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Surface Drilling

Fourth edition 2008

The master of productivity Stay on schedule

Whatever drilling need you have in your open pit or quarry, the best
choice is the ROC L8 series from Atlas Copco. We offer high productivity
and flexibility beyond conventional mining rigs. With the same rig you
can drill your production holes, improve stripping ratio with double
benching and pre-splitting and control your dilution with reverse
circulation sampling option.

The possibility to use operating pressure of up to 30 bar and

Secoroc down-the-hole hammers will give you a real boost to your
operation when drilling holes up to 203 mm (8) diameter. The rigs
are available in short and long mast versions equipped with Scheduled service
maximum 54 m (177 ft) of drill pipes. Inspection protocols

Extended warranty
Committed to your superior productivity Satellite monitoring

Find out more at www.atlascopco.com/rock

2 Foreword by Andreas Malmberg,
President, Surface Drilling Equipment,
Atlas Copco
Front cover:
Talking technically ROC D7 working in
Aslan cement quarry,
3 From wagon drill to SmartRig Gebze-Kocaeli
9 Principles of rock drilling Customer: Nitromak
13 Principles of rock blasting Photographer: Cem Sarvan
15 Drilling straight holes Atlas Copco, Turkey, 2008
17 Correct selection of
tophammer rock drilling tools
21 COPROD combines the best of DTH 131 ROC F6 boosts production in soft limestone
and tophammer drilling 133 Upgraded ROC L6 gives satisfaction
27 Increased productivity with DTH drilling 135 High productivity quarrying in Ireland
31 Breakers reduce blasting 139 Spearheading aggregate output in Bulgaria
35 Selecting the right DTH drilling tools 143 ROC L8 increases versatility
41 The economic case for routine bit grinding 145 ROC L-series drill rigs quarrying across the UK
45 Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz 149 High pressure ROC L8 joins a winning team
47 King of cabs 151 Laying the groundwork in Qatar
51 SmartRig takes control 153 Expanding relations with China
55 ROC T15 for tough drilling situations 155 Maintaining uptime with ROC Care
57 Quarrying for profit
61 Rock excavation in civil engineering
65 Slope stabilization with Self Drilling Anchors
Product specifications
69 Radio Remote Control 156 Drilling method guide
71 CARE for benching 158 Tophammer drill rigs
73 The power of repowering 177 Tophammer rock drills
75 Reduction of oversize boulders with 181 Tophammer drilling tools
hydraulic breakers 195 COPROD system
79 New upgraded D-series drill rigs 196 COPROD crawlers
81 Combining drilling simplicity with efficiency 198 COPROD rock drills
83 Compressed air for drillers 199 COPROD drilling tools
87 Protection by ROC Care 204 DTH drill rigs
215 Secoroc DTH hammers
Case studies 217 Rotation units
219 Handheld rock drills
89 First impressions on new cab 221 Secoroc grinding
91 Czech contractors choose 229 Drill rig options
237 Overhaul kits
93 Cementing relationships with SmartRig
239 Lubricants
97 Accurate drilling in Norway with Hole Navigation System
241 Hydraulic breakers
99 Oman mountain challenge
249 Complementary equipment
101 ROC D7 rigs on top in Turkey
253 Service workshops
105 High dam rising at Bakun Hydro
254 Conversion table
109 Hydro construction in Laos
256 Legal notice
113 Drilling the seabed for underwater blasting
115 Underwater blasting for Leixoes harbour
117 Excavation without blasting
121 New York solution
123 Supporting downtown Charlotte
125 Flexibility and economy with COPROD in Austria
127 COPROD boosts contractor flexibility For latest updates contact your local Atlas Copco Customer
129 Replacing rotary in iron ore Center or refer to www.surfacedrilling.com

surface Drilling 1
Bring value into your business
Atlas Copco is dedicated to adding new productive, technology- Thirdly, the life-time cost of a product in operation is closely
leading products to the market. We strive to be number one entwined with the service of the product. We take this seri-
in providing the lowest total cost-of-ownership for our cus- ously in Atlas Copco, and continuously develop new, practical
tomers. How do we do this? Read the book you have in your service products to support your business. One of them is the
hands to find out. ROC Care service agreement, which many customers see as
the perfect choice, combining full surveillance and systematic
I personally have some favourite stories in this edition. It is service performed on the rig with a low running cost.
the stories about the SmartRig, our engagement in the working
environment and the ROC Care service agreement. Why? I am proud to present the fourth edition of the Atlas Copco
Surface Drilling reference book. This book was first published
Well, first, the SmartRig concept has taken the world by storm 6 years ago, and quickly became an important information
since the launch in 2001. The SmartRig drastically reduces source for people interested in surface rock extraction. We
not only the cost for the operation itself, but also gives a wide believe that the success comes from the combination of techni-
range of new possibilities with increased hole quality and cal articles of our products with best-practice examples from
documentation. all around the world. This makes it easy for you to see how
our products can bring value into your business, no matter if
Secondly, another important part of our business is to take care you work in the mining or the construction sector. If this book
of the environment. We constantly strive for reducing the fuel also can stimulate interchange with the universities, then we
consumption and pollution without bending the productivity. are happy to share our knowledge with the coming generations
Our silenced version of the SmartRig improves the working in the business.
environment since it substantially reduces the noise of the
drilling operation. We have also developed the operators envi- Now you know my favourite stories. So which are yours?
ronment. Last year we launched a new generation of cabins Please share your thoughts with me and feel free to contact me
which make day-to-day business even more comfortable for if you have comments on this book or our equipment.
our customers.
Yours sincerely

Andreas Malmberg
Surface Drilling Equipment


2 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

From wagon drill to SmartRig

World leader
Atlas Copco joined the rock drill
development race in 1905, and
ever since has been acknowled-
ged as the world leader in rock
drilling technology. In the new
millennium, this has led to sales
of more than 1,500 units of the
D-series drill rig, over 250 of which
were radio remote control. Indeed,
there are currently some 50 mo-
dels of drill rig available to the
quarry and construction markets.

Early years
The first air-powered rock drill made by
AB Atlas was a heavy, tripod mounted
machine designated No 16. It was eq-
uipped with innovations such as rifle
bar rotation, but was heavy and diffi-
cult to handle. Eleven were manufac-
tured in 1905-1906, when the No 16 In 1948 the first rubber tyred drillwagon was introduced. The BVB 23 from year 1950,
was superceded by light, hand-rotated see photo above, had a capacity of 80 drillmetres per shift, drilling 51 mm holes.
rock drills such as the Cyclop and Rex,
which were developed and produced power plant in Sweden. The advent of Rapid development
over the years until well into the 1930s. the more powerful RH-656 in 1948
The first machine in the RH-series, resulted in the Swedish Method of Rock Atlas Copco introduced its first hy-
the RH-70, was introduced in 1930 Drilling which became the world stan- draulic rock drill, the COP 1038, in
for drilling in hard rock. This was fol- dard underground for the next 30 the companys centenary year 1973,
lowed by the smaller RH-65, with years. heralding the modern era of rock drill-
double tubes for water flushing and a For surface drilling, drill wagons on ing technology. This machine offered
new rotation chuck for a 108 mm drill rubber wheels were introduced in 1948, improved penetration rates, longer drill
shank. This resulted in better guidance and the first crawler mounted rig BVB steel life, and lower power consump-
of the drill steel and three times longer 61 appeared in 1963. The ROC 600 tion. It was produced for 10 years, du-
life for the shank. equipped with the powerful BBE56 rock ring which time it was subject to continu-
In the late 1930s, Atlas developed drill followed two years later, with a ous development. It survives today as
the pneumatic pusher leg for use with capacity of 150 m/shift drilling 76 mm the much-improved COP 1238. Mean-
the light rock drills, at the same time holes. time, the COP 4050, the companys
experimenting with cemented carbide The introduction of button bits in the most powerful rock drill, was launched
tipped integral drill steel. late 1960s, and their subsequent devel- in 1986. The best-selling COP 1838 was
The two were combined with the RH opment, paralleled the improving effi- introduced in 1992, with an improved
rock drill in 1945, when they were used ciency of the rock drills, with better damping system that allowed a 50%
on the completion of the Namforsen hole flushing and longer life. increase in output without destroying

The first rock drill No 16 was introduced in 1905, and the first powerful version of RH came in 1948. The hydraulic era
started in 1973 with the introduction of COP 1038, followed by COP 1838 in 1992 and COP 2550 in 2001.

Atlas No.16 RH-656 COP 1038 COP 1838 COP 2550CR

surface Drilling 3
Talking Technically

move from pneumatic to hydraulic

rock drills still provides backup for
customers to this day, supporting Atlas
Copcos ongoing product development

DTH drilling
Atlas Copco was early in the field with
its first DTH hammer developed in
1936, which was used with good results
in Swedish limestone quarries until the
In 1969, Atlas Copco re-entered the
DTH market with COP 4 and COP 6,
designed for a maximum air pressure
of 18 bar and with a view to dramatic
increases of capacity. The high pres-
sure design challenged the compressor
manufacturers, including Atlas Copco,
The ROC L8 DTH crawler drill was developed for pre-splitting and large scale production work.
to introduce compressors which cor-
responded to the specific hammer air
the drill steel. Further development re- COP 1838LE is replaced by COP 1640. pressure and required air volumes.
sulted in the introduction of the more The advent of Rig Control System From 1992, the COP 34-84 series of
powerful COP 2560 and 2560 EX, the (RCS) in 1998 brought about a new hammers was introduced, and imme-
latter which incorporates a drill steel generation of underground drill rigs with diately became the benchmark for pro-
extractor unit. logging capabilities, better serviceabi- ductivity within DTH drilling. Over the
Beginning from year 2000 up to this lity, drilling performance and position- years, the increase in the average drill-
date all current rock drills have been ing accuracy. ing pressure to 30 bar has improved
modified to meet the demands of sur- Going from Programmable Logic hammer performance, and productivity
face drilling applications. Bearing sur- Controllers (PLC) to PC-based RCS has increased proportionally to air pres-
face increased, large robust drivers and has provided a more flexible and easily sure.
gearing have been implemented and the maintained common platform for all The introduction of the Atlas Copco
new family of rock drills named with Atlas Copco machines, and removes ROC L8 and L6 series of high-perfor-
a similar logic to their ancestors. COP some of the mystique that still persists mance, high-pressure DTH rigs in
1838HE is replaced with COP 1840, around automation. The service depart- the late-1990s gave another boost
COP 1238 is replaced by COP 1240 and ment that was set up to facilitate the to the market. When equipped with
a COP hammer they were still the
The main advantages of DTH drilling are: excellent hole straightness most productive 25 bar DTH drilling
without guiding equipment, and deep hole drilling capacity. combination available up to 2006,
when a new ROC L-range fitted with
both 25 and 30 bar compressors was
introduced. The COP 64 Gold, intro-
duced by Atlas Copco Secoroc in 2001,
offers sustainable efficiency, maintaining
an average of 96% of original perform-
ance throughout its working life.
In 2006, a 20 m deep blasthole that
took 3.5 hours to drill in 1965 using a
6.5 bar rig now takes just 15 minutes
using a ROC L8 with COP 64 Gold
hammer. This performance is achieved
with virtually no maintenance required
for the hammer over its lifetime.
The Secoroc range of DTH hammers
now includes the COP 34, COP 44, and
variants of COP 54, COP 64, and COP
84L for hole dimensions of 90-254 mm

4 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

the tricone bit into the rock as the three bearings able to handle higher loads for
cones rotate around their respective axes. improved drilling rates. Another advan-
Rotation is provided by a hydraulic or tage for rotary rigs is the length of drill
electric motor through a gearbox, known rods that can be carried onboard. Lon-
as the rotary head, that moves up and ger rods mean fewer connections, and,
down the tower using a feed system. on many rigs, single pass drilling is pos-
Feed systems can be cable, chain, or sible using a high tower.
rack and pinion, driven by hydraulic
cylinders, hydraulic motors, or electric Second generation COPROD
motors. Pulldown is the force generated
by the feed system, and this combines The COPROD system, introduced in 1992,
with the weight of the rotary head, drill was hailed as a huge leap forward in
rods and cables to provide the weight blasthole drilling. Its concept is simple,
on the bit. but ingenious, combining the power of
Rotary blasthole rigs are much hea- the tophammer with the rigidity of the
vier than DTH and tophammer rigs. DTH drill string.
The Pit Viper 351 rotary rig weighs COPROD rods are stacked on top of
seven times the weight of the largest each other inside the drill tubes. They
ROC L8 DTH rig, yet drills a hole that move longitudinally within each tube,
is generally only twice the diameter. transmitting the rock drill energy to the
The distribution of weight on a ro- bit, while the tubes provide the rota-
tary rig results in an overall weight that tion. Lugs on the rods prevent them
is twice the bit load rating. Weight is from sliding out during handling and,
Prototype of the Pit Viper PV271.
necessary to provide a stable platform if the bit enters a cavity during drilling
for the drilling operation, so, if 18,000 operations, rotation is maintained while
with working pressures of 6-30 bar. kg is required at the bit, a machine of percussion is interrupted until the bit
The DHD Classic range of low-price 36,000 kg will be needed. However, meets resistance again.
hammers starts at 90 mm diameter the size of the components translates A new hydraulic rock drill, the COP
holes, and runs up to 302 mm diameter. into a longer life, which will be around 4050CR, was developed for the COP-
These have been in continuous use in 30,000 hours of operation for even the ROD system, equipped with an anvil to
the quarry, construction and mining smallest rotary blasthole rig. transmit percussion, and a tube chuck
industries for more than 30 years. A key element of rotary drilling is for rotation. The COP 4050CR was
the flushing of the cuttings from the
Big holes hole. In most rotary blasthole rigs the
cuttings are lifted by compressed air
Atlas Copco now offers a complete through the annulus between drill string
range of big hole rotary drill rigs for and hole sides. A large volume of air
open pit mining and major quarrying is required to achieve this, particularly
applications. Much of the worlds mi- in softer formations where the rate of
ning output begins through drilling of drilling may be rapid. The annular space
holes with rotary drills. These were air or must be large enough for the cuttings
electric powered for many years until to pass, otherwise heavy wear will take
1968, when Ingersoll Rand introduced place between the drill string and the hole
the first fully hydraulic unit, the T4. walls, which can be expensive in terms
Rotary drills utilize two methods of of wear and dust. Around 25 m/sec of
drilling. The majority of units operate uphole air velocity is normally required,
as pure rotary drills driving tricone bits but this varies greatly with the density
in hard ground, or sometimes claw or of the material being drilled. Iron ore
drag bits in softer rock. The remainder will require more bailing air than coal,
use DTH drilling in which high pres- for instance.
sure compressed air passes down the Rotary rigs are commonly applied to The unique
drill string to drive the hammer. hole diameters above 152 mm, and the dual string design
of COPROD allows
The primary difference between ro- deeper the hole, the more applicable the
more energy to be
tary drilling and other methods is the method. DTH drilling is limited by dia- transferred to the
absence of percussion. Tricone bits rely meter, while tophammer drilling is limi- drill bit, keeping
on crushing and spalling the rock by ted by depth. Above 250 mm diameter, hole deviation to
transferring down force to the bit while rotary drilling predominates, with the a minimum.
rotating. This drives the carbide tips of larger tricone bits equipped with larger

surface Drilling 5
Talking Technically

easier troubleshooting, built-in self-

diagnostics, and a modular and upgrade-
able system. Because there are no hy-
draulics in the cabin, the operator has
better visibility, more space, and is wor-
king in a much quieter environment.
An Atlas Copco SmartRig ROC D7C
rig worked at Skanskas Fransefoss
Bruk granite quarry north of Oslo.
Equipped with the COP 1838HE rock
drill, it worked for 10 h/day, 4 days/
week over three years, and accumulated
over 1,500 percussion hours.
The operator was able to measure
holes and grind drill bits while the rig
was drilling in an automatic mode.
In 2003, the ROC D7RRC radio re-
mote controlled rig was launched, fol-
lowing extensive trials in Norway.
Radio control allows it to work in dif-
ficult positions with the operator a safe
distance away, but with an excellent
view of both drilling and tramming.
A typical application was in Austria,
where contractor Voest Alpine, Erzberg
Montantechnik used their ROC D7RRC
on dam construction 1,400 m above sea
level. The rig set a record of 600 m of
drilling in 12 hours. The flexibility of
the ROC D7RRC makes it an ideal
choice for such ground engineering
The ROC L7CR is used extensively
in hard rock mining and large quarry
ROC D7RRC with radio remote control offers a safe and effective alternative applications drilling holes up to 180 mm
for difficult and dangerous ground conditions.
diameter. The rigs are commonly in ope-
ration for 2 or 3 shifts/day, equipped
endowed with an impact power of 40 kW Advanced computerization with the COP 4050 heavy rock drill with
and a frequency of 2,600 blows/mi- double dampening system. Rotation
nute. A reflexion damper provides con- Atlas Copcos century of rock drill de- Pressure Controlled Feed (RPCF), anti-
tact between the rods, drill bit and rock, velopment has given rise to a range of jamming, and Dampening Pressure Con-
to ensure maximum efficiency and eq- surface drill rigs. In 2002, the SmartRig trolled Impact (DPCI) help increase
uipment life. The COPROD system offered ROC D7C with computerized rig con- nett penetration rates and rock drill and
higher speed than DTH drilling at sub- trol system (RCS) was announced. This bit life, while helping the operator to
stantially reduced fuel consumption. is designed to work in the 64-115 mm control the rig in difficult geological
A decade of experience with the ori- hole range, and can automatically ad- conditions by automatically reducing
ginal COPROD system has led to the de- just its impact power and feed accord- impact.
velopment of a second generation laun- ing to the ground conditions. The result The SmartRig ROC F9C is a techni-
ched in 2005 offering greater reliability is a much smoother drilling process, cally advanced rig equipped with the
and considerably longer life. maximum penetration, improved COP 2560 rock drill, which combines
Accurate hole alignment has resulted anti-jamming, and best possible drill the power and terrain ability of the ROC
in increased bit diameters being intro- steel life. RCS also allows a 30% de- F9 with the intelligence of the com-
duced by most COPROD users, resulting crease in the number of hydraulic puterized Rig Control System (RCS).
in greater hole spacing and more effi- components, improved eff iciency The first SmartRig ROC F9C was
cient blasting. Rapid bit changing is a of the hydraulic system, reduced risk delivered to Norcem, a leading Norwe-
characteristic of the COPROD system of hydraulic fluid leakage, fewer hy- gian cement producer, for use at its
which ensures that valuable drilling draulic hoses and more than a 50% Bjorntvedt limestone quarry. Here it is
time is not lost. reduction in electric cable connections, engaged on drilling 11 m high benches

6 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

using Secoroc T51 rods with 89 mm bits.

The rig will drill 45,000 m/year on a
one-shift basis, where its drilling ac-
curacy will ensure safe blasting and
optimize rockbreaking costs. The quarry
expects to improve its long-term planning
and utilization of resources as a result.
Accurate positioning of this rig is en-
sured using GPS technology.

