Normet India: Improving Underground Processes

Arup Ratan Chanda, General Manager-Services, Normet India & Dhyanendra Tripathi, General Manager
We are helping & collaborating our project partners and customers to continuously improve their processes, increase the safety and productivity to achieve optimal results with our innovative technology driven machines and through our digitized service platforms which are backed by our technical know-how and vast experience in underground mining and tunnelling operations, ever. Arup Ratan Chanda, General Manager-Services, Normet India & Dhyanendra Tripathi, General Manager - Project Operations.

What products and services Normet India is offering to improve customers’ Mining and Tunnelling operations?
Normet continuously improves underground mining and tunnelling processes with its expertise, innovations, and evolving technologies. Our aim is to transform underground mining and tunnelling through digitalization. We help our mining and tunnelling partners, improving their operational processes, attaining enhanced productivity & safety, and making their projects more sustainable.

Normet encourages a strong collaboration with its customers. We support our customers with process expertise gained from working on thousands of underground mining and tunnelling projects all over the world. To date, we have delivered more than 14,000 purpose-built underground machines, while improving safety and productivity through our range of construction chemicals and rock reinforcement products. The company operates globally in over 50 locations in 33 countries. This breadth allows rapid response and reliability to all customers whenever and wherever they may be.

The products and services offered by the company are Smart Drive, Explosives Charging Equipment, Truck-based Working Platforms, Equipment for Man Lifting and Installation Works, Concrete Spraying Solutions, Bolting Systems, Bolt Grouts, Structural Support liners, Injection Materials etc.

What does Normet’s acquisition of Aliva entail?
Through its recent acquisition of Aliva, Normet India will be offering new concrete spraying machines in the low and medium range spraying market segment, which can be used for spraying both dry and wet concrete. The tunnelling market will now have a wider choice of solutions based on the application needs. No doubt, Aliva products will add to our brand value and strengthen our position in the concrete spraying equipment segment across hard rock mining, tunnelling and civil infra sectors.

Addition of new range of concrete spraying solutions will also enable our customers to choose suitable machines for micro tunnelling projects in addition to hydropower and road tunnel projects of six to 10 meters diameter openings.

Arup Ratan Chanda, General Manager-Services, Normet India & Dhyanendra Tripathi, General Manager

Striving for continued innovation, Normet will enhance the engineering & design standards using its own R&D of the newly acquired fleets while retaining the basic features of these concrete spraying machines to ensure excellence & distinction at par. The technology upgrades shall include enhancing nozzle innovations and application customization needs with low pulsation pump technologies developed by Normet.

Committed to Make in India initiatives, the concrete spraying machines will be produced at Normet’s manufacturing facility based in Jaipur. The manufacturing plan envisages 50 units of production and marketing to begin with per annum.

Please tell us about Normet’s SmartDrive battery electric vehicles.
Normet’s strategy is to create a competitive space in the tunnel construction segment by offering products viz. SmartDrive that delivers a lesser cost of operation and greater safety.

SmartDrive is an electric operated vehicle which optimizes energy consumption in underground mining and tunnelling applications, both for longer and shorter tramming distances. SmartDrive enables higher performance and productivity, lowers operating costs, and has zero local emission, making underground tunnelling safer. It has a modular design and can be recharged easily from underground electric sockets. We have already sold three SmartDrive vehicles to our major customer Hindustan Zinc.

Arup Ratan Chanda, General Manager-Services, Normet India & Dhyanendra Tripathi, General Manager

What other innovative products is the company offering in order to drive its tunnelling business through greater digitalization?
Normet has widened its product offerings with its new Scamec Thor scaling N-Series and XS series of multi utility machines. These underground beasts are also equipped with innovative digital tools like ‘SmartScan’ and ‘SmartSpray’ processes, which are important developments in our new ‘mine digitization services’ that will further enhance advancing our equipment technology.

With SmartScan, 3D laser technology, and SmartSpray, the company has automated concrete spraying processes. For instance, with SmartScan, the quality of concrete spraying on a tunnel surface can be assessed before and after spraying so that adjustments, if any, can be made and efficiency and productivity of process can be maximised to attain profitability & sustainability objectives.

As part of our ‘mine digitization support services’, Normet is enabling safe functioning of its tunnel construction equipment through remote assisted operations. These activities are performed through a highly digitalized, head gear platform supported by a screen (an integral part of the head gear), enabling the operator to work remotely with great precision and safety, especially when the machines are performing critical functions like charging explosives and even during concrete spraying. With the screen, the operator can zoom in and zoom out the actual in situ visual image and thus visualize the functioning of the machines.

Since all Normet machines are IoT enabled, their performance during spraying etc and their energy consumption can be monitored. The data collected from the machines can be processed for further performance optimization.

Normet is providing simulation-based training to make operators accustomed to the head gear operations. Support services are also being rendered for remote maintenance of the machines through the head gear platform.

What are Normet’s strategies for growing its business?
Today, Normet India is charting a major expansion plan in India’s tunnelling construction segment. Our strategy includes studying the scope of new product applications as per the emerging tunnel construction needs. This is because processes such as sprayed concrete (Shotcrete) and rock bolting require products that give superior performance with greater safety and less environmental pollution. We are, therefore, offering innovative & improved solutions, supported by our technical services to ensure building the safest places, underground, for our customers with reliable and safe functioning of our products.
NBM&CW JANUARY 2023
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