New technology for mines
The Lahti-based Rambooms (now Normet MRB Oy) specializes in the design and manufacture of breaker booms for mines and quarries. The booms are used to crush stone material. In the mining industry, a shift to automated systems is a clear trend and clients are interested in the opportunities offered by the latest technology. “It’s a clear trend that larger mines, in particular, are taking steps toward automation and remote operation, thereby reducing the need for human presence underground,” explains Vesa Marttila, Rambooms’ business manager. In response to this trend, Rambooms developed the XROCK® Platform in collaboration with its partners to enable the remote use of breaker booms and to boost the efficiency of their operations.
XROCK automates boom operations
The work to develop XROCK began years ago, initially with the University of Tampere. Makron was involved in the development work as an electrical automation partner. Even before this, Makron had designed, manufactured, and installed electrical control cabinets for Rambooms’ systems for years, allowing its electrical and automation engineers to offer valuable expertise to XROCK’s development and productization project.
The XROCK tele-remote and automation system connects the equipment to the software. Standard boom movement ranges are defined in the system, which can then be executed automatically. Automation makes the operator’s work easier and more efficient. Via a video link, the boom can be controlled remotely from an office.
During the productization process, Makron was closely involved in the development of the XROCK platform into a modular system. The standard package is easy to maintain, and it can be expanded later if needs change.
As part of Rambooms’ strategy, the company retains the ownership of key technology and uses specialist partners for electrical automation and software needs. “In our experience, having the same company carry out the design and manufacture offers clear benefits,” notes Marttila.
The collaboration between Rambooms and Makron has become seamless. Makron becomes involved in projects right at the offer request stage, and when a client places an order, a purchase order for an electrical control cabinet is immediately sent to Makron. Once Rambooms has assembled the hydraulics system and the boom for a test run, Makron delivers the electrical control cabinet and sends a team to take care of electrical and automation installation at Rambooms’ facility.
Production manager Aleksi Sormunen is happy with the way the collaboration works. The most commonly used cabinets can be assembled quickly. Recently, a shortage of components has posed challenges, for which the companies have worked together to find alternative solutions.
Need for automation increases
Rambooms works with major mining device manufacturers, which means that the XROCK technology can be exported to the international market. Such strategic partners also spur Rambooms on to develop automated devices. The platform has been developed further on the basis of customer feedback, and the company listens actively to its clients’ views.
The mining industry is facing rapid changes as the green transition and electrification is increasing the need for minerals. Therefore, the need for efficient mining devices is also increasing. “In customer surveys, the role of automation is emphasized and companies express a desire to have devices with a high degree of automation,” observes Marttila.
The company strives to respond to customer wishes and change requests as rapidly as possible. Rambooms has defined a development path, including a plan to develop new technology on the basis of the XROCK platform. As automation needs increase, Makron’s support for Rambooms as its electrical and automation system supplier is pivotal.
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Kari Koski, Sales Director, +358 40 716 5245, [email protected]
″In customer surveys, the role of automation is emphasized and companies express a desire to have devices with a high degree of automation.″