“Together, we will deliver automated and autonomous machines directly from the factory, and offer sophisticated retrofits for more than 2000 Sandvik drill rigs currently operating globally,” said Gregg Scanlan, vice president of surface drilling equipment, Sandvik. “Our strategy is to combine proven automation with world-class drill rigs and a strong global aftermarket support.”

“By listening to customers and serving their needs our mining solutions deliver real operational, safety and financial value for our customers,” said Allen Patterson, COO, Flanders. “Our Ardvarc automated drill system continues to prove that. Working with Sandvik helps us in our mission of being a force for good to our customers, business partners like Sandvik and the communities we serve. Together we can better standardize the offering and formalize field support on a global scale. Our partnership will accelerate implementation and acceptance of ‘automation’ on drill rigs and benefit a growing number of mining companies.”

‘Drill rig automation’ is a broad concept. It progresses from automation of certain functions and remote control up to completely autonomous operation (without direct human interaction). Often the target is to have a single operator supervising multiple drills from a remote office.