Highly productive drill rigs, top hammers and breakers

Premium drill rigs, top hammers and breakers are proving in demand on quarry and surface mine sites globally, with new supporting products also coming on to the market.
Breaking, Drilling & Blasting / November 30, 2020 4 mins Read
By Guy Woodford
Epiroc’s PowerROC D55 is said to provide both high performance and low total cost of ownership for drilling 90–165 mm holes
Epiroc’s PowerROC D55 is said to provide both high performance and low total cost of ownership for drilling 90–165 mm holes

Epiroc’s PowerROC D55 DTH (down-the-hole) surface drill rig is said to be unlocking the next level of productivity and efficiency at a limestone mine in Nanjing, China.

Following a new standard of green operations in the mining and construction industry in China, many small mine owners and contractors have quickly disappeared from the market along with fleets of outdated equipment. Nanjing Anjite Mining Engineering Co., Ltd. (commonly referred to as Anjite) is a surface drilling contractor established back in 1972 which has steadily expanded its business from Nanjing to other regions of China.

Anjite was awarded the highest qualification for Green Mining and Master Blasting Company in Jiangsu province, successfully cooperating with the public security bureau for ammunition destruction, and it is now a key player in China’s blasting industry.

An operator changing a filter on a PowerROC D55 DTH surface drill rig at Baota Hill Mine
An operator changing a filter on a PowerROC D55 DTH surface drill rig at Baota Hill Mine

The Baota Hill Mine site is located northwest of Nanjing city, just 40km away from downtown. Although the limestone mine is situated close to residential areas, no air pollution affects local residents. When entering the worksite, it looks more like a lush garden than a mine, with green trees and plants on both sides of the open-pit ramp. Finished exploitation benches are located a distance away and are flat and green, which contrasts typical perceptions of open-pit mining or quarrying.

Anjite’s capabilities in mining and handling blasting tasks rely on the use of a drill rig fleet from Epiroc, acquired from 2008 onward. This includes the FlexiROC T35, FlexiROC D50 and PowerROC D45. The limestone quarry has a production capacity of up to 14 million tons per year. The high productivity and good working environment, with minimised dust, has been achieved thanks to the introduction of two PowerROC D55 drill rigs, products that were designed and manufactured in Nanjing.

The PowerROC D55 units work in favourable conditions at an altitude of 250m in a normal temperature, limestone mine. The drill rigs are said to have demonstrated outstanding performance and reliability with low fuel consumption of 35 litres per hour, as well as an availability of up to 98% per year. Drilling 140mm holes in rock conditions of 60-80MPa, the PowerROC D55 achieves a maximum penetration rate of 40 metres per hour to ensure the high annual productivity. The rigs work on +-20m high benches using a drilling pattern of 4x6m.

The PowerROC D55, a down-the-hole (DTH) surface drill rig, provides both high performance and low total cost of ownership for drilling 90–165mm holes, as Wei wen Xu, business line manager at Epiroc’s product company in Nanjing, points out. “The straightforward design of PowerROC D55 is easy to operate and maintain which is very appreciated by customers. Other reliable components of proven Epiroc technology enable high availability, ensuring the high productivity that customers need to expand their business. The RHS and the down-the-hole drilling method help to drill straight holes with very good quality,” Wei wen Xu adds. This assessment is echoed by Sheng Wang, general manager at Anjite: “We trust the performance of Epiroc-branded machines as Epiroc is a leading company in the mining and construction industry. The strong cooperation between us began with our previous general manager, and we continue to order drill rigs due to their reputation for excellent reliability ever since.”

“Thanks to the dust collection system, Epiroc products have helped us achieve the Green Mine Star and other awards of distinction from the government,” Wang continues. “We are the only company in Jiangsu Province that promotes the electric digital detonator in domestic China, which together with Epiroc equipment has contributed to our Green Mine distinction. We hope the cooperation will continue to advance our goals for sustainable productivity.”

Following the successful deployment, there are now three PowerROC D55 units in daily operation at Baota Hill Mine. Another hydraulic surface drill rig, the PowerROC D45, is being used to help Anjite complete a national water conservancy project on the Qinhuai river for the state waterways which requires significant capacity and time-sensitivity. “The outstanding availability surprised us as the drill rigs can work 4,800 engine hours per year, with three shifts per day. That is why we call it the workhorse on site,” says Zhoujun Jiang, site equipment chief at Anjite. He continues: “I appreciate the ergonomic design of the cabin with FOPS and ROPS certification, which protects operators from injuries if the equipment rolls over on the bench. The drill rig is easy to operate and maintain due to its straightforward design. And the rigs can work twenty hours per day with regular maintenance twelve times a year.”

Baota Hill Mine in Nanjing
Baota Hill Mine in Nanjing

Thanks to the partnership and continued use of Epiroc products, Anjite stands ready to expand its footprint across China with cutting-edge productivity and a green mine profile that sets a new benchmark for future operations.

The Lange e.K. quarry and sawmill in Sprockhövel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, features a rather compact Ruhr sandstone, even harder than most granites. The site’s material coupled with a need to boost production levels led Thomas Lange, owner of Lange e.K., to purchase an HP 2500 FS (fuel saving) hydraulic hammer.

