Regional Group Australia, Trimble Stratus Create Sustainable Quarries

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology-driven solutions, Sitech Solutions emerges as a key enabler for driving progress for the quarry industry. With their comprehensive suite of cutting-edge offerings, Sitech empowers companies to make data-driven decisions, optimise operations, and drive profits.  Among their standout solutions, Trimble Stratus, powered by Propeller, stands tall, leveraging drones to make survey data simpler, faster and smarter for quarry operations. This ground-breaking technology addresses the industry's challenges, providing accurate site mapping, reduced surveying costs, and precise stock valuations. Stratus is transforming the quarry and mining sector, backed by the success stories of regional industry leaders like Regional Group Australia.

By strategically placing Aeropoints, ground control points, around the site and flying the area with a drone on a pre-set flight path, companies can efficiently collect data for precise site mapping. The dataset is then uploaded to the Trimble Stratus platform, where it is processed and returned within 24 hours, saving valuable time and resources. The ease of use and efficiency of Stratus make it an ideal choice for companies like Regional Group Australia, enabling them to confirm natural surface models, track stockpiles, and streamline progress claims.

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Trimble Stratus: How it works

SITECH Solutions quarry technology quarry magazine Trimble Stratus
By strategicaly placing Aeropoints around the site and flying the area on a pre-set flight path, companies can efficiently collect data for precise site mapping.

Regional Group Australia, a prominent supplier of construction materials across the east coast of Australia, recognises the significance of embracing innovative technologies for sustainable quarry operations.  In addition to mobile crushing, fixed plants, and satellite sites across the Eastern Seaboard, RGA operates over 30 quarries across Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales.  The company’s integrated model ensures cost-effective and efficient outcomes while maintaining high-quality control standards throughout the supply chain.

When RGA sought a drone technology solution, they turned to Trimble Stratus.  Sean Murphy, Business Excellence Manager for Regional Group Australia, explains: “Production versus sales gave us theoretical values, with our teams reconciling stock levels through manual surveying. As our business has grown, we wanted a more robust way to track stock levels.”

“After exploring various options, and reaching out to a few different companies, I ultimately chose to go with Trimble Stratus, powered by Propeller. Now, the focus is on consolidating.”

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Regional Group Australia's Willow Tree Quarry

Streamlined Stockpile Surveys: Trimble Stratus Boosts Efficiency and Communication

Accurate stock valuations are crucial for quarry and mining operations, as they directly impact decision making and financial stability. Stratus ensures precise stockpile calculations by leveraging advanced filtering techniques. The software provides three terrain filters, including one that removes trees, cars, and machinery, enabling a focus on the bare ground. This accuracy enables companies to calculate overall material volumes added or removed from various areas, including pits, stockpiles, and drainage channels.

“In my role, I fly the sites quarterly with Trimble Stratus to reconcile stock levels,” says Murphy. “Since using Stratus, we’ve seen a lot of additional benefits. I receive a wealth of data that is easy to on-share to our internal team of geologists, planners and consultants for use in SSD’s and modification sites.

“It’s so much easier to manage the sharing of the data in comparison to before where I was trying to manually download 64 megabytes, for example. So that's been great.”

Sitech Solutions quarry technology Regional Group Australia Trimble Stratus
Trimble Stratus can help you visualise your worksite in 3D, measure stockpiles and generate cuts and fills

Sitech Solutions quarry technology Regional Group Australia Trimble Stratus
Trimble Stratus: 3D stockpile measurement from all of your devices

Empowered Financial Tracking: Trimble Stratus Enhances Reporting and Control

Not only does Trimble Stratus provide the ability to conduct monthly stockpile surveys accurately and enable seamless communication, the technology has led to improvements in financial tracking for Regional Group Australia.

“Stratus been good for the business also because we're a publicly listed company and we have auditing purposes,” explains Murphy. “The stockpile reporting feature adds another element of control to our end of month reporting process.”

