We are keenly anticipating our return to the Hillhead Quarry in Buxton this year as we take to stand B21 for Hillhead 2022. 

Last month we fired the starting gun for the industry leading exhibition, bringing down 30,000 tonnes of stone for equipment demonstration purposes. Read more.

Now our technical team is putting plans in place to deliver on the stand and meet visitors at the 21 -23 June event. Here’s a heads-up on the ‘expo expertise’ we’ll be bringing to the show, through members of the team who will detail our future ready digitized quarrying techniques.

Meet the team behind the technologies

Through the passion, progressive capabilities, innovation and advanced skillsets of engineers Dr. Liam Bermingham, Sam Skinner and Dan Richards, Hillhead visitors will have the opportunity to discover more about how EPC-UK uses drone mapping and modelling services and fixed remote monitoring stations to assure environmental compliance, environmental and vibration management, blast performance and fragmentation analysis.

Dr. Liam Bermingham
Senior Explosives Engineer

Mining Engineering and a PhD Graduate of the University of Leeds. Liam’s PhD was in The Prediction and Control of Air Overpressure that Arises as a Result from Quarry Blasting.

Current role

As a Senior Explosives Engineer, he possesses extensive knowledge of blasting operations and digitized techniques. Liam represents EPC’s blasting technical interests to both customers and the wider blasting community and provides a high level of technical blasting engineering advice within his role. Areas including safe and efficient use and application of explosive products, environmental impact and monitoring, blast optimisation, and the research and development of EPC-UK and EPC Metrics’ products and services all feature within his technical capabilities.

Professional achievements

Liam has co-authored 6 blasting related publications for organisations including the ISEE and Fragblast. His presentation, ‘Digitization, Evolution at the Interface Stream’ was critically acclaimed at Hillhead’s virtual exhibition in 2021 and covered key technologies and techniques put in place to improve quarrying operational efficiencies by focusing on drilling & blasting. He has recently prepared and presented an EFEE paper detailing the new possibilities to digitally measure, store and analyse data throughout the entire drill and blast process. In addition to his academic achievements, he has shotfiring, explosive supervisor and quarry operations management experience. 

Current projects

Part of Liam’s focus at present is his work to further develop EPC Groupe’s digital blasting package ‘Vertex’, a fully automated blasting

data capture solution that has supported multiple engineering studies in blast optimisation to date.

Talk to Liam

“During the Hillhead Exhibition, I will be delivering my talk based on ‘The Digital Quarry’ and explaining EPC’s work on the digitization of the blasting process,” Liam says. “The talk will cover the application of good blasting practices and the use of our powerful, value-added Vertex systems that optimise excavation and processing operations by ‘getting it right’ at the face.”

Looking to the future

“Moving forward, our industry will benefit from the wholesale move to digital blasting and the opportunities presented in terms of datamining,” he explains. “Added to this will be improvements in the ever-increasing precision with which we apply explosive energy to any given rock mass, a development based on scientific methodology to produce optimal fragmentation for customers.”

Sam Skinner
Explosives Engineer & Drone Manager

BEng Mining Engineering Graduate of the Camborne School of Mines within the University of Exeter. Sam will also soon be completing his MSc Engineering Management.

Current role

As an Explosives Engineer, Sam is well equipped to offer technical services and advice across the blasting sector. He plays an integral role within EPC Metrics; a branch of EPC-UK that focuses on drone mapping services, fixed remote monitoring, equipment servicing and calibration and consulting services. “We are currently expanding the Metrics section of the business,” Sam says, “so it’s a great time to be involved and influence the division’s growth.” Additionally, he holds responsibility for the safe running of EPC’s fleet of drones and drone operations, ensuring UK legal compliance and the development of good practice.

Professional achievements

In recent years, Sam – a member of both the Institute of Quarrying and the International Society of Explosive Engineers – has worked to support EPC’s blast operations safely and effectively. He also holds the qualifications of Fixed Wing and Multi Rotor Drone Pilot, MPQC Shotfiring and Explosives Supervision.

Current projects

He is focusing on the Fixed Remote Monitoring service of EPC Metrics where an automated system records vibration and air overpressure during blasting. Sam feels this is an area that will become increasingly important as the extractive industry and surrounding residential areas converge.

Talk to Sam

During Hillhead, Sam wants to show visitors the benefits of EPC’s fixed remote monitoring service, drone technology and equipment provision capabilities.

Looking to the future

“I believe the drilling and blasting industry will continue to adopt technologies to increase the safety, efficiency and environmental impacts of operations, with EPC steering the way.”

Dan Richards
Explosives Engineer

A BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Oxford Brookes University. A Masters in Mining Engineering from the Camborne School of Mines within the University of Exeter.

Current role

Dan is an Explosives Engineer, keenly involved in EPC Metrics’ service and capabilities. He draws on a strong academic background and his experience in the field to provide in-depth knowledge on subjects related to blast design, environmental compliance, use of drones, and blast performance analysis. In addition, he has practical shotfiring experience and offers advanced technical support to customers and in-house teams, specialising in adding value to businesses through the application of the latest techniques and technologies, optimising performance and improving operations. “Digitizing the quarry is about so much more than simply saving paper – which is a noble cause in itself – it’s about accuracy, reliability, and transferability; together with all the additional benefits that come from utilising EPC’s machines effectively in the digital era.” Dan says.

Professional achievements

Dan is a member of both the Institute of Quarrying and the International Society of Explosive Engineers. Adding to his skillset he is a qualified Fixed Wing and Multi Rotor Drone Pilot, MPQC Shotfirer and Explosives Supervisor.

Current projects

He is putting considerable work into both digitization, data utilisation and mine-to-mill processes to allow for increased efficiencies and optimisation within the quarry environment. 

Talk to Dan

He would like to explain more to Hillhead visitors about how the right expertise doesn’t stop when the blast is on the ground, and that with experience and know-how, value can be added to customers’ operations through the analysis of the downstream process – from the load and haul to the crushing and screening. 

Looking to the future

“The technical evolution within drill & blast processes has come a long way in a short amount of time and shows no signs of slowing down,” Dan says. “I believe that soon more systems will be able to capture and effectively utilise greater quantities of data from the mine-to-mill process, allowing for increasingly effective practices and operations to be achieved using a holistic approach.”

Showcasing EPC’s services

Supporting the technical team at Hillhead will be General Manager Blasting and Explosives, Ben Coppock, and Commercial Manager, Ryan Ward. They will be sharing further details of EPC Metrics’ recent progression to becoming a stand-alone company and providing information on the division’s services. They will also be demonstrating the enabling Vertex software solution we’ve recently brought to the field – a digital tool developed to combine all three of EPC’s blasting platforms – Expertir, Expertab and ExplOre. Also central to our stand experience this year will be Customer Service Manager, Charlotte Hegarty, who will be detailing her team’s capacity to deliver our working principles and put EPC-UK’s SPIRIT values of Safety, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork into practice, ensuring customers’ needs and relationships are made the utmost priorities. 

To find out more, visit the team at Hillhead on stand B21 or to make an enquiry sooner, email Ryan.Ward@epc-groupe.co.uk