SmartRig is a concept that facilitates all
kinds of automation in drill rigs. The
hardware is designed to operate in
every possible weather condition, and
the software can be upgraded at site.
SmartRigs have built-in logging and mo-
nitoring functions, together with sup-
port for diagnostics and faultfinding.
Computer generated electrical sig-
nals control the hydraulic valves, so the
control gauges and instruments are re-
placed by a display unit. This releases
space in the cab, increasing visibility,
and improving operator ergonomics.
The RCS control system, including
the anti-jamming function, will result
in higher penetration rates and service
life of drill string components.
Using the laser plane as a reference
height, all holes are drilled to the same
depth, for improved fragmentation of
blasted rock and smoother benches.
Hence, the costs for secondary break-
ing, crushing, loading and haulage are
considerably reduced.
Automatic feed alignment reduces
set-up time and cancels out operator
error by setting the feed to pre-defined
angles at the touch of a button.
The automatic rod adding system,
AutoRAS, enables the operator to drill
automatically to a given depth, allow-
ing him to leave the cab to carry out
other duties such as maintenance checks
or grinding bits. Using Measure While
Drilling, MWD, a number of parame-
ters, such as hole depth, penetration rate,
and damper, feed, percussion and rota-
tion pressures are logged at requested
intervals while drilling, and this pro-
vides input to analysis of the rock pro-
ROC Manager, a stand-alone PC-
based tool, makes drill plans, meas-
ures hole deviation, and logs, presents
The HNS system on the SmartRig ROC F9C helps with positioning and performance monitoring.
and reports drilling data graphically. In

surface Drilling 7
Talking Technically

less secondary breaking, and a flat floor

after blasting. The system also allows
the operator to optimize positioning, so
that the maximum number of holes can
be drilled from one setup.

Silenced SmartRig
The recently introduced Silenced Smart-
Rig is for use especially in urban areas
where noise levels are restricted. Sub-
stantial efforts have been put into rede-
signing components and soundproofing
enclosures, resulting in a 10dB(A) ex-
ternal noise reduction. Inside the cab,
this is further reduced, to just 75dB(A).
The most visible difference between
the Silenced SmartRig and other Smart
Rigs is its patented feed enclosure. The
frame and panels of the enclosure are
formed from lightweight aluminium.
There are four access doors, which are
hydraulically operated from the cab. A
rubber sliding skirt at its base encloses
the hole, and this can be hydraulically
raised for collaring. The whole enclo-
sure is designed for demounting when
not needed.
The SmartRig system, because it de-
livers the right amount of power for each
phase of the drilling operation from
its diesel engine, can reduce fuel con-
sumption by up to 30%. Add this to the
productivity increase from automatic
rod adding and auto feed alignment,
The SmartRig ROC D9C can be fitted with a unique silencing kit which reduces drilling noise to about
10 dB(A) below that of comparable rigs.
and the Silenced SmartRig is a sound
In 2006, the first Silenced Smart-
ROC Manager, the MWD data can be set angles, and by being able to drill Rig, a ROC D7C, was delivered to a
illustrated in slices through the bench, more than one hole from a single set- contractor who works in a variety of
with the rock properties identified by up, results in better rig utilization. A different quarries in southern Finland,
contrasting colours. Norwegian contractor has retro-fitted some of which are very close to urban
Hole Navigation System (HNS) using a Hole Navigation System to a ROC areas. The owner, who already has three
GPS has been chosen for the highest D7C rig. The system uses the Anmask ROC D7 rigs, reports that the silencing
possible drill rig navigation accuracy, mapping software, available in Nor- kit is so good that he can have a con-
within 10 cm in most situations. With way, which supplies geological data versation just 15 m from the operating
HNS there is no need to mark out to the rig computer, making drillplans rig! Nevertheless, he has achieved 570
holes manually, and the accuracy is such unnecessary. m in a 13 h shift, drilling 76 mm holes
that all holes will be parallel. Using The cab display screen shows exact- to depths of 18 m. Refuelling intervals
information on his cab display, the ope- ly where each hole has to be drilled, are now much longer, and there is a
rator can navigate the rig to the co- and the software takes account of vari- notable improvement in terrain ability.
verage position for a given hole, and the ations in the surface height of the rig. The 60 year journey from wagon
computer will give him the information Every time the operator positions the drill to SmartRig is an exciting story
to place and align the feed exactly over rig for the next hole, Anmask tells him of which everybody at Atlas Copco is
the collar position. The drillplan can how deep to drill and at what angle. justifiably proud.
be provided by ROC Manager, and trans- Major benefits provided by the
ferred to the rig via a PC card. The time drilling accuracy of GPS are maximum Kurt Strmbck
saved by not having to aim visually to blasting efficiency, better fragmentation,

8 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Principles of rock drilling

Drilling for
excavation by
This reference edition deals with
surface rock drilling used for the
purpose of excavating rock in qu-
arries and construction projects by
means of blasting. Other types of
drilling, such as for oil and water,
mineral exploration and exploita-
tion, and grouting, are excluded.
The reader is given a brief expla-
nation of prevailing drilling me-
thods, together with an introduc- Figure 1: Principle of tophammer drilling.
tion to blasting techniques and
the interrelation of drilling and bla-
sting. Also discussed are the main tensile strength, such as salt, silt, and prevailing geology and bit type and dia-
parameters involved when plan-
ning and executing blasthole dril- soft limestone not containing abrasive meter; and incorporation of the latest
ling at quarries and civil engine- quartz minerals. technology in electric and hydraulic
ering projects. Rotary crushing breaks the rock drive systems.
The range of Atlas Copco pro- by high point load, accomplished by Rotary drilling, which is still the
ducts, with references to the Atlas a toothed drill bit, which is pushed dominant method in large open pits,
Copco websites, are presented and
discussed by comparing their suit- downwards with high force. The bit, has limitations in that the rigs are not
ability and expected productivity being of tricone roller type fitted with suited to drilling holes off the vertical
related to a selection of applica- tungsten carbide buttons, is simultane- line. As blasting theories and practice
tions. Case studies from worksites ously rotated, and drill cuttings are have proved, it is generally beneficial to
around the world should prove in- removed from the hole bottom by blow- design, drill and blast the bench slopes
teresting and beneficial, especially
when planning and selecting me- ing compressed air through the bit. at an angle of approximately 18 degrees
thods and equipment for blasthole Drill rigs used for rotary drilling are off vertical.
drilling applications. large and heavy. The downwards thrust Many rotary rig masts have pinning
Blastholes have certain unique is achieved by utilizing the weight of capabilities permitting drilling at angles
and important characteristics. the drill rig itself, and the rotation, via as much as 30 degrees out of the verti-
These are: hole diameter, depth,
direction, and straightness. Drilling a hydraulic or electric motor, applied cal. However, the inclined hole drilling
produces a circular hole in the rock, at the end of the drill pipe. Common capabilities in rotary drilling are limited
the strength of which must be hole diameters range from 8 to 17.5 in by the heavy feed force required, since
overcome by the drilling tool. (200-440 mm) and, because adding the part of this force is directed backwards.
Depending upon rock properties, heavy drill pipes is cumbersome, most This causes rig stability problems, re-
there are several ways to accom-
plish this, as shown in the follow- blasthole drill rigs use long masts and duced penetration, and shorter life of
ing article. pipes to accommodate single-pass drill- drilling consumables. Consequently,
ing of maximum 20 m (65 ft). Electric most blast hole drilling using rotary
power is usually chosen for the large drill rigs is for vertical holes.
Rotary drilling rigs, whereas smaller rigs are often
powered by diesel engines. Percussive drilling
Rotary drilling can be subdivided into Rotation rates vary from 50 to 120
rotary cutting and rotary crushing. rev/min, and the weight applied to the Percussive drilling breaks the rock by
Rotary cutting creates the hole by bit varies from 0.5 t/in of bit diameter hammering impacts transferred from
shear forces, breaking the rocks tensile in soft rock, to as much as 4 t/in of bit the rock drill to the drill bit at the hole
strength. The drill bit is furnished with diameter in hard rock. bottom. The energy required to break
cutter inserts of hard metal alloys, and Recent technical advances include: the rock is generated by a pneumatic
the energy for breaking rock is provided improved operator cab comfort; auto- or hydraulic rock drill. A pressure
by rotation torque in the drill rod. This matic control and adjustment of opti- is built up, which, when released, drives
technique is limited to rock with low mum feed force and rotation speed to the piston forwards. Figure 1 illustrates

surface Drilling 9
Talking Technically

the principle of tophammer percussive s

Efficiency and losses
drilling. The piston strikes on the shank
adapter, and the kinetic energy of the The shock wave loses some 6-10% of

piston is converted into a stress wave its energy for every additional cou-
travelling through the drill string to the pling, as it travels along the drillstring.
hole bottom. In order to obtain the best This loss is partly due to the difference
drilling economy, the entire system, rock in cross-sectional area between the rod
drill to drill steel to rock, must harmo- and the sleeve, and partly due to imper-
nize. fect contact between the rod faces.
Figure 4: Shock wave genera-
The poorer the contact, the greater the
ted by pneumatic rock drill.
Stress wave energy loss.
When the shock wave reaches the
Theoretically, the stress wave has a rec- power rating might therefore have bit, it is forced against the rock, thereby
tangular shape, the length of which is quite different properties. crushing it. The efficiency at the bit
twice that of the piston, while the height The shock waves that are generated never reaches 100%, because some
depends on the speed of the piston at the by hydraulic (Figure 3) and pneumatic of the energy is reflected as a tensile
moment of impact, and on the relation- (Figure 4) rock drills are significantly pulse. The poorer the contact between
ship between the cross-sectional area different in shape. Drill rods used with the bit and the rock, the poorer the effi-
of the piston and that of the drill steel. hydraulic rock drills will normally show ciency (Figure 6).
substantially longer service life, com-
s pared with pneumatic rock drills, be-
cause of the higher stress level obtained s
Reflecting wave

5200 m/s with the pneumatic driven piston.
The reason is the larger cross-section +

needed when operating at substantially

lower pressure, which is 6-8 bars, com

pared to the 150-250 bars used with Primary wave

2 x piston length hydraulic systems. The slimmer the

piston shape, the lower the stress level.
Figure 6: Poor contact between bit and
Figure 2: Stress wave energy. Figure 5 compares the stress level rock results in poor efficiency.
generated by three different pistons ha-
ving the same weight, but with different
The total energy that the wave con- shapes and working different pressures. To optimize drilling economy, the dril-
tains is indicated diagramatically in The lowest stress, or shock wave ampli- ling parameters for percussion pressure,
Figure 2. To calculate the output power tude, is obtained with the long slender feed force, and rotation must harmonize.
obtained from a rock drill, the wave piston working at high pressure.
energy is multiplied by the impact fre- Percussion pressure
quency of the piston, and is usually
Figure 5: Stress level generated by
stated in kW. Rock drill designers seek The higher the percussion pressure, the
different pistons of same weight.
to find the best combinations of various higher will be the speed of the piston,
parameters, such as the piston geome- and consequently, the energy. Where
try, the impact rate and the frequency. Piston
the bit is in good contact with hard
Two rock drills having the same nominal 1 8 bar and competent rock, the shock wave
energy can be utilized to its maximum.
Piston 2 120 bar
Figure 3: Shock wave generated
Conversely, when the bit has poor con-
by hydraulic rock drill. tact, the energy cannot leave the dril l
Piston 3 200 bar
string, and reverses up the drill string
as a tensile wave.
s It is only when drilling in sufficient-
ly hard rock that the maximum energy

per blow can be utilized. In soft rock, to
reduce the reflected energy, the percus-
sion pressure, and thus the energy, will
have to be lowered (Figure 7).
For any given percussion pressure,
the amplitude, and hence the stress in
Shock-wave amplitude
the drill steel, will be higher with reduced
cross-section of the drill rods. To get the

10 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Percussion pressure
Drilling method Tophammer DTH COPROD

hole diameter, mm 76-140 90-203 105-180

penetration rate 2 2 3
hole straightness 1 3 3
Soft rock Hard rock hole depth 1 3 1
production capacity (tons rock/shift) 2 3 3
Figure 7: To reduce reflected energy, fuel consumption/drill metre 2 1 2
percussion pressure is lowered.
service life of drill string 1 2 3

longest possible service life from shank investment in drill string 2 2 1

adapters and rods, it is important to suitability for good drilling conditions 3 3 3
ensure that the working pressure is suitability for difficult drilling conditions 1 3 3
matched to the drill string at all times.
simplicity for operator 2 3 1

Feed force adjustability of flushing capacity 1 2 3

The purpose of the feed is to maintain

the drill bit in close contact against the Figure 9: Comparison for 20 m bench drilling in a limestone quarry. Ratings: fair = 1, good = 2, very good = 3.
rock. However, the bit must still be able
to rotate. The feed force must always When drilling starts, the feed is specific gravity material having a
be matched to the percussion pressure. adjusted to get even and smooth rota- density of 2 t/cu m requires at least
Figure 8 illustrates this relationship. tion. In case this is not achieved, which 10 m/sec, whereas iron ore, for example,
will show up in low shank adapter life, having a density of 4 t/cu m, requires
Rotation the percussion pressure can be progres- an air speed of 25-30 m/sec;
sively reduced, until even and smooth particle size the larger the particles,
The purpose of rotation is to turn the rotation is reached. the higher flushing speed required;
drill bit to a suitable new position for the The temperature of the adapter sle- particle shape spherical particles
next blow. Using button bits, the peri- eve can be checked to ensure that the require more speed than f laky, leaf
phery is turned about 10 mm between drilling parameters are correctly set. shaped particles.
blows. Consequently, the rotation rate Immediately after drilling, the tempera-
is increased using higher impact fre- ture should be 60-70 degrees for dry
quency and reduced bit diameter. Using drilling, and approximately 40 degrees Productivity and
insert bits, the recommended rotation for wet drilling. methodology
rate is 25% higher. Drilling problems, mainly related
to loose couplings, may arise whatever During the past century there has been
Setting parameters parameters are used. In order to tighten a rapid and impressive increase in effi-
the couplings during drilling, the friction ciency and productivity related to top-
In practice, the driller sets the percus- of the bit against the hole bottom has hammer drilling. Starting from hitting
sion pressure that the rock can cope to be increased. This can be done by a steel manually by a sledge hammer
with, and then sets the rev/min with increasing the feed, increasing the rota- 100 years ago, todays hydraulically
regard to the percussive frequency and tion rate, or changing the bit. powered rock drills utilize the latest
the bit diameter. state-of-the-art technology.
Flushing Every drilling method has its pros
Figure 8: Feed force must be matched and cons, making an objective com-
to percussion pressure. Drill cuttings are removed from the parison quite cumbersome. In view of
hole bottom to the surface by air blow- this, the table in Figure 9 can serve as a
Feeding ing or water flushing. As the power out- guideline when comparing the various
put from rock drills increases, accom- percussion drilling alternatives which
panied by increased penetration rate, Atlas Copco can offer. The choice of
efficient flushing becomes gradually best drilling method to apply depends
more important. The flushing medium on hole size and type of application.
is normally air for surface drilling, and
water for underground drilling. The Hans Fernberg
Low percussion High percussion required flushing speed will depend
pressure pressure

surface Drilling 11
Talking Technically
Talking Technically

Principles of rock blasting

Combination of
Blasting by design results from a
large number of factors, all of
which need to be brought under
control in order to achieve the
right result. These include the
choice of drill rig and tools, the
layout of the holes, the explo-
sive, and the skill of the opera- Compression Reflection Gas Pressure
tors. Geology is the governing
factor, and experience is a major Figures 1-3: Rock breaking sequence in a normal blast.
ingredient. Atlas Copco produces
drill rigs and systems to suit all
rock types, and has the experi- the free face has been correctly calcu- the parallel distance between holes in a
ence to recommend the correct lated, the rock mass will yield and be row is the spacing. The ratio between
approach to all ground conditions thrown forward. spacing and burden will have great im-
in order to achieve the optimum pact on the blasting result, and 1.25 can
result. The following outline of the
principles involved in rock blasting Benching be considered as an average ratio. The
is a logical start point in the quest optimum burden depends upon a num-
for the p erfect round. Bench blasting is normally carried out ber of parameters, such as rock type,
by blasting a large number of parallel required fragmentation, type of explo-
holes in each round. Considering the sives, hole deviation, and hole inclina-
Blasting blasting mechanics, with a compression- tion. Nevertheless, as large drill holes
reflection-gas pressure stage in conse- can accommodate more explosives, there
To understand the principles of rock cutive order for each charge, it is of vital is a distinct relationship between bur-
blasting, it is necessary to start with the importance to have a proper delay be- den and hole diameter (figure 6).
rock fragmentation process that follows tween each row, and even between in- As the bottom part of the blast is the
the detonation of the explosives in a dividual holes in each row. A proper constricted and critical part for suc-
drill hole. delay will reduce rock throw, improve cessful blasting, it is used as a basis
The explosion is a very rapid com- fragmentation, and limit ground vibra- for deciding all other parameters. The
bustion, in which the energy contained tions. The blast should be planned so bottom charge, normally 1.5 x burden,
in the explosives is released in the form that the rock from the first row of holes from where the initiation should start,
of heat and gas pressure. The transfor- has moved about one third of the bur- requires well-packed explosives of
mation acts on the rock in three con- den, when the next row is blasted (fig- higher blasting power than is needed in
secutive stages (figures 1-3). ures 4 and 5). the column charge (figure 7).
Compression: a pressure wave propa- The horizontal distance between the Stemming of the top part of the hole
gates through the rock at a velocity of hole and the free face is the burden, and is used to ensure that the energy of the
2,500-6,000 m/sec, depending on rock
type and type of explosives. This pres- Figure 4: Delay detonation of a typical bench blast.
sure wave creates microfractures which
promote rock fracturing.
Reflection: during the next stage, the
pressure wave bounces back from the
free surface, which is normally the bench
wall or natural fissures in the rock. The
compression wave is now transformed
into tension and shear waves, increasing
the fracturing process.
Gas Pressure: large volumes of gas
are released, entering and expanding
the cracks under high pressure. Where
the distance between the blast hole and

surface Drilling 13
Talking Technically

base type detonation velocity m/s features

nitro-glycerine dynamite 5,500-4,500 highly adaptable cartridged
gelatin excellent in smaller holes
ammonium- ANFO 2,500 low cost, high safety, easy
nitrate to pour or blow
no water resistance,
contains 5-6% fuel oil
water slurry 4,000-3,000 watergel basically ANFO made water
Firing pattern resistant gel
This firing pattern provides separate delay 5,000 emulsion stable oil/water emulsion
time for practically all blastholes and heavy ANFO
gives good fragmentation as well as good range depends on packaged or pumpable
breakage in the bottom part of the round. storage time

Figure 5: Firing sequence in delay blasting. Table 1: Features of common types of explosives.

explosives is properly utilized. It will not break. High rock density requires is cheaper per cubic metre than using
also reduce and control the fly rock ej- more explosives to achieve the displace- small holes. However, rock fragmenta-
ected from the blast. This tends to travel ment. tion is better controlled by higher spe-
long distances, and is the main cause of The propagation velocity varies with cific drilling.
on-site fatalities and damage to equip- different kinds of rock, and is reduced The explosives are initiated with de-
ment. Dry sand or gravel having a par- by cracks and fault zones. Hard, homo- tonators which can be electric, electronic
ticle size of 4 to 9 mm constitutes the geneous rocks, with high propagation or non-electric. Electric systems have
ideal stemming material. velocity, are best fragmented by an ex- the advantage that the complete circuit
Inclined holes give less back break, plosive having high velocity of detona- can easily be checked with an ohmmeter
safer benches and less boulders, when tion (VOD). to ensure that all connections and de-
compared to vertical holes. An extensive range of different types tonators are correct before blasting.
and grades of explosives is available Despite higher unit price, the usage
Types of explosives to suit various blasting applications. of electronic detonators is growing. As
A breakdown is presented in table 1. the detonation intervals are extremely
The geology frequently has more effect In dry conditions, ANFO has become accurate without any time deviation,
on the fragmentation than does the ex- the most used blasting agent, due to its fragmentation of blasting material can
plosive used in the blast. The properties availability and economy. be improved. To eliminate the risk for
that influence the result of the blast are The blast hole diameter, together with spontaneous ignition from lightning,
compressive strength, tensile strength, the type of explosive used, will deter- non-electric systems, including detona-
density, propagation velocity, hardness mine burden and hole depth. Practical ting cord, are used.
and structure. In general, rock has a ten- hole diameters for bench drilling range
sile strength which is 8 to 10 times from 30 to 400 mm. Generally, the cost Hans Fernberg
lower than the compressive strength. of large diameter drilling and blasting
The tensile strength has to be exceeded
during the blast, otherwise the rock will Figure 7: Charging for optimum fragmentation.

