Aggregate gains from drill rigs, hammers and breakers

Drill rigs, hammers and breakers offer different means of gaining aggregates material in quarries. Guy Woodford looks at new products and hears how one Italian aggregates supplier is benefiting from one leading manufacturer’s proven breaker solutions
Breaking, Drilling & Blasting / May 14, 2020 4 mins Read
By Guy Woodford
Messapica Inerti’s quarry in Ceglie Messapica in Puglia
Three Indeco HP series breakers – an HP 9000 FS and two HP 7000s – play important roles at Messapica Inerti’s quarry in Ceglie Messapica in Puglia

Messapica Inerti operates a limestone quarry in Ceglie Messapica in Puglia, southern Italy, supplying quality aggregates to produce concrete and asphalt at its own and subcontracted production plants. The quarry is characterised by relatively compact limestone (i.e., not highly fractured) and values of uniaxial compressive strength of 30-50 MPa (megapascal) depending on the zone.

Messapica Inerti is one of many companies that has switched from explosives to using breaker attachments to gain aggregates material. Starting in the late 1990s, the firm decided to gradually abandon its use of explosives and transition to quarrying with breakers, carefully weighing which model would guarantee the highest productivity, reliability and profitability. After a set of comparative tests, Messapica Inerti settled on an Indeco HP 7000, a model that over the long term is said to have proven its ability to meet the production demands at the Ceglie Messapica quarry. Given the excellent output of its initial HP 7000 attachment, and a second HP 7000 purchased in the early 2000s, Messapica Inerti recently decided to purchase a further breaker.

Messapica Inerti’s recently purchased Indeco HP 9000
Messapica Inerti’s recently purchased Indeco HP 9000 FS breaker attached to a Case CX 490D excavator at Ceglie Messapica limestone quarry

“When faced with the need to improve production, we decided to switch to the HP 9000 FS and mount it on a Case CX 490D excavator. This was guided by the fact that the HP 9000 was able to increase our production by 30%, as was demonstrated in the quarry,” said Angelo Elia, purchasing manager at Messapica Inerti. “This new breaker will be added to the two HP 7000s we already own that are also key to achieving our total daily production goals. Based on our use of Indeco breakers over the last 20 years or so, I can say that the HP 9000 FS possesses all the features that have led to the excellent results we’ve had to now, not to mention the advantages of the latest technology.”

Elia’s thoughts are shared, says Indeco, by many quarry-breaker users around the globe who recognise how the Italian manufacturer’s breakers’ balanced ratio between energy input and energy output creates optimum application efficiency.

All Indeco HP series breakers are installed with the ABF (Anti-Blank Firing) system, Indeco’s patented technology said to considerably improve breaker performance and durability. In addition to a hydraulic system with improved efficiency, the HP series is characterised by the FS (Fuel Saving) mark indicating that the breaker needs less hydraulic power to operate, resulting in a significant reduction in the carrier machine’s rpm and a claimed up to 20% fuel saving. While delivering claimed consistently excellent performance and maximum productivity, Indeco breakers are said to require a reduced quantity of oil per minute and a lower operating pressure. This is said by Indeco to be a notable weight and performance advantage against rival manufacturer models of similar size that are gas or diesel-powered.

The latest member of hydraulic hammer-maker Rammer’s Excellence Line, the 9033E, was unveiled at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 exhibition in Las Vegas, USA (10-13 March).

Designed for 65-tonne to 120-tonne class carriers, the 7.4-tonne 9033E has all the clever monitoring technology features found on existing members of the Excellence Line, but in a size and format that is said to deliver the extra punch demanded for breaking applications during major quarrying and demolition projects.

Rammer’s new 9033E hammer was showcased at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 exhibition
Rammer’s new 9033E hammer was showcased at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 exhibition

A key development within the Excellence Line is Rammer’s purpose-developed RD3 remote-monitoring device, claimed to be the first of its kind for hammers. RD3 is also available as an option for Rammer Performance Line hammers and as retrofit kit for older Rammer hammers.

