Green Mining | Sandvik: Ideal Rock Factory
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Sandvik: Ideal Rock Factory

Name: Ideal Rock Factory

Acronym: IRF

Duration:  1.2.2013 – 31.12.2016

Total costs (€)/Tekes support: 40 M€ / Tekes support 10 M€

Organisation:Sandvik Mining and Construction Oy

Contact person:  Pasi Julkunen , Sandvik Mining and Construction Oy, pasi.julkunen(at)


Research organization partners:  VTT, TUT, Aalto, LTU, UO

Company partners (main partners): Kilosoft Oy, Leadin Oy, Creanex Oy, Symbio Finland Oy, Wapice Oy, Comatec Oy, Etteplan Design Center Oy, Cybercom Finland Oy, Bitwise Oy, Elomatic Oy, Mudonmuutos Oy, Lehti Group Oy, Synocus Oy,

International partners: CRC Mining, Bosch Engineering, University of Queensland, University of Newcastle, Curtin University Kalgoorlie, Bruker

Need and motivation of the project: Change decreasing customer productivity and shrinking OEM volumes from threat to opportunity

Main set targets:

  1. Achieve technology leadership by developing technology platforms and superior ecosystem based on mine as rock factory concept.
  2. The IRF concept offers to mining customers sustainable solutions and services for total productivity.
  3. Achieve higher growth of sales than market growth.


Key results and impact 

Ecosystem development => partners growth towards global competiveness

Universities, VTT and several SME’s integrated for growth via demanding technology challenges, technology sourcing for long term

Rock Factory as system => Mine productivity improvement

Real time 3D Cloud mapping/navi- system , MWD and Rock Pulse for real time rock detection, Several machine remote drilling

All Electric Mine => new energy concepts, differentiation, safety

Battery based technology proven in machines in the Sandvik Test Mine, CRC Mining Electric mine infra preparation

Solution technologies for Rock Factory => building features between machine and mine system

Hoseless boom, digital rock drills, Feasibility studies  for mapping future options, robot boom concept, efficiency  of DTH Hammers

Technology enabling business models => turning technology development to business

Technology strategy built in connection of technology transformation and business models, Ore Flow Opt. / 8 times larger business


Commercialization status: 

  • New technology platform based drilling machines moving to pilot sales stage (face drilling & long hole drilling)
  • Battery powered technology in drills and loaders moved to NPD phase
  • Test Mine infra in Tampere anchored Drilling business in Finland (supporting technology projects outside funding program)
  • Rock mass detection during drilling in commercialization phase
  • Enlarged AutoMine offering by new technology initiatives


Number of patents and patent applications:

Patents applications IRF 2.1.2013 – 11.5.2016: 191 pcs from which 9 generated 9 patents