MCL brings in robotic intervention to control fire, dust in mines


Sambalpur: Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has added yet another first in coal industry by making a robotic intervention in mining operations to control the dust pollution and combat fire.

Continuing with a series of innovations for making the mining operations safer, environment-friendly and efficient, MCL successfully tested the remotely-controlled mechanised swivel nozzle, popularly known as “Robotic Nozzle”, with variable cone mist and straight throw capacity to deal with fire and dust suppression in an effective way.

The introduction of “Robotic Nozzle” will be of great help to fire-fighting operations in coal mines besides effective dust suppression using conical mist function.

Being a remotely-controlled system to operate from a safe distance, the “robotic nozzle” throws mist with variable cone envelope with a solid angle from 0 to 120 degree with additionally covering 360 degree horizontal pan and 180 degree vertical pitch.

Envisioned by Chairman-cum Managing Director B N Shukla, the system has been retrofitted in 28 KL Water tanker at Lakhanpur OCP as designed and integrated by Mr Y K Singha, Manager (E&M/Innovation Cell) under the guidance of A K Pandey, HoD (Innovation Cell) and in close coordination with the Excavation Team of Area and HQs led by A K Satpathi, GM (Excavation).

Two more such systems will be retrofitted in 28 KL tankers at Basundhara OCP in Sundergarh district and Lingaraj OCP, Talcher in Angul district.

In the past one year, the company has introduced hired mobile fog canons, 100 m range fixed fog canons  and hired mechanical sweepers for better and effective dust control, use of UAVs (drones) for mine monitoring, planning and critical decision making, introduction of horticulture and agriculture in mining areas including use of poly houses, Introduction of Aahar Mandal for nutrition sustenance of tribal families, trial of dedicated DTH TV channel for training purpose, blast free mining methods, etc.

The fog canons of MCL have also been extensively used for sanitization operation to assist district administration in fight against COVID-19 pandemic.