Automatic functions on the rig increase operator safety, improves working environment and increases productivity
Automatic functions on the rig increase operator safety, improves working environment and increases productivity

Atlas Copco has introduced core drilling rigs that eliminate many of the hazardous operations for mines involved in underground core drilling.

The risk of handling inner tubes and drill rods, while extracting core samples, is a well-known problem for drillers around the world. Despite safety regulations, accidents with severe injuries still occur.

The Atlas Copco Diamec Smart core drilling rigs have an advanced control system that enables automatic functions such as drilling and adding and removing of rods.

By using the unique rod handler, the operator can perform the work from a safe distance. All adding and removal of in-the-hole (ITH) equipment are done automatically.

The automatic functions are not only increasing the safety for the operators, it also improves the working environment and increases the productivity. A 3 m long inner tube with core samples can weigh about 100 kg and the handling is heavy and hazardous.

The rod handler eliminates operator fatigue and helps keeping the pace during an entire shift. Martin Sommers, Vice President Marketing - Exploration Equipment at Atlas Copco, explains: “There is an increasing focus on safety within the mining industry and the new Diamec Smart series sets a new standard for underground core drilling rigs. Customers that have tried automatic drilling and rod handling never want to go back to the old way of drilling.”

The new improved control system on the Diamec Smart is based on the Rig Control System (RCS) that is used for all drilling rigs from the mining and rock excavation business area at Atlas Copco. More than 20 important improvements have been made in both hardware and software compared to the previous control system, making it even more robust and reliable.

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