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Smart Inspection at the White Mountain Sand Mine

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Quartz sand is the most important raw material for the glass industry. The Biala Góra mine in Poland is Europe’s biggest source of this extremely fine-grained type of sand. It’s important to know exactly how much of it is produced, and to map the shape of the mine as it evolves. To do this, its specialists have taken to the sky.

Biala Góra (White Mountain) is owned by the Quarzwerke Group, a company that has been producing high-grade raw materials for more than 135 years. Throughout its long history, the company has always adopted new technology to work efficiently. For this project, the team chose to work together with land surveying experts, Geograd, as the sand mine covers a staggering 2.6 square kilometers.

“Stockpiles and volumes are measured, and maps of the excavations are updated.”

Pawel Grad, owner, Geograd

Documenting the mine’s progress

For smart inspection, Geograd has brought in an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), also known as a drone.

“The goal is to acquire highly accurate information about the excavated and processed sand. Stockpiles and volumes are measured, and maps of the excavations are updated in order to document the mines progress,” says Pawel Grad, owner of Geograd, who was hired to fly the UAV. “This is required by law. Mine owners have to document all their work.”

The UAV has been provided by TPI, a company that has worked together with Topcon for 29 years.

“Our company is 30 years old, and we’ve worked with Topcon for most of that time. The project carried out in Biala Góra is an excellent example of important components coming together: the perfect drone, software matched to the client’s needs, and help from an expert team.” says, Andrzej Jaroszewicz, CEO of TPI.

“With traditional measurement techniques, it would take several times as long.”

Pawel Grad, owner, Geograd

Millimeter accuracy

The main benefit offered by the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ Drone – Topcon Edition Pawel Grad explains: “The possibility of obtaining a very large amount of very accurate data, even with millimeter accuracy, in a very short time.“With other techniques, this is unattainable. With traditionalmeasurement techniques, it would take several times as long. And the accuracy would not be that great.”

Safety is a key benefit as well. Performing these measurements used to be challenging on the mine’s high slopes. Pawel Grad continues: “Thanks to the drone, I don’t have to physically approach such places. I can do it from a distance, which is crtical from a safety persepctive.”

TPI is also available throughout the entire process for any questions that arise. Piotr Matyjasek concludes: “We never leave you alone with the product.  This is very important to us. Customer support entails direct contact, field support after implementation, as well as telephone support from the support department. Thanks to continuous training at Topcon, they are always in the know about the latest technologies. This allows us to offer solid support.”