Contributor: Christo Peltz, AeL Product Manager
As leading innovators, AeL Mining services and DetNet are proud of their ability to satisfy the needs of their clients by constantly innovating their range of electronic Delay Detonator (eDD) technology.
Based upon many years of research and an in-depth look at customer needs, AeL Mining services’ IntellishotTM range is perfectly suited to cater for the blasting wants and needs of our customers. IntellishotTM is one of the components of AeL’s value proposition named intelliBlastTM which demonstrates to our customers that we are perfectly positioned to deploy into their operations seamlessly, through our innovative and agile products and services. Through intelliBlastTM, we highlight to our customers that our approach can help them improve their balance sheet and pursue cash preservation, which is imperative in the current economic climate.
“IntellishotTM is our most advanced wire based electronic Detonator blasting solution ever. It merges class-leading technology with simplified user interfaces, making complex blasting simple, fast and accurate. The system is entirely designed and engineered in south Africa,” explains Christo Peltz, Product Manager at AeL Mining services.
The IntellishotTM system consists broadly of three components:
The IntellishotTM detonator,
The CE4 tagger, and
The Blast Commander.
The IntellishotTM detonator has been developed with over 30 years of electronic detonator learning incorporated in the detonator design for improved resistance to blasting phenomena generated during detonation such as an electromagnetic pulse, static electricity, shock- and pressure waves.
“safety is at the heart of everything we do. We have gone to even greater lengths to ensure our customers benefit from the excellent safety record they have come to expect with our products. Our new system utilises an Application specific Integrated Circuit (AsIC) electronic chip and not the average off-the-shelf microprocessor. The same technology is used in mission critical electronics such as aerospace and defence applications where a guaranteed outcome is required,” says Peltz.
The memory of the IntellishotTM AsIC has been upgraded to have 15 times more storage capability, thereby allowing more functions and features not previously possible; while the programming speed has been increased by sevenfold.
“even the communication leads have been upgraded to be tougher with increased abrasion resistance, increased ability to stretch and tensile properties that ensure the detonator remains functional in the most demanding of applications,” explains Peltz.
The system can fire 16 000 detonators in a single blast and uses encrypted radio frequencies to set up a blast network which can stretch over several kilometres. The product suite is mainly focussed on large surface blasting operations where the designs may vary from simple line blasting all the way through to complex designs requiring multiple decking on several synchronised box cuts and/or benches.
“What makes IntellishotTM unique is that the system merges industry-leading technology with ease of use. The product has been designed to handle complex blasting requirements in an easy manner,” states Peltz.
The Blast Commander automatically detects detonators connected to it and can monitor the voltage level in the last detonator to confirm the blast design is getting the required energy from the control equipment right up to the point of firing the blast. All of the enhancements have been introduced to make the product more robust, save time and ensure the user has a successful blast on time, every time.
As part of the system, the tagger is GPs enabled allowing the GPs coordinates of a detonator to be stored in the tagger memory against the individual detonator IDs. This can be used to simplify fault finding on large benches, should it become necessary.
“Our market research indicates that our system is the only electronic Detonator solution that can perform encrypted wireless synchronisation and control of the equipment. The system incorporates built-in long range (3km) transmitters/ receivers so there is no need for additional external antennae,” explains Peltz.
The product uses the latest electronic communication protocols such as Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC touch- to-communicate). The Commander module has a multi role capability as it can act as a Bench (blast) device, Base (remote) device or RF Repeater.
Another great feature is the remote control (Wi-Fi) facility of the Commander. This device can be wirelessly controlled using the tagger, smartphones- or tablet running specific Ce4 software.
“All of these features combine to give the user, ease of use, speed of connection and communication, extremely robust detonators and control equipment (IP57 rated) which leads to accurate, successful blasts, on time,” concludes Peltz.