"DSI Underground's strength lies in its global reach, extensive R&D efforts, and commitment to embracing new technologies."

Paul Stephenson

REGIONAL CEO – NORTH AMERICA, DSI UNDERGROUND

December 08, 2023

Can you introduce DSI Underground? 

DSI Underground is a market leader in the provision of ground stabilization products to both the mining and construction sectors. DSI Underground is now part of Sandvik and can provide fully integrated bolting systems. 

Whilst we have the strength of being a global business, we maintain a very strong regional presence. The commonality within the global mining regions allows for the transference of technologies and best practices. 

In addition to our global focus, we also have a well-defined regional strategy. We aim to develop the necessary competence and capability in our chosen operational centers. These centers manufacture products tailored to meet the unique demands of their respective markets. We align our manufacturing facilities with the specific needs of customers in each geographical area. 

How important is mining to DSI Underground's business? 

We have a deep history of supporting the mining industry and our growth has been aligned to the specific service and support of this market segment. Our journey has been a continued focus on innovation both in ground support practices and product development, but also the alignment with our customers to drive safer working environments and operational efficiency. Our focus on Civil Construction with Tunnelling is complementary to mining and enables the transference of technologies between the two market sectors. The technologies of ground support are very similar, it is really only the life expectancy that is different.

What sets DSI Underground apart from its competitors? 

DSI Underground's strength lies in its global reach, extensive R&D efforts, and commitment to embracing new technologies. We offer the broadest product range among ground support suppliers worldwide, from standard ground support to fully integrated systems inclusive of ground consolidation resin injection systems. Our distinct advantage is that, as part of Sandvik, we can explore integrating ground support with OEM equipment. This opens doors to providing end-to-end systems, enhancing operational efficiency and lowering costs for our customers. We are also investing in automation and remote bolting systems. 

How has automation impacted ground support solutions?

Customers are looking for suppliers that will embrace this technology and provide strong solutions. The alignment with Sandvik now affords a unique ability to advance these solutions. These seamless solutions embrace everything from primary and secondary bolting to ground stabilization encompassing various materials. These automated systems are designed to allow ground stabilization products/systems to be simplistic in their installation but equally remotely operated.

Bolting systems can now digitally capture information about an individual bolt’s installation, such as its speed at installation, its location, and the load required to break out the bolt. The next step is smart bolts with embedded sensors that capture data on load conditions or detect failures, for example. The potential integration of smart bolts with mine planning software could help in the assessment of ground support's response to various scenarios, improving safety and efficiency.

What other technologies is DSI Underground employing in ground support?

In addition to smart bolts, we are exploring LIDAR scanning, which can scan the mine to determine bolting density. This technology helps mines identify the specifics of their bolts and their density patterns, ensuring conformance with their mine plan. It also helps in cases where shotcrete is applied over the bolts, providing information about the ground support behind it.

We are also developing virtual reality training programs. These are used for training in shotcreting and some bolting processes. These 3D training programs help mines leverage technology for training purposes, reducing the need for on-site training personnel.

What are DSI Underground’s plans for 2024?

We are excited about the opportunities in North America, we have made significant investments in automation and capacity to align with the market’s requirements. This has afforded us the ability to significantly increase capacity and efficiency around our standard product range and equally to allow the MD and MDX products to be manufactured within Canada to support our North American business. To further support and allow full control of our core processes, we recently acquired Norgalv, a state-of-the-art galvanizing facility, which makes us self-sufficient for our coating technologies and galvanizing needs. In 2024, our focus is on continued growth, building capacities, competencies and capabilities to support our customers. 

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