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Sandvik commissions largest surface top hammer drill rig in Africa

NIER to develop safer mining

The first of Sandvik’s new DPi Series surface top hammer drill rigs has been commissioned at Independent Quarries in East London, South Africa with two more on order. The self-propelled, self-contained crawler has been introduced to meet the rigorous demands of production drilling, quarry and mine development, pre-splitting and dewatering. There are already 15 DPi rigs operating in other parts of the world.
“The new DPi Series reflects 20 years of experience in quarrying and open-pit mining in the hole range of 76 to 152mm, drilling deeper holes more accurately than ever before,” said Cornel Burger, Sandvik’s general manager operations & construction. The machine’s 33kW rock drill is now the biggest available on the market.

“A big advantage of this machine’s rock tools is the shoulder drive system on the couples, which results in a far more rigid string. This, in turn, makes for straighter holes and more efficient use of energy from rod to rod,” added Mr Burger.

“The DPi Series is our response to the changing business environment, where modern machinery is required to address issues of increasing energy costs, diminishing fossil fuel resources, skills shortages and environmental concerns. The technology answers many of these issues through its ability to boost productivity, reduce fuel consumption by 15% compared with the previous model and generate valuable real time information. The new generation machine also extends the rand per linear metre life of the rock tools.”

Via an advanced user interface with simple screen views, the rig provides the operator with information on drilled metres and holes, diesel and percussion hours, the amount of fuel burned, as well as the condition of the drill. This allows the operator to develop accurate work and service schedules and minimise unwanted downtime through optimal use of the drill.

Operators can select a straight hole drilling option that harnesses 87 mm diameter tubes to achieve accurate and straight holes, increased bailing of drill chips, extended rock tool life and easy coupling and uncoupling of drilling tubes.

Ambient-controlled oil cooler fans and a fuel cooler as well as long cleaning intervals guarantee continuous performance in any temperature. A clear, component layout and gullwing service doors make it easy to reach components during a service. All oil removals in the machine are centralised. Daily and weekly service points are accessible from ground level, which improves the safety of maintenance crews.

The Sandvik DPi Series incorporates a self-diagnostics system that excludes the non-functioning circuits and indicates where the fault is. The rigs also offer smart and practical step-by-step troubleshooting instructions.

Sandvik is able to provide training to operators of the new DPi Series on a simulator, either at the Sandvik Training Academy or on-site at customer operations. This operator training is conducted by authorised trainers and is based on a modular, fit for purpose curriculum. Operators can practice their skills in the simulator without any risk to the rig. The training is in line with current legislation and operators leave the course with a certificate of competency.

As an optional extra coming in at a nominal cost, the Sandvik SanRemo service system includes a productivity gauge and a GPS locator. The system indicates the load put on the machine and allows the owner to plan production, services, schedules and transportations well ahead of time.

Sandvik has also received its first order for the mid-range DP1100i drill rig in the same series.

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