On 1st January 2022, EPC Metrics officially became its own operating entity.

Whilst still part of the wider EPC-UK company, this progressive development creates an opportunity for our specialist metrics engineers to deliver value-added, technically enhanced services to customers, outside of or to further support our established drilling and blasting offering. 

The digitally advanced methods used by EPC Metrics support a ‘Fly, Monitor, Analyse’ process, involving the latest drone and 3D modelling capabilities.  The technology, combined with the team’s industry leading knowhow, enables us to analyse and optimise quarry performance, meet planning requirements and improve operations.

EPC Metrics drone survey
EPC Metrics drone survey

Commercial Manager, Ryan Ward has played a pivotal role in developing the independent company’s capabilities and success: “Combined, the state-of-the-art principles EPC Metrics is effectively employing are working together to provide customers with improved added value and service expertise,” Ryan explains. “The process must begin with effective surveillance, which we successfully achieve through drone flight piloting. We have a team of over 20 drone pilots performing highly skilled services nationwide. Each has been trained to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Standard, and can knowledgeably use drone technology, in conjunction with photogrammetric techniques. Our capabilities are providing customers with models that have been created using photo overlay, which offer highly accurate results and incredible detail of both face profiling and full quarry mapping.”

Detailing the process further is EPC Metrics Drone Manager, Sam Skinner, who is responsible for the safe running of our fleet of drones and associated operations: 

EPC Metrics ‘Fly’ 

“The EPC Metrics ‘Fly’ service is performed using the advanced capabilities of our WingtraOne Professional vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fixed-wing drone, which can achieve an up-to-date, interactive map of an entire quarry site in just a few hours. In addition to its VTOL capabilities, the drone features a 42 mega-pixel camera and can map large areas by being piloted from outside the dangerzone. It offers unprecedented image quality and accuracy, and can safely take off, collect data and land from challenging and limited spaces.” 

Access all areas

“The drone enables us to obtain measurements from behind obstructions, such as toe bunds where laser profiles can be ineffective and, to ensure surveys remain relevant, the drones are used to fly the entire quarry site in line with an agreed customer schedule throughout the year. The data gathered, in conjunction with photogrammetric techniques coupled with a photo overlay, serve to create highly accurate face profiling and full quarry mapping models in incredible detail. The exceptional quality model is then processed on an online platform that, using state-of-the-art telematic data analysis techniques, offers customers the scope to conduct the following and more:

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Haul Road Analysis

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Project Tracking

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Interactive 3D Models

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Safety Analysis & Compliance

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Quarry Development Planning

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Stockpile & Volumetric Analysis

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Gradient Analysis

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Distance & Height Measurement Tools

A ‘live-site’ snapshot

“The interpretable, moveable 3D models are highly interactive, and are updated by the drone as the site changes due to quarrying activity. Using a range of software platforms, the created model can be overlaid with relevant parameters from blasts performed, enabling users to fully optimise information for future blast events.” 

Developing the field 

“The data we extract adds significant value to customers’ operations. It can also be used by members of our EPC Metrics team to make further developments for future benefit. By analysing and measuring data we can integrate the model from the metrics service into our drilling and blasting package to fully optimise the information.”

With the drone’s ‘Fly’ capabilities successfully fulfilled, the next ‘Monitor’ element of EPC Metrics’ service can deliver more effective results. To detail this second key stage of the process, Dr. Liam Bermingham will further explain the procedure in the March edition of Onsite.