First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
EPC-UK has commissioned its first Epiroc SmartROC D65 in the UK
EPC-UK is the proud owner of the first Epiroc branded SmartROC D65 in the UK. The technologically advanced drill rig was commissioned in mid-January 2019 and will be working as part of the EPC-UK fleet. EPC-UK was keen to implement its blast design software with the Smart features of the D65, which include automated drilling, rod-handling and a Hole Navigation System (HNS). There are additional production efficiency gains that EPC-UK is said to have been attracted to, such as the rig’s intelligent drilling system. The optimised drilling and blasting that the D65 intelligent system provides, as well as an Epiroc full Repair and Maintenance Service, has made the SmartROC the best choice for EPC-UK.
When a drill rig model is the first of its type in the local market, as the SmartROC D65 is, a technical team based out of Orebro, Sweden, supports the commissioning of the rig. During the commissioning process all functions of the drill were tested to the customer’s satisfaction, any issues were explained to the operator and the machine was adjusted to the customer’s requirements.
The set-up process starts with the familiarisation of the new control levers, and the internal and external design and layout of the machine which was carried out by Epiroc’s local service engineer. Once familiar with the cab the technical service team started training the operator with more in-depth features, including the HNS and the operator’s screens.
In this case the SmartROC D65 rig was fitted with the Leica GNS System which, working in conjunction with the fixed base Carlson navigation System, gives automatic hole position accuracy to +/- ten centimetres . Also the machine’s Measure While Drilling (MWD) system on the rig measures and records multiple parameters whilst drilling. The data through Epiroc’s ROC Manager System can be illustrated in slices through the bench, and the different rock properties are shown with different colours, helping with the safe charging of the holes and saving on explosives. These, in conjunction with automatic drilling and rod handling systems, also save on consumables usage and as a combination generate considerable fuel saving over previous drill rig models.
A drilled test hole and a further six holes were drilled using the systems previously mentioned and data was loaded onto a USB from the rig and studied in the site office. The benefits of accuracy and level of detail from the SmartROC’s intelligent systems were clear to see.
The thorough commissioning and training process, as well as the use of an experienced driller, meant new features were quickly learnt and the benefits of the SmartROC technology were visible to all.
Epiroc, as a supplier, supports and works alongside contractor customers such as EPC-UK to integrate the SmartROC technology to benefit future business direction and facilitate the efficiency and productivity gains Epiroc can introduce to a fleet.