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Atlas Copco’s IT applications assist drill-rig performance

drill-rig performance

Atlas Copco has launched a High Precision Tunnelling concept which features a number of options for drill rigs and machines.

Tunnel Manager is an intelligent PC software that enables the worksite office to provide operational support to Atlas Copco Boomer rigs equipped with the Rig Control System. Tunnel Manager is used to plan, store and evaluate data for the drilling process. The most advanced version permits analysis of accumulated data, using Atlas Copco’s upgraded Measurement While Drilling (MWD) technique. This means raw data can be translated into specific properties such as rock hardness and crack zones, which can be used to correct and fine-tune the tunnelling process.

Atlas Copco’s Rig Remote Access option ensures that the latest data is transferred to and from the drill rig, as well as secure storage of all necessary information. Automatic updates eliminate the need to manually collect new drill plans for the rig operator, and service personnel can conduct online diagnoses and order appropriate replacement parts prior to actual service calls.

With Total Station Navigation, Atlas Copco says the rig can rapidly be navigated precisely, with accuracy better than 1cm compared to the more normal 10cm. It is also fast: no more than five minutes, compared to the 10–30 minutes for manual methods. Given a tunnel 2,000m long, this translates into savings of about €100,000, according to Atlas Copco.

The Atlas Copco Tunnel Profiler is an intelligent 3D-scanning system for rapid and high-precision tunnel profiling. A section can be scanned immediately before drilling the next round, requiring very little extra time. Rapid adjustment of drill plans can save up to 5cm in overbreak. In a tunnel with a 40m² profile, this can yield savings in overbreak-costs of about €125,000/km, in terms of concrete and man-hours.

Atlas Copco’s upgraded MWD is a rig option offering rapid acquisition of vital drilling data, such as penetration rate, feed force and rotation speed and more. With Tunnel Manager MWD, the data can also be used to analyse rock hardness, crack zones and other relevant rock-mass characteristics.

Bolt Angle Indication is support software that gives guidance of the rock-bolting operation in mining and tunnelling projects. The system focuses on guiding the operator to install bolts with the correct distance between bolts. By using this guidance system, there is no longer any need to mark the walls to achieve the correct bolt pattern, and if different operators install bolts, the job will be carried out with the same spacing and with minimum human error.

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