Epiroc releases world-first drill rig with internal hydraulics

Epiroc has launched the Boomer M20, the world’s first face drill rig with internal hydraulics, at the Underground Operators Conference in Perth, Western Australia.

The two-boom face drill rig is designed to minimise unplanned stops for hydraulic hose repairs, as falling debris and continued wear against tunnel floor and walls from underground mining operations pose high maintenance requirements.

Epiroc global product manager face drilling equipment, Niklas Berggren, said the Boomer M20 had been developed in collaboration with key customers.

“This is the perfect choice for mining houses and contractors that want to out-drill the competition through innovation,” he said.

According to Epiroc, operators can achieve an extra 10-15 per cent of development metres thanks to the Boomer M20’s internal hydraulics.

The Boomer M20 features on-board automation features, teleremote capabilities and digital drill plans, increasing the quality of the full drill cycle.

Operators can adjust and download drill plans at the face using High Performance Development, removing the need to do so on the surface.

“With digital drill plan handling, drill rounds will be longer, more precise and give far less overbreak. We have seen total cost savings of up to 25 (per cent) and up to 40 (per cent) productivity increase,” Berggren said.

The teleremote capabilities also allow operators to drill from a safe distance, away from the tunnel face.

Operators can also keep their eyes on the task at all times thanks to the Boomer M20’s multi-functional joysticks.

The equipment is built using noise and vibration dampening materials, with the noise level kept to just 65 decibels.

For further health, maintenance, ventilation and cooling benefits, Epiroc has provided a battery-electric driveline option.

Charging takes place automatically while connected to the grid for drilling.

“Thanks to the high-capacity battery, Boomer M20 has a fantastic driving range, and there is nothing to disturb the drift cycle,” Berggren said.

The Boomer M20 is ready for a trial at a customer site in Australia and available for purchase in the third quarter of this year.

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