Robotic inspection allows mill workers to identify errors, possible dangers and weaknesses faster, and from a distance. Robotic and drone platforms using high resolution and thermal imaging, detect faults or potential problems that can be rectified before they cause delays or accidents. GPS-independent drone technology helps mining companies save money by reducing the downtime needed to inspecting their equipment. This reduced downtime also means greater efficiency for the rest of the mining operation in general, because robotics can quickly collect visual data inside assets that are difficult to access—like part of a mill, or the inside edge of a flotation cell. Quick spot checks.
Traditionally, inspection of flotation cells required inspectors to enter a confined space and erect and stand on scaffolding, exposing themselves to the dangers of confined space entry and the dangers of working at height. Additionally, these tanks are used to store noxious liquids and chemicals, which present further risk in the form of trace fumes.
Crushers, on the other hand, are almost impossible to inspect using manual methods. Many mill operators simply wait until something fails inside the crusher and perform maintenance instead of conducting preventive inspection and maintenance. Being able to quickly and regularly get visual data on the condition of an asset leads to improved maintenance procedures overall, ultimately resulting in reductions not only of scheduled downtime, but also equipment failure that results in unscheduled downtime.