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At Vale, technology is implemented to serve the safety of its employees

An inspector robot or a drone that disperses tags looks like articles coming straight from science fiction films, but they are already part of Vale's reality. Both technologies were developed by Instituto Tecnológico Vale to increase security in the daily lives of company employees. (company employees or company employees?)

The robots were adapted for the inspection of equipment in the ore processing plants, preventing employees from accessing the interior of this equipment and reducing the risks of confinement. The technology can now be used in ball mills and crushers, for example. In other locations, such as power transmission lines, inspection is carried out by drones, also avoiding the risk to employees.

In addition to this function, in partnership with the Salobo mine team, the Instituto Tecnológico Vale, adapted one of the drone models to disperse RFID tags in areas where rock dismantling was carried out. The invention prevents employees from accessing the area to manually place labels and collect data on the composition of this material for ore quality control. Drones are still useful for surveying the mine, mapping product yards and laying electrical cables.

Investing in innovation with the objective of increasing safety in its operations is one of Vale's priorities. In three years, between 2015 and 2018, the company increased from six to more than 100 drones used in the most diverse tasks.

Dennis Abrahão, the North Port Energy inspector, began working at Vale before using drones and analyzes the gains from this investment: "Before we had to assemble scaffolding, isolate the area, put stairs and in cases of power lines until hiring a helicopter to do the preventive and predictive maintenance. Today, we are able to identify the problem immediately with the use of drones and maintenance is more detailed, ”he says. Dennis is one of 11 employees who have taken the equipment operation courses.

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