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The intelligent technology of mine equipment in China is gradually maturing

The intelligent technology of mine equipment in China is gradually maturing. Recently, the Ministry of Emergency Management and the  State Administration of Mine Safety issued the “14th Five-Year Plan for Mine Production Safet” aimed at further preventing and defusing major safety risks. The plan released the key R&D catalogue of 38 types of coal mining robots in 5 categories, and promoted the construction of 494 intelligent mining working faces in coal mines nationwide, and implemented the application of 19 types of robots related to coal mine production. In the future, mine safety production will start a new intelligent mining mode of “patrolling and unattended”.

Intelligent mine acquisition is gradually popularized

Since this year, with the steady development of energy supply and price, it has driven the growth of the added value of mining industry. In the second quarter, the added value of mining industry increased by 8.4% year on year, and the growth rate of coal mining and washing industry was more than double digits, both of which were significantly faster than the growth of industries above all scales. At the same time, the growth rate of raw coal production accelerated, with 2.19 billion tons of raw coal produced in the first half of this year, up 11.0% year on year. In June, 380 million tons of raw coal were produced, up 15.3% year on year, 5.0 percentage points faster than in May. According to the analysis in the plan, the mining equipment industry still has a strong market space. The mining industry has been exploring solutions to improve the working environment and operational efficiency by using digital technology. With the deep integration of 5G, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, the concept of intelligent mine gradually landing and other factors bring more development opportunities to the mining equipment industry. In order to achieve comprehensive intelligent mine acquisition faster, the plan said that China will continue to promote the elimination of backward production capacity. By means of legalization and marketization, we will promote the elimination and withdrawal of backward production capacity by types, deadlines and measures, and promote the research and development of policies and technical standards for the withdrawal of backward production capacity in mines. It can be seen that intelligent mine acquisition is gradually popularized in China, and intelligent equipment allows more mines to “Machine in and person out”. Up to now, China has built 982 intelligent collection working faces in coal mines, and will build 1200-1400 intelligent acquisition working faces by the end of this year. More importantly, after two years of construction, the national coal mine safety intelligent detection network has been formed, and the situation of more than 3000 coal mine safety production has gathered in Beijing, which can dynamically detect, real-time perceive and quickly warn any coal mine disaster, and has played a huge role in China’s coal safety production. In terms of equipment technology, the plan proposes to deepen the scientific research on the occurrence mechanism of major disasters and coupling hazards, and focus on solving the bottleneck of key technologies and equipment such as major safety risk early warning, dynamic monitoring and visualization, active early warning and intelligent decision-making and prevention and control. Strengthen the research and development of key technologies of intelligent mining, focus on breaking through key technologies and equipment that restrict the development of intelligent mining, such as precise geological exploration, ore and rock identification, transparent geology, precise positioning of equipment, intelligent comprehensive mining and rapid excavation under complex conditions, unmanned auxiliary transportation links, less manned or unmanned fixed sites, and improve the level of complete set and localization of intelligent equipment.

Opportunities in weak link challenges

The planning also describes the current weak link of intelligent mining and excavation. The development of energy transformation poses greater challenges to mine safety, especially the shortage of mining equipment. At present, there is a big gap between the robot density and the average level abroad. The massive use of new materials, new technologies, new processes and new equipment has brought new uncertainties to production safety. Disaster risk becomes more serious with the increase of mining depth. The research on the mechanism of coal mine gas outburst, rock burst and other disasters has not made a breakthrough, and the independent innovation ability of key technology and equipment needs to be improved. In addition, the development of non-coal mines is uneven, the total number of mines is large, and the level of mechanization is low. Affected by the resource endowment, technology and scale, the overall level of mechanization of metal and non-metal mines in China is low. But these challenges also bring new opportunities to the optimization of energy consumption and production structure. With the reform of energy consumption structure, the elimination and withdrawal of backward production capacity have been further promoted, and the industrial structure of mines has been continuously optimized. Taking large modern coal mines with high safety level as the main body has become the development direction of the coal industry. The industrial structure of non-coal mines has been continuously optimized through elimination, closure, integration, reorganization and upgrading. The mine’s safety production capacity and disaster prevention and control capacity have been further strengthened, bringing vitality to the stability of mine safety production. A new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is accelerating. A large number of advanced technical equipment such as mine mining and production, disaster prevention and control have been widely applied, and the safety risk control technology and measures have been continuously improved. With the deep integration of the new generation of information technology such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud computing with the mine, intelligent equipment and robots have been widely used, and the pace of mine intelligent construction has accelerated, and less or unmanned mining has gradually become a reality, Scientific and technological innovation has provided new impetus for mine safety production.


5G leads the new mining mode

In this planning, 5G application and construction technology are favored by more enterprises. Taking stock of mining in recent years, the application of 5G scenario is not rare. For example, Sany Smart Mining Technology Co., Ltd. and Tencent Cloud reached a strategic cooperation in 2021. The latter will fully support the 5G application construction of Sany Smart Mining in smart mines. In addition, CITIC Heavy Industries, the leading equipment manufacturing enterprise, has built and completed the mining equipment industry Internet platform by using the 5G and industrial Internet platform technology, relying on its deep accumulation in mineral experiments, product research and development, equipment manufacturing, operation and maintenance services, process optimization and industrial big data. Not long ago, Ge Shirong, an academician of the CAE Member, analyzed at the “2022 World 5G Conference” and believed that China’s coal mining would enter the intelligent stage in 2035. Ge Shirong said that from manned mining to unmanned mining, from solid combustion to gas-liquid utilization, from coal-electric process to clean and low-carbon, from environmental damage to ecological reconstruction. These four links are closely related to intelligent and high-performance communication. As a new generation of mobile communication technology, 5G has many advantages, such as low delay, large capacity, high speed and so on. In addition to traditional high-quality audio and video transmission, the application deployment of 5G network in mines also involves the requirements of unmanned intelligent dispatching system, cloud computing and a large number of high-definition wireless image transmission. It can be predicted that the future construction of “unmanned” smart mines will become more safe and efficient with the support of 5G network.

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