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SAGE engineering ensures an underground mining explosives system is flexible, rugged and safe.
Resources: Mining

Implemented new control systems for underground mining explosives delivery. Works included remote HMI and support as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). 

Control system and HMI design and integration for high risk explosives system, OEM supply and support for Orica Mining Services products 

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Senior Operator and 2IC, Orica

"The system performed amazingly well, impressing us with its accuracy and ease of use. It provides greater accuracy and speed in loading. Everything is clear and concise, is there for a purpose, and functions as it should.”


Orica’s existing control systems for underground mining application was becoming obsolete and new technologies were available to bring new capabilities to their operations.

Time was limited and Orica required a new fit-for-purpose solution to meet their customers’ needs across the globe.

As a leading provider of explosive products and blasting services to the mining and tunnelling industries, with customers in over 50 countries, it is critical for Orica to provide products able to withstand the worlds most rugged environments and support their commitment no harm and zero accidents of any kind.


SAGE Automation was engaged and immediately undertook an extensive User Requirement Study from which to design a system.

The result is a system which will meet the global needs of today’s and tomorrow’s surface and underground mining operations.


  • PLC housed in readily available off the shelf components, carefully selected for ruggedised mobile equipment conditions
  • Withstand -20 to +75 degree operating temperatures
  • IP67 ratings
  • 8-32V device operating ranges
  • The use of large, quick connect cam lock fittings allows for accessibility even wearing gloves
  • HMI, CAN BUS keypad, enclosure, cable system, encoders and high speed decentralised I/O controller
  • USB – for data download and program upload


  • CANBUS network topology
  • Flexible coding
  • Free open protocol
  • CANBUS interface into diesel engine
  • Software libraries – screens and information templates available


Off the back of this project, SAGE Automation received a Commendation at the Engineers Australia Excellence Awards in the category of Control Systems, Networks, Information Processing and Telecommunications for the Orica LOADPlus U control system.

Key features:

  • The plug and play concept provides a control system that is easy to install, fault find and replace components, meaning cost-effective install times and right first time commissioning practices
  • Simple system operation enables broader use - years of experience to operate is no longer necessary
  • Ease of switching from a fully automated delivery sequence to a manual delivery service
  • Multi-language programming and measurement units changeover for global application
  • Screen colours suit above and underground usage as well as illuminated keypad
  • Ability to use keypad wearing safety gloves
  • Graphical real-time visual display
  • Auto sequencing and minimal HMI interaction
  • The unit can be carried like a briefcase and is incredibly robust. The protective cover acts as a hood during operation, shielding the components from water, mud and small rock-fall

SAGE's OEM support

SAGE Automation provides OEM supply and support for Orica Mining Services products such as the Orica LOADPlus U control system.

This support includes:

  • Custom component manufacture including injection moulding and CNC fabrication
  • Ruggardised cable systems with plug-and-play functionality
  • Control unit assembly and testing
  • Software and configuration management
  • Quality Assurance and hardware traceability
  • Supply chain management

SAGE Automation has Manufacture capacity in: OEM, Protection panels, Control Panels, Distribution Boards, Instrumentation, LV and Modular Switchboards, Motor Control Centres, Control and Telecoms.

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