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Stephanie Knรถdler Umeรฅ Institute of Design Advanced Product Design 2011-2012

in cooperation with

CONTENT 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15



Being a miner ... Being a miner is maybe one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Miners are sent every day down into the earth for supplying the industrial nations with material for the 21st century. Most people often forget that their computer or car was a result of miners. A lot products on the worldmarket are the credits of miners, without them we wouldn´t have cars, computers and iPods. Most people forget about them and the miners families. Every workshift the risk of an accident goes with the miner and their families. The workingconditions are also not the best things, especially in underdeveloped countries or countries where the profit is more important than a miners life.


Kevin Lambert, a surviving miner of a coalmine explosion in America

“When a man goes into a mine, he knows that could be it. … You stick your head between two rocks to make a living, you know you’re taking a chance. These 25 guys … they died for a cause. Every time you turn your lights on at home … you should think about them guys. Everybody overlooks West Virginia. They never think about coal. We need coal. We gotta have coal. Ya gotta have it. Gotta have it. Bottom line - gotta have it.


ONE WORKSHIFT in the RENSTRÖM mine. Due to the cooperation with NEW BOLIDEN we had the chance to be one complete workshift in an underground mine.

Our shift started arround six in the morning and it ended arround half past one. Every shift ends with the blasting. During the blasting nobody is in the mine. After the dangerous gases and the dust have been removed by the ventilation, the next working shift starts and the new workers are either transporting the ore to the surface or they are securing new areas where there have been a blast bevore. During our 7 hours visit we had a lot of time to observe and to talk to the miners. Although it seems like the Renström mine is a high tech mine we found quite a lot of problems, which effects productivity, the health of the miners and the safety point.


FIELD RESE ARCH One working shift together wit the miners.

RENSTRÖM MINE 1323m below ground RENSTRÖM “You can´t always think about what could happen...” Maggan (miner)


We went together in groups down into the mine and joined the miners in their 7 hours workshift. During this time we have seen the safety room, the rock bolting, the shotcreting and the drilling process. During the operations we could also talk to the miners. Because of this experience we got a really good overview on the mining job and the mining environment. We have seen a lot of problems down in the mine although this mine we have visited, is really safe and outfitted with high technologie.

EMERCENGY CUBE air supply for 8 hours

even the special concrete mixture can´t avoid cracks

short span of life for the equipment due to the harsh mine environment


GĂ–STA miner, likes to joke arround


fake windows




Concrete falling off


“ we don´t really check the roof ” safety inspector


Gösta is

an experienced miner at New Boliden. He was not all of his life working as a miner. Inbetween he was also working in the tunneling buisness. When we visited him he was busy with the drilling process, but he realy enjoyed our visit because he had some people to talk with. The radio connection doesn´t work all the time so he is most of the times completely alone is his machine and he can´t talk to other workers through his walkie-talkie.

Gösta Ekholm

Albin is one of the young-

est miners at New Boliden. When we visited him he was working together with an old experienced guy at the shotcretingmachine. He was responsible for the amount of concrete going into the machine. He told us that especially at this machine he would like to have better goggles and masks, because the existing ones didn´t protect him at all from the dust particles. Sometimes it seems for us that he felt a little bit bored at this machine because he had not a lot to do.

Albin VikstrĂśm


Margan was first a cleaning lady on the surface

at New Boliden, but then she got the opportunity to work as a miner. Today she is working since 20 years at New Boliden. She really liked to work with the rockbolting machine and it seems for us that the lonely and silent environment was not a big problem for her. She told us that she didn´t had a good radio connection at this day so in case of emergency she had to walk some meters back to the shaft. We asked her if she is not scared about the fact that it is so dangerous to work in a mine and she answered us, “ You can´t always think about what could happen in the mine ”


David is like Albin one of the younger min-

ers. It was more an accident how he came into the mining business. He had a job as a carpenter and he got unemployed. By a friend he got the information that there is a free position as a miner. He applied and now he is working 1323 meters deep in earth. For a period he was working only nightshifts but since he got a newborn with his wife he changed to regular shifts, for spending more time with the family.

