November 13, 2023 - In support of the shift towards electrification and the advancement of autonomous and optimization technologies in surface drilling, Sandvik has acquired a new testing facility in Finland to develop and prove future surface drilling technologies.
The surface test mine is 40 km northwest of Tampere and Sandvik’s underground test mine. The area, which has previously served as a quarry, will be developed by its own drilling plan. The site is Sandvik’s first dedicated exclusively to surface drilling on such a large scale.
Petri Virrankoski, President, Surface Drilling at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “The development of comprehensive solutions that not only harness the latest technologies but also deliver productivity and reliability in our customers’ real-life applications and conditions requires a real-life test environment. The surface test mine will facilitate the exchange of our deep know-how in equipment manufacturing, rock tools, automation and digitalisation, supporting the design and development of even more new products and solutions in the future.”
Sandvik is currently developing the site, officially known as Sandvik Test Pit, and testing its first drills there. Over the next two years, the company plans to construct permanent office buildings and designated customer facilities at the location.
Sandvik will use the test mine for R&D as well as hosting customers for technology demonstrations, particularly those related to automation, digitalisation and electrification of surface drills. The site will enable technology development and training for both surface boom and rotary drill rigs, as well as rock tools, parts and services and related digital technologies such as automation and fleet telematics and monitoring solutions.
The test mine will also allow Sandvik to explore and demonstrate power source alternatives in a real-world environment, in which infrastructure to support both boom and rotary drilling electrification can be provided.
Dave Shellhammer, President, Rotary Drilling at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “Decarbonization is accelerating across our industry, and the role of electrification in surface mining sustainability will help guide our development of new systems and solutions. Testing is a major part of our R&D cycle. This new test mine will help us shorten time to market and verify even more swiftly that we’re delivering the safest, most reliable and productive drill rigs to our customers.”