Figure 6: Burden as a function of drill hole diameter. Boulders and flyrock

come from this zone
Burden as a function of
drill hole diameter
Back break
Practical values Stemming
(length ~ burden) Burden

Column charge
only light charge
needed for good

Bottom charge
requires well packed Subdrilling
Hole diameter, mm = 0.3 x burden
spacing equal to 1.25 x burden high blasting power

14 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Drilling straight holes

the rock drill cradle, intermediate drill
Precision drilling support, and drill steel guide bushings,
must be frequently checked, and any free Collaring
For the best overall blasting re- misalignment
sult, the drill hole needs to follow play adjusted to a minimum. Worn drill
its designed path along its entire rod guide bushings should be exchanged Collaring offset
length. on a regular basis.
Straight holes are important, Second, double drill steel support en-
so deviation should be avoided as
sures a stiff drill string alignment close
far as possible, with each hole col-
lared in the exact spot, and drilled to the collaring surface. Atlas Copco
in the correct direction and to the equips its modern ROC range of crawler
proper depth. drills with double drill steel support for Planned
Precision in collaring and hole improved visibility and rod guidance. hole
alignment can be achieved with
The ROC D-series are furnished with
proper surveying and mark-ups of
the drill pattern grid, coupled with an intermediate drill steel support on
a drill angle indicator mounted on the feed.
the feed, and a hole depth instru- With the lower support raised, the
ment. It is also essential to have rock surface can be checked before the In-hole
a good view of the collaring pro-
collaring sequence, and a check of drill deviation
cedure from the operators cabin.
Hole deviation leads to substan- string after initial penetration of the rock
dard blasting results and higher can easily be performed. Incorrect
overall costs. Better setup and se- Third, instruments for inclined hole depth Due to
lection of drilling method and eq- and hole-length measurements can also collar error
uipment will help minimize devia-
be combined with a laser sensor in con-
tion, improving the whole rock
breaking operation. junction with a laser plane, enabling drill
holes to be drilled exactly to designed
depth. This ensures an even bench floor, Figure 1: Various causes of hole deviation.
Consequences of deviation independent of rock irregularities where
the holes are being drilled. rse jointing, does not produce in-hole
Tophammer drilling is the normal choice Fourth, restricted percussion, feed and deviation.
for civil engineering applications. How- flushing during collaring can ensure that Experience shows that the approach
ever, more choices are available for quar- the most critical part of the hole does angle of the drill bit towards the bed-
ries, where 51-165 mm-diameter holes not get off-line. ding is crucial. There seems to be a
are commonly drilled from benches up Finally, hole straightness is also a tendency for the bit to follow parallel
to 30 m-deep. Figure 1 illustrates vari- function of the stiffness of the drill to the bedding where the angle of ap-
ous causes of hole deviation. string, especially when using topham- proach is smaller than 15 degrees. Figure
The main consequences of hole devi- mer drilling. 2 also shows how the drill string is affec-
ation are: uncontrolled fragmentation ted by the direction of the rock bedding,
of blasted material; possible misfires due In-hole deviation resulting in substantial hole deviation.
to intersecting holes firing at undesirable There are various ways and means to
intervals; excessive burden and spacing The magnitude of in-hole deviation is ex- reduce this problem.
between adjacent blastholes; secondary ponential to the hole depth, and it is often A stiff drill string, and small clearance
breaking, leading to higher costs for claimed that the deviation is propor- between the hole and the drill string
loading, haulage and crushing; and un- tional to the depth to the power of two. components, gives straighter holes. For
even bench floors, resulting in higher Geological conditions are a major tophammer drilling, Atlas Copco pro-
equipment maintenance costs. cause of in-hole deviation during dril- vides TAC tubes to be added behind
Deviation can result from faulty set- ling. Figure 2 illustrates the influence the bit. The usage of TAC tubes will
up, alignment and collaring, all of which of bedding and foliation. The drillhole improve the flushing and reduce the risk
can be remedied. tends to deviate to a direction perpen- of getting stuck.
First, to secure a correct hole incli- dicular to the jointing, and the more A combination of reduced feed force
nation before drilling, it is crucial that structured, foliated and faulted the rock, and bit load with increased rotation
the rock drill and drill string be lined the greater will be the deviation. Con- speed gives less deviation.
up parallel with the feed beam. Sliding versely, drilling through homogeneous DTH drilling, COPROD drilling, and
components on the feed beam, such as rock, such as isotropic granite with spa- rotary drilling all give less deviation than

surface Drilling 15
Talking Technically


= Direction of foliation/bedding
Hole length 15 m

Conventional tophammer T45/51

Tophammer T45/51 guide tube and Retrac bit


Figure 3: How different types of drilling

In case a is greater than ~15 the equipment influence hole straightness.
hole deflects perpendicularly
to foliation (bedding). Retrac bits are another alternative.
These self-guiding bits act as a short
Figure 2: How deviation results from rock bedding at different angles. guide rod directly behind the bit front
to reduce deviation. By installing a guide
tophammer drilling. Less hole depth, small as practicable. Drill bit and rod rod or tube behind a retrac bit, more
and consequently low benches, gives selection play a key role. Crossbits, for than half of the in-hole deviation can
better control of deviation. As in-hole example, generally result in straighter be eliminated, compared to a conven-
deviation is a three-dimensional pro- holes compared to button bits. However, tional tophammer drill string.
blem, the burden as well as the toe spa- they have lower penetration coupled with
cing of adjacent holes can become more frequent grinding intervals, leading Total costs
excessively off-line. to higher costs.
Ballistic button bits that are reground DTH drilling with large diameter drill
Bits and rods on a regular basis will, in most cases, tubes, and COPROD with a combina-
result in straighter holes than spheri- tion of drill rods and large diameter drill
Although the influence of geology can cal button bits. Dull, worn out buttons tubes, will produce straighter holes than
never be completely eliminated, certain result in lower penetration and increased any type of tophammer drill string due
measures can be taken to ensure accep- hole deviation. A concave bit front also to stiffer string and better hole guid-
table blasting results. One such meas- results in straighter holes than a f lat ance through the rock (figure 3). At com-
ure is to employ a stiff bottom pack front, which, when subjected to abra- parable hole dimensions, however, top-
behind and including the drill bit, where sive rock and several regrinds, gradually hammer with a conventional drill string
the play between hole diameter and the gets more convex. A drop centre type drills faster than DTH, but not as fast
following part of the drill string is as of bit is therefore commonly used. as tophammer drilling with COPROD
Figure 4: Straight holes result in improved rock fragmentation and lower overall cost. Many contractors and site owners
focus on minimizing drilling costs with-
out taking into account the overall effects
OPERATING COST on blasting results.
Drilling Loading
Drilling Loading
However, when fragmentation and total
and and
blasting transport and and
blasting transport
handling and crushing costs are taken
Crushing Crushing
into account, it can be shown it is best
screening and
screening and to purchase drilling equipment that
produces the least deviation, especially
when hole depths exceed 10 m (figure 4).
The latest drill rigs from Atlas Copco,
incorporating SmartRig technology, form
an exceptional platform from which to
drill straight holes.

Hans Fernberg

16 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Correct selection of tophammer

rock drilling tools
Retrac button bit with spherical button Model 20 or 21, where the gauge but-
Optimizing and drop centre front; Retrac button bit tons are larger than the front buttons.
with spherical buttons and flat front;
penetration rates Insert bit, only used when very straight
In order to achieve best possible holes are required and nothing else Extra heavy duty
penetration rate, a bit should be works. Model 21 has better
chosen where the total contact
flushing characteris-
area between the cemented car-
bide and the rock creates the best Bit designs tics, due to different
possible penetration per blow. As clearance angle and
a rule of thumb, the following pen- Flat front, standard shorter head.
etration rate index can be used: The standard bit is Recommended in
button bit with ballistic buttons,
most suitable for me- extremely hard and
130; button bit with spherical but-
tons, 115; insert bit, 100. However, dium-hard to hard abrasive rock.
when bits are compared for hole rock, where it gives
straightness, a different order good p erformance
emerges, with the insert bit on and long service life Drop centre
top, followed by the button bit
with ballistic buttons, and lastly,
in normal conditions. Excellent results
the button bit with spherical Standard bits are are obtained with
buttons. easy to regrind, as the Drop Centre bit
This article is intended to guide the front and gauge in soft to medium
the driller through the range of buttons usually are the same size.
bits, rods and shank adapters to hard rock, with high
assist with the best choice of rock penetration poten-
tools for the particular job. Flat front, heavy duty tial. The Drop Cen-
Hard rock, containing tre bit has outstan-
quartz and pyrites, ding flushing char-
Criteria of choice often causes conside- acteristics, and the
rable wear to the gau- cuttings are distri-
Since button bits are used for 99%
ge buttons. When dril- buted evenly around the steel body,
of surface drilling applications, a bit
ling in rock with this so minimizing steel wash. The drop
with guiding wings on the bit skirt, the
characteristic, it is centre part of the bit front produces a
Retrac-type bit, should be chosen to
common practice to rock elevation or bump during drilling,
give the straightest possible hole.
use Heavy Duty bits, which gives good guidance to the bit.
The bit front should not be allowed
to take on a convex shape during serv- Bit designs and rock types
ice life, since this convex front has been
shown to give more deflection than a
flat or drop centre front.
When a button bit is worn, it is the
gauge buttons that always show the most
wear. This means that the gauge but-
tons lose more height during regrinding,
leading to the tendency for the bit front to
become convex. A drop centre bit, thanks
to its lowered centre, will not become
convex during the bit life, and is thus the
best choice, wherever possible.
If the above criteria are taken into
account, the choice of bit, in descending
order, should be: Retrac button bit with
ballistic buttons and drop centre front; DC = Drop Centre; FF = Flat Front; HD = Heavy Duty; XHD = Extra Heavy Duty.

surface Drilling 17
Talking Technically

and are preferred where there is a ten- is about 6%, if the connection is tight.
dency for squaring of the hole. If drilling with open threads, the energy
loss at each joint can easily climb to
Drill rod selection 10%. Therefore, it is advantageous to
For bench drilling, three types of drill use the maximum rod length possible.
rods can be chosen: surface hardened
rods, in which only the thread parts are Speedrods
hardened; carburized rods, where all sur- If Speedrod carburized rods with inte-
faces, including the inside of the flush- grated coupling are used, the energy loss
Drop centre extra heavy duty ing hole, are hardened; and carburized per joint is less, since the mass (weight)
Gauge buttons are larger than the front Speedrods, having integrated couplings of the joint is less than that of standard
buttons, there are no side flushing holes, with male and female threads at oppo- coupling joints. The energy loss is about
and the head is shorter. Recommended site ends. 3.5%, which is 60% of that of standard
in extremely hard and abrasive rock, joints.
but can also be used in medium hard Surface hardened rods In practice, the energy advantage of
rock. Surface hardened rods are the toughest, Speedrod joints compared to standard
and can take more abuse than the car- couplings is even greater, since it is
burized rods, but they have the lowest easier to keep the Speedrod joint tight
fatigue strength. They are a good choice during drilling.
when drilling in faulted or folded for- Field tests have shown that, when
mations, when driller abuse, or lack of drilling 20 m holes with 4 m rods, the
care and maintenance, are factors. penetration increase is about 15% when
using Speedrods.
Tiger Rods The faster penetration and easier hand-
The new M-F Tiger Rods from Atlas ling increase productivity, and due to
Copco Secoroc are specially developed better energy transmission, the joints are
for surface drilling applications. They easily loosened.
are composed of selected steels to give From the point of view of drilling
Retrac bit
increased service life and better per- straight holes, rods that are as rigid as
The Retrac bit has cutting edges at the formance. The female thread is fully car- possible for the drilled hole diameter
rear of the bit, allowing it to drill in re- burized, while the rest of the rod is sur- are best. For straight hole drilling, a
verse. This is an important feature when face hardened. The new Tiger Rods are guide rod or guide tube should be used
drilling in loose, broken or fissured rock, friction-welded, so that the best steel as the first rod after the bit, to give the
where it can be difficult to retract the grade can be selected for each section. drill string guidance.
drill string due to hole collapse. In addi- This improved production techno- Further information about rods is av-
tion, the Retrac bit has deep grooves mil- logy reduces the risks of pitting on the ailable in the yellow technical specifi-
led along the bit body for efficient cut- threads, and rod and thread end break- cation pages in this reference edition.
ting removal. The good guidance of this age, while tighter thread tolerance im-
bit gives straighter holes. proves the total service life of the whole Shank adapters
drill string. The task of the shank adapter is to tran-
smit rotation torque, feed force, impact
Carburized Rods energy, and flushing medium. It is made
A carburized rod has better wear resist- from specially selected material to with-
ance and a higher fatigue life compared stand the transmission of impact energy
to surface hardened rods. Demands good and rotation from the rock drill to the
treatment, and hole deflection should be drill string, and is hardened through car-
limited by putting guiding equipment in burizing. Around 400 different shank ad-
the string, at least when drilling holes apters are currently available from Atlas
deeper than 10 m. Their life will be Copco Secoroc. Shank adapters can be
20%-30% longer if they are handled divided into three main types, based on
correctly, and guiding equipment is used the technique used to transfer the rota-
Insert bits when necessary. When lighter drill rods tion motor torque to the drill rod.
These are very seldom used, except are required for manual rod handling,
when very straight holes are required. the carburized hexagonal rod is recom- Sture Stenquist
Cross bits normally have cemented car- mended.
bide inserts with a carbide grade for high When drilling with a number of rods
wear resistance. X-bits normally have in a string, using standard rods and coup-
a carbide grade for improved toughness, lings, the loss of energy in every joint

18 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Full-ballistic button bits for soft rock

Atlas Copco Secoroc has extended
the range of button bits for surface
drilling with two new models for drill-
ing in soft rock formations.
The new models are designated
21 66 and 4766. The designation
66 means that all the buttons are
f ull-ballistic in shape and protrude
2025% more than standard ballistic
buttons. Model 21 has larger gauge
buttons whereas all the buttons are
the same size on model 47 .
ThunderRod T60
The longer button protrusion helps for the most powerful
the bit to penetrate deeper into the tophammer drill rigs
rock with each hammer stroke. Both
Secoroc full-ballistic button bit (dia. 127 mm) Atlas Copco Secoroc has launched
model 21 and model 47 have excel-
model 4766. Flat front with same size ThunderRod T60, a heavy-duty top-
lent flushing capacity for the removal
front and gauge buttons.
of the cuttings from the front of the hammer drill string designed for
bit head. The flushing is concentrated sides of the bit head. A shorter bit greater productivity. Specially de-
to four large flushing holes in the bit head and larger clearing angle also signed with a bigger rod cross-
front plus equally deep and wide allow for better flushing of cuttings section for 102-152 mm holes,
f lushing grooves in the front and on models 21 and 47. ThunderRod T60 is built to handle
Increased penetration rate the most powerful hydraulic rock
During tests in soft rock in Korea, drills, delivering higher power output
Malaysia and Australia, these new for optimization of the drilling pat-
bits showed much higher penetration tern. The entire drill string is more
rates than standard ballistic button rigid, offering increased hole straight-
bits, while their service life remained ness, higher penetration rate and a
the same. welcome boost to drilling producti-
Model 2166 bits with drop centre vity and economy. Fewer, but larger,
front are available with T38 thread in drill holes per blast means higher pro-
sizes 76 mm (3 in) and 89 mm (3.5 in). ductivity. Straighter holes result in
Model 4766 bits with flat front improved fragmentation and far less
design can be supplied with T45 secondary drilling and blasting.
thread in size 89 mm (3.5 in) and with The threads on ThunderRod T60
T51 thread in sizes 102 mm (4 in) are designed to make the coupling
and 127 mm (5 in). sequence as easy as possible, while
Secoroc full-ballistic button bit (dia. 76 mm)
More sizes and thread combina- at the same time keeping energy los-
model 2166. Drop centre front with
tions will follow. ses to an absolute minimum. Fea-
larger gauge buttons.
turing a cross-section 40% bigger
than standard T51 rods, the new
ThunderRod is designed to reduce
hole deviation in all rock formations.
The flushing hole is also bigger, en-
suring a 10% increase in flushing ca-
pacity for up to 30 m-deep holes.
The new shank adapters for Thun-
derRod T60 are optimally hardened,
with a balance of core and surface
properties designed to withstand the
high impact power of modern rock
drills such as Atlas Copco COP 2560,
COP 2560EX and COP 4050. This
leads to unparalleled fatigue and wear
The full-ballistic buttons protrude more from the bit body, resulting in faster penetration in soft rock. resistance.

surface Drilling 19
Talking Technically
Talking Technically

COPROD combines the best of

DTH and tophammer drilling
The rock drillers
drill section head

dream 20 40 kW
Rotation chuck

Drillers always dreamed of a sy- Anvil Drill rod

stem that would combine the stra-
ightness and accuracy of down- Guide
the-hole drilling with the enor- Tube
driver Bit tube
mous capacity of hydraulic top-
hammer drilling. Efforts to com-
bine the advantages of the two
techniques were unsuccessful, un- Drill tube Bit chuck
til the development of COPROD
by Atlas Copco.
COPROD is not only a combina-
tion of positive features, it also in- Drill bit
tegrates two types of drill string Guide
for percussive drilling by means
of a tophammer. Inner drill rods
transmit power and thrust to the
COPROD drilling head arrangement.
drill bit and outer tubes transfer
rotation, adding stiffness to the
string and improved flushing effi- equipment works well for smaller hole bit in contact with the bottom of the
ciency. These assets achieve high
tophammer drilling rates and large
diameters in solid rock, but it is not so hole. This can cause the relatively slen-
hole diameters. effective in larger hole diameters, or in der drill string to bend, steering the bit
The rods in the COPROD sy- deteriorating ground conditions. There off its intended alignment.
stem have no threads and are are problems in transmitting sufficient Increasingly powerful hydraulic rock
simply stacked one on top of the energy to the bit, especially in deeper drills send more percussive energy down
other. Laterally, they are centred
by the guide bushes in the tubes
holes, and in obtaining satisfactory flu- the drill string, allowing larger hole dia-
which surround them, and lon- shing. meters in benching. However, due to
gitudinally, contact between rod In tophammer drilling, the thrust has the microscopic movements between
ends is maintained by the thrust to be applied from the top to keep the mating parts in the threaded drill string,
from the top. Thanks to the uni-
que double recoil damping system
of the COP rock drills, the rod ends COP1838 CR/2150CR/COP 2550CR and COP 4050CR rock drills.
remain in permanent contact, en-
ergy losses are almost nil, and dril-
ling efficiency is maintained from COP 1838CR/2150CR/COP
COP 1838CR 2550CR
start to finish of the hole.


