Winners of the 2019-2020 Di Pierro Innovation Fellowship








Dr. Hamed Rafezi (post-doc) and Professor Ferri Hassani for “Drill bit condition monitoring system for mining applications”

Executive summary:

The proposed application aims to further develop our patent-pending approach (PCT/CA2018/051236) for tricone drill Bit Condition Monitoring System (BCMS) in surface mining. The mining industry is moving toward automation and autonomous machinery for increasing the efficiency, precision and safety in production. A successful automated blasthole drilling condition monitoring and control system is a vital step forward. Drilling and blasting are two preliminary tasks in large surface mining operations and constitute more than 15% of the total costs. Tricone bits are preferred in most rotary drilling applications for blasthole drilling in a surface mining operation. Bit wear and subsequent failure of drill in the hole create major delays in removing the detached cone(s) from the hole to avoid damage to the rock crusher equipment. Fully autonomous drilling would not be achievable without a machine-sensing system for recognizing when the drill bit is worn and requires replacing.

 This program was made possible thanks to the generosity of McGill alum Pasquale Di Pierro.

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