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Sandvik launches all-reaching, ?intelligent? drill rig in Melbourne

The launch, which was held in Dandenong South on 19 April, introduced the DX900i drill rig into the local market after it was released globally in late 2017.

Held in conjunction with Maxfield Drilling, the first Australian customer to buy the DX900i, the half-day event included a presentation about the machine’s capabilities from IIkka Lahdelma, Sandvik’s global director of product management for surface drilling and exploration.

Lahdelma explained that the DX900i was innovative for extractive operators and drilling contractors for three reasons:

  1. Higher utilisation. The DX900i can potentially drill 100m more per shift in difficult ground conditions than a regular rig.
  2. Extra drilling performance. The rig’s new RD290 series drills are capable of improved drilling speeds – by as much as 25 per cent on previous rigs.
  3. Fuel efficiency. The DX900i’s fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 15 per cent, compared to earlier models.

DX900i specs

{{quote-a:r-w:300-I:2-Q:"The DX900i has a 270-degree turning upper structure, so we are able to reach four-hole rows from the one set-up.”-WHO: IIkka Lahdelma, Sandvik global director of product management for surface drilling and exploration}}According to Sandvik personnel on the day, the DX900i has potentially the widest drilling coverage available in its class, with its revolving upper structure offering a 270-degree drilling reach and 55m2 coverage.

Despite the rig’s ability to rotate, it maintains maximum stability through a counterweight structure opposite the boom. Its low centre of gravity and high tramming power also allow it to remain mobile.

“In a conventional rig, your reach from one spot to where you tram is only the boom movement and the areas of a few square metres maximum,” Lahdelma told Quarry. “So basically, in this kind of drilling pattern, you are able to reach two holes, if you are tramming to a row of holes.

“Because the [DX900i] has a 270-degree turning upper structure, we are able to reach four-hole rows from the one set-up.”

During his presentation, Lahdelma also outlined how the Ranger DXi series is equipped with the latest versions of ‘Sandvik intelligence’, including full hole automatics, troubleshooting functions, iTorque drilling control system, full radio remote control and optional extras available for hole navigation, on-board data collection, wireless data transfer and drill plan creation and analytics.

Local interest

Sandvik’s Australian surface drilling and exploration business line manager Scott Wright formally presented Dean Maxfield, the general manager of 35-year-old family business Maxfield Drilling, with the keys to the new rig.

The DX900i has since joined Maxfield Drilling’s fleet of 19 rigs, which also include other Sandvik DP1100i machines, and at time of writing has commenced work at Boral’s Lysterfield Quarry.

Maxfield said the company purchased the machine because of its versatility. “The orientation on the drill feed where we can swing, and the reach, and the ergonomics of the cab are much more advanced than what we currently have.

“The versatility really is where we think this rig will come into itself,” he added. “We hope we’ll standardise on this drill and further acquisitions will be the DX900.

“We only started the Boral contract in January,” Maxfield said of the rig’s first assignment. “It will go out there, drill 89mm holes, just typical bench drilling on 12m or 15m benches. We think it will really work well in the ground conditions.”

In addition to Maxfield Drilling, Wright said there had been interest from other quarters of the quarrying industry in the DX900i.

“Mawson’s Quarries have bought another one, that will be delivered to them in August this year,” he said. “There is a lot of interest, and I suspect from today, we’ll start getting more firm inquiries once people have the chance to see and touch them. Australians in general like to be first to be second, to see and hear how these machines are performing.”

Lahdelma said there are currently 30 DX900i rigs working around the world. In addition, Sandvik also offers earlier models to the extractive industry in the DX800 (first introduced in 2014) and the DX800i.

GALLERY

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