In the simplest of terms, percussive dril-

ling systems go back to manually hit-
ting a steel rod with a bit at one end
and, as recoil makes the rod jump back, COP 4050
COP 4050CR
rotating it at a small angle between
blows to ensure that the hole is round.
Most drilling for benching operations
has been carried out with tophammers,
using extension rods connected by thre-
aded coupling sleeves, and an exchange-

able drill bit at the bottom end. This

surface Drilling 21
Talking Technically

splines in the bit chuck, the hammer

senses it, and percussion is interrupted.
Rotation is maintained, however, and
percussion restarts automatically when
the bit meets resistance again.
Flushing air enters the bit via a cen-
tre channel, which connects to the cy-
lindrical surface in the bit rod. A small
amount of air, containing a little oil, es-
capes via the splines in the chuck and
the bit, and lubricates them. On its way
up, the flushing air travels between the
smooth outside of the tubes and the
hole wall, providing a constant cross
section, and ideal conditions for flush-
ing the drilling fines.
COPROD offers unique features for
drilling holes fast and straight. And the
ROC F9CR retrofitted with second generation COPROD drilling in Belgium.
more troublesome the ground becomes,
the more the incomparable drilling sy-
energy is lost and heat develops. The resulting in considerably less deviation stem comes into its own.
energy loss may be considerable by the than with a tophammer drill string. Thanks to the unique double recoil
time the shock wave reaches the bit, damping system of the rock drills de-
and there will be thread wear and re- Power with rigidity veloped for use with COPROD, the rod
duced life of the drill string components. ends remain in permanent contact with
The down-the-hole (DTH) system The COPROD system combines the each other. Thus, there are near-zero en-
was developed to overcome some of power of the tophammer with the ri- ergy losses at rod joints, and drilling
the problems associated with hole strai- gidity of the DTH drill string. COP- efficiency is maintained at virtually the
ghtness suffered by tophammer drills. ROD rods move longitudinally within same level from the start to the final
Rigid guide tubes, with a large outer each tube, transmitting the rock drill depth of the hole.
diameter, were developed to keep the energy to the bit. Lugs on the rods pre-
drill string on a straight course, and im- vent them from sliding out during han- Latest on COPROD
prove flushing. With a DTH hammer, dling.
a series of tubes offers far greater stiff- During drilling operations, if the bit The new COPROD drill string features
ness, and runs closer to the hole walls, enters a cavity and drops down in its a wide range of improvements. The
thickness of the drill tube has been in-
creased to 8.8 mm with a new, stronger
The COPROD drill string provides long service life and high penetration rate.
female thread connection to the end
piece. This results in increased service
life, virtually eliminating tube break-
CO he age, and helping to limit in-hole devia-
PR ad
on The end piece of the COPROD sec-
tion has been made shorter and rede-
signed with a new male T-thread con-
nection to the drill tube, eliminating
thread breakage. The diameter of the
CR 76 inner rod has been increased
and the end diameter of the CR 89 inner
rod matches the anvil to optimize ser-
vice life and penetration rate.
In the COPROD head, the bit rod
has been redesigned to eliminate the
rod guide. Closer tolerances reduce air
passage in the bit spline area to a mi-
nimum, preventing shank breakage,
while improved airflow reduces plug-
ging of the bit. The drill bit itself is now

22 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

made of a new grade of steel with high

impact and fatigue strength.
The outer diameter of the 89 mm
COPROD tube can be worn down to
80 mm before replacement, and, with
low air pressure of only 12 bar, less
airflow in the annulus results in up to
50% longer life.

Fractured rock in Austria

Asphalt & Beton GmbH, the quarrying
division of Austria-based Strabag, pro-
duces 18 million t/y at 57 quarries in 11
countries. An Atlas Copco ROC F7CR
forms the backbone of the operation
at the companys 650,000 t/y Jakomini
quarry located on an Alpine slope in
the Bleiberg region of southern Au-
stria. The operation, which is mainly
quarrying fractured metamorphic dia-
base of 140-150 Mpa hardness, features
seven benches, each around 20 m high.
Blasthole depths range from 20 m to
26 m, angled at 80 degrees. Presplit dril-
ling is carried out to maintain slope sta-
bility of the benches.
The ROC F7CR drills 92 mm dia- ROC F7CR in the Jakomini quarry.
meter holes, using an impact pressure
of 120 bar during collaring, and work-
ing pressure of 200 bar. Nett penetra- of up to 115,000 drillmetres from 24 changes do not cause undue delays. At
tion is 1 m/min, and each hole takes quarry sites around the country, the com- the sites, every drill pattern and blast is
around 20-30 minutes to drill. After pany is heavily reliant on continuous designed with Geolaser profiling of the
10,000 drill metres, the wear on the drill rig availability and production. It bench, and hole alignment is checked
drill tube was 0.5 mm, and five bits has a fleet of Atlas Copco rigs, com- with the Pulsar system.
had been consumed. prising a new ROC F9CR, a second There are currently ten COPROD
The benches are reached by steep ROC F9CR retrofitted with the new drill rigs operating in Belgium, nearly
gradients, with inclines of up to 30%, COPROD system and COP 2150 rock all of which are located in the French-
a real test of tractability and stability drill, a ROC F7CR, and a ROC L6H speaking Walloon province. These are
for any drill rig, but one in which the DTH rig. served by Atlas Copco distributor SE-
ROC F7CR excels. The COPROD rigs equipped with MAT, based at Spy, near Charleroi.
The COPROD system of straight hole 127 mm diameter bits are used for hole SEMAT carries out any major re-
drilling is ideal in the fractured rock, depths up to 30 m, while the ROC L6H pairs and overhaul work for DGO,
which is subject to water influx while can go down to 45 m deep. A wide whilst the contractor does its own we-
drilling. It is also very fuel-efficient at variety of rock types and formations is ekly servicing. DGO reports that, over
0.7 litre/drillmetre, just half of that ex- drilled, ranging from medium-to-hard the last two years using the new COP-
pected from DTH rigs. Within a month limestone and sandstone to granite, por- ROD system, it no longer breaks tubes,
of delivery in 2005, the ROC F7CR phyry and grit. and has recorded a 50% improvement
was averaging 25 m/h, and has since With COPROD, the company can in service life of the drill string. Every
achieved consistent monthly perfor- drill at any of its operations, giving it six months, each rig is taken out of
mances of over 31 m/h. the necessary flexibility to obtain very operation for one week for a major ser-
high efficiencies. Using the lower air vice, usually coinciding with a period
Abrasive rock in Belgium pressure of 12 bar, the flushing air and of slack demand. Nearly all COPROD
cuttings do not destroy the hole collar, rig owners have increased the diameters
Belgian company DGO M3 is a mem- and a 20 % higher productivity is ob- of their drill bits due to increased confi-
ber of the French EPC Group, and tained compared to the 25 bar DTH dence in maintaining correct hole align-
one of the largest drilling contractors rig. Rapid bit changeover times also ment, allowing less holes to be drilled
in Europe. With an annual production ensure that regrinding and frequent bit for the same output.

surface Drilling 23
Talking Technically

to a minimum, by downward excava-

tion from the hill. To reduce the noise,
dust and danger associated with truck
movements, the rock is fed through gy-
ratory crushers, and transported along
a system of shafts and conveyors to a
stocking area at the bottom of the hill.
There are three 6 m diameter vertical
shafts, and one 900 m long tunnel and
two 1,100 m long tunnels.
The altitude causes the quarry to be
shrouded in mist quite often, and it can
be damp and cold in the winter, affecting
the hours and safety of work. Chien-
Kuo carries out two blasts each day, 28
days a month.

Ho Ping quarry is located 1,000 m above sea level. Statistics prove that the COPROD sy-
stem, in spite of its higher initial cost,
offers improved economy, and is some-
Limestone in Taiwan companies. The company also operates times the only solution worth consid-
in the People's Republic of China, Viet- ering when drilling becomes difficult
Ho Ping limestone quarry, at Hualien nam, Indonesia and the Philippines. due to demanding ground conditions.
in Taiwan, has a fleet of six Atlas Copco Four Atlas Copco ROC F9CR rigs COPRODs superior penetration rate
ROC F9CR crawler drill rigs equipped joined the production fleet in 2001, and contributes to a lower cost/m drilled
with the COPROD system and COP another two units were delivered in 2002. than for DTH. In comparison with top-
1838 CR rock drills. In operation since They are proving to be highly pro- hammer drilling with extension steel,
1981, Ho Ping is owned by Taiwan ductive at 25 drillmetres/h, and emi- COPRODs better gross penetration and
Cement, and produces 12 million t/y of nently suited to the type of rock being hole quality provide lower cost/t in dif-
limestone, making it the largest cement mined, which is loose and fractured. ficult rock formations.
quarry in Taiwan. They are capable of drilling holes to Summing up, COPROD offers un-
Located about 1,000 m above sea depths of up to 30 m, and diameters up ique features for drilling holes straight
level, the quarry is one of a number to 127 mm. and fast, and it comes into its own in
operated by Chien-Kuo Construction Co Site layout at Ho Ping is designed to troublesome ground. Due to the num-
on behalf of the country's major cement keep noise, vibration and visual impact ber of components involved, a COPROD

Idealized section through Ho Ping quarry.

340 m

24 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Immaculate conveyor tunnel at Hualien.

drill string carries a higher price than

comparable extension rod, or DTH,
Drill string (3.66 m/12 ft) CR 76, 89
However, because the holes are dril-
led fast and without deviation, permit-
ting the drilling pattern to be opened
up, COPROD leads to lower costs per
excavated volume of rock. Time is also
saved in retracting the drill string in
broken ground, or through blasting de- 7000

bris left on top of the bench. 6000

The latest COPROD system improves

on these advantages, offering longer tonnes x 1000
Drill string (3.66 m/12 ft) CR 89, 102 (short feed)
drill string life and better availability Drill string (6.1 m/20 ft) CR 89, 102, 127, 140 (long feed)
than ever before.

Peter Gunnarsson

Strong points of different bench drilling methods

Unbeatable under good drilling conditions
Tophammer Low fuel consumption
Low investment in drill string

Straight holes
Down The Hole Deep holes
Very simple method for the operator

Unbeatable under difficult drilling conditions

COPROD Straight holes and high productivity
Good penetration rates

surface Drilling 25
Talking Technically
Talking Technically

Increased productivity with

DTH drilling

deep hole drilling capacity, with con- Cutaway section of Secoroc COP 64 Gold.
DTH growing stant penetration and no energy losses
in joints; and efficient energy transmis- hammers. The flexibility, productivity
in popularity sion, with the piston striking directly and manoeuvrability of these rigs, when
The DTH drilling method is grow- on the bit. equipped with a COP hammer, makes
ing in popularity, with increases in The COP 34-64 series of hammers them the most productive combination
all application segments, includ- was introduced from 1992, and imme- on the market today.
ing blasthole, water well, founda- diately became the benchmark for pro-
tion, oil & gas, cooling systems
and drilling for heat exchange ductivity within DTH drilling. Over COP 64 Gold
pumps. the years, the increase in average drill-
DTH competes favourably with ing pressure, from 17 bar to a current The increase in drilling pressure also
rotary drilling in open pit mines, market standard of 30 bar, has improved had some negative impact on theinter-
mainly thanks to increased produc- hammer performance, and productiv- nal components of the DTH hammer,
tivity and flexibility. Open pit mi-
ning has adopted smaller holes ity has increased proportionally to as the increased stress promoted the
where rotary drilling has either air pressure. The introduction of the
been replaced by DTH, or where Atlas Copco ROC L8 and L6 series of
DTH has been introduced to create high-performance, high-pressure DTH New Secoroc hammer and bit ready for
a better finish to the pit wall, as rigs gave another boost to the sales of action on an Atlas Copco drill rig.
the method is also perfect for pre-
s plitting and smooth blasting,
which avoids back-cracking.
DTH drilling offers increased
productivity, and is favoured by
contractors for production drill-
ing. In larger quarries, the opti-
mum hole size is 110-140 mm.
With todays demands for strict
hole control for safe blasting in
populated areas, DTH drilling is
a popular choice among quarry

Quality holes
In the hole range 100-254 mm, DTH
drilling is the dominant drilling method
today. The main features of DTH drill-
ing in this hole range are: excellent
hole straightness within 1.5% devia-
tion without guiding equipment; good
hole cleaning, with plenty of air for
hole cleaning from the hammer; good
hole quality, with smooth and even hole
walls for easy charging of explosives;

surface Drilling 27
Talking Technically

risk of premature failures. So, in 1998,

COP 64.2 steel COP 64 Gold steel Improvement
Atlas Copco Secoroc decided on a long-
term strategy to improve reliability, Yield point ReL(Mpa) 700 1400 100%
while retaining the benchmark status Breaking strength Rm(Mpa) 1000 1950 95%
of the COP 64 DTH hammer. Hardness (HRc) 32 42 31%
Stage One of this strategy was the Table 1 reveals not only that the yield point for the new steel grade is twice as high, but
development of the second generation also that breaking strength has been almost doubled.
six-inch hammer, COP 64.2, introduced
in October, 2000, which incorporated Table 1 Comparison of COP 64.2 and COP 64 Gold steel.
newly-designed steel disc spring and
lower buffer. Performance was vastly maint enance-free, with no need for the same types of application as COP
improved, thanks to a drastic reduction an economy kit in most applications. 64.2, with special focus on high-pres-
in the number of internal failures. It Ultimately, this means customers can sure applications.
was also possible to rebuild the hammer look forward to increased drill rig In abrasive formations, performance
without diminishing its performance, availability. will be up to 50% better than COP 64.2,
making it even more attractive. The sum total of these improvements in what is an ideal application for COP
Stage Two was the introduction of shows COP 64 Gold to have more than 64 Gold.
the third generation COP 64 hammer, 50% greater service life, in abrasive In soft unconsolidated rock drill-
COP 64 Gold, which was unveiled rock conditions, than its predecessor. ing, the 12-spline chuck concept and
in August, 2001. This version offers The customer benefits from lower the improved durability make COP 64
sustained performance and improved cost/metre drilled, thanks to less down- Gold the perfect hammer. High pres-
longevity of the external parts. The time and greater abrasion resistance, sure yields higher productivity, and
COP 64.2 resolved internal component and 30-50% longer life of external drilling pressures of 28-30 bar are not
reliability, while the COP 64 Gold has parts. unusual.
experienced a dramatic drop in the Higher availability results from less The COP 64 Gold hammer concept
number of cylinder failures. breakage in the threads of top sub and offers customers a tool to meet the most
COP 64 Gold also boasts improved chuck-ends of the cylinder, and there exacting requirements.
sustainable efficiency, maintaining an are fewer stoppages for service and
average of 96% of original performance maintenance. Improved penetration Hammer cylinder
throughout its service life, which is a rate and higher efficiency are a result
further improvement on COP 64.2. of reduced friction of the piston, and a The new cylinder has been redesigned
Durability improvements, thanks to greater life cycle penetration rate is the in a number of important ways. COP 64
the higher tensile strength of the new overall reward. Gold boasts a cylinder made of low
steel grade, are especially noticeable To su m up, the customer can alloy wrought and toughened steel, a
when the cylinder approaches mini- drill more holes per hammer than new grade with a higher combined Mo-
mum thickness limits. COP 64 Gold previously. lybdenum and Vanadium content (4.8%)
enjoys a greater durability margin than than its predecessor. The result is grea-
its predecessor. Applications ter impact strength and higher wear
With the introduction of COP and temperature resistance. All in all,
64 Gold, hammer life will increase COP 64 Gold is a high-pressure this means greater resistance to brea-
substantially. Less internal and external hammer, where performance is related kage, impact, temperature and wear for
wear, together with a reduced minimum to air pressure. A lower limit of 12 bar the new hammer cylinder.
cylinder wear limit, are key contribut- for deep hole applications is a good rule Thanks to the new steel grade,
ing factors. The hammer is virtually of thumb. The hammer is designed for cylinder properties have been greatly

Secoroc COP 64 Gold.

28 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Total improvement

Due to wear resistance

Due to wear limit change

Due to less cylinder failure

Increase in service life of COP 64 Gold, which has a 50% longer life than its predecesssor.

improved. Wear has been reduced, as opposed to the older undercut that where bits tend to move axially in and
both internally and externally. Cuttings let it partially move freely at the end of out in the chuck during drilling. This
and moving parts no longer cause the the downward stroke. Thanks to these may lead to greater f riction between
problems they once did. In effect, the slots, wear on the porting edges of the chuck and splines, causing premature
service life of the cylinder has been cylinder undercuts and piston has been spline wear. Furthermore, the increase
extended considerably. eliminated. That means air leakage is in the number of splines, from eight to
The new steel grade possesses great- down to a minimum, and so are noise twelve, leads to greater surface contact
er tensile strength, which means the levels! between bit and chuck, lessening stress
minimum wear limit can be decreased The polygon-shaped piston pro- on the splines.
from an overall cylinder diameter of vides a ten-point guide system, while The high demand for COP 64 Gold
132 mm, to 130 mm. retaining excellent force on the bit. It hammers, particularly in applications
The result is a hammer that main- is sturdier than its forerunner, fitting where performance and reliability are
tains performance far longer than its hand-in-glove with the milled slots to major considerations, has led Atlas
predecessor, while being, in effect, provide superior guidance and airflow Copco Secoroc to add the COP 54 Gold
maintenance-free. all the way through the hammer. to this increasingly successful range.
Longitudinal milled slots have The QL 60-style chuck, together
replaced the circular undercut found with a 12-spline bit, add up to a stronger Leif Larsson
in COP 64.2. The piston now enjoys bit shank. This is especially useful in
100% guidance throughout its stroke, soft and unconsolidated rock conditions,

Results of comparative tests with COP 64.2 and COP 64 Gold. The COP 64 Gold drilled 50% further.

16 000
14 000
12 000
10 000
Drill metres

New Material
8 000 Old Material
6 000
4 000
2 000
146 145 144 143 142 141 140 139 138 137 136 135 134 133 132 131 130 129 128
Cylinder OD (mm)

surface Drilling 29
Talking Technically
Talking Technically

Breakers reduce blasting

Blasting alternative
Heavy hydraulic breakers are used
in rock mining to reduce explo-
sives consumption, and this tech-
nique is a worthwhile consider-
ation in many quarries. These ma-
chines may complement, or even
substitute, the drilling and blast-
ing method. However, after the
technical and operational require-
ments have been decided, econo-
mic efficiency depends not just on
a high production output. High av-
ailability of the equipment is nec-
essary, and key to this is quick and
professional customer support ser-
vice. Atlas Copco has many years
of experience in hydraulic breakers,
and this, combined with know-
ledge of open pit and quarrying
methods all over the world, puts
the company in a unique position
to assess hydraulic breakers as a
practical alternative.

