Engineering & Mining Journal

SEP 2018

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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BLASTHOLE DRILLS 38 E&MJ • SEPTEMBER 2018 and mast design, to ensure the drill rig can negotiate the toughest ground condi- tions so it can be moved from bench to bench and hole to hole quickly and effec- tively," he said. Solid yet versatile, the rigs feature a frame designed for maximum machine longevity, while the box section provides optimum structural rigidity, Cat reported. "The machine's four leveling jacks, mast pivot, and deck are all welded integrally to the main frame for maximum durability and long life." The main frame has had considerable upgrades compared to the legacy prod- ucts, Scott said. "A floating fixed-axle de- sign better absorbs torsional stress from normal operation," he said. "The A-frame has been upgraded to transmit torsional stress from normal operation to ground." The result is increased reliability and du- rability, he said. Fuel efficiency achievements stem from Cat's long history of developing and work- ing on engines and drive trains, Scott said. "We leveraged our in-house power train expertise coupled with active involvement of our drill application experts to fine- tune machine functions and precision to include proactive management of engine load curves," he said. "We further reduced fuel consumption by lowering compressor standby pressure during idle, allowing the machine to idle at 700 rpm." The drills are available in configura- tions to meet most diesel engine emis- sions standards worldwide, Scott said. "The drills are currently operating suc- cessfully in highly regulated countries and in less regulated countries." Both rigs come equipped with stan- dard automation functions that either assist the operator or conform to a larg- er autonomous operating system. They can be upgraded with Cat Terrain for drill- ing, which "provides state-of-the-art guid- ance technologies to help operators drill holes in the exact location and to the exact depth specified by the plan, resulting in Cab Air Intake System Nixes Dust by 80% Last September, the U.S. Patent Office patented a fresh air intake system for over- burden drills that the inventor reported ensures the cleanest cab air possible. The invention is comprised of an intake assembly mounted along and up to the apex of the mast to suck air from the highest point on the rig. The assembly includes a rain cap, the intake tube, and a flexible section at the mast pivot. The system leverages a pres- sure blower or circulating fan to force air through a filter and into the cab. In field tests, the system reduced respirable dust levels by "more than 80%," inventor, Blake Allan Massey, of Jasper, Alabama, reported. The invention bests a longstanding design challenge and represents a breakthrough improvement for air quality, "most especially levels of crystalline silica," Massey said. "Constraints of locating an air intake point near the top of the drill mast to access cleaner air while passively accommodating the raising and lowering of the drill mast have been overcome with this simple, reliable, and effective system designed specifi- cally for rotary blasthole drills." Massey can be reached at

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