Maptek says “new and enhanced tools in Vulcan 10 will add value to technical data across critical modelling, design and planning processes.” Highlights of the software release include new automated pit designer, variogram analysis, implicit modelling and grade control.Vulcan 10 heralds a new era in user experience with the introduction of the Maptek Workbench as an integrated platform for development and delivery of products and services.“The Workbench defines our future as a global mining technology leader,” said Maptek CEO Peter Johnson at the software launch. Johnson is the 2015 inductee in the Outstanding Innovator category into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame.“A new design, new platform, new applications, new technology – the Workbench establishes a new environment for ongoing innovation in product development. Designing a new platform presents a host of challenges that need to be considered. One of the issues Maptek faced was resolving how mature products interact with new products and ensure an auditable data flow across mine processes.”“When it comes down to it the important thing about software design is how it relates to the user,” Johnson continued. “This is especially true in critical value markets like mining.“It’s not enough to just develop a new application, it must improve the workflow and respond to practical concerns of the user base and business conditions.”The new approach to variogram analysis is a good example: 14 menu items have been streamlined into a sophisticated tool that provides new methods for handling structural and grade based anisotropy. Resource geologists have access to alternative methods to evaluate data, displaying multiple models concurrently for real-time, side-by-side comparisons.A new splitting solids tool applies current Vulcan multi-boolean capability to generate valid mining blocks for scheduling. Created solids can be clipped to a new topography as new data becomes available, delivering noticeable improvement in workflows for mid-term scheduling. This is complemented by another option that interactively cuts bench polygons, with target tonnage reserved against a block model as cutting proceeds.“This is a good example of how workflow tools maintain the integrity of data from block modelling in Vulcan to scheduling in Maptek Evolution. Usability and onscreen validation are key features of these pre-scheduling tools which improve productivity for short and long term planning.”Sophisticated modelling techniques are supported by advanced visualisation regimes for communicating alternative scenarios. Users can work with regular block models containing billions of blocks in Vulcan 10.“There’s no need to compromise on resolution or data quality due to the size of the geological model. Users can cut models into slices and toggle through sections on screen and the display is modified seamlessly.”The new automated pit designer for creating mineable pit shells improves efficiency for engineering tasks. Pit models become dynamic agents in the planning process as optimised block models are transformed into realistic mine design contours in seconds. These contours in turn can be applied to further design work or generation of long-term schedules.Vulcan 10 implicit modelling includes a new radial basis function for defining domains with shared or independent structural trends while accurately honouring drillhole data. Uncertainty modelling allows multiple orebodies to be automatically generated from drillhole datasets. Incorporating financial information enables quick assessment of mining viability for different scenarios.“One area that demands absolute attention to detail is the graphical user interface. This is recognised as integral to the user experience. Our customers can start using Vulcan 10 without disruption to ongoing tasks. As they explore new features they will reap additional benefits supplied through the Workbench,” Johnson said.“The flexible new interface comes into its own in a multi-screen environment. Docking database and design windows side-by-side allows interactive editing and viewing, with easy access to text, csv and script editing apps. The Workbench introduces a new workflow tool that accesses different Vulcan menus and options, and will eventually extend to all Maptek products.”The Maptek Workbench also enables a free 12-month trial of core drillhole viewing and exploration tools in Maptek Eureka for Vulcan Modeller users.