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SmartROC D55 B6560146

This brand-new product is designed to control SmartROC DTH drill rigs*, MK I (based on RCS 4 platform) from a remote location. Office TeleREMOTE has been designed to address the need for increased safety, efficiency and productivity and removes the operator completely from the potentially dangerous mine environment. SmartROC rigs are controlled safely and efficiently from an office located on the same local area network (WLAN) as the quarry or mine. This dramatically improves the working conditions for the operator, boosts safety and ramps up efficiency.

Mining Quarry World interviews Mayya Popova Product Manager Automation for Epiroc about the Office TeleREMOTE, its performance, capabilities and her role within Epiroc, asking the questions centred around the mining industry and if it perpetrates prejudices that women cannot handle technology or be part of a worldwide mining community. Mayya Popova speaks passionately about her involvement in this great industry of ours.


This smart product enables the operator to access and run multiple rigs from a control centre located inside an office. You have the option to select the stand-alone Office TeleREMOTE solution or to update any existing BenchREMOTE to a teleremote operations by connecting it to a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN).

“With Office TeleREMOTE, a single person can control multiple drills in a productive and efficient manner”, says Mayya Popova, Product Manager Automation at Epiroc.

One of the biggest benefits of Office TeleREMOTE is its ability to effectively increase the number of productive hours in a day. It will optimize time as it reduces operator transports and idle time due to shift changes. Remote drilling, together with AutoDrill and Auto-Rod Handling System features, boost productivity as the drill rigs can work almost continuously without breaks.
“Office TeleREMOTE drastically increases efficiency as it improves how the work site utilizes the equipment. For many customers, the balance between capital investments and any expected return is critical”, clarifies Mayya Popova.


The safety aspect is always a top priority. The Office TeleREMOTE operator can run the rig without taking any risks thanks to multiple onboard systems. The operator uses the Hole Navigation System for accurate positioning and a geofence function ensures that the rig stays within the predefined area. The remote rigs are also fitted with multiple cameras which provides the Office TeleREMOTE operator with a 360° view all around the machine.


Office TeleREMOTE consists of a suitable work desk with adjustable height and ergonomically designed operator controls mounted on it. The two controls and operator display are the same as in the drill rig cabin, so the operator will immediately feel familiar with this setup. The product also includes a server rack with Epiroc Automation Common Machine Server (ACMS), a video system and a safety system capable of handling one remote drill rig, with an option to be extended up to nine drill rigs, in increments of one, if required.
“The Office TeleREMOTE operator is less exposed to the harsh work site environment. The operator spends every single workday running equipment in an improved working environment with increased comfort”, Mayya Popova explains.

Office TeleREMOTE is designed to remotely operate surface drill rigs in open pit mines or quarries only.

*The SmartROC models currently compatible with Office TeleREMOTE work desk are: SmartROC D50 MKI, SmartROC D55 MKI, SmartROC D60 MKI and SmartROC D65 MKI.

Interview with Mayya Popova of Epiroc: Product Manager Automation


MQW: How did you get into mining, was this by chance or a pre-conceived career path?

MP: “I studied Mechanical Engineering at University in Novosibirsk in Russia gaining many of my qualifications at this educational institution. I was one of only two females within this cohort, which for this University was considered a novelty as this area was mostly dominated by men. My original intention was to direct a career towards the car industry, however, my father ( at the time ) worked for an international mining OEM company, which subconsciously could have guided me and my thoughts towards another area of engineering”.

MQW: How long have you been with Epiroc?

MP: “I started my career with Atlas Copco in 2015 as sales engineer and consequently pursued and worked with various types of equipment, products and services sales, both from a surface perspective and underground”.

MQW: Where do you think your strengths are in relation to working for Epiroc and as a woman in mining?

MP: “My strengths within the family of Epiroc undoubtedly lay within the customer focus having worked with and had to liaise with customers from a variety of backgrounds and equipment emphasis. These experiences have led me to develop an understanding and synergy of the customer requirements, needs and problems associated when purchasing and using a product. It is these experiences that have developed my problem-solving skills and approaches, ensuring that the customers achieve the absolute best from their product purchases”.