David Stenberg




• guiding miner to safetyroom • evacuation • air supply • smoke filter • fire extinguisher • contact to other robots • contact to surface

emergency evacuation

• guiding miner to safetyroom • evacuation • survival-aid • air supply • contact to other robots • contact to surface


daylight environment

inspection interaction

• bolt inspection • roof inspection • methane detection • vehicle inspection • scanning wall / drilling • scanning wall for ore • checking water veins • watching out for underground lakes

com munication


unsecure feelings

David wants..... ... more light in working environment

nobody notices

cropped from world emergency

... more safety at work ... no loneliness communication

No colleage contact


loneliness getting bored


feeling tired

doing flub safety problem

bad visibility


No escape plan



KW 46

KW 47

KW 48



28.- 4.12

KW 49 5.- 11.12

KW 50 12.- 18.12

Research Analysis Concept generation Details Designfreeze CAD conversion Digital Rendering Modelbuilding Dokumentation Preparation pr채sentation

Di 22.11 Sketching Mo 21.11 Atlas Copco

Fr 09.12 Sketching Do 8.12 Atlas Copco Ideation presentation

KW 51

KW 52

KW 01

KW 02

KW 03

KW 04

19.- 25.12

26.- 1. 01

2.- 8. 01

9.- 15. 01

16.- 22. 01

23.- 29. 01

Do 26.01Guest Presentation Di 20.12 Atlas Copco Concept presentation

Do 12.01 Atlas Copco Presentation

Mi 25.01 Internal Presentation




To get a better overview, I sketched quickly all the promising ideas on post-it´s. After that I evaluated them and generated 3 different concepts.


assisting vehicle also for rescue missions.



little tube system integrated in water/energy supply

light and tool supply

evacuation system


rock inspection tool


closing mechanism

electro magnet Thoughts how to attach the inspection tool to the bolt. Mechanical closing mechanism or electro magnet?

Trying to solve the dust problem with the propellers.

propeller net? rotating propeller dust gets blown out

One, two, three ore four propellers? Propellers at all?


... robot is flying inside the mine and checks bolts and the rock conditions ...

... if something is wrong with the bolt the light turns red and it gives a signal to the office ...

... checking of the monitoring bolts ...

... for coal mines there can be attached a methane detector. When the robot detects a high amount of methane it lightens up blue ...

... during the flight through the mine it scans the rocks for its condition ...

... when a miner is working close to the robot, it flys there, checks the rock arround the working area and gives ambient light to the miner ...

... when the robot detects a crack it sits on a close bolt, points out the danger zone and gives a signal to the office ...


Rock bolting,

in tunneling and underground mining, steel rod inserted in a hole drilled into the roof or walls of a rock formation to provide support to the roof or sides of the cavity. Rock bolt reinforcement can be used in any excavation geometry, is simple and quick to apply, and is relatively inexpensive. The installation can be fully mechanized. The length of the bolts and their spacing can be varied, depending on the reinforcement requirements.

monitoring rock bolts signalise if the rock is moving. 1 2

Roofex Energy absorbing rock bolts

It is designed to dissipate and control large amounts of energy liberated from the rock mass deformation process. Roofex rock bolt is designed to accommodate the whole spectrum of rock mass behavior as a solution for potentially extreme conditions occurring at depth. The bolt predicts the system’s behavior, allowing you to adjust the support needed to keep the excavation from caving in.

Swellex Expandable Manganese line system

This unique rock bolt consists of a welded tube folded in upon itself, sealed at one end. The Swellex Expandable Manganese line was designed specifically to address large stress changes occurring in some mining and tunneling projects. Made from a special steel alloy, these rock bolts receive a heat treatment to improve their mechanical properties. The Swellex Expandable Manganese line has a unique yielding behavior that can be achieved only with the proper steel manufacturing, which results in bolts that provide a high ultimate load with a large deformation capability. Swellex Expandable Manganese line system is also available in bitumen- and plastic-coated versions for corrosion protection.

energy absorbing rock bolts no meassurment possible. bolt deformation happens in rock

monitoring rock bolts. meassurment possible.


