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Contractor?s confidence boosted by new drill rigs

BAM Ritchies is a leading, award-winning geotechnical contractor that provides fully integrated ground engineering services throughout the UK and other parts of the world.

These services include “design and construct” for government organisations, local authorities, main contractors, utilities and public/private companies.

Its worldwide reputation is based on delivering innovative solutions for complex geotechnical problems, with exceptional levels of service accomplished by a large, highly skilled and well equipped workforce.

Over the years, the organisation has developed a first class reputation for assisting the aggregates industry, drilling and blasting more than 40 million tonnes in the UK alone in 2014. Its expertise and versatility also allows its services to be provided in other related areas. These include larger civil contracts that sometimes require hard rock excavation by blasting, or require site-sourced aggregates. Thus, BAM Ritchies can confidently claim to be second to none in helping its customers undertake a variety of often complex work, safely and cost-effectively.

This varied and extensive work is undertaken worldwide, with the provision of solutions wherever they are required. BAM Ritchies now finds itself involved in a variety of projects that include aggregate production, rock armour production, pre-split blasting for smooth slopes, underwater blasting where rock is too hard for dredging, non-explosive rock breaking, road widening and realignment, re-profiling and trench blasting. What all these operations have in common is they are undertaken with the company’s overriding mission of creating a sustainable future by bringing engineering to life, being at the fore of its operations.

BAM Ritchies has sought to create a sustainable future in all its operations, with this being a core principle since the business was established in 1963.

As the 2014 Ground Engineering Contractor of the Year, a forward looking and advanced culture encompasses the company, with a commitment to the continual training and development of its people. Additionally, BAM Ritchies places emphasis on the almost exclusive use of its own plant and technology. This is matched by a rigorous approach to ensuring the highest operational safety, plus the highest levels of environmental and quality performance for its operations.

In effect, this defines the company’s service. In fact, these facets of the business have been recognised by nine other key industry awards in recent years.

BAM Ritchies’ capabilities now include ground investigation, ground engineering, concrete techniques and rock removal, with flexibility of operation and performance proving key. It is essential that the company is therefore equipped to undertake whatever type of project its customers require.

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}A series of drill and blast projects at quarries throughout the north of the UK, reaching as far as Ayr in Scotland, required a modern, effective drilling solution from a company that shared the same priorities. To that end, BAM Ritchies turned to Sandvik Construction.

Latest drilling solutions

The acquisition of the latest in drill rig technology was vitally important to BAM Ritchies, as the company is now the largest drill and blast contractor in the UK. Three DI550 drill rigs were acquired to maintain this position and have set to work in quarries in the north of England and Scotland.

As is common with all Sandvik drill rigs, the DI550s are equipped with powerful DTH hammers designed specifically for high capacity rock drilling in quarries, open cast mines and construction projects. They are completely self-contained, with on-board compressors, efficient dust suppression and a comfortable cab with ergonomic controls and excellent visibility. From the very beginning of the design process, the focus has been to deliver high productivity with low life cycle costs.

The DI550 is the first of Sandvik’s new generation DTH drill rigs, designed for large and medium-sized quarries and contractors. It matches perfectly with the 101mm and 127mm hammers, making the rig uniquely productive and keeping fuel consumption and operating costs to a minimum. Equipped with the latest technology, it provides BAM Ritchies with great usability, efficient rig operation and low operating costs.

With its 328kW diesel engine and a 25m3 compressor airflow at 24-bar pressure, the DI550 is ideal for the 101mm and 127mm DTH hammers. All power is fully utilised, translating into low energy consumption, low operating costs and maximum productivity. The rig also performs efficiently and economically with a 152mm hammer.

On top of high performance and productivity, the machine offers a first class operator environment with solutions that enable seamless interaction of man and machine – the operator handles drilling while the automation takes care of all machine controls.

Service support

To ensure its customer got the most from its investment, Sandvik hosted a training course on the DI550 for BAM Ritchies and Sandvik personnel.

This enabled the BAM Ritchies operators to become familiar with the new rigs, while developing close working relationships with the Sandvik personnel who will support the equipment in the field.

As part of this ongoing support, each drill rig received an on-site inspection from Sandvik before it was put to work, with further support delivered through an on-site service contract.

The DI550 drills are now working at various quarries, on a variety of materials. The features on the rigs have enabled BAM Ritchies to work efficiently, productively and safely. In addition, the support provided by Sandvik Construction has provided BAM Ritchies with extra peace of mind. It knows that should the unforeseen occur, Sandvik will provide sound advice and support whenever and wherever it is required.

Source: Sandvik Construction

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