Hydraulic breakers
Restrictions and regulations imposed by
the authorities in many countries are
generating discussions about mining and
quarrying methods that rule out the use
of explosives.
Hydraulic breaker HB 7000 at work.
Reasons for switching to non-explo-
sive methods may be: changes in the
law; environmental requirements; sa- anywhere in the world! Future require- is reduced by way of preliminary re-
fety considerations affecting explosives; ments must also be taken into account, duction by the hydraulic breaker; pri-
avoiding constraints on operations; simp- and planned investments may need to mary crusher throughput is increased;
lifying the renewal of mining permits; be reconsidered. The quarry may have and more flexible planning is possible.
maintaining profitability; increasing de- to move to smaller bench heights to
mands on product quality; and extend- provide optimum working conditions Minimizing costs
ing the mining area or specific mining for breaker/carrier units, and subsequent Security outlay for explosives storage is
activities within a deposit. restoration must also be taken into reduced; primary crusher may be down-
There are three mining methods that account. sized or eliminated; continuous convey-
make no use of explosives: ripping with There are four areas of potential bene- ing systems may become possible; and
hydraulic excavators and crawlers; cut- fit from the use of hydraulic breakers, approval procedures with authorities
ting with surface miners in medium-hard as follows. may be simplified.
rock; and hydraulic breakers.
The decision in favour of a method Productivity Improving quality
using no explosives always depends on Continuous operations without inter- Amount of fines is reduced and sales
the particular circumstances. Every com- ruptions for blasting and clearing en- revenue increased; grain size distribu-
pany has to examine hydraulic break- hances productivity; optimal yield is tion is better controlled; quality is re-
ers as a practical alternative, because obtained from the approved mining vo- producible; and selective quarrying of
there are no two identical quarries lume; the load on the primary crusher deposits is possible.

surface Drilling 31
Talking Technically

to form quarrying units, and are powe-

red by the onboard pumps. Atlas Copco
manufactures hydraulic breakers with
service weights ranging from 35 kg to
7 t for attachment to carriers from 0.3 t
to 120 t.
Only the most powerful breakers,
with a service weight clearly above 3 t,
are used for quarrying without explo-
sives. For selective mining applications,
a service weight exceeding 2 t may be
Heavy-duty hydraulic breakers usu-
ally comprise two main components:
the percussion mechanism and the guide
The hydraulic percussion mechanism
converts hydraulic input into mechani-
cal output. The efficiency of this func-
tion determines the breakers economy.
The guide system, or hammer box, is
needed to guide the percussion mech-
Opencast mine and surroundings.
anism and protect it from wear and ex-
ternal forces. It also damps the power
Reducing environmental pollution generation breakers simply did not have feedback to prevent it from reaching
Blasting emissions are eliminated; mi- sufficient capacity. the carriers attachment system, and
ning of existing resources is simplified; silences the noise produced by the per-
and site restoration is easier. Quarrying unit cussion mechanism.
For nearly 40 years, hydraulic brea- For a hydraulic breaker, the job of
ker attachments from Atlas Copco Con- Heavy hydraulic breakers have been rock quarrying without blasting is a
struction Tools have stood the test in used in direct mining for 25 years, and tough one. The mining unit is an im-
varying applications. The hydraulic brea- have been a valuable source of know- portant link in the production chain for
ker has found its way into the quarry how for Atlas Copco. Consistent deve- which maximum performance and reli-
through reduction of oversize boulders lopment effort over the years has resul- ability are needed.
for the secondary crushing operation. ted in an efficiency standard compa- Design solutions have been devel-
These breakers have also frequently tible with the operational requirements oped which ensure that these require-
been used for making ramps. Often the of quarries. Breakers are attached to ments are met. The appropriate char-
results were not satisfying, because early carriers, such as hydraulic excavators, acteristics are listed in the box below.

AutoControl is a combination valve system allowing the hydraulic breaker to adapt to different
AutoControl working conditions. The ratio of impact energy to impact rate is controlled to ensure maximum
percussive performance at all times
Depending on the application either the starting mode "AutoStart" or "AutoStop" can be selected
(e.g. when changing from reducing oversize boulders to direct mining and vice versa). The
StartSelect system allows the start-up and shut-off behaviour of the breaker to be set in line with
From a noise emission point of view the percussion mechanism is technically separated from the
carriers attachment system by means of elastic suspensions. Compared to other carrier systems
the sound pressure level is reduced by approx. 18 dB (A). MB and HB hydraulic breakers are
fitted as standard with the efficient VibroSilenced noise and vibration damping system.
Elastic elements between percussion mechanism and guide system provide full acoustic
Permanently prevents dust and dirt from penetrating the breaker. The amount of grease needed and
the wear are substantially reduced. Prevents dust penetration on the hydraulic breaker.
Lubrication of wear bushes and insertion tool (to reduce wear). Automatic lubrication unit mounted
ContiLube II
directly on the breaker.

32 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Hydraulic breakers in
Depending on the deposit, operation and
carrier unit, recommendations can be
made for test runs of hydraulic break-
ers. Atlas Copco includes consultation
on applications in its range of services.
Working above track level is a good ex-
ample of the breaker as a primary pro-
duction tool. The quarrying unit stands
at the base of a slope facing the quarry
face, allowing the breaker to work its
way up. First of all, the base of the
slope is broken up to create a stratum
that is as level as possible. After the
stratum has been prepared, the quarry
face is broken up stepwise from the
bottom to the top. The broken up rock
slips down to the base of the slope.
This is continued until the upper edge
Hydraulic breaker HB 5800 attached to a 60 t excavator.
is reached. The height of the face is li-
mited by the size of the carrier unit,
and ranges from 1.0 m to 13 m. must eventual restoration of the land- requirements call for a flow of material
The excavator can mount the heap scape. from the quarry of largely consistent
of rock to safely work on the upper quality. Add to this the need to obtain
edge. The face height should be such Selective quarrying the maximum yield from a deposit, and
that there is no risk of burying the quar- systematic quality control assumes an
rying unit. Mining below track level, Selective mining allows different rock increasing importance for quarrying
where the unit is standing on top of the grades to be removed separately from operations.
rock to be quarried, is not advisable. a non-homogeneous deposit. Deposits It is difficult to quarry rock selec-
Loading the rock requires a separate with high impurity levels and distinct tively from damaged, fissured or com-
machine in order to avoid repeated fault zones can be very difficult to plex seamed deposits by drilling and
changes of the excavator from a hy- quarry, resulting in sharply differing gra- blasting. Drilling and loading costs are
draulic breaker to a rock shovel. des. However, technical and economic increased, and there is a significant risk

Integration in existing Rock breaking and mucking.

A successful changeover of quarrying
operations to hydraulic breakers re-
quires a number of conditions to be
checked. The characteristics of the de-
posits such as the type of rock, the rock
arrangement, and the volumes to be
handled have to be considered, as do
the existing fleet of machines, the staff
and the quarry layout.
The quarry faces may need reconfig-
uring to create optimum working con-
ditions for the quarrying unit. Hence,
the change in working method is partic-
ularly convenient for new opening cuts
or quarry extensions where the face
heights are still to be determined.
Developments, such as future invest-
ments, should be taken into account, as

surface Drilling 33
Talking Technically

different rock grades

in the deposit

Selective mining.

of damage or injury from flyrock. Bla- As this work frequently takes place assessing the extraction performance.
sting mixes the rock grades together, in the border area of the mine, drilling Factors which have a major impact
and makes it impossible to extract the and blasting involves a considerable ex- on the efficiency of the hydraulic bre-
higher value grades separately, say in penditure. aker are: the rock and deposit distinctly
limestone or gypsum. Heavy duty hyd- With no benches to work from, it influence the working performance and
raulic breakers can be used for selective can be difficult for the drill rig to ac- wear; the operating conditions have a
quarrying at installations that already cess the overburden, which can be se- major impact on the economy; and the
use blasting or other methods, such as veral metres deep. experience of the operator.
ripping. This can be carried out regard- Using a heavy-duty hydraulic brea- For an individual assessment of the
less of the complexity or direction of ker, the costs of removing overburden extraction costs, Atlas Copco Construc-
the seams. Breakers are far more adap- can be reduced, and the work carried tion Tools can reflect on many years of
table to operating conditions than rip- out faster, with more flexibility. experience. The entire production pro-
pers, and cause a lower percentage of cess, from rock extraction to end product
fines than blasting. Performance and costs is appraised, so that all relevant aspects
can be taken into consideration.
Overburden removal The breaking behaviour of the rock, its
cleaving grade and resistance to pres- Jrn Jakob Weise
Overburden is removed either contin- sure, and the consistency of the rock
uously or in phases. formation, are taken into account in

Removal of overburden.

direction of mining

mining unit


34 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Selecting the right DTH drilling

Covering every
Atlas Copco Secoroc now has the
most comprehensive range of DTH
hammers, bits, and related equip-
ment of any supplier in the world,
backed by the strongest support
network in the industry. Whether
the call is for reliable hammers to
keep investment to a minimum,
or for the highest productivity to
ensure maximum rig output, Atlas
Copco Secoroc has the solution.
The company is the only manu-
facturer to offer both first and
second choice solutions in almost
all typical DTH applications on a
price vs performance basis. For
premium performance and advan-
ced technology, Total Depth and
COP Gold hammers are offered.
For an optimum blend of features
and cost, COP and Quantum Leap
can be the solution, and for high
reliability at economical price, no-
thing beats Fusion hammers.
Total Depth, COP Gold, Quan-
tum Leap, and COP and Fusion Quarrying application.
hammers are also energy efficient,
consuming less fuel and with lo- and are the most reliable and produc- demanding the finest performance, the
wer energy cost per drilled metre
than other DTH hammers. tive hammers on the market. For cus- choice will be between Total Depth and
This enormous choice of DTH tomers who are happy with rebuilds, Secoroc COP Gold hammers. At the
drilling tools is backed by a reli- Total Depth is recommended, while for other end of the scale, rental companies
able network of distributors and those who typically run hammers until will appreciate the Secoroc Fusion as a
customer centres that offer a com- they wear out, Secoroc COP Gold has tried and tested hammer that is rugged,
plete range of parts, service and
support. unbeatable wear resistance and will be reliable, and easy to repair or replace.
the first choice.
Dimensional stone quarrying dem- Mineral exploration
Relevant applications ands consistent hole straightness, and Mineral exploration generally occurs in
such operations typically use smaller very remote locations, requiring robust
Quarrying size holes of 85-90 mm in limestone, hammers capable of running high pres-
Companies producing in non-abrasive granite and marble. Here the TD 35 and sures, in sometimes dirty environments.
rock formations should consider ham- COP 32 hammers are the best choice. For true reverse circulation drilling
mers such as Secoroc Quantum Leap with face collection in mineral explora-
or Secoroc COP. Both are time-tested Construction tion and in-pit grade control, the Se-
and field-proven designs offering good Civil engineering drilling subcontrac- coroc RC50 Reverse Circulation Ham-
productivity and ease of service. tors and drilled foundation contractors mer, incorporating the Quantum Leap
Producers demanding the highest pro- will be attracted to the improved per- cycle, performs particularly well.
ductivity and/or drilling in abrasive for- formance of both Secoroc Quantum Geotechnical Environmental moni-
mations should consider either the Total Leap and Secoroc COP hammers. Both toring applications will appreciate the
Depth or Secoroc COP Gold hammers. of these balance good productivity Secoroc Fusion, or possibly the Secoroc
These incorporate the latest technology with ease of service. For applications Quantum Leap or COP hammers.

surface Drilling 35
Talking Technically

well bore with final diameter of 6.5 in.

For these projects, performance, reli-
ability and availability of service and
support become most important.
Once again, Total Depth, with its
Air-Select System, is the fastest and
most reliable, with a minimum of main-

Selecting the right hammer

The optimum range of hole size for
DTH drilling is 90 mm to 254 mm.
Smaller holes are generally drilled using
tophammer, and larger holes generally
use rotary machines. However, DTH
has an expanding position in the larger
hole sizes up to 750 mm. As a rule of
Changing a Secoroc bit. thumb, the smallest hole diameter a
DTH hammer can drill is its nominal
Drilling of holes for foundation, an- pre-split holes. Companies should con- size. A 4 inch hammer will drill a 4 inch
choring or drainage demands reliable, sider either the Total Depth or Secoroc (102 mm) hole. The limiting factor is
inexpensive hammers like the Secoroc COP Gold hammers. These incorporate the outside diameter of the hammer,
Fusion range. the latest technology, and are the most because, as hole diameter reduces, air-
reliable and productive hammers on the flow is restricted. Maximum hole size
Open pit mining market. For customers who are happy for production drilling is the nominal
Mining operations typically have high with rebuilds, Total Depth is recom- hammer size plus 1 inch, so for a 4
equipment utilization, drilling up to mended, while for those who typically inch hammer the maximum hole size
80% of the working day with DTH. run hammers until they wear out, Se- is 5 inch (127-130 mm).
The typical applications are normal coroc COP Gold will be the first choice. Choosing the right hammer is largely
130-203 mm-diameter blast holes, 140- determined by hole size and type of
165 mm buffer holes, or 115-140 mm Well and geothermal rock formation. Ideally, the size of the
Water wells generally use a larger dia- hammer should match the required hole
meter, cased and sealed surface section, dimension as closely as possible, leaving
Clusterdrill for construction work
followed by a 70-250 m-deep and 4.5-6.5 just enough space for cuttings to evacu-
in-diameter drilled well bore. For ate the hole.
smaller, family-run companies, the ideal Secoroc hammers are purpose-
hammer will last as long as possible, matched for all rock types and applica-
with minimum maintenance. For larger tions. Where high performance is the
companies with more rigs, performance, main criterion, Secoroc COP Gold and
reliability, and availability of service Secoroc Total Depth hammers are rec-
and support become more important. ommended.
Geothermal drilling is similar, but In deep hole drilling applications,
may be carried out in remote locations, the Total Depth hammer has proven
so the emphasis may be on the need to superior performance and adaptability
keep the hammer working as much as to different air requirements, thanks to
possible. the Air-Select System.
Once again, Total Depth, with its Where proven technology is required,
Air-Select System, is the fastest and the Secoroc COP and Quantum Leap
most reliable, while Quantum Leap and hammers are known for their reliability
Secoroc COP offer excellent perfor- and longevity, and for a reliable work-
mance with minimum maintenance. horse, the Secoroc Fusion is practically
bullet proof, with a 30 year history of
Shallow oil and gas (CBM) continuous improvement.
In this application, the customer uses a The Standard design for COP 54 and
larger diameter 12.25 in - 17.5 in COP 64 Gold hammers can be used
cased and sealed surface section, fol- down to a depth of 330 ft (100 m)
lowed by a 500-2,500 m-deep drilled using a Standard bit size, making it

36 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

useful for production drilling in quar-

ries, shallow waterwell drilling, and un-
derground blasthole drilling. HD is si-
milar to Standard, but with heavy duty
chuck and wear sleeve, and a top sub
fitted with tungsten carbide buttons for
wear protection in harsh and abrasive
conditions. These also protect the top
sub from excessive wear when rotating
out of the hole through broken rock.

Selecting the right bit

Atlas Copco Secoroc has a compre-
hensive range of DTH drill bits to match
all conceivable applications. Each bit
is made from quality alloy steel, and
has been precision machined to pro-
Waterwell drilling.
duce a perfect body, heat treated to the
required hardness, given surface com-
pression for fatigue resistance, and fitted Ballistic designs are preferable, to en- ballistic buttons for use in soft to me-
with precision buttons manufactured in- sure the buttons are cutting clean, with dium hard formations where fractured
house. the minimum of re-crushing. rock can be expected, or can be sup-
Five basic designs are available: In hard and abrasive formations, plied with spherical buttons for hard
CV Bit, FF Bit, SpeedBit, CC Bit, and however, the flat front (FF) HD design and abrasive formations.
Rocket Bit. These are designed for offers best bit life, having strong gauge Bits are manufactured to match
specific applications for all rock types, rows with large spherical buttons which all diameters of Atlas Copco Secoroc
hardnesses and conditions. are easy to regrind and maintain. The hammers.
Bit life and rate of penetration are SpeedBit offers improved productivity
the most important criteria in selecting with the same gauge as the FF HD, but Secoroc hammers
the right bit for a particular application. with ballistic buttons in the front for
In most cases, the focus is on produc- faster penetration. An alternative is the Highest performance
tivity, so the fast cuttings removal Concave design with spherical buttons. The Secoroc COP Gold and Total Depth
features of the SpeedBit and Convex/ The Rocket Bit can be dressed with hammers are designed for the most

Bit designs and rock types.

Soft rock Medium hard rock (220 Mpa/32000 psi) Hard rock

Flat front HD




Concave DGR

Rocket bit ballistic

Rocket bit spherical

surface Drilling 37
Talking Technically

demanding drilling conditions and for

Bit designs Facts those applications requiring premium
performance. These hammers feature
Convex/Ballistic front design state-of-the-art technology and deliver
Convex front with large cutting grooves and ballistic gauge both maximum productivity and profit.
and centre buttons. For soft to medium hard non-abrasive
formations. The bit is designed for maximum penetration Secoroc COP Gold
rate. Also, an alternative in hard abrasive formations, if Superior longevity and reliability.
high penetration rate is called for. Easy to service and rebuild.
Best suited for production drilling
because of its excellent external
SpeedBit wear resistance and longevity.
Flat front design/ballistic centre buttons. Flat front with Internal components coated for wear
spherical gauge buttons and ballistic centre buttons. For and corrosion protection. Permits
high penetration in medium hard to hard abrasive formations. multiple rebuilds.
Three start chuck thread for easy bit
Bit replacement possible without
Flat front design HD using drill rig break-out chains and
Flat front with large spherical gauge buttons for hard and wrenches.
abrasive formations. Also, front flushing grooves for effi- Unique air cushion reduces wear and
cient cuttings removal. tear on drill string and rig.

Secoroc total depth

Provides the industrys highest
power output.
Concave front design
Best suited for deep hole applications.
Concave front with spherical buttons Perfect choice for
Industry-leading simplicity and
medium hard to hard, less abrasive, fractured formations.
serviceability, resulting in very low
Minimizes effect of hole d eviation.
operating costs.
Features modular components,
snap-in cylinders, a reversible
casing, backhead saver sleeves, and
Concave front design HD many options.
Concave front with spherical buttons, with larger gauge The hybrid valved/valveless design
buttons. Ideal for medium hard to hard, abrasive and frac- maximizes air compressor
tured formations. productivity.

Proven technology
Concave DGR front design Secoroc COP and Quantum Leap
Concave front with double rows of spherical gauge but- hammers combine strong performance
tons. Only available for 8 in bits and larger. The rein- with years of field proven technology.
forced gauge gives superior protection in medium hard to These hammers are known for reliability
hard, abrasive and fractured formations. and longevity.

Secoroc COP
Mainly used in mining, including
Rocket bit
underground, quarrying, and
Super high penetration in soft to medium hard formations
geothermal well drilling.
with low silica content. The Rocket bit also handles diffi-
High reliability.
cult formations with clay intrusions where other bit designs
Internal components coated for wear
will not work.
and corrosion protection.
Can be rebuilt frequently for longer
service life.
The Secoroc range of DTH bits ensures that every driller Three start chuck thread for easy bit
can demand a solution for every application. changes.
Unique air cushion reduces wear and
tear on drill string and rig.

38 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Secoroc Quantum Leap

The industrys first hybrid-
combination of valve and valve-less
air cycle.
Mainly used in water well deep hole,
production drilling and large diameter
construction projects.
Wide range of available diameters.
Many options, including
Hydrocyclone and bit retrieval
systems for application flexibility.

Reliable workhorse
Secoroc Fusion hammers are practi-
cally bullet proof, having been proven
by continuous, successful operation in
the industry for over thirty years.

Secoroc fusion
Many parts are common to those
used in the Secoroc Quantum Leap.
High reliability.
Time-tested performance

Selecting the right tube

Key features of a high quality DTH
tube are durability, accuracy and man-
ageability. Atlas Copco Secoroc tubes
are made from cold drawn tubing, pro- Secoroc COP 54 Gold Express - the production drillers best friend.
viding a superior surface finish and tole-
rance compared to conventional tubes
made from hot rolled tubing. Quality Standard End pieces
API grade N-80 tubes and adapters
This drastically reduces the risk of
scaling from the tubes entering the ham- Lower yield limit N/mm2 min 550 min 550
mer, a major cause of premature ham-
mer failure. Tensile strength N/mm2 min 650 min 700
The joints are friction welded to Elongation A5 min % 18 21
achieve maximum strength, and the Core hardness HB 190230 210250
threads of the end-pieces are heat
treated for optimum durability and Surface hardness HRC 5862
strength of the thread profile. This not
only ensures long thread life, but also
makes coupling and uncoupling quick Drill tube Wall 23/8" 23/8" 27/8" 27/8" 31/2"
OD (mm) (mm) RD 50 API Reg API IF API Reg API IF API Reg
and simple, reducing drilling time.
Tube diameter should be close to
the hammer diameter to provide opti- 70 3.6
mum flushing, reducing the chances of 76 3.6
getting stuck. 76 5.6
In most applications, Atlas Copco 89 3.7
Secoroc standard API threads will be 89 5.7
the best choice.
102 5.7
Atlas Copco Secoroc also offers a
wide range of subs and crossover subs 114 4.3
to meet an array of demands, all manu- 114 5.7
factured to the same standards as the 114 7.9

surface Drilling 39
Talking Technically

With on-site support, the choice of DTH equipment is even easier to make.

