Rock Products

JUN 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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LOADOUT TRANSPORTATION Gibson said because the system is so easy to use, they would likely measure stockpiles more often, giving them access to a larger amount of data for use in analyzing production. Gibson also notes its Oregon operations are currently only able to use the system to measure about 75 percent of all its stockpiles. "The un‐measureable ones have issues such as bins, walls, piles too close together or material piled up against berms or banks," he said. "With some better house‐ keeping and loader‐operator education, we can increase that number fairly easily." According to, benefits of the Stockpile Reports system include: ■ Increase Productivity: Collect data for each construction aggregates stockpile in minutes. Eliminate the travel time required by a full‐time, survey team. ■ Greater Timeliness: Receive aggregates tonnage and volume calculations in hours, instead of days or weeks. Implement new, competitive business strategies based on timely data. ■ Greater Relevance: Calculate aggregates stockpile tonnage every day, week or month, instead of every quar‐ ter or year. Reduce safety stock. ■ Comparable Accuracy: Aggregates tonnage and volume calculations are comparable to stationary LiDAR and mo‐ bile laser scanning. ■ Promote Employee Safety and MSHA Regulatory Compliance: Collect stockpile data by walking around stockpiles. Use each Site Report to plan, position and manage stockpiles more safely. ■ Simpler Training: Simply point an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 while walking and recording imagery. ■ Lower Equipment Costs: Replace expensive LiDAR and GPS devices with an inexpensive iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 device. ■ Greater Consistency: Collect stockpile data using best‐ practice processes at every mining, quarrying, rock crushing and aggregates distribution location, every time. Stockpile Reports' benefits add up to better decision‐mak‐ ing, faster inventory turns and lower operating expenses, according to the company. Added Benefits While Stockpile Reports, as a tool for measuring stockpile volume and creating visual pile models, would appear to be benefit enough, several unintended benefits have come out of the woodwork. "Because you use video to create a 360‐degree walk‐around of a stockpile, managers are finding that they can replay those video clips and analyze how effectively their loader operators are building the piles, and recommend changes and process improvements," Kovak‐Lewis said. According to Gibson, having a track record of data – both visual and in statistical form – allows the company to look back and gain insight into how production progressed over a specific period of time. "You can look back to see how piles accrue and shrink, and then check that against the data sheets, which you can even email or share between managers for a better understanding of how that impacts the operation," he said. Stockpile Reports has now measured more than three mil‐ lion tons as they move from trial runs into actual usage in the field. They measured more than one million tons in March of this year alone. In March, applied for its first non‐ provisional patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The company is expanding internationally as well. They have measured their first piles in Canada and have now vis‐ ited to Australia to meet with interested companies there. The technology that drives the Stockpile Reports system – photogrammetry – can possibly be adapted to other areas in the quarry as well, such as determining the amount of reserves on‐site or how much material was dropped after a blast. The future for technology that is this flexible and adaptive is limited only by the imagination. ROCKproducts • JUNE 2013 39

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