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Key Outcomes

  • Improved mine safety
  • Increased profit through low cost survey option
  • Improved productivity through real-time monitoring

Problem Summary

Mine site operators routinely survey their facilities to monitor staff safety, stock pile levels and for general observations. Surveys are typically done using one of the following methods:

  • Hiring in manned aircraft which is expensive, weather sensitive and with processing of imagery takes many weeks, or;
  • Using ground based LiDAR (light and radar) survey methods to build up an image of each target which is very time consuming and places surveyors in the active areas of the mine for extended periods of time. In addition, this process is expensive, slow and can increase of the risk of accidents.
The New Hope Mining Group looked to V-TOL Aerospace to help them improve their surveying process and overcome these issues. 

The V-TOL Aerospace solution

V-TOL Aerospace's solution was to use a small Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) using the V-TOL Goshawk Fixed Wing Surveyor. The project was able to deliver significant value and new capabilities to the mining operations of New Hope Group. The solution allowed them to overcome the issues faced with manned aircraft or ground based LiDAR. Operating small UAVs over the mine site has also overcome many of the limitations and safety issues.

Small UAVs are more cost-effective, timely and significantly reduce exposure of personnel to the dangers of normal mine site activity. The V-TOL system produces highly accurate, business intelligence data in a work safe environment.

Another benefit of the technology is general site surveillance. With the ability to fly above and around a mine site on a routine basis, real-time video can assist mine management by observing and better understanding general operations, site security and enable off-site decision makers via web link. In the case of an emergency or non-routine event, small UAVs can also be deployed rapidly to provide first responders situational awareness of any incident or growing problem from a safe distance.

"Overall, this emerging technology will revolutionise how mine surveys are conducted resulting in higher productivity, safer worksites and greater profit. I would recommend to any mining operation that small UAVs are now the best choice in mine survey" Martin Leggat, Head Surveyor, New Hope Mining Group. 

Get in touch with A-TOL Aerospace to discuss how drone technology can improve your business processes.


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3D Printing Of Pump Components

Key Outcomes

  • 95% time saving
  • 87% cost saving

Problem Summary
Based in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Whale Pumps designs and manufactures a diverse range of pumping and heating systems that include plastic and rubber parts for consumer and industrial applications around the world. The company has a large in-house injection molding operation which requires costly CNC tools. Furthermore, Whale Pumps outsources functional prototype parts from service bureaus often located in China. All factors greatly slow down the R&D process delaying product launch.

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