Maximising Potential: Trimble Stratus Unlocks a Wealth of Features and Benefits

According to Murphy, his exposure to Trimble Stratus and its capabilities has revealed a multitude of benefits. Beyond the initial surveying aspect, he has come to appreciate the survey-to-survey component as well. This feature allows for seamless comparisons and analysis between different survey data sets over time, providing valuable insights and enabling better decision-making.

“I've found that the more that I've been exposed to Stratus, the more benefits I’m seeing - not just the surveying but also the comparative survey-to-survey component of it,” he says.

“This allows us to see the movement in stockpiles, especially for our satellite sites where we contract crush and then sell out to projects. You can actually see the progression, match that up against product on our point-of-sale system, and marry it all up.”

Green Quarrying Made Safe: Trimble Stratus Defines the Standard

Focused on the ‘bigger picture’, Regional Group Australia strives to be a leader in sustainable quarry operations, believing that the most successful companies deliver real and lasting benefits, not just for their owners but for their workers and the broader community too.

“In my role I also focus on environmental issues,” explains Murphy, who has been utilising Stratus’s hydrology analysis in the development of erosion sediment control plans.

“That helps us significantly in knowing what the site's runoff is, and where it's going.  We’re better able to put controls in the plan to direct water flow around the site in order to harness it as best we can and minimise discharge.”

Moreover, the safety aspect of Trimble Stratus cannot be understated. The technology eliminates the need for surveyors to physically traverse potentially hazardous work areas. By reducing human involvement, companies can enhance on-site safety and minimise the risk of accidents. Stratus empowers companies like Regional Group Australia, one of the industry's key players, to ensure the well-being of their workers while maintaining high productivity.

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Regional Group Australia has been utilising Stratus's Hydrology Analysis in the development of erosion control plans

Trimble Stratus Sets the Bar for Accuracy and Customer Service

Delving into the remarkable capabilities of Trimble Stratus, powered by Propeller, it becomes clear why this solution stands out among its competitors. While offering an end-to-end survey data workflow for quarry operations of any size, Stratus goes above and beyond with features that address specific industry challenges and deliver unparalleled results.

“Comparing Trimble Stratus to the other drone technology solutions in the market, I would say it’s the level of accuracy that sets it apart,” says Murphy.  “By using the Aeropoints and the RTK modules on the Mavic M3E I know that the accuracy is typically within three centimetres.

“With other competitors in the market I’ve found that purely site survey data is not their sole, primary focus. They have multiple facets in their business and they're trying to meet the needs of a broader community.  Whereas Stratus is definitely more survey-specific and thus suited to meet the needs of quarries.

Murphy also highlights the exceptional service provided by Trimble Stratus as another standout feature that sets it apart from its competitors.

“Another thing that sets Stratus apart is the service,” says Murphy. “I have a dedicated support person who deals with me one-on-one. So when it comes to training, I can reach out to him whenever I need to within business hours, and there is a 24 hour helpline as well.

“For someone like me who is a very hands-on kind of learner, you can also jump online and look at the little training packages if you get stuck, or forget something. Repetition is key to me so I like that I can easily refer back to those resources.

“And it's all easy to follow and to see where I might have gone wrong or missed a step.”

Regional Group Australia: A Trimble Stratus Success Story

The quarry industry has found a game-changing ally in Trimble Stratus. By leveraging drone technology, accurate site mapping, reduced surveying costs, precise stock valuations, and enhanced safety measures, this innovative solution empowers companies to make data-driven decisions, optimise operations, and drive profits. With success stories from industry leaders like Regional Group Australia, Trimble Stratus, powered by Propeller, stands out as the premier choice for the quarry industry's evolving needs. Embracing this cutting-edge technology ensures that companies stay ahead in an era of transformation and achieve sustainable and efficient quarrying operations.

*As published in Quarry Magazine.

Learn more about Trimble Status here, or call us on 02 6788 2155.