“We decided to switch to the HP 2500 FS and mount it on a JCB 220 XLC excavator. Our choice was guided by the fact that the HP 2500 FS was able to increase our production by 30%, as it then demonstrated in the quarry.

“It’s already quite clear to us that the promises Indeco Deutschland made to us have been more than fulfilled,” said Lange. He added: “The excellent results we achieved soon convinced us of the Indeco hydraulic hammer’s superior technology.”

“As so many users around the globe have been saying, Indeco breakers have an excellent ratio between energy input and energy output and consequently optimum efficiency,” said a spokesperson for Indeco Deutschland.

All Indeco top hammers are installed with the ABF (anti-blank firing) system, Indeco’s patented technology that considerably improves the performance and durability of the breakers. In addition to a hydraulic system with improved efficiency, the HP series displays the FS (fuel saving) mark, indicating that the top hammer needs less hydraulic power to operate, resulting in a claimed significant reduction in the carrier machine’s rpm and fuel savings of up to 20%.

While delivering consistently excellent performance and maximum productivity, Indeco top hammers are said by the company to require less oil per minute and lower operating pressures than similar size and weight hammers made by other manufacturers.

An Indeco HP 2500 FS hydraulic hammer is being used at Lange e.K.’s quarry and sawmill in Sprockhövel to help process its tough Ruhr sandstone
An Indeco HP 2500 FS hydraulic hammer is being used at Lange e.K.’s quarry and sawmill in Sprockhövel to help process its tough Ruhr sandstone

Sandvik Rock Tools is launching a new product for the brand’s bench drilling top hammer customers. The ‘Guide Adapter’ is said to enable customers to reduce hole deviation in challenging conditions by up to 50%, while also achieving considerable cost savings.

Significant hole deviation of 8% or more can pose problems for many bench drilling companies that operate in challenging ground conditions such as bad and soft rock, as well as deep overburden. This often results in reduced productivity, safety risks and increased tool wear.

“We are very happy to be able to offer the Guide Adapter to customers facing deviation problems in their day-to-day bench drilling operations. The Guide Adapter helps them to increase the service life of their drill string and also reduce the number of drilled holes, as well as the amount of blasting needed,” says Fredrik Björk, product manager Top Hammer Surface Tools, Rock Tools Division, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.

Sandvik’s new Guide Adapter enables customers to achieve greater productivity, longer tool service life and improved safety. Ultimately, this can also lead to lower total operational costs.

“We have conducted in-depth testing with our customers around the world and the results really do speak for themselves. By using the Sandvik Guide Adapter, our customers achieved a hole deviation between 3% to 5% - a reduction by up to 50% - and also increased the service life of their rock tools by up to 40%. This truly has an effect on both productivity and in turn, profitability”, says Björk.

The Guide Adapter is now available for T51 and GT60 Top Hammer threads in different diameters.

Doosan Infracore Europe has launched the new HB-series hydraulic breaker range for the European market.

The new range of five HB-series breakers provides a novel concept with high performance and a simplified design, specifically optimized and fully certified for Doosan excavators with carrier weights from 1.2 to 15 tonnes. As a result, Doosan HB breakers are said to offer the highest possible productivity, whether the operator is demolishing concrete or breaking rocks.

The high quality of the breakers is backed by a claimed industry-leading two-year warranty and they are available at cost-effective prices, providing customer benefits in terms of total cost of ownership. According to Doosan, all these features together are aimed at greatly exceeding customer expectations for hydraulic breakers.

In common with all Doosan machines and attachments, the new Doosan breakers are covered by the outstanding Doosan dealer service network and Doosan product specialists, providing fully comprehensive ‘one-stop service’ support.

A Doosan HB03 hydraulic breaker, part of a new five-strong HB series
A Doosan HB03 hydraulic breaker, part of a new five-strong HB series

The service life of the breakers is extended through the adoption of an advanced heat treatment process and quality proven materials for key components including the cylinder and piston. The energy of the piston stroke is accumulated by charged nitrogen gas and the breakers use an inward valve system with a simple structure and fewer inner parts.

A urethane damper prevents vibration that might damage the carrier and improves operator comfort. The front head supports the breaker and assemblies with bushing, which buffers the shock from the tool. The low noise housing is ideal for working in urban zones, where noise levels must be controlled or where local regulation may require silenced breakers.

The HB-series range offers five hydraulic breaker models - the HB03, HB04, HB06, HB08 and HB15 - for use on Doosan mini-excavators and Doosan crawler and wheeled excavators. Ideally suited for demolition work, the Doosan breaker range is also intended for general construction, rental, quarrying and mining applications.

The range begins with the HB03 breaker, which is suitable for use on the Doosan DX17z 1.7-tonne and DX19 1.9-tonne mini excavators. Next in the range is the HB04 model for the DX27z 2.7-tonne and DX35z 3.5-tonne mini excavators. The third model in the range - the HB06 breaker - is designed for use on the 6-tonne Doosan DX57W-5 wheeled excavator and DX62R-3 and DX63-3 mini-excavators.

The fourth model in the range is the HB08 breaker for use with the Doosan DX85-3 8-tonne mini-excavator. The top-of-the-range HB15 hydraulic breaker is designed for use with the Doosan DX140LC-5, DX140LCR-5 and DX160LC-5 crawler excavators and the Doosan DX140W-5, DX160W-5 and DX165W-5 wheeled excavators.

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