COP Backhammer to ensure that customers extract maxi- drills faster and more efficiently. It takes
mum productivity from their drilling a support team to apply this knowledge,
The COP Backhammer is a tool that operations. Having a knowledgeable and so that customers can be assured they
can save and recover a drill string stuck available Secoroc drilling engineer on run a profitable and efficient drilling
in a hole. It can be easily fitted in a site or on-line makes the difference be- operation in an increasingly competi-
suitable tube joint between the drill tween going it alone and tapping the tive business climate.
support and the rotation head to pro- experience and know-how of a world- The bottom line is that the customer
vide an effective combination of back- class partner. For example, Secoroc can count on Secoroc service and sup-
ward hammering and vibration to lo- knows that using higher productivity port, supplied by the largest, most de-
osen stuck drill strings. bits reduces the cost of each drilled dicated manufacturer of DTH drilling
hole, and the simplest way to cut costs tools in the world.
Service and support is to drill holes faster. This has been a
focus of product development, and is at Leif Larsson
Atlas Copco Secoroc service, support the core of Secoroc technology, ensur-
and training follows every purchase, ing that every generation of products

40 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

The economic case for routine

bit grinding
throughout its life, maintains the cor-
Cutting hole costs rect button shape and prot rusion. It
features correct centring on all buttons,
The button bit was originally de-
veloped to do the job of an insert producing a high quality cemented car-
bit, without the necessity for fre- bide surface, with no risk of cemented
quent grinding. However, it was carbide nipple. Long bit life, and higher
soon found that the service life of penetration rates, will result from good
a button bit increased consider-
grinding quality.
ably if the cemented carbide but-
tons were ground. Disadvantages of using the grinding
Nowadays, it has become ex- cup are that it may produce an incorrect
tremely important to grind button button shape and protrusion. It is dif-
bits at proper intervals, in order to ficult to centre the grinding cup over
extend the service life of the rock
the gauge button, and there is also a risk
drilling tool, maintain penetration
rates, and drill straight holes. of producing a sharp cemented carbide
In all rock excavation opera- nipple on the button, and a possibility
tions, the cost is usually expressed of scratches due to the larger diamond
in cost per drilled metre (cost/dm), grain used. Reduced bit life will result
in cost per cubic metre (cost/cu m),
from poor grinding quality.
or in cost per tonne.
The cost to produce a hole de- Several tests have been carried out
pends on how fast it can be drilled, to find which method gives the best
and how many tools will be con- bit performance. The grinding wheel
sumed. The cost to produce a cubic gives the correct shape to the button,
metre of rock is dependent upon The Secoroc Grind Matic BQ2 grinding machine
can handle drill bits up to 127 mm in diameter.
regardless of the amount of wear on the
the cost of the hole, and the cost of
blasting. If the blasthole is of poor wheel, ensuring that the bit will achieve
quality, then more explosives will
be consumed in blasting the rock.
Diagram 1: Typical bit life grinding at different intervals.
Unsharpened bits very often give a
poor quality hole with deviation.
Grinding constitutes around Total bit life
2% of the costs of the entire drill- drill metres
ing operation. To run the business 700
without grinding could multiply
this cost, with up to 100% added
when production losses are taken 600
into account. Labour and mate- 10 regrindings
rial are the highest costs, while per drill bit
the machine investment cost 500
is low when u tilization is high,
with a large number of bits to be
ground. 400


Grinding methods
There are two different methods of
bit grinding to restore the buttons. Grinding interval
The preferred method uses a diamond 100 drill metres
coated profiled wheel, and the other, a
grinding cup. 0
The profiled wheel provides a smooth 10 20 30 40 50 60
and efficient grinding operation, which,

surface Drilling 41
Talking Technically

break away and circulate in the hole,

causing secondary damage to the but-
When a bit doesnt show any vis
ible wear flat, it may be suffering from
micro cracks on the cemented carbide
surface. This is known colloquially
as snakeskin, and can be clearly seen
when using a magnifier. In this case,
the surface has to be ground away, oth-
erwise the micro cracks lead to more
severe damage on the buttons.
Likewise, buttons which protrude
too much must be ground down to
avoid damage (diagram 2).

Penetration rate
When the right bit has been chosen
for the rock condition, it will provide
maximum penetration rate, along
with acceptable hole straightness. In
rock conditions like Swedish granite,
with a compressive strength of around
Diagram 2: Risk of total loss when a bit is overdrilled. 2,200 bar, the bit gets a wear flat after
just 10-20 drill metres, accompanied by
standard penetration rate throughout its There is always a sharp edge cre- a small drop in penetration rate. When
entire life. It has also been shown that ated on the button, and this becomes it has a wear flat equivalent to one-third
bit life is increased considerably when sharper the more the bit is overdrilled. of the button diameter, the penetration
grinding wheels are used, rather than This sharp edge, especially on ballistic will have dropped by 5%. If the bit is
grinding cups. Wheels also excavate buttons, is very brittle. Once the edge used further until it has a two-thirds
steel around the button, simplifying the cracks, pieces of cemented carbide wear f lat, the penetration will have
grinding task, and giving the bit a more
exact profile.
Diagram 3: Penetration rate drops as the button profiles flatten.

Bit life
With so many parameters involved, it
is difficult to estimate bit service life.
First, a proper grinding interval must
be established, preferably at the stage
when the button has a wear flat of one
third of the button diameter. When
the number of drilled metres to reach
this stage has been established, then a
calculation of bit life can be made, by
multiplying by the number of times it
can be reground. As a general rule, a bit
can be reground 10 times, but smaller
bits may achieve slightly less than this
figure, while larger bits may achieve
more. So, if the grinding interval has
been established as 60 drill metres,
then the average bit life will be 660
drill metres (diagram 1). If a bit is
overdrilled, and the wear flat is more
than half of the button diameter, there
is a tendency towards cracked buttons.

42 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

rocktools can be brought to it. Secoroc

Grind Matic HG is a water or air-cooled
8 handheld machine for grinding cups.
7 Both spherical and ballistic cups are
Labour cost available. The machine is driven by up
Grinding material cost to 7 bar compressed air, and is suitable
Machine cost for a small grinding operation.
4 Secoroc Grind Matic Manual B is
3 an air-driven portable grinder using
diamond-coated grinding wheels for
Annual grinding volume buttons. spherical and ballistic buttons. The
Figures on the left side of the diagram machine is mounted in a box fitted
0 show cost per button in SEK. with wheels and handles for easy set
5 000

10 000

25 000

50 000

75 000

100 000

up. It is mainly for threaded button bits,

but small down-the-hole bits can be
Cost of grinding reduces dramatically with volume. ground in this machine. A steel spring
is mounted in the profile of the grinding
wheel, where it functions as a centring
dropped more than 30% (diagram 3). better, and will prevent both deviation, device, allowing for easy grinding.
When a bit has a heavy wear flat it tends and its disadvantages. Secoroc Grind Matic Manual B-DTH
to deviate, and, by the time it reaches is similar to the Secoroc Grind Matic
the bottom of the hole, it will have devi- Grinding machines Manual B. It is mainly intended for
ated far more than planned. As a result, down-the-hole bits, but can also be
the blast will produce coarse fragmenta- Two parameters guide the selection of used for threaded bits with a special bit
tion, and much secondary blasting may the right grinding machine: the number holder. As an optional accessory, the
be required. of bits to be ground; and whether the machine can be equipped with a belt
In slope hole drilling, it is of utmost machine should be portable or station grinder for gauge grinding.
importance that the holes are straight. ary. Several kinds of grinding machines Secoroc Grind Matic BQ2 is the
If the holes deviate, the slope walls will are available to satisfy these parameters. latest semi-automatic machine, with
be uneven, making rock reinforcement In most cases, a simple machine will many features such as auto-indexing
more difficult than expected. suffice for a small operation, grinding device, timer control, automatic feed,
Rock formations with different only a few bits. and an automatic centring arm. These
layers and joints are often characterized The semi-automatic machines are features, coupled to an ergonomic
by heavy hole deviation, putting extra more suitable for larger operations, such design, ensure high productivity, and
stress on the remaining rock tools in as mines and construction sites, where the machine is designed to handle large
the drillstring. A sharp bit always cuts the machine can be stationary, and the volumes of threaded button bits. Cooling

Diamond grinding wheels. Secoroc Grind Matic Manual B.

surface Drilling 43
Talking Technically

Secoroc Grind Matic Manual B-DTH. Secoroc Grind Matic BQ2-DTH.

water is recycled after the waste pro- down-the-hole and COPROD bits. It Matic BQ2, and can grind bits up to
duct has been separated in a container. can also be used for threaded bits 180 mm (7 in) diameter.
Secoroc Grind Matic BQ2-DTH is the with a special bit holder. The machine
latest grinding machine for mainly has the same features as Secoroc Grind Grinding advice
Comparison of grinding wheel with grinding cup. The Secoroc Grind Matic machines
secret of success is that both the grind-
ing table and the diamond grinding
wheel rotate. The result is perfectly
ground button surfaces, regardless of
whether the buttons are spherical or
In addition, the machines unique
diamond grinding wheel is designed
to ensure even wear on its grinding
surface, while still retaining its profile.
This, in turn, guarantees the button
shape throughout the life of the wheel.
Secorocs advice is to use Secoroc
Grind Matic grinding machines, with
profiled diamond grinding wheels, for
grinding button bits. It is the only solu-
tion able to consistently deliver perfect-
ly shaped buttons on customers bits.
Correct grinding is important for
every drilling operation, particularly
in these days of cost consciousness and
fierce competition. It can make a world
of difference to the bottom line.

Bo Persson

44 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz

Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz
Rig mounted can easily be set up on
the drill rig.
In todays world of professional
rock drilling, where ever more
powerful drill rigs and hammers
are used, it has become extremely
important to give the drill string
all the necessary care and mainte-
nance needed if optimum drilling
productivity is to be achieved.
Regrinding the cemented car-
bide buttons of the bit at proper
intervals increases the service life
of the whole drill string. This, in
turn, helps maintain penetration
rates, while ensuring that holes
are drilled straight and true.
Quick and efficient grinding
of button bits in surface drilling
applications, where the rig is con-
stantly on the move from one job
site to another, has been an elu-
sive goal. However, Atlas Copco
Secoroc has now come up with
the solution, by developing a rig-
mounted semi-automatic grinder.
The Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz, eq-
uipped with a profiled diamond
grinding wheel, achieves the same
quality of grinding onboard the rig
as that previously associated with after regrinding. This is increasingly Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz
static workshop models. important in relation to ballistic but-
tons, which are becoming more and The air-driven Secoroc Grind Matic
more popular. Jazz helps optimize the performance
Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz ready for grinding.
Atlas Copco Secoroc has gained exten-
sive knowledge and experience of re-
grinding large volumes of button bits
with stationary grinders, such as the
Secoroc Grind Matic BQ2 and Secoroc
Grind Matic BQ2-DTH. These, toge-
ther with previous generations of si-
milar grinders, have all used profiled
diamond grinding wheels for working
on spherical and ballistic buttons.
However, onboard grinding machines
have always been fitted with diamond
grinding cups, which have proved to
be less efficient than profiled diamond
grinding wheels.
The new Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz
grinder, which is equipped with pro-
filed diamond grinding wheels, will
consistently deliver the same perfectly
shaped spherical and ballistic buttons

surface Drilling 45
Talking Technically

When to regrind

Button bits should be reground when the penetration

rate drops, or if any of the cemented-carbide buttons are
damaged (fractured buttons should be ground flat). It is both
practical and economical to redress the buttons when the
wear flat reaches about 1/3 of the diameter of the button.
Look out for snake skin

Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz for correct button in the correct position under the
and professional grinding. grinding wheel. An indexing bit holder
is used for the gauge buttons, and there
If microscopic fatigue cracks so called snake skin
of the rock drill and drill string, without is a handy time relay for setting grind- begin to appear on the cemented carbide buttons, the
the bit leaving the rig. It is user friend- ing time. cracks must be ground away. In any event, bits should
be reground after 300 metres of drilling at the most.
ly, is designed for economy of air Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz is a very This should be done even if there are no visible
signs of wear and the penetration rate continues to
consumption, and can easily be retro- flexible grinder that will have a bene- be good. If snake-skin is not removed, the cracks will
fitted to most rigs in current use. It is ficial influence on drilling economy. It deepen and ultimately result in button fracture.
delivered with an attachment for bol- will grind spherical and ballistic but- Do not grind away too much cemented carbide
ting on to existing rigs, which allows tons, on threaded or tapered button bits,
the operator to fold away the grinder as well as big DTH - and COPROD bits
when not in use. It will also be avail- from 35 mm (13 8 in) to 254 mm (10 in)
able through the sales companies as in diameter.
an option on new Atlas Copco drill rigs. Grinding the button bit in a profes- Do not grind too much on the top of the buttons. Let a few
To make the grinder ready for work, it sional way makes sense, because grind- millimetres of the wear flat remain on top of the button.
is simply a matter of hooking up the air ing accounts for only a fraction of the Always grind broken buttons flat
hose, connecting the electricity, and cost of the entire drilling operation.
filling up the water tank for the mist When a drilling programme is carried
cooling. on without correct service of the bits,
The low air consumption of the drilling output and product ivity will
Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz makes it be significantly lower, and costs may A drill bit can remain in service as long as the gauge
buttons maintain the diameter of the bit. Fractured
possible to grind bits without interrupt- escalate. buttons must always be ground flat to prevent chips of
cemented carbide from damaging the other buttons.
ing drilling operations. The grinder is
Avoid grinding the gauge
semi-automatic, and features an auto- Bo Persson
matic centring device for placing each

Secoroc Grind Matic Jazz

Technical Data
Air pressure, maximum 7 bar (102 psi) 1
Air pressure, minimum 6 bar (87 psi)
Air consumption 25 l/sec Gauge button anti-taper has to be removed by grinding,
Coolant container 3l although excessive reduction of the bit diameter should
be avoided. Leave about max 1 mm of the wear flat.
Air tool oil consumption 1.8 cl/hour
Output, spindle motor 1 kW
Speed, spindle 15,000 rpm
Voltage 24 V
Weight, exclusive of packing 90 kg (198 lbs)
Transport dimension 800 x 500 x 700 mm
Grinding Capacity
Maximum distance between bit holder
and grinding wheel 250 mm (9 78") If necessary, remove some of the bit-body steel below
Maximum diameter of drill bit 254 mm (10") the gauge buttons, so that a clearance (taper) of 0.5
mm is maintained. If the flushing holes start to deform,
Minimum diameter of drill bit 35 mm (138") open them up with the aid of a rotary burr or steel file.
Minimum distance between buttons 3.5 mm ( 964")
Grinding instructions for button bits.

46 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

King of cabs
Staying in the front
The operator and his working envi-
ronment was given top priority
when Atlas Copco set out to rede-
sign the new cabins on its latest
range of ROC drill rigs. Starting
early in 2005, a survey was carried
out among operators in a number
of different countries to find out
their views on the merits of the
existing cabs in the ROC D, F and
L series, and how they could be
improved. The feedback was ap-
praised against a background of
the latest available technology,
and the designers added a few of
their own ideas. The result was a
range of innovative solutions that
produced the most comfortable
and practical cab yet seen, already
described as the next generation
workplace for drillers.

Fruitful consultation
Talking and listening to the professio-
nals who would ultimately occupy the
new cabs proved very fruitful. Mats
Berger, who headed up the project at
Atlas Copco's surface drilling division The new crawler rig cabin.
in rebro, Sweden, got a great number
of suggestions. Drillers commented on raise the ergonomic standard; and im- invited groups of customers gave their
everything, from repositioning the con- prove the overall in-cab environment. opinions of the various mock-ups that
trols to requesting television screens. were made. This proved to be very ben-
Even the wilder ideas were considered Tough challenges eficial to the project, enabling the team
and evaluated as research input. By to check they were on track at each
merging the operator's comments with Each objective involved tough chal- crucial stage of the design process.
the Atlas Copco concept of what was lenges, primarily because the basic
needed, a list of specifications for the dimensions of the cab could not be Design changes
new product was gradually built up. altered due to the designs and sizes of
The next step was to engage an out- the drill rigs. Not only that, each pro- Atlas Copco ROC crawler rigs are de-
side design specialist that could assist posed alteration had to meet strict spec- signed to be as compact as possible.
in driving the concept from drawing ifications from Atlas Copco for high The boom, which carries the feed, de-
board to reality. For this work, Atlas quality, compatibility with modular as- termines the cab width. The width is also
Copco engaged Bosul-Sekura, a Danish sembly and two different ROPS (Roll determined by the standard transporta-
cab manufacturer renowned for design- Over Protection Structure) weights of tion width of 2,500 mm of the engine
ing cabs for forestry machines, trucks 19 t and 30 t. compartment and its power pack. The
and other industrial equipment. The team started by generating design length is dictated by the rig's design. In
With the operators' wishes upper- sketches and visuals, and over the next addition, the swing of the feed, and the
most in their minds, the two compa- 18 months a number of solutions began articulation of the tracks when tram-
nies agreed on three main objectives: to emerge. These were then assessed ming in rough terrain also impact on the
increase the amount of interior space; by a number of customer clinics where amount of space available for the cab.

surface Drilling 47
Talking Technically

mats, designed so that dust and debris

can be swept out of the door.

