For fuel burn and simplicity, the Epiroc SmartROC T40 surface drill rig can leave competitors in the proverbial dust. The T40’s dust and noise suppression kits particularly make this rig an effective all-rounder for owners and operators alike.
Epiroc has designed the SmartROC T40 using 70 per cent fewer fittings and half as many hoses as on previous iterations. Further, the intelligent nature of a closed-circuit design means the hydraulic oil tank has been reduced from 400 litres to 100 litres.
Epiroc Australia’s business line manager for crawlers and exploration Craig Marsh told Quarry that the tank’s cyclonic design means easier aeration and reduced oil capacity
“It’s all to do with the hydraulic circuit,” Marsh said. “Most other rigs run 400-litre tanks because the oil needs time to settle to allow for aeration. We have designed the hydraulic system so we don’t get that aeration, so we don’t need to have the volume of oil sitting there.”
Marsh added that in the unlikely event of a failure, inventory management is aided by the reduced parts and oil. “Because it’s a closed circuit, the hydraulic oil just rotates around, which helps environmentally. When you do a service and you change your hydraulic oil every 1000 hours, you’re only disposing of 100 litres instead of 400 litres,” he said.
“If you have a major blowout on your rig, there’s only 100 litres at risk of being wasted.”
While industry-leading fuel burn hasn’t been a major drawcard in years gone by, owners have slowly realised the benefits – especially as environmental regulation tightens.
Marsh said the T40’s fuel burn capabilities were the best in the extractive industry, while not taking away from its overall productivity. “We have brought the fuel burn on the T40 to between 14 and 16 litres per hour, down from the low to mid-20 litres per hour,” he said.
Such fuel efficiency is achieved using configurable compressors and suppressors.
Marsh explained how the levels of these key components can be controlled from inside the cabin. “In past rigs, you load the air compressor, you have it pre-set, and you turn it on at that level. With the new system, we can wind down the percentage of the compressor’s capacity,” he explained.
“So, you can use anything from 20 to 100 per cent, decreasing the fuel burn, depending on your application. The lower percentage, the lower the fuel burn, the longer the engine will run and the less maintenance it requires.You can even start at 20 per cent at the start of a hole and wind it up as you dig deeper.”
Marsh explained Epiroc has worked hard to perfect dust suppression. “We run a dust extraction system with pre-separator filters, where all dust created is funnelled through a cyclone and through a set of filters. Then, at the end of the drilling cycle, it’s disposed of.
“If there is any excess dust or a requirement for further dust suppression, we also have hydraulically controlled water injection, which allows the operator to put water into their air while drilling and wetting it down.”
In this way, the T40 is suitable for both remote and urban quarries.
Epiroc’s noise reduction kit can be ordered to fit the SmartROC T40, and its addition won’t take away from the rig’s productivity.
The noise reduction kit reduces noise levels by as much as 10 decibels with a lightweight design and hydraulically powered hatches. This helps the rig comply on sites with noise regulations.
Marsh explained effective noise reduction on a drill rig can have significant benefits for areas near and far from the machinery.
“The noise reduction kit takes the noise spike out of the drilling process,” Marsh explained. “When you’re drilling, the rod changes involve high-pitched metallic sounds – with this kit you don’t have to hear that.”
“From a safety perspective, the kit covers all of the moving parts while drilling, meaning it’s safer and quieter for those surrounding the rig in a civil or quarrying capacity.”
The automation involved with many Epiroc offerings can be found in the T40, much like operating on autopilot.
Marsh explained how technologies like Epiroc’s Hole Navigation System (HNS) and the Auto Rod Handling System (Auto RHS) allows operators to add drill rods manually or automatically to reach the desired depth.
“For operators, their favourite part would be the simplicity in the seat,” Marsh said. “It’s the automatics. The rig can just rattle out and all they’ve got to do is pull it back out of the hole again before moving onto the next one.
“Also, with GPS navigation, there’s no marking out of the pattern and putting red dots on the ground. That can all be done wirelessly for the operator to view on the screen.” •
For more information about the Epiroc SmartROC T40 drill rig, visit epiroc.com
This article appears in the August edition of Quarry Magazine.