt of product coal each year. The site’s geology is complex with over 120 seams in the mining area which are typically mined in 40 different composites dependent on product requirements.

“Currently we are mining down dip into a monocline which we don’t expect to pass in the next five years,” said Brent Manuel, Superintendent – Survey, BHP.

“This will result in more through seam blasting and challenge our operations to mine the coal as cleanly as possible.”

Why did BHP choose the Position Partners RPAS system with PPK?

BHP chose the RPAS system with PPK from Position Partners after Mr Manuel saw them in action at another of BHP’s sites. The team at BHP’s other site had chosen this particular system because of the quality of data that could be mapped and the cost and performance comparative to other systems was superior.

“I arrived at the Mavinci Sirius Pro and M210 solutions after viewing them at some of our northern operations,” Mr Manuel said.

“There had been a number of teething issues with different systems and for reliability, these were the two best options. The Mavinci is typically used for all of our larger scale mapping whereas the M210 is employed for smaller areas and where greater height accuracy is required.”

What drew Mr Manuel to the Mavinci was ease of use, consistency of data quality and reliability of the units. Mr Manuel found that the M210 offered his team the ability to map large tracts of high walls in short timeframes and at a quality far superior to their current methods of capture.

Benefits of using RPAS system with PPK

Previously, Mr Manuel’s team had relied on vehicle mounted scanner technology and RTK GPS and found that these systems could not compete with the RPAS system with PPK on the coverage, quality of resultant models and added benefit of supporting BHP’s site GIS system.

BHP mainly uses the RPAS system with PPK from Position Partners for thermal mapping, high wall mapping, inspections, photographing and filming of incident scenes and has noticed a range of benefits since implemented this system.

“Definitely coverage of areas, quality of the data and models produced from it are far superior than current capture methods. They also limit our interaction with mining fleets, so it also improves safety outcomes,” said Mr Manuel.

“In the current ‘Line of Sight’ world, Mavinci is hard to top because of ease of use, consistency of product and reliability.”

On implementation of the RPAS system with PPK from Position Partners, Mr Manuel’s team had to develop a couple macros to expedite the processing of the data.

“The user interfaces in the software are intuitive and all of my users have developed competency quickly,” said Mr Manuel.

“The final product from these processing software’s then translates across into our Mine Planning software without issue.”

The importance of service and support during purchasing and implementation

Mr Manuel has found that the local Position Partners team is important to his decision-making process when buying new technology because they always provide him with information on new developments and technology that his team should be considering.

“I always find our Position Partners representative easy to get a hold of and willing to help us work out any issues or provide support,” Mr Manuel said.

“We have called on several occasions for support and advice on training.”

About BHP

BHP is a world-leading resources company. BHP extracts and processes minerals, oil and gas, with more than 62,000 employees and contractors, primarily in Australia and the Americas.

Brent Manuel is Superintendent – Survey at BHP and has a team of five surveyors and 1 Reconciliation Officer. We are responsible for all survey requirements from set out of pit designs to calculation of monthly volumes. We are also responsible for the maintenance and supply of data to the Site GIS application.

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