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METS Ignited Collaborative Project Funds recipients, Rig Technologies have developed real-time Measure While Drilling (MWD) and Logging While Drilling (LWD) in the form of their drillHUB and drillMAX technology for mining exploration.  Until now, measuring rock formation while drilling for high quality geophysical and directional data has not been possible.

MWD captures information from the drill at surface and enables drilling optimisation, remote view and tracking and overall performance management and is becoming relatively common place. LWD moves the sensors into the inhospitable downhole environment where shock and vibration averages 400g (gravity) with regular peaks over 2000g for days at a time.

Under the collaborative funding agreement, this project set out to produce sensors and instrumentation for drilling, able to survive this environment and deliver better data faster resulting in significant drilling cost reductions and faster decision making.

Geophysics data is now streaming live from drills in the Pilbara using Rig Technologies’ equipment via 3G/4G or satellite connectivity.  This enables exploration and development team management to engage immediately with the data being collected and to provide advice and instructions to the field teams on the drilling plan.

These capabilities not only cut the time spent surveying at the drill by 50% but enable faster analysis of key geophysics parameters leading to more efficient and productive drilling campaigns. The technology is now being used by two major iron ore companies in Western Australia and expansion internationally is underway.

The MWD and LWD technology was developed under the Collaborative Project Funds, with matched funding coming from a leading industry drilling company, Wallis Drilling.  Congratulations Rig Technologies on the market penetration and adoption of the MWD and LWD technology by some of Australia’s biggest mining houses, resulting in tripled employee numbers and supporting significant revenue growth in domestic and export markets.

Output of RIG Technologies drillHUB (MWD) and drillMAX (LWD) technology

drillMAX Tool with protective housing removed.