Featured at the bauma 2022 exhibition in October, the VC2000 represents a shift in the traditional way in which drum cutters are engineered and operated.
Reinventing oneself is no easy feat when it comes to quarrying equipment.
The new VC2000 from Epiroc has managed to succeed at just that, revolutionising the way in which material is crushed, by changing the shape and angle of the drum cutter head.
No small feat of engineering, the VC2000 features dual drum cutter heads that bore into the earth at an angle, allowing for greater control by operators and less excess material and resource expenditure.
Explaining the advantages of the VC2000, developed with the intent of increasing precision and creating an ideal environment for bulk removal of materials in soft rock applications, business development manager for Epiroc, Glenn Illingworth, spoke to Quarry about just how the new cutter changes standard operating practices in quarries.
“What makes it different from previous drum cutters,” Illingworth told Quarry, “is the patented gear design that allows the drum cutter to be just used straight up and down, whilst still grinding through the same amount of material.
“Traditionally, drum cutters have to move laterally to account for the gap present between the two drums. That gap will get left behind if you don’t do that sideways movement, which can now be achieved with the design of this angled gearing.
“We eliminate that gap and, through that elimination, it saves you time and fuel costs and everything else associated with the extra time it takes to do the additional movement.”
The changes made to how the cutter operates reduces imperfections introduced by an operator, resulting in more consistent results across site and between staff.
The main benefit, as Illingworth addresses, is reducing the amount of material being taken out, which increases the efficiency and optimisation of quarrying activities.
“If you’re trenching, it means you can do a narrow trench,” Illingworth said.
“Because you’re not doing that side-to-side movement, you’re not taking as much material out and that also saves you time, fuel and money.”
With tungsten-tipped picks that can be replaced and changed in position, the VC2000 has advantages when working with limestone, sandstone and other soft rock.
The new pick design featured on the V Cutter prevents the picks from jamming as they rotate, in addition to being freer in rotation due to the hexagonal design of the base they attach to, giving longer wear times to each pick as all sides equally experience wear.
“This design gives the picks the ability to be freer in rotation through a hexagonal base,” Illingworth said.
“You can simply use a spanner to free them up and replace them. It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but traditionally pics didn’t have that.
“You can additionally change the pick configuration to get either a course result or a fine result, depending on what your application is.
“The way the picks are arranged enables for less unplanned downtime and for even wear of the picks, meaning you’re getting more use out of the equipment and having to spend less time replacing them.
“Additionally, because the movement of the VC2000 is controlled, you’re not going to wear out the picks unintentionally, because you’re no longer moving laterally.”
As requirements continually change within the industry, the ability to operate with a larger degree of control becomes invaluable.
The innovative engineering involved, due to the unique angle of the drum cutters, has opened up the opportunity to achieve a multitude of savings.
“If you can’t drill and blast all of your material, which is becoming more common as residential areas are getting closer and closer to quarries, this is a way of safely removing bulk material,” Illingworth said.
“Less material equates to less fuel because you’re not having to take out as much and you’re moving less excess or unnecessary materials. It’s a simple point, but it’s important as it’s baked into why we designed it this way.”
As the market leader for drum cutters, the innovation found in the Epiroc VC2000 product line, in both design and application, cannot be understated.
“This is no small achievement; it took a lot of work to perfect, which is the reason it’s patented,” Illingworth said.
Epiroc has stock available of the VC2000. To find out more, visit epiroc.com.