Improved environment
As operators often have to remain in
their cabs for lengthy shifts, the design-
ers have paid close attention to ergo-
nomics and comfort. For example, the
controls and instrumentation panels
have been repositioned to make them
as easy and as comfortable as possible
to use.
Sometimes only slight adjustments
have been made, but with important
ergonomic results. For instance, the three
main joysticks on the right hand side
used to control the boom, feed and rock
drill, have been moved forwards just
150 mm. This small change eliminates
the need to twist the body and arm in
order to perform certain functions.
The atmosphere inside the cab is a
Stepping up: A service platform, which is also a toolbox, gives access to the windscreen; steps, grab rails key factor for the operator's overall com-
and front mounted cab door make getting in and out easier; a single-moulded mat for easy cleaning. fort and well being, and not least, for
productivity. The new cabs feature an
Lastly, the cab height is limited by the polyurethane rubber to minimize noise improved ventilation system that includes
overall transportation height. from the vibration of objects that may a relocated air intake, two-stage filter-
Given these restrictions, the design- be placed in them. ing and more effective heating and air
ers came up with a solution based on conditioning. This results in a pleas-
a redesigned cab shell shape, as well Better visibility ant working environment, even in the
as a repositioned, redesigned door and harshest of conditions.
modified instrument and control posi- The design changes also led to improved The air conditioning system is de-
tioning. visibility, which in turn, contributes to signed for providing a temperature of
For example, the corner doorpost has safety. The large windows give good +23 degrees C in outdoor temperatures
been moved forward to the front. It is all round visibility and the front wind- of -25 degrees C.
now also narrower at the bottom than screen is slanted inwards, which helps In hot climates, it will keep the in-
it is at the top, yet still wide enough to keep off the rain and dust. terior to +25 degrees C despite an am-
for the biggest boots to step in comfort- This design, together with the new bient temperature of +50 degrees C.
ably. This greatly improves access, and skylight in the roof and repositioned With nine settings to choose from, this
also makes it easier to step across to the instrument panel, enables the opera- should be sufficient to keep operators
front service platform from where the tor to see the whole drilling process, cool under any circumstances.
operator can clean the windscreen and from surface collaring to the top of the An added advantage is the smart pla-
roof glass, or change the wiper blades. feed. cing of the air conditioning filter. It is
An outside grab-rail, and another on The negative slope of the windscreen now accessible from a hatch on the out-
the inside of the door, make it easier for eliminates the need for a protective grille, side of the rig, making it easy and fast
the operator to pull himself up, and an and the standard 10 mm thick laminated to change
integrated, push-button opener saves a glass can also be replaced with 24 mm
little more space. thick glass for especially demanding and Objectives met
Storage space was also a big issue, dangerous worksites.
and a range of smart solutions have An added bonus is the new finger- There's no denying that the new cab is
been developed in the interior, including touch instrument panel. This is aligned a major all-round improvement on pre-
document holder, flask, bottle and cup with the right hand pillar, and placed in vious models. A great deal of time has
holders, large day-bag holder, oddment such a way that the switches can be seen been spent on testing, not only involv-
trays, and optional lockable glove box. without the operator having to take his ing operators, but also service person-
There's even space for a small cooker or her eyes off the drilling feed. nel, marketing and sales representatives,
and a coolbox. The storage trays have The new cab is also easier to keep as well as distributors and importers.
also been moulded in the same durable, clean, and is with single-moulded rubber Their input has heavily influenced all

48 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

A Emergency stop B A51 panel with controls

A Emergency stop for drill support
C Controls for

B A51 panel with controls

for drill support
C Controls for

Old cabin left side New cabin left side

A Switch panel for track B Joysticks for controlling B Joysticks for controlling C Touch panel for
oscillation control, dust the drilling process the drilling process lights, wipers,
collector, compressor main switch, air
control and engine condition and
speed cabin fan speed

C Switches for lights

and wipers
D Hydraulic controls
for boom and feed

D Hydraulic controls
for boom and feed

A Switch panel for track

oscillation control, dust
E Control panel for collector, compressor E Pressure setting
for pressure control and engine panel for drilling
speed parameters

Old cabin right side New cabin right side

surface Drilling 49
Talking Technically

aspects of the design process, with the CD sound systems, Internet access, TV These include tophammer, DTH
aim of making the final product as good and satellite connectivity, Xenon head- (down-the-hole) and COPROD equip-
as it can be. lights, and more are all available. ped drill rigs, all designed to give max-
David Bowler, designer at Bosul- According to Mats Berger, this cab imum productivity and good overall
Sekura, believes it shows what can be is not the ultimate design, but is a step economy. Over the years, these rigs have
achieved when enthusiastic and expe- in the constant evolution of Atlas Copco built a solid reputation for setting new
rienced people work together as a team products. It will last for quite some time, standards in stability, manoeuvrability
with a desire to keep Atlas Copco at the but demands change and there will al- and safety.
forefront of drilling solutions around ways be room for further improvement. The ROC D-series with cab, equip-
the world. The new cabs are available on all ped exclusively with tophammer rock
Not only have the three main objec- ROC D and ROC F and ROC L-series drills, covers hole diameters ranging
tives been met, but there is also a whole drill rigs. Many of these rigs have al- from 64 mm to 115 mm (2.5 in to 4.5 in).
range of optional extras on offer to make ready been delivered, and the response The ROC F-series comprises top-
the operators even happier. DVD and from worksites has been positive. hammer and DTH, as well as COPROD
versions, covering the hole ranges of
Among other things, the new cab is much easier to climb in and out. 76-140 mm (3 in to 5.5 in). The control
systems match the systems used on the
ROC F6 and ROC F9, as well as the
SmartRig computerized rig control sy-
stem used on SmartRig ROC F9C.
The ROC L-series includes rigs fea-
turing all drilling systems and covers
all hole diameters from 92-203 mm
(3.625 in to 8 in). Both the ROC F and
ROC L-series have a different hydraulic
control system to the ROC D-series, and
electric controlled tramming as well
as more extensive engine and electric
system monitoring, including hole depth
and hole inclination measuring in a 6.5
in colour display.
The new cab will ultimately be avail-
able on most ROC surface drill rigs, in-
cluding CM/ECM 400, 500, 600 and
Cabs are not fitted to some models
of hydraulic rigs such as the ROC D3,
Designed for drilling in urban areas
in rough terrain, the ROC D3 handles
41-89 mm holes (1.625 in to 3.5 in). RRC
rigs are operated via radio remote con-
trol, while on other versions the opera-
tor stands up on the rig to control it.
Compressed air rigs vary even more,
and can require up to three operators.

Atlas Copco thanks all owners and ope-
rators who provided comments in the
design process for the new ROC cabs.
All illustrations in this article, a ver-
sion of which first appeared in Mining
& Construction magazine 3-2007, are
reproduced courtesy of D Bowler 04/
Bosal Sekura Industries.

50 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

SmartRig takes control

Computer control
Ever since Atlas Copco developed
Hydraulic Control System (HCS) in
the 1970s, the search has been on
for its successor. Programmable
Logic Control (PLC) saw us through
the 1990s, along with the VME-
system, but it was in 2006 that
SmartRig took over. SmartRig is a
computer based control system in-
tended for all kinds of automation
in simple and advanced drill rigs.
The hardware is designed to oper-
ate in every possible weather con-
dition, and the software can be up-
graded at site. SmartRig has built-
in logging and monitoring func-
tions, together with support for
diagnostics and faultfinding. The
control system is used in all Atlas
Copco product families, in both in
underground and surface crawlers,
making it easy to movefunctions
and improvements between diffe-
rent products.
The range of SmartRig ROC D7C,
D9C and F9C drill rigs offers valu-
able features such as high shift
capacity, low energy consumption,
and innovative modules that im-
prove productivity by more effi-
cient planning, streamlining the
drilling and blasting process and
documenting each hole. Better de-
sign means less risk for oil leak-
age; less noise with the Silenced
SmartRig; and lower fuel con-
sumption. Thats smart!

Silenced SmartRig ROC D9C

Control system
Via computer software, the SmartRig space in the cab, increasing visibility, Together, this advanced system of
control system generates electrical sig- and improving operator ergonomics. drilling control gives maximum life to
nals to control the hydraulic valves. This The fundamentals of the rock drill the entire drill string, while ensuring
introduces the concept of a dry cab, control system are RPCF control and high penetration rates and easy rod ex-
with no hydraulic pipework and gauges, anti-jamming functions. RPCF, or Ro- traction.
considerably reducing noise for the tation Pressure Control of Feed pres-
operator. sure, adjusts the feed pressure accord- Automation in surface
The number of hydraulic components ing to the measured feed pressure. This drilling
has been reduced by 30%, compared keeps the joints correctly tightened and
with Hydraulic Control System, HCS, saves drill steel. Anti-jamming uses the The rig can be equipped with a laser
resulting in higher efficiency. The need rotation pressure to detect a jamming plane receiver to give an accurate refe-
for electrical cables is also reduced. situation, and will reverse the feed of rence height so that all holes can be drill-
Control gauges and instruments are the rock drill and initiate a replacement ed to the same depth, thereby reducing
replaced by a display unit. This releases hole collaring. drilling, blasting and crushing costs by

surface Drilling 51
Talking Technically

Measure the angles of the
Satellite boom arm joints.

GPS Antennas

Base Station

Three sensors measure

inclination - two on the
drill rig chassis and one
on the feed beam.

A typical hole navigation system showing satellite, sensors, GPS antennas and radio base station.
The hub at centre of this data is the Atlas Copco Rig Control System.

way of better fragmentation, and can- MWD and ROC Manager out automatically during the normal
celling the need for secondary blasting. drilling process.
A flatter, more uniform bench surface Measure While Drilling, or MWD, is an ROC Manager runs on a standard
results, making loading and transporta- optional instrumentation and software computer and is used for making drill
tion easier. package for recording and interpretation plans, measuring hole deviation, and
Automatic feed alignment reduces set- of drilling data, and enhanced presenta- logging, presenting and reporting drill-
up time and cancels out operator error tion of geomechanical variation of rock ing data graphically. This information
by setting the feed to predefined angles properties. can be presented individually or in
at the touch of a button. More parallel A number of parameters, such as combination with other parameters, and
holes result in better blasting and smoo- hole depth, penetration rate, and dam- used both during drilling operations,
ther bench bottoms. The longer the hole, per, feed, percussion and rotation pres- and by transferring logged data from
the bigger will be the impact of even sures are logged at requested intervals the rig. ROC Manager can be used to
a small deviation on blasting. For in- while drilling, and this provides input consolidate data about multiple rigs at
stance, a one-degree error will produce to analysis of the rock properties. different worksites.
a deviation of 35 cm at the bottom of a Date, time, hole length, feed angle, Advanced MWD analysis is also pos-
20 m hole. and rig identity are logged once for each sible as an option. Both the SmartRig
The automatic rod adding system, hole. MWD data can be recorded for and ROC Manager 2.0 support the
AutoRAS, enables the operator to drill every second centimetre up to a maxi- IREDES format for data exchange on
a hole automatically to a given depth, mum penetration rate of 3 m/min. In performance, quality and MWD logs,
allowing him to leave the cab to carry this way, data is extracted from every and on drill plans.
out other duties such as maintenance production hole to provide very high- In ROC Manager, the MWD data
checks or grinding bits, while keeping resolution rock mass characterization. can be illustrated in slices through the
the drill rig in sight. The drilling is su- Typical parameters being reported are bench, with the rock properties identi-
pervised by the drill steel break detection rock hardness and fracturing. fied by contrasting colours, providing a
system, which shuts down the drilling Detailed information on rock mass map of the mineral qualities and types.
operation if a breakage is detected. The properties is available immediately after This facility differentiates between good
result is better rig utilization, evidenced drilling is completed, without disturb- rock and poor rock, for instance, allowing
by a couple of extra holes/shift. ing production, since logging is carried the quarry or mine operator to select

52 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

rock for excavation, and to prepare for

loading and hauling before blasting
takes place.

Hole Navigation System

Hole Navigation System, HNS, offers
the highest possible drill rig naviga-
tion accuracy, to within 5 cm in most
situations. With HNS there is no need
to mark out holes, and the accuracy is
such that all holes will be parallel, if
required, resulting in a controllable
product with better fragmentation and
less boulders. All drilling functions are
monitored and controlled to provide a
record of hole alignment, burden and
spacing. Originally developed for road
construction applications, HNS can now
be used in any type of drilling opera-
Using information on his display, the Silenced SmartRig ROC D7C feed .
operator can navigate the rig to the cov-
erage position for a given hole, and the as in restricted urban areas. Substantial from lightweight aluminium. There are
computer will provide the information efforts have been put into redesigning four access doors, which are hydrauli-
to place and align the feed exactly over components, systems and soundproof- cally operated from the cab. A rubber
the collaring position, thus reducing ing enclosures, resulting in a 10dB(A) sliding skirt at its base encloses the hole,
setup time. external noise reduction. The most vi- and this can be hydraulically raised for
The drillplan can be provided by sible difference between the Silenced collaring. The whole enclosure is desig-
ROC Manager and transferred to the rig SmartRig and other SmartRig units is ned for demounting when not needed.
via a memory card. The time saved by its patented feed enclosure. The frame Because the SmartRig system deli-
not having to aim visually to set angles, and panels of the enclosure are formed vers the right amount of power for each
and by being able to drill more than
one hole from a single setup, results in The noise carpet shows the difference with and without a Silencing Kit.
better rig utilization.
The precision of the navigation sy-
stem optimizes drilling and blasting
results, improves fragmentation, and
decreases the amount of explosives nee-
ded, substantially lowering overall pro-
duction costs.
1400 m
Silenced for noise 1000

sensitive areas 600


The sources and characteristics of noise
are complicated, and have to be identi- 400

fied and analyzed in order to define their 600

spectrum. Atlas Copco testing using 1000
prototype drill rigs confirmed that noise 1400 m

was not just created by the drilling cycle,

but also by elements of the carrier, such
as cooling fans, hydraulic system com-
ponents, and the diesel engine.
Silenced SmartRig incorporates the
lessons learned, and is being used suc-
cessfully at worksites in situations where 55dB (A) area With Silencing Kit Without Silencing Kit
noise levels have to be controlled, such

surface Drilling 53
Talking Technically

phase of the drilling operation, it can re-

duce fuel consumption by up to 30 per-
cent. Add this to the productivity increase
from automatic rod adding and auto
feed alignment, and Silenced SmartRig
is a really sound investment! There are
three SmartRig crawlers to choose from,
designed for a range of quarrying and
construction scenarios.
The SmartRig ROC D7C has power,
flexibility and excellent rough terrain
capabilities for drilling holes in the 64-
115 mm, 2.5-4.5 in range. It has charac-
teristics that elevate surface drilling to
impressive new levels of quality, pro-
ductivity and cost effectiveness, making
it ideal for construction and quarrying.
The SmartRig ROC D9C has all the
advantages of SmartRig ROC D7C, but
with more powerful rock drill and more
flushing air, making it the perfect choice
for high productivity jobs requiring
holes in the range 76-115 mm, 3.0-4.5 in.
SmartRig ROC F9C is a powerful
tophammer rig with high power and re-
markable versatility that make it suited
to large scale quarries and construction
work requiring holes in the range 89-
127 mm, 3.5-5.0 in.
Both Smar tRig ROC D7C and
SmartRig ROC D9C are available in
Silenced SmartRig versions.
Atlas Copcos Silenced SmartRig ROC D7C is a sound investment with a noise level of approximately
Case studies 10 dB(A) below that of other rigs on the market.

The Norwegian contractor Mesta im- At the Norcem Bjrntvet open-pit NCC Roads came to two important
proved the efficiency of its blasting ope- quarry, 10 km from Brevik, an Atlas conclusions about their Atlas Copco
rations by using SmartRig ROC drill Copco SmartRig ROC F9C equipped SmartRig ROC D7C: the drill steel lasts
rigs equipped with HNS Hole Naviga- with HNS and the automatic rod approximately 20 percent longer; and
tion System on the Romarheim road adding system AutoRAS, is at the core the life span of the shank adapter has
improvement project, 50 km northeast of the operation. The SmartRig control increased from 17,000 to 30,000 drill
of Bergen, Norway. system provides automation to the drill- metres. Adjustments to percussion pres-
On this first use in drilling for road ing process, resulting in higher pene- sure and rotation pressure, which are
construction in Scandinavia, HNS pro- tration rates and longer service life for features of SmartRig ROC D7C, have
vided pinpoint accuracy in hole posi- drill string components, reducing costs. made drilling much smoother, and the
tioning, ranging from +/-100 mm to SmartRig also enables the rig to drill holes straighter.
+/50 mm, depending on the number of automatically to a predetermined depth, The NCC Roads drill rig operator
satellites in view. while allowing the operator to carry out uses all of the automatic functions to
The display screen in the rig cab other tasks. maximum effect. As a result, drill rods
shows standard codes that the operator Norcem management observed that are discarded because of wear, rather
can follow, and by logging the position the SmartRig ROC F9C has improved than breakage.
coordinates provided by the HNS, there performance in three dimensions. Distri- Smoother drilling, by optimizing dril-
is no need for road boundaries to be bution of the explosives is better; drill- ling parameter settings, also increases
marked out prior to blasthole drilling. ing to correct depth is achieved every the life of the shank adapter.
The system also allows the operator to time; and holes are parallel. As a result,
optimize positioning, so that the maxi- use of explosives has been optimized Hakan Aytekin
mum number of holes can be drilled by lower specific charging, better frag-
from one setup. mentation and increased blasting safety.

54 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

ROC T15 for tough drilling situations

Small but beautiful
When small holes means big busi-
ness, the brand new self-propelled,
four-wheel drive ROC T15 from
Atlas Copco makes very good sen-
se. It is the smallest hydraulic sur-
face drill rig in the range, for
hole diameters of 23-45 mm (0.875
in to 1.75 in). With horizontal co-
verage of more than 18 sq m,
ROC T15 is perfect for urban con-
struction jobs, dimensional stone
cutting, and unique applications
such as self drilling anchors, bol-
ting holes and boulder blasting.
It is equipped with easy to ope-
rate full radio-remote control for
tramming and drilling safely and
efficiently in difficult places with-
out putting the operator at risk.

Large coverage
ROC T15 is fitted with a high produc-
tivity Atlas Copco rock drill matched
to the required hole size, and has the
same type of long reach, stiff folding
boom and durable aluminium feed as
its bigger cousins in the ROC family.
Three different rock drills are avail-
able for various applications. The Atlas
Copco COP 1019HF rock drill can han-
dle 19 mm (0.75 in) hex integrals and
tapered equipment, while the COP
1022HF takes 22 mm steels. The COP
1022HF also facilitates extension drill-
ing using a short 22 mm hex shank end
rod with R25 threads. Likewise, a COP
1028 can be mounted and equipped with
a Secoroc Magnum SR28 or R32 shank. Atlas Copco ROC T15 is the smallest hydraulic rig in the range.

blocks of dimension stone in special- over rough terrain. The mechanical hole
ROC T15 can replace hand held drills ized quarries. inclination instrument, ROC Angie, will
in small aggregate quarries. It can exca- Equipped with a hydraulic drill steel result in lower blasting costs, correct
vate building foundations and be used support, the rods can be retracted and inclination and better fragmentation.
in trench blasting and road and railway uncoupled using the remote control. The Deutz engine fitted to ROC T15
construction. It can install self drill- A hydraulic winch is fitted for wor- meets Tier III exhaust emission limits,
ing anchors, and drill for rock bolts king in extreme conditions, and where and the rev/min can be adjusted via the
and boulder blasting in both surface it is necessary to anchor the rig or to radio-remote control to minimize fuel
and underground environments. ROC secure safe tramming. Specially desi- consumption. The dust collector is built-
T15 can also be employed drilling out gned front support legs help tramming in to reduce hose damage.

surface Drilling 55
Talking Technically

ROC T15 is a versatile and compact hydraulic drill rig for 22-45 mm diameter holes.

Secoroc Magnum SR28 drill steel for COP 1028 extension drilling. A large coverage area makes ROC
T15 suitable for many construction app-
lications, and stable tramming makes
for speedy and safe movement under all
floor conditions. On the highway it can
be easily transported on a small truck,
or a trailer with the boom folded to very
compact dimensions.

