Release of Maptek Vulcan 64bit version mine planning and design software

first_imgIn preparation for release of the Maptek VulcanTM 64-bit version, the company’s Forge newsletter interviewed Vulcan Product Manager, Eric Gonzalez, about upgrades and features expected in the new software. It will be available April 10, 2012 and provides 64-bit and 32-bit versions. There are improved grade shells, solid modelling from polygons, ROM composited strat models and a stripping ratio tool for strat models, along with some 100 smaller upgrades.What is the primary focus behind the new 64-bit version of Vulcan? “Our customers need to process data and models with a greater level of detail than previously possible. Current computer hardware is built with support for 64-bit, and many applications are transitioning to this standard.“We are providing a 64-bit version of Vulcan to leverage the capabilities of the latest technology. At a time when most other applications are still migrating and adapting to the new platform, Maptek’s release of Vulcan 64-bit will help us stay on top of the market.What are the benefits of Vulcan 64-bit? “Vulcan 64-bit users will be able to take advantage of modern hardware with more memory. A 32-bit operating system is limited to less than 4GB of useable memory, which is shared among all applications including the operating system itself. A 32-bit application on a 32-bit operating system actually never reaches full potential.“With enough memory in a 64-bit system, a 32-bit application can access more memory than when running on a 32-bit platform, but it is still limited to 4GB. When the application runs as a native 64-bit operating system that limit is removed. The main advantage of running Vulcan 64-bit in a 64-bit environment with enough resources, is that large amounts of data can be displayed, with enough memory for other Vulcan or non-Vulcan applications to run.What can users expect to see with the Vulcan 8.1.4 software upgrade? “Since Vulcan 8.1, our approach has been to add selected functionality with each upgrade, delivering new features to customers more frequently. Our 64-bit version has virtually the same functionality as the 32-bit version. The 64-bit support is not just for certain areas, modules or programs; our whole suite will be delivered this way.“Vulcan 8.1.4 includes new options for resource modelling, data interchange, and the short term planner. Other additions worth mentioning are composited models for stratigraphic deposits and improved grade shells.Will Vulcan 64-bit affect current users? “There will be only minor changes in user workflows. Changes in setup procedures mostly relate to third-party components like ODBC drivers. Users of high-end hardware will notice that loading large triangulations or block models works now without memory constraints.“Data is compatible between platforms, allowing users running Vulcan 8.1.4 32-bit to share data seamlessly with 64-bit users.When will Vulcan 64-bit be released, and will existing customers have to pay more? “Vulcan 8.1.4 is scheduled for release on April 10. Users will receive installation discs with the new 64-bit version and an upgraded 32-bit version. Existing customers will receive Vulcan 64-bit under their maintenance contracts.What are the plans for Vulcan 8.2? “We’ve been working on many projects for Vulcan 8.2 which is planned for release in the third quarter of 2012. Some of the upgrades are foundational for enhancements in future releases.“The Rapid Pit Design tool will allow open pit engineers to quickly create and evaluate many alternative designs, resulting in better decision making.“Enhancements in resource modelling will include new methods for working with folded deposits, ultimately offering better modelling options for this environment.We’re planning a support analysis tool for predicting and validating grade models, and general tools for mass editing the attributes of objects. Extending metadata to triangulations is another area of focus.“An advantage for users is that extra information can be stored and used through triangulation models. We will also provide a larger colour palette and more colour depth for design objects. Additionally, the Vulcan Chronos scheduling module will have enhanced performance.What is planned beyond Vulcan 8.2? Our 3D graphics environment is currently being improved to deal with entities more efficiently. We are researching the use of the processing power of graphics cards to improve the speed of massive calculations; the aim is to help in reserving large models. Customer requests for Vulcan to use corporate database infrastructure are being addressed.“Other plans range across model creation and editing for both stratigraphic and non-stratigraphic deposits, through all mine applications to scheduling. I’m sure that Vulcan users will be excited about the new tools that will be delivered in the short and long term.“Benchmarking conducted by Maptek, and supported by the global Vulcan 64-bit customer beta testing program, shows massive step-wise improvements in loading large datasets compared to Vulcan 32-bit.”last_img read more