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11 May 2018

Sandvik’s new RockPulse for top hammer drilling monitoring

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
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Ranger DX900i with RockPulse.jpg
The Sandvik Ranger DX900i drill rig fitted with RockPulse
RockPulse, a new technology and product introduced by Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, is a solution for real-time tool stress monitoring in top-hammer drilling.

The company says that the add-on system integrates directly with the rock drill and its control system, and can be used for drilling process optimisation in varying rock conditions. This also helps to reduce the stress fatigue of drilling tools.

It points out that optimisation of tool stress, and consequently tool lifetime, are essential for cost-efficient drilling operations.

RockPulse analyses each piston blow in real-time to extract data on the tool stress. This enables operators to optimise drilling power and to minimise inefficient use of percussion energy.

Stress waves created by piston strikes are measured continuously using sensor technology developed and patented by Sandvik.

The system consists of a Sandvik shank adapter and contactless sensor inside the rock drill, which captures stress wave signals to be analysed within the Sandvik SICA control system of drill rig.

The system is available for new Ranger DXi drill rigs and RD920 series rockdrills.

“Our tests from real-life conditions show 5 % increase in average penetration rate, even though the percussion power was decreased by 4 %. Drill operators have additionally commented that RockPulse helps them to optimise bit regrinding intervals and thus boost efficiency and productivity,” says Jarno Viitaniemi, product manager, Surface Drilling, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.

RockPulse user interface visualises and alerts on three key parameters: drill bit response, tool load and feed level.

Drill bit response helps to minimise the strain on the tools by indicating how much of the impact energy is used for breaking rock and how much is reflected back to the tool string. Tool load indicator shows the tensile stresses affecting on the tool string, which helps to avoid underfeed in weak rock and excessive wear of drilling tools. Feed level indication shows whether drilling is being done within the specified feed range, a key parameter for excellent hole quality and long tool life.

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