Interview with Per-Ivar Marklund Head of Rock Mechanics at NEW BOLIDEN

1. How much bolts do you aproximately have in the Renström mine or other mines? We are installing close to 300 000 bolts per year totally in our three underground mines, Renström, Kristineberg and Garpenberg. 2. Is someone checking them? And if yes, how often and what method is used for it? Resin grouted bolts are automatically checked at installation as the nut is tightened to the rock, if the grouting has completely failed there will be no resistance. Otherwise bolts are not checked routinely, only in specific tests. 3. Do the bolts have to be replaced after some years? Very seldom and if it is required it is not due to ageing but to changes in the conditions that may have damaged the rock or the reinforcement (e.g. due to mining close to the drift). Neither corrosion has caused any significant need for rehabilitation/replacement of bolts. 4. Which types of bolts are you using in the Renström mine? I have attached a file with different types of rockbolts I´ve know. 1 and 3. It is the same type of bolt but it is either grouted with resin or with cement 5. Do you know the size of the bolts which you are using in renström mine? lenght? diameter? L=2,7 m, D=22 mm 20 mm, length 2,7 m.

6. Do you know the size of the square at the rock bolts? I´m thinking of attaching the robot to the bolts with the help of an electronic magnet. Therefore I have to know the size of the square. The washer is 100x100x12 mm. Maybe some questions for a geologist 7. Atlas Copco have the “roofex” rockbolt which can monitor the movement of the rock. Can you also see a movement of a rock with the normal bolts? This is a question for a rock mechanics engineer :). You can see some indications of superficial movements on the plate; if the washer is bent inwards it is a sign of fairly high loads on the washer which comes from deformations close to the surface. 8. What happens when a rock with normal bolts is moving? Does the bolt comes out a little bit? Or does the rock at the side of the bolt fell off? This question is the basis for a course in rock mechanics but I will try to make it simple. In principle there are two types of deformation, elastic and plastic. Elastic deformation of the rock in a tunnel/drift/stope are in the range of mm to a few cm and is movement without failure of the rock.

When this movement occurs the rock bolts are somewhat “stretched� and start to take load, which in turn creates a confinement to the rock, adding strength to the rock (reducing the potential for deformations in joints). It is difficult to see any effects of loads on the bolt itself. If the rock is weaker/or stresses higher the stresses around the excavation will load the rock above its strength and failure occurs, you will now get plastic deformation. Plastic means that the deformation is permanent (elastic deformation is like a spring – it decreases when the load is reduced). Plastic deformation can be in the range of cm to dm in our mines. In a first stage you will probably start to see washers bending from the load from plastic deformation close to the surface. As the deformation increase the zone of deformation will be larger around the drift/stope and bolts will be loaded as it is resisting the deformations. When the load in the bolts reach the yield load of the bolt (the limit for elastic deformation) it will be stretched along the bolt. The bolt will not move out of the rock as it is grouted, it will stay in place and you will see that the rock around the bolt is moving more, bulging around the bolts (when deformations are large), see figure 1. This is why we use shotcrete, to take care of the rock between the bolts. When the movements appear at larger depth than the length of the bolt the bolt just moves along with the rest of the rock.

9. Are there any measurement methods to check the movement of the rocks or cracks? Yes. We can measure deformation on the surface of the rock with geodetic instruments, the same equipment that the mine surveyors use. To measure deformations within the rock we can install extensometers which are a device with anchors at different length from the surface that is grouted in a hole. In this way we can measure the deformations on different depths from the surface of the excavation. It can be made manually on a handheld reading unit or by a logging device, on-line (not used in our mines yet but the equipment is available) or to a memory that is emptied at a time interval of your choice. 10. Is there a method to see whats going on inside the rock? If there is a underground lake or a huge crack? Most of the information is gathered from the diamond drilling before the mining. In a mine we normally drill holes, and take out the drill core for examination, with a distance of 20-25 m between the holes in the ore. By this we will have information of any larger feature present in the rock. There are also geophysical methods that we can use. It is usually a probe that you push along the hole that can give indications of what is outside the hole. It normally measures magnetism or conductivity, even if there are other parameters as well that can be measured, like velocity of vibrations. Such methods can help the interpretation of information from the drill holes. We normally do not use geophysical methods in our daily work in planning the operations of a mine. It is used in exploration, trying to find new mineralisations.


