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Next Generation development drill meets future challenges


Sandvik Mining has announced the forthcoming release of its new DD422i Axera development drill rig, the first of the company’s Next Generation underground hard rock drill rigs.

Ulla Korsman-Kopra, Vice President, Underground Development Drills at Sandvik Mining, said the new rig will offer industry-leading levels of safety, productivity and automation.

“Our forthcoming DD422i Axera development jumbo provides a clear direction to the future of mining, incorporating a wide variety of new features for more efficient drilling,” Korsman-Kopra said. “It will also be compatible with our newly released Sandvik AutoMine® Drilling fleet and information management system.”
To be released on the market during 2014, DD422i Axera will be the first Next Generation face drilling rig from Sandvik Mining with an intelligent control system.

“DD422i Axera development jumbo will be the most-advanced underground mining drill on the market,” Korsman-Kopra said. “As mines go deeper over the next 25 years, mine managers will face numerous challenges to ensure they can mine safely and cost-effectively. Our Next Generation range of underground drill rigs, spearheaded by DD422i Axera development jumbo, has been designed to meet these challenges.”
In terms of safety and ergonomics, DD422i features a completely redesigned and larger cab, incorporating the highest levels of operator protection and comfort.

Key safety features include a “human detection system” designed to eliminate risks to workers who enter the rig’s operating area, readiness for tele-remote operated functions that move workers from hazardous areas to locations where they can safely operate the rig and a ROPS/FOPS canopy, which is also available as an acid-proof option.

Ergonomic features include joystick controls, fully adjustable control panel and operator seating, significantly improved visibility through larger windows and brighter LED lighting, reduced noise, heat and dust levels and better-positioned, easy-to-read displays.

Korsman-Kopra said that to deliver the industry’s highest levels of drilling performance and safety, DD422i Axera would offer the widest range of automated features on the market, including new drilling and boom control systems, full face drilling automation and drill rig navigation and industry-leading drill planning, analysis and optimization systems.

“At Sandvik Mining, our EHS vision is to achieve zero harm to our people, the environment we work in, our customers and our suppliers,” she said. “The automation options we can offer with DD422i Axera and other rigs in our Next Generation drill range means we can ensure optimal working conditions and uncompromised safety.

“By removing workers from mine danger zones through our industry-leading tele-remote equipment and automation options, we can help mine management deliver the safest-possible mining environments – even in the world’s deepest mines. Our Next Generation drill rigs will mean mines can offer their operators new roles as supervisors working in comfortable and safe conditions, rather than being directly involved in the mining process.”

In addition, as mines go deeper, handling and managing waste material will become ever-more expensive, so the ability to achieve very precise, repeatable drilling will be crucial.

“DD422i Axera features a full-face drilling automation system that will ensure mines will consistently achieve their optimum decline profiles, with minimal over- or under-breaking – speeding the development process and minimizing waste material or rework,” Korsman-Kopra said. “Finding skilled operators is already an issue for many mines around the world, particularly in remote mining regions, and there is also a wide variation in productivity and performance levels depending on operator’s skill levels. Increased levels of automation ensure more predictable and consistent mining operations.”

With the new DD422i Axera, along with other forthcoming models in the company’s Next Generation family of underground hard rock drill rigs, Sandvik Mining will be able to offer:

1. All machines online and connected, optimizing fleet management and securing total productivity
2. Remote monitoring at all times
3. Just-in-time service backups, both on-site and remotely

In addition, all rigs within the Next Generation range will include standardized controls and systems for both development and production rigs, making operator training significantly easier – particularly when operators have to work on a number of different rigs – as well as reducing the number of parts required in multi-model fleets.

“Within the next 10 years, we expect to see the age of the ‘Intelligent Mine’ – all autonomous machines, process-like production and mine-wide information networks – and our Next Generation intelligent drill rigs will be ready for that,” Korsman-Kopra said. “The features built into DD422i and others in our Next Generation range will enable mines to lead the industry in safety and precision production – while meeting their needs as mining evolves into higher levels of automation and process.”

For further information contact:
Ulla Korsman-Korpa
Vice President, Underground Development Drills
Sandvik Mining

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