Cat’s latest innovation, the MD6310 rotary blasthole drill, has allowed Coldwell Drilling Co to step further into the world of autonomous drilling.
Coldwell is associated with mining companies such as BHP and Anglo American, and owner Gayle Coldwell said the latest addition to her fleet would provide multiple benefits.
“A large part of the Coldwell strategy is to provide customers with safe, modern and autonomous capable drills which are cost efficient and productive,” Coldwell said.
“We have always been 100 per cent Cat loyal with our drills, we’re preparing the business for the future and this technology will help us continue to train drillers for the industry, provide safer workplaces for our operators and show savings through fuel burn, consumable life and reduced re-work.”
While most of Cat’s rotary drill range feature various degrees of autonomy, the MD6310 is the only version with an optional command which enables an operator to simultaneously manage more than one machine.
Coldwell Drilling’s fleet manager Brendan Coldwell said the safety components afforded by the MD6310 were non-negotiable for his fleet.
“From a safety point of view, there are a lot more interlocks in the machine now that are there from factory where these were traditionally aftermarket in older models,” he said.
“Things like the operator presence system within the machine – this system will shut down the machine when a risk is identified – these interlocks are key to safety onsite for our team.
“The previous Cat models had no smarts like in the 6310, with the autonomous technology making it easier to implement the plan from the customers into the drill.”
Besides safety features, the new model incorporates an advanced Cat terrain system which uses a high precision GPS system for accuracy of hole placement, depth and angle.
Brendan Coldwell said this feature not only increased productivity but saved time on repairs and maintenance.
“It looks at how hard the ground is, rotation speed, pull down pressure and bit air,” he said.
“It will know when the machine is starting to become bogged and will optimise how it drills, which will make sure you have a longer bit life.”