Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr
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SURFACE DRILLING 36 E&MJ • MARCH 2017 www.e-mj.com ary successor to the proven DR460, the company said. "The DR461i features class-leading rotary torque and feed sys- tem power enabling improved drilling per- formance," Siegrist said. The rig is equipped with a CAN-BUS- controlled hydraulic system, enabling monitoring for timely preventative main - tenance. Pipes can be handled from within the cab, meaning without manual intervention, by the hydraulic breakout wrench. The cab features touchscreens, armrests, angled windows and a safa- ri-style roof, the company reported. "The cab and controls are ergonomic and effi- cient, offering greater comfort for an on- board operator," Siegrist said. One selling point, the company said, is wider, 360° walkways for drill access during routine maintenance. A hydraulic main ac- cess stairway comes optional and will give a parallel step onto and off the drill. The DR461i can be operated remotely by a station installed in a van, a fixed con- trol center, or on a portable self-powered trailer. "The AutoMine has a superior tel- eremote station, available as a skid or trail- er mount, that is large enough for multiper- son simultaneous training," Siegrist said. The system communicates via line-of-sight, direct to the drill or via the mine communi- cation network, the company reported. Up to three drills can be managed per station. "This further enhances machine efficiency by removing the operator from the distrac- tions of the environment on the machine," Siegrist said. "Further, with the capacity to operate three drills from one teleremote station, efficiency of the drilling operation is greatly improved." The GPS-based 3-D navigation system ensures drilling accuracy, both for loca- tion and depth, within 5 cm. Drilling data is streamed to the command center in real time, for use in downstream processes. Coming standard with the latest versions of autodrill and auto level, AutoMine fa- cilitates consistent control of parameters, improving results and reducing wear on drill feed and rotation systems. "The sys- tem collects production data to allow for better decision-making based on current drilling conditions and allows for intelli- gent blast loading by generating drilled hole strata information from the advanced 'Measure While Drilling', MWD algo- rithms," Siegrist said. "The 'Opti-Mine' information management server collects all relevant drilling data for improved drill and blast results delivering the right frag- mentation to optimize the loading, haul- ing and crushing." In general, the system improves the autonomous capabilities of the DR461i and enables less-experienced operators to achieve more predictable re- sults, the company reported. Thus far, deployment of the technolo- gy has fruited tangible gains for a miner, who, as a result, plans to expand its fleet, Siegrist said. "Sandvik has two DR461i units in operation at a New Gold site in Ontario where we have shown the ability to improve the drilling performance, in- creasing the total holes per shift with tel- eremote operation," he said. "The future plan, once they have a third drill on site, is to further improve the efficiency of the drilling operation by utilizing teleremote fleet, where one operator can control up to three machines." Pairing AutoMine with the rig practi- cally ensures cost savings, efficiency and operator empowerment, Siegrist said. "Au- toMine provides reduced cost, improved safety and improved consistency to the high performance of the DR461i." The combo presents a snapshot of future offer- ings. "The evolution is occurring with the incremental 'i' series models coming in the next few years utilizing the SICA control platform that is compatible with today's and tomorrow's advancements. Enhanced troubleshooting reduces repair time, thus reducing costs. The latest release of our easy-to-operate controls improves opera- tor comfort. Larger displays and advanced lighting reduce nighttime visual fatigue," he said. "Sandvik's next-generation auton- omous drills are just around the corner." The DR461i, pictured above, has class-leading rotary torque and feed system power, Tab Siegrist, global product line manager, surface drilling, says. 'The i series control system offers improved efficiency with advanced diagnostics to give the customer faster troubleshooting for shorter repair times,' he said. 'The control platform is designed for integration with the Sandvik Automation Offering.'