New Rig Control System offers unique operator interface

2014 Jan 08

Since its introduction in 1998, Atlas Copco’s Rig Control System (RCS) has gone from strength to strength.

This unique system, which automatically controls all of the functions on the company­’s modern mining and construction equipment, has consistently led to improvements in efficiency, productivity, fuel economy, safety, comfort and, not least, sustainability.

Now the designers have raised the bar  again with the latest upgrade, RCS 5, so much so that it has been recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), winning a bronze in the 2013 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA).

“We feel very honored to be the first company in the mining industry to receive a design award for a control system,” says Sisirnath Sangireddy, Team Leader, Interaction Design at Atlas Copco’s Industrial Design Competence Center. “This proves that our design is recognized as the very best in the business.”

New joysticks and graphics

So what are the benefits of RCS 5? Basically, this version, which is available for the Boomer E-series drill rigs, offers major improvements to the primary operator interface, including multi-functional joysticks and better graphical user interface screens.

RCS 5It allows the operator to more easily monitor and control all functions of the rig, in addition to enabling local or remote control and the logging of events and error information for future analysis.

Navigation is performed using the 15-inch touch screen display and drilling is controlled using joysticks which have all primary functions grouped on the top. This allows the operator to focus on the drilling, instead of searching for functions on the display.

The result is an optimal work flow with organized information and increased usability. But that’s not all. The innovative, ergonomic design enables the interface to accommodate different needs such as ambidextrousness, color blindness and variable light conditions, and also uses self-explanatory symbols for easy, global recognition.

Johan Jonsson, Product Manager at Atlas Copco, says: “The joysticks, together with the touch screen, provide a truly ergonomic working environment, and this has been one of our biggest focus areas.

“Our primary aim has been to develop an ergonomic, intuitive operator system which is very easy to use. As it also reduces the training time needed for new operators, it means a faster production start when a new rig comes on site.”

Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.