Development of digital twin for rock drilling


Simon Larsson




Purpose and goal

The aim of with the project DigiRock is to optimize rock drilling performance to save energy and minimize wear on drilling equipment while maintaining or improving the rate of penetration. A digital twin can be used for optimization of the rock drilling process by balancing energy efficiency, high rate of penetration and equipment life. The project goal is to develop a digital twin for optimization of the rock drilling process, weighting the effects of rate of penetration and wear.

Expected results and effects

By using the digital twin developed in DigiRock, the rock drilling equipment and process will be optimized, and the following effects and results are expected. By optimized drill bit geometry, the power consumption at drilling is reduced. The optimization of the drill bit and the drilling process leads to an improved environmental sustainability. By being able to predict wear during drilling at real time, maintenance stop can be planned leading to increased production efficiency. All these achievements lead to a more cost-effective production.

Planned approach and implementation

DigiRock is realized as a three-year project, divided into six work packages. Managed by the Division of Solid Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology with a steering group consisting of members from the participating companies: Boliden Minerals, Epiroc Drilling Tools, DYNAmore Nordic and Vastec Engineering. Thus, different parts of the value-chain are included: academia, an international mining company, a large mining equipment manufacturer, a commercial computational software developer, and a recently started consultant company with expertise in wear simulations.