Sandvik has launched a new “automation-ready” bulk mining drill rig suitable for both rotary and down-the-hole (DTH) applications, incorporating features to increase reliability, ease of maintenance and safety.
The new Sandvik DR461i is a diesel powered, self-propelled, crawler-mounted blasthole drill designed to withstand harsh mining conditions, and builds off the preceding DR460 drill rig.
According to Scott Wright,business line manager for surface drills and exploration, in developing the new rig, Sandvik has incorporated customer feedback into its research and development program for the DR461i, with the aim of developing the safest, most durable and reliable drill rig available.
Wright said safety has been a top priority in the rig's design, with DR461i including a number of significant safety enhancements.
These include autonomous pipe handling,above-the-deck bit change, additional walkways, hand railings, and safety interlocks.
“In addition, the drill has been designed to fully comply with the various safety standards around the world, including Australia’s own Mining Design Guidelines (MDG) for mobile and transportable equipment in mines, Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) Design Philosophies and CE conformity marking,” Wright said.
These safety advances include a hydraulic main access stairway that was developed as a safer alternative to vertical hanging steps for accessing the rig.
This stairway enables the operator or maintenance personnel to bring tools up onto the drill with a reduced risk of falling. It is designed to be self-leveling depending on the topography of the ground around the drill, and is height-adjustable depending on the length of the rig’s jack extensions.
Additional features of the DR461i drill include an ergonomically-designed cab and better interface systems
The drill has a completely new cab designed to ensure maximum comfort and ease of operation for the operator, including an “all in the seat” drilling and tramming control system. It includes air conditioning, sound insulation to 80 dBA or less and a separate canopy element, which sits above the actual roof with a four-inch air gap between them.
This air gap means the actual cab roof will heat up less, helping the cabin maintain more comfortable operating temperatures.
The operator friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) System digitally displays key operating parameters of the DR461i while operating and tramming. Running off the drill’s CanBus system, it acts like an electronic depth counter and drill monitoring system in one; sensors monitor data from different parts of the machine such as the motor, compressor, rotary head and tracks.
This data is presented via an interactive touch screen that the operator can easily scroll through in order to keep track of drill operating conditions, drilling ranges, upcoming maintenance requirements and so on.