MQW: What are your aspirations for yourself and where do you see your career heading in the next 5 years?

MP:”I have a loyalty towards Epiroc as my career has progressively been developed from my introduction at Atlas Copco and then through to Epiroc, however, in terms of areas  to personally develop, I would prefer to remain with the automation side of products as I feel this is the future and where mining is heading, allied to this direction I also truly enjoy my work; even if this means taking a sideways move as opposed to an upward move/promotion”.

MQW: What is a typical working day for you and what does it involve?

MP: “Most of my day is product specific and involves meetings and decision making about my products with colleagues from different departments. One of my roles is always to take the customer perspective when we have discussions around ‘best fit’ technologies and engineering solutions, ensuring that the decisions we make will be economically effective for all parties concerned”.

MQW: How passionate are you about your product?

MP: “I have always given one hundred percent behind a product I have been linked with and truly believe that whatever product I am promoting is one of the best on the market at that time and fits the customer’s needs in every possible way”.

MQW: How do you think the Office TeleREMOTE compares with other products on the market today and what makes it stand out from other products?

MP: “Currently the market shows quite a few products with the same sort of technology via our competitors, however, it’s important to note that our product highlights increased time and equipment utilization. In addition, it is a truly scalable solution that allows operating from one up to nine remote drill rigs. For many customers, the balance between capital investments and any expected return is critical”.

“Some of the main benefits to our system are: Enhanced safety. Mines and quarries can be dangerous places. The Office TeleREMOTE allows the operator to be totally removed from the work-site — this drastically increases safety”.

“Improved working conditions for operators. SmartROC rig operators can sit together in the office control centre away from noise, danger and dust”.

“Increased utilization, productivity and efficiency. Each Office TeleREMOTE controls a single SmartROC rig as standard — with an option of extending to nine machines using the same server rack. This represents a massive increase in equipment utilization and return on investment for each rig”.

MQW: How reliable do you think this product is in terms of signal and remote location?

MP: “It Is quite common for our customers to already have an infrastructure that supports various types of equipment they run on their work site. Consequently, Epiroc always provides a list of minimum wireless network requirements and recommendations that should be met thus allowing the utilisation of the Office TeleREMOTE product.

This means that the control centre can be located a distance away, so long as it is on the same network. For safety reasons, if the network connection between a drill rig and an Office TeleREMOTE station is lost, the drill rig safety system will trigger the emergency stop to shut down the engine and place the I/O modules in a safe state” .


MQW: How do you ensure the reliability, function and efficiency of the Office TeleREMOTE for a customer?

MP: “Even the best equipment needs to be serviced regularly to make sure it sustains peak performance. An Epiroc service solution offers peace of mind, maximizing availability and performance throughout the lifetime of your equipment. We focus on safety, productivity, and reliability. By combining genuine parts and an Epiroc service from our certified technicians, we safeguard productivity – wherever you are”.

MQW: What are your thoughts about women in mining?

MP :” I am quite clear about my role within Epiroc and I have nothing but praise for the way in which Epiroc have developed and given me the opportunities to progress in this industry, however, from a ‘women in mining’ perspective I believe that irrespective of the role or product there should always be an opportunity for both men and women, Epiroc have in the past launched several initiatives to promote women in engineering, and specifically in mining, which can only be a good thing. When a position becomes available it should always be given to the best person for that particular position with no bias towards male or female”.

MQW: If there was one thing you could change (with reference to your career at Epiroc) what would it be?

MP: “On a personal note I’m not sure how I could answer that as I am quite satisfied with the way my career has gone especially with Epiroc, however, in relation to other ‘women in mining’ I wish I could have encouraged more to come into this profession as it is quite a challenging environment”.

MQW: Are you a member of any organisations for ‘women in mining’?

MP: “I have followed the path of women in mining but myself I have not been an active member of any organisation that promotes women in mining and have never seen myself as somebody who could lead these type of group activities, I have been more of a follower than a leader of this type of role”.

MQW: How does Epiroc support you and your role?

MP: “I receive lots of support from my colleagues when situations arise, e.g. technical questions, software related challenges, etc. With my manager we openly have discussions about the way forward, I think it’s important that we can freely discuss ideas and options on an open- ended basis”.