The RD3 system uses the latest GPS and telematics technology and also offers a new and advanced telematics solution based on customer feedback. It uses the Rammer MyFleet Telematics service to track and monitor fleet equipment usage without the need to go to site to collect data. This will help dealers, rental companies, service managers and contractors and operators keep a remote eye on what is happening on site. The platform uses a cloud-based system to enable the hammers to be viewed and monitored via Google maps.

The design of the 9033E also means that it is able to work quietly, with a guaranteed sound level of 131dB.

The Rammer Excellence Line continues the company’s 40-year tradition of delivering innovative hammers designed to improve profitability, safety and performance. With its new customer-focused features, the line demonstrates Rammer’s commitment to assisting businesses to enhance their performance.

Safety is also said to be at the heart of all Excellence Line breakers, whether they are being used in a quarry, on a demolition project, in a tunnel or on any other application. The 9033E and the rest of the newly updated range now include integrated smart technology for easier fleet management and more efficient processes.

During CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology demonstrated its expanded high-pressure down-the-hole (DTH) drill rig for Tier 4F and Stage V-compliant countries with the new Leopard DI650i.

The model is designed for large hole sizes, and by balancing proven engineering solutions and innovative new components, it is said to offer excellent fuel efficiency, improved safety and higher productivity in challenging rock conditions.

The Leopard DI650i DTH drill rig is designed for demanding high-capacity production drilling applications in surface mining, as well as large-scale quarry applications. In addition to a powerful engine and compressor, the unit is said by Sandvik to incorporate a highly ergonomic iCAB cabin, excellent serviceability, mobility and fuel economy, along with scalable automation packages to offer excellent overall productivity.

In addition to its proven engine and compressor design, Leopard DI650i comes with a range of new or redesigned components to boost its productivity. The standard rotary head option, HTRH6, is said by Sandvik to have performed successfully on its other DTH drill rigs, whereas the new heavy-duty option, MRH6, is a good fit with Sandvik’s powerful new RH560-series DTH hammers.

Sandvik’s new Leopard DI650i drill rig
Sandvik’s new Leopard DI650i drill rig

Pipe sizes range from 89mm to 140mm, depending on the size of the hammer. The maximum hole depth is 53.6m when utilising the carousel option with pipe sizes from 89mm to 114mm. The capacity range of the 403kW Tier 3 / Tier 4F / Stage V CAT C15 diesel engine and reliable compressor is said to be adequate for high-pressure drilling with 101mm to 165mm DTH hammer sizes.

Thanks to claimed excellent visibility of the drilling area and a single integrated touch screen for all monitoring, diagnostics and mining automation displays, Leopard DI650i’s silent, ergonomic iCAB cabin provides the rig operator with a safer, more productive working environment. The maintenance crew can carry out all daily servicing tasks at ground level on both sides of the machine. The advanced serviceability and reliability features can, says Sandvik, increase Leopard DI650i’s availability by up to 20% compared with conventional DTH rigs at a similar technology level.

Sandvik also claims that intelligent control technology applied to both the compressor and the hydraulic system’s cooler fan can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15% compared with conventional DTH rigs. Leopard DI650i’s fuel efficiency is further boosted by the flow-controlled drilling control system that eliminates fluctuations in airflow, instead allowing the pressure level to fluctuate in response to more difficult ground conditions and increased back pressure (for example, due to groundwater or collapsing holes). This makes maximum flushing pressure and penetration rates available in the most challenging of rock conditions, while still retaining the low fuel consumption of the traditional pressure control approach in easy ground conditions.

The Leopard DI650i joins Sandvik’s other i-series drill rigs in its compatibility with the newest scalable automation solutions. The latest onboard options include TIM3D drill navigation with wireless data transfer, My Sandvik fleet-monitoring system and full-cycle drilling automatics, which merge functionalities such as uncoupling, feed auto-aligning and feed auto-positioning into a single efficient sequence. These capabilities can be further upgraded with more advanced modules such as single-rig or fleet remote-control systems by Automine Surface Drilling.

For more information on companies in this article