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Contractors target for compressors

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
January February 2009
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Atlas Copco's new DrillAir compressor
Atlas Copco's new DrillAir compressor range is available with a number of mounting options.

Atlas Copco's new DrillAir range offers fuel savings and large air volumes for greater penetration rate

Aimed primarily at drilling contractors, Atlas Copco has said its new DrillAir range of large compressors will provide 'the largest air volume with the highest air pressure in the portable compressor industry.' Four models - at 25 and 30 bar - have initially been introduced to give free air deliveries (FAD) of 606 l/s - 630 l/s at 25bar and 566 l/s - 591 l/s at 30bar.Specification
Manufacturer: Atlas Copco
Model: DrillAir
Pressure: 25 or 30bar
Free air delivery: 606-630l/s (25bar) and 566-591l/s (30bar)
Power: 429kW Cat C18 ACERT T3 Special features: Fitted with Oiltronix V2 to regulate oil temperature; Large fuel tank; Improved fuel efficiency; Available as a skid-mounted, support-mounted, tandem or wagon versions
Both 30bar versions can also be optionally fitted to offer dual switching for operation at 25bar to meet the application requirement.


According to Atlas Copco product manager Gathuru Mburu, 80% of the market for the new compressors is aimed at drillers, many in the quarry sector.

He said the new range also offers a 4% fuel saving, as well as up to 30% improvements in penetration rate, depending on the geology. The company expect global sales to be split between construction (35%) and mining (20%), with the rest in building and geothermal sectors.

"The aim of the new compressors is to allow drillers to drill ever deeper and larger diameter holes at the fastest penetration rates," he added. He said the new 25bar models will offer 6.3% higher air volume than previous models, and 6.8% with the 30bar models "More air volume is crucial to achieving faster penetration."

In a recent drilling test using a 25bar competitor unit, a DrillAir at 25bar gave 24% faster penetration rate, while a DrillAir at 30bar achieved a 60% faster penetration rate, said the company.

Key features include a redesigned screw element to offer the 4% reduction in energy consumption compared with the previous design, a reduced risk of leakages and a 15% reduced lower thrust load. The new gearbox configuration offers reduced forces on the bearing to provide increased working range of the element and energy savings.

DrillAir is available as a skid-mounted, support-mounted, tandem or wagon versions. Placement of the skid mounted unit is directly onto any surface while the support mounted version featuring integrated fork lift slots, is positioned on a flat deck.

Power comes from a Caterpillar C18 ACERT T3 diesel engine with a rating of 429kW and is fitted to all four models. The DrillAir range is fitted with a 975 litre fuel tank, with optional larger 1,550 litre tanks available for the skid or support versions to ensure higher fuel autonomy providing longer running hours before re-filling. An optional on-board electric refueling pump speeds refueling and reduces operational downtime, said the company.

Atlas Copco points out that when the temperature of the oil/air mixture in the vessel is below the dewpoint, condensate is formed and can enter the oil system, causing bearing and element failures and accelerate oil degradation. The DrillAir units overcome this with the Oiltronix V2 system that regulates the oil temperature to just above the dewpoint in the vessel thus preventing condensation of water in the compressed air.

Oiltronix V2 is standard on the 30bar units and optional on the 25bar units.

For improved safety at higher pressure the air outlet incorporates a sliding valve. Exhaust gases from the crankcase are filtered, keeping the coolers clean of oil mist.

There is also the ability to remotely control the DrillAir unit from a distance of up to 200m. The mobile phone network based remote monitoring system Cosmos provides access to compressor operation information and remote diagnostics. It also sends alerts via email and text message on pre-specified events.

Companies in this article

Atlas Copco
www.AtlasCopco.com
Caterpillar
www.CAT.com
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