The sensor detects how much it is being bent. It can be used to detect vibration, humidity, impact and air flow.

The dyson fan has an interesting technologie which could be interesting for my flying concept. With this technic dust wouldn´t be a big problem for the flying tool.


measurement tool


surface protection


propeller protection

ambient light



hub-less propeller

powered by little motor

Due to the propeller dust problem I tried out another propeller system, the hub-less propeller. But that system was also not that reliable so I had to go for a completely new technologie.


The Dyson van makes wind without blades. The wind which is generated comes from a turbine located in the bottom. Since propellers won´t survive that long in that harsh mine environment it could be a trustful alternative.

The only thing which have to be changed is the power of the turbine to make the inspection tool flying. Its shape helpes the tool as well to survive. All the sensible technologie is located in the middle.


convertible modules

module 1

• installing small sensors to the bolt • ability for attaching at the bolt

module 2

• measuring monitoring rock bolts • ability for attaching at the bolt

measurement tool

place for turbine

cover place for sensors



cover turbine


convertible measuring tool


air stream channel


ultrasonic package + battery ambient light


turbine running on a bearing

inspection module engine turbine


The turbine blows air with high pressure through the air stream channels. This technic makes the tool flying. Normal propellers wouldn´t survive in a mine because of the dust particles, the dropping water and the dirt.


outfitted with a sensor for measuring movements

LED light inside

module for installing sensors bolt sensor attached to a bolt

sensor measures movements in rock bolts


the bolt sensors recognise movements and lightens up the dangerous area in red


IN-SPC 23 could have a charging station on the back of the mining vehicles close to the miner. It can also fly autonomous therefore the charging station can be anywhere in the mine.


IN-SPC 23 starts its mission from the back of the mining vehicle in the area where the operator is.


IN-SPC 23 signalises immediately when there is a dangerous area where the miner is working in.


IN-SPC 23 goes up to the rock bolt and checks the rock condition via ultrasonic and it could outfit the rock bolts with sensors. It also provides ambient light for the miner.


IN-SPC 23 can also detect methane in coal mines. Methane is a really dangerous gas you can´t smell and it is highly explosive.


bumpers easy to change ultrasonic device

ambient light + signal light

if IN-SPC 23 finds a dangerous spot in a mine it lightens up red



manuallyCNC milled

35 hours ... get to this stage what is shown on this pictures it took me 35 hours. And about 62 hours for finishing the complete model.



“I love the shape of it, it looks robust” Daniel Sellberg Industrial Designer ATLAS COPCO

“Interesting concept” Alex Liebert Design manager ATLAS COPCO

“Great outside the box thinking” Stephen Manning Mining Engineer NEW BOLIDEN



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Special thanks to Thomas Degn the programme director of the Advanced Product Design Master, for organising this great mining project and the work he did for this project in the project phase. Steen Mandsfelt for the help with the model making Lars Isaksson for the help with the painting Pete Avondoglio for the ideation workshop Oscar Bjรถrk for the feedback Alex Liebert Design manager ATLAS COPCO for the feedback Daniel Sellberg Industrial Designer ATLAS COPCO for the feedback Evgeny Novikov Mining Engineer NEW BOLIDEN for the information Jonny Bagein- Linder Manager process systems NEW BOLIDEN for the information

INSPC 23 Rock Inspection Tool  

INSPC 23 is an autonomous mine inspection tool, which analyses the bolt and rock condition in a mine, for a safer working environment. With...

INSPC 23 Rock Inspection Tool  

INSPC 23 is an autonomous mine inspection tool, which analyses the bolt and rock condition in a mine, for a safer working environment. With...