Hakan Aytekin

56 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Quarrying for profit

Finding the best
Large quantities of raw material
are produced in various types of
surface operations. Where the pro-
duct is rock, the operations are
known as quarries. Where metallic
ore or non-metallic minerals are
involved, they are called open pit
mines. There are many common
parameters in design and choice
of equipment, and in the process
of finding the best combination
of drilling and blasting methods.
Atlas Copco has the advantage of
long experience derived from all
types of surface drilling operations,
with a product range to match
almost any application. With its
history of innovative engineering,
the company tends to think for- Figure 1: Typical quarry layout.
ward, and is able to advise the
user on improving design ele-
ments of the operation that will rock and similar material, which bre-
result in overall cost savings. Quarries
aks into flat, flakey pieces, are unac-
A quarry is a factory that converts solid ceptable. Igneous rock, such as granite
Rock for concrete bedrock into crushed material. From an and basalt, as well as old Precambrian
operational viewpoint the quarries can highly metamorphic rock, such as gne-
This article focuses on quarries produ- be split into two major groups. iss, are well suited. The crushing and
cing aggregates for various types of In the first group are quarries for the screening process are adapted to give
construction works and limestone for production of aggregates, where the the desired shape and size fractions to
cement manufacturing and other indus- rock is crushed, screened, washed and the end-product. Cubic shaped particles
trial purposes. separated into different sizes. These are are desired for asphalt, to give a stable
A major difference between open pit sold as raw material for concrete ag- road surface, whereas spherical shape
mining and quarrying is the geological gregates, highway construction and is preferred for concrete mix, in order
conditions and the demand character- other civil engineering projects, so the to save on cement. Minerals, being cry-
istics on the blasted material. Whereas amount of fines should be kept to a stals, have a tendency to break into end-
quarries deliver the majority of rock via minimum. less numbers of sizes and shapes every
the crushing and screening plant in va- In the second group the final prod- time they are exposed to energy. The
rious size fractions, the open pit mine ucts are used as raw material for che- solution lies in the art of limiting the
attempts to deliver the ore as pure as mical plants, such as limestone for number of over and under sizes pro-
possible via crushers to the dressing cement manufacturing, paper and steel duced during reduction. If this is not
plant, consisting of mills, separators, flo- industries, and clay shales for building controlled, the mineral will follow its
tation and biochemical systems, then materials. natural crystal behaviour, normally re-
finally to smelters in order to convert sulting in too many fines.
minerals to metals. The size of holes is Aggregates Quarry operators normally sell their
commonly larger in open pit mining, products to local contractors and road
and each blast often exceeds a million Not all types of rock are suitable as administrators. Hence, in areas where
tonnes of rock. The presence of fines raw material for crushed stone. The ma- construction activities are high, several
is normally beneficial to the mineral terial must have certain strength and competing quarries could be established.
dressing process, which means that a hardness, and the pieces acquire a de- Apart from environmental aspects,
multiple of holes and rows of holes are fined shape, quite often having a rough such operations can disturb the neigh-
blasted simultaneously. surface. Consequently, soft sedimentary bouring area in the form of noise from

surface Drilling 57
Talking Technically

are recovered from the process by vi-

brating screens, and transported to
storage silos or bunker piles on the

Optimum efficiency
There are various factors to be consid-
ered when trying to achieve optimum
efficiency and overall economy from
quarrying operations. The difference be-
tween revenues from products and the
production costs must be maximized.
Operational targets for Metso, a lead-
ing manufacturer of crushing and scre-
ening equipment, are shown in figure 2.
For aggregate quarries, the fines
should be avoided, as the finest frac-
metso minerals
tions are of no value. Figure 3 illustra-
tes a typical cost distribution between
Figure 2: Operational targets for a typical aggregate producer.
drilling and blasting, loading and haul-
age, and crushing, including screening
drilling, vibrations from blasting, and the topography. A typical work cycle and storage. It should be noted that cru-
dust from crushing and screening. Quar- in a quarry consists of a number of shing, screening and storage represent
ries, wherever possible, are therefore elements. Drilling of blast holes is un- almost half of the costs, whereas drilling
discreetly located, as close as feasible dertaken in a predetermined pattern, represents less than 15%. More often
to the construction area, because the followed by plugging the drill holes than not, the crushing operation is the
products are transport cost sensitive. with wooden or plastic plugs to prevent bottleneck in the total work cycle. It is
The maximum transport distances do entry of debris. When the round has sometimes the case that extra expendi-
not normally exceed 50 km. been drilled, preparations for bla- ture in drilling and blasting might be
Quarries can be either of the com- sting will start. The holes are blown the only way to assure free f low
mon pit type or, in mountainous terrain, clean with compressed air to remove through the crusher, in order to utilize
the hillside type. water and rock fragments, and are then full capacity in the plant, and improve
Pit type quarries are opened up be- charged with a booster bottom charge, overall economy. Even fragmentation,
low the level of surrounding terrain, and detonators and explosives. Stemming and smooth benches, will also have a
accessed by means of ramps (figure 1). is inserted into the top of each hole, positive effect on loading and transport
The excavation is often split into sev- and the detonator leads are connec- equipment.
eral benches, depending on the depth ted. Where electric detonators are used, In the 1980s, there was a trend am-
of the operations. In its first stage, when the circuit resistance is checked with ongst rock producers away from large
the terrain is rough and bulldozers can- an ohmmeter. The area is evacuated, diameter holes, which produced more
not provide a flat floor, a top-hammer equipment is moved away, and the boulders and more fines, in favour of
construction type drill rig can be used round is fired. medium size 89-165 mm (3.5-6.5 in)
to establish the first bench. Once the Before loading, the lower quarry floor holes (figure 4).
first bench is prepared, production is cleaned of f ly rock with a wheel Also, limiting the blast size reduces
drilling is preferably carried out using loader. Blasted rock is then loaded into micro cracking, and hence the produc-
DTH- or COPROD techniques. trucks, and transported to the crusher tion of fines. The opposite situation
station. Large boulders are pushed occurs in open pit mining, where the
Lower benches aside, and stockpiled for subsequent generation of fines is favourable, as
secondary breaking, usually using exca- these will pass through the mill with a
Whereas high benches, above 30 m, vator-mounted hydraulic breakers. Rock minimum of costs.
were previously quite common, nowa- is discharged directly, or via a grizzly The trend is to larger crushing equip-
days they are shallower, for improved for size control, into the primary cru- ment, enabling boulders to pass through
safety and economy. The width of the sher. the primary crusher.
bench should be sufficient both to ac- The rock is then transported by con- However, large crushers are prima-
commodate the spread of rock blast, veyor belt to secondary crushers, and rily designed to handle large volumes
and to provide space for the equipment. possibly tertiary crushers. of rock material, rather than large size
The height of the working face in hill The different products, comprising material. Therefore, it is worth assessing
type quarries is determined mainly by rock fragments of certain size ranges, the rock fragmentation derived from

58 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

the drilling and blasting cycle, in case

Typical cost distribution at quarries some additional investment in drilling
could be the answer (figure 5).
The whole chain of activities lead-
ing to the final product of crushed ma-
25% terial must be considered when opti-
mizing total costs.
7% Drilling costs depend upon the hole
28% size and drilling density, in which ac-
curacy of drilling is a factor; blasting
costs depend on the amount and type
Crushing, screening and storage
Loading and transport
of explosives, and number and type of
Drilling and blasting detonators; and loading, transport and
crushing costs depend on quarry floor
Drill string roughness, and fragmentation.
For most drilling applications, the op-
timum ratio between bench height and
burden seems to be in the range of 3
Figure 3: Operational cost distribution at quarries. to 4, indicating that hole diameters of
125-165 mm (5-6 in) are best for a
bench height in the order of 18 m.
Regarding drilling method, there is
a clear movement towards hydraulic
tophammer, COPROD-drilling and DTH,
and away from pneumatic and rotary
Fragment drilling.

% fines in blast Limestone quarrying
Four percent of the earths crust con-
Micro cracks in
sists of limestone containing the min-
erals calcite (calcium carbonate) and
dolomite (magnesium-calcium carbon-
ate). Limestone is formed by sedimen-
Drillhole diameter metso minerals tation at the sea bottom, sometimes evi-
denced by remnants of organisms with
Figure 4: Quantity vs drill hole diameter. calcareous shells.
The physical properties correlate
strongly with the geological age. Most
limestones are between 40 and 2,000
Crusher Fragmentation million years old. Limestone is the
Over-sized has to be re-drilled most extensively mined industrial min-
and blasted and is very expensive.
eral in the world, with more than 1
billion tonnes mined annually. There
are many different types, and no single
limestone deposit can fulfil the quality
Drill pattern
What size is the crusher?
What is the tonnage requirement? Spacing requirements for all products. There are
Determines hole size. many uses, of which cement manufac-
ture is the most important. Other pro-
Hole sizes Bench ducts are: building materials such as
sandlime bricks, soil stabilization, and as-
phalt filler; metallurgy as in purification
O 64 160 mm of pig iron, desulphurization of steel,
mineral processing, adjusting pH in flo-
Hole size and blasting techniques determine other parameters.
tation, and gold leaching; food industry
in the purification of sugar beet juice
with lime and fodder for chickens; ag-
Figure 5: Fragmentation in quarries.
riculture in soil and lake improvements;

surface Drilling 59
Talking Technically

Selective excavation
Detailed geological mapping forms the
basis for planning the excavation in a
selective way. As the limestone proper-
ties show great variations throughout a
quarry, the sizes of blasts are normally
limited to a few thousands of tonnes.
Bench height is typically around 15 m.
Before sequence and size of blasting
are decided, a detailed geological sur-
vey is carried out (figure 7). The de-
posit is then divided into blocks, 15m x
15m x 15m, in relation to their proper-
ties (figure 8).
Most users, apart from cement kilns,
prefer fragmentation of more than
20 mm. Minimizing the proportion of
fines, as well as utilizing them, is es-
Figure 6: Limestone quarrying at Pargas, Finland.
sential for the economy of most lime-
stone quarries. The required fragmen-
environment in desulphurization of fu- of clay, shale and schist that supply the tation will govern the optimum combi-
mes and gases from power plants, water required quantities of silica oxide, alu- nation of hole burden and spacing and
purification and waste water treatment; minium oxide and iron oxide. In these hole diameter. Larger holes give gener-
and whiteness in various products and basic cement raw materials there are ally more variations in fragmentation,
applications. always minor chemical components pre- more large blocks and more fines.
sent, such as magnesia, alkalis, and sul- As limestone is softer, and much
Cement phur. These can be tolerated up to cer- less abrasive, than the typical aggre-
tain concentrations without affecting the gate material granite and gneiss, the
Cement manufacture begins in the quar- quality of the cement clinker, or the pro- costs of drilling consumables are rela-
ry, with mining of raw materials and cess of cement making. tively low. However, highly porous lime-
their transport to the plant. Around 1.6 Marginal changes in blending ratios stones might contain high amounts of
t of limestone are required to produce of the raw material components and water, more than 15%, giving problems
1 t of cement. Quarrying may be car- process parameters permit the produc- with drilling and blasting.
ried out by ripping, hydraulic breaking, tion of a wide range of cements for
or, more commonly, by drilling and special purposes. Today, the dry process Hans Fernberg
blasting. Basic raw materials for cement is most common in the cement industry,
are limestone, which is supplying the requiring well-defined cement raw ma-
average required content of calcium car- terials with stringent chemical and phy-
bonate, and clay minerals in the form sical properties.

Figure 7: Pargas quarry, vertical section, Figure 8: Pargas limestone deposit divided into
diamond and percussion drill holes. blocks for planning sequence of excavation.

60 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Rock excavation in civil

Construction in
In civil engineering, as well as
in the building industry, rock is

removed to make place for new
roads and railways, house founda- ~10 m

Bla ooth

tions, ports and airports, trenches

and pipelines, or to provide mate-

ative: P
rial for breakwaters and con-
crete aggregate. These types of
construction projects differ from

quarrying and open pit mining, in
that bench heights vary continu-
ously. Drilling is often performed (Pre-splitting)
from a rugged and steep rock sur- 6 5 4 3 3 4 5 6 (0)
face, which means that the equip- 6 6 (0)
ment used must have good terrain
travelling characteristics. Also, as 5 4 3 2 2 3 4 5 (0)
several holes are drilled from one 5
rig set-up, folding booms having 5 (0) 1m
good coverage in various direc- 5 5 (0)
tions and planes are the preferred 3 1 1 1 1 3
equipment. Atlas Copco has a 5 5 (0)
complete range of drillrigs for this 5 5 (0)
type of work, from heavy crawler
rigs to lightweights that can be
craned into position, if necessary.
The whole spectrum of drilling
methods is also available, from
pneumatic handheld to hydraulic
tophammer, COPROD and DTH.
Figure 1: Drilling pattern for road cut.

Accurate tendering derived

o 30 from 35 similar45 projects51 plays an64
89 (102)
important role in e stimating future
Before a new project is commenced, costs. Figure 1 shows a typical drilling and
it is normal routine that a design and A project involves a wide range of blasting pattern for a road cut where spe-
preinvestigation is conducted, coupled equipment, and clever selection is im- cial emphasis is placed on the final rock
with allocation of financing. Most civil portant to achieve overall optimum per- wall contour. Smooth blasting, or presplit-
engineering projects are subject to a formance. For blasthole drilling, the ting, are commonly used, and quite often
tendering procedure, where scope of variation and complexity of blasting specified in the tendering documents, to
work, bill of quantities, drawings, geo- parameters might require both heavy obtain smooth and stable side contours.
logical information and time schedule crawler drills and hand held rock drills. Contour holes are normally not larger
are disclosed, to give all interested The equipment should, however, be than 64 mm, with spacing of less than 1
parties standard information on which selected to cover a wide range of appli- m, and charging is carried out using spe-
to base their bids. The contractor, or a cations, which will improve spare parts cial, light explosive to minimize the effect
consortium of contractors, makes its handling and maintenance procedure, of shock waves. Initiation is frequently by
calculations based on evaluating equip- and the prospects for usage in subse- detonating cord.
ment requirements, methods, availabil- quent projects. Tophammer drilling Presplit holes are fired simultane-
ity of skilled labour, time schedule, rigs are normally the first choice, due ously ahead of the other holes, whereas
local conditions and regulations, as to their flexibility, versatility and ability smooth blasting uses the highest
well as cost estimates. Past experience to drill holes of small diameter. number of detonator delay.

surface Drilling 61
Talking Technically

Presplitting creates an artificial plane Figure 2: Slope

along the perimeter of the excavation, stabilization
against which the subsequent main using drill rig.
blast may break, resulting in a smooth
wall, with little or no overbreak.
Some of the shock waves from the
subsequent main blast are ref lected
against the presplit plane, preventing
them from being transmitted into
the remaining rock. This also tends to
reduce ground vibrations. Drilling with
high precision is of utmost importance
for the final result.
Slope stabilization should normally
be carried out as an integrated part of
the excavation process. Horizontal drill
ing, anchoring, grouting, and meshing
using elevated working platforms could
cause excessive costs and delays, where results in higher explosives consump- with the same amount of explosives. In
they have to be conducted at a later stage tion per cubic metre of blasted rock. smooth wall trench blasting, all holes in
(figure 2). The diameter of the blast holes is nor- each row are in line. The middle hole/
mally smaller, which provides better holes are quite heavily charged, while
Urban blasting distribution of the explosive in the rock, the edge holes have light charges.
and avoids excessive overbreak outside Blasting of trenches in urban areas
Several precautions have to be taken the theoretical contour. As a rule of requires careful planning and precau-
when excavating in built-up areas close thumb, the hole diameter should be tions. A typical drilling pattern and
to population, infrastructure, buildings one sixtieth of the width of the trench, blasting sequence is shown in figure 4
and installations (figure 3). so if the width is 2.0 m, the diameter overleaf.
It is quite common that special blast- of the hole should be 33 mm. Overall project costs and tight time
ing consultants are involved, to assist Two methods are used for trench schedule are of highest priority when
the contractor with vibration control blasting: traditional and smooth wall. conducting pipeline projects for oil and
and design of drill patterns, as well as a In traditional trench blasting, the gas distribution in unpopulated areas,
thorough survey of adjacent structures middle hole/holes are placed in front of and larger blastholes are used, as shown
before the work can commence. To min- the lateral holes. All holes are charged in figure 5 overleaf.
imize ground vibrations, the drill holes
are kept as small as possible, normally
Figure 3:
30-50 mm diameter. To eliminate the Precautions
risk of fly rock, the blasts are covered for blasting in
with heavy mats made of logs, rubber, urban areas.
or tyres, cut into sections and twined
together with steel wires. These mats,
of around 1 t weight, are energy absorb-
ing. The gases produced by the blast
ventilate through the mats without
displacing them.

Trenches are excavated for installation
of oil, water and sewage pipelines, as
well as for cables. Blasting of trenches Vibration

differs from common bench blast-

ing, because the width of the round is
considerably smaller than its length.
Trench blasting is defined as rounds
with a width of less than 4 m.
A trench blast is more constricted
than a normal open pit blast, which

62 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

1 1
1 2 1
33 2
4 3 2 4 3

4 4
6 5
8 7

Figure 4: Small diameter blasting in urban areas using 30-45 mm holes. Figure 5: Trenching for pipelines outside urban areas using 51-89 mm holes.

Ports Instruments for angle setting and hole on a 350 m radius across the worksite
depth control increase drilling accu- by a rotating laser beam.
Frequently, large size fragmentation racy, and reduce human error. A sensor, fitted to the rock drill cra-
is required for the construction of Improved accuracy in the application dle, reacts to the signal generated by
breakwaters. It might be equally as dif- of the drilling pattern saves time, drill- the rotating laser beam, and provides a
ficult to produce large size rock as it metres, and explosives. It is crucial to reference plane for all holes, automati-
is to produce small size fragmentation. collar the hole on the right spot, main- cally adjusting hole depth to match the
The greatest obstacle is the geology, tain the correct alignment, and drill to plan, with an accuracy within 5 cm.
where homogeneous rock is preferred a pre-determined level. Modern hole Blasting creates a bottom elevation with
to f issured rock. The specific charge alignment instruments offer: more pre- an optimum flat surface.
should be low, 0.2 kg/cu m, and just suf- cise drilling with a reduction in cost/ Atlas Copco ROC crawlers are de-
ficient to loosen, but not move, the rock. hole; automatic depth control; better signed for stable and accurate position-
The charge must be well distributed, fragmentation; automatic drill feed ing of the drill holes, featuring a rugged
with a reasonable, smaller than normal, stop; flat benches after blasting; and carrier with a flexible boom system mo-
bottom charge. Spacing/burden ratio is less overdrilling. unting a rigid feed beam with double
between 0.5 to 1, and blasting is carried The alignment instrument conf irms drill steel supports for the drill rod.
out one row at a time, without delays the hole angle, while a laser sensor mo- The TAC-tube guide contributes to
between the holes. nitors drilling to the proper depth, re- drilling accuracy, for best overall eco-
There has been a trend to use larger gardless of the surface conditions. nomy.
and larger vessels within the seafreight All this comes together for a success- Fitting a double drill steel support
business, with demands for extended fulblast, breaking rock to a level floor, allows the operator to raise the sliding
water depth in many ports. Rock exca- with minimum ground vibration, and support for better visibility of the col-
vation underwater requires implemen- even fragmentation. laring surface, and for simplified evacu-
tation of special blasting techniques and A more sophisticated instrument ation of water from the drill holes.
equipment. Traditionally, drilling and features automatic compensation regard-
blasting is carried out from a platform less of the drilling surface ground con- Hans Fernberg
having supporting legs, or from a float- ditions. A beacon, mounted on a tripod,
ing platform or barge. At greater water generates a horizontal reference plane
depth, divers may be the only possible
alternative (figure 6).
Figure 6: Underwater drilling techniques.
Where drilling cannot be performed,
special shaped charges for crater blast-
ing can be used. Underwater drilling
with diver
Importance of accuracy Shaped charges
30 m
Productivity, and the need to control
ground vibrations, means that capable
0-50 m
and precise instruments are required to
guide the driller. Faults in blasthole dir-
ection, hole deviations, and variations
in hole depths must be minimized if
efficient production is to be obtained.

surface Drilling 63
Talking Technically
Talking Technically

Slope stabilization with Self

Drilling Anchors
Soil nailing for
Soil nailing is used to reinforce and
strengthen ground which has ques-
tionable stability. Soil is generally a
poor structural material because it
is weak in tension. Steel, on the
other hand, is strong in tension. The
fundamental concept of soil nailing
is to effectively reinforce soil by in-
stalling closely spaced grouted steel
bars into a slope or excavation, as
construction proceeds from the top
down. A soil nail is therefore com-
monly referred to as a passive an-
choring system, meaning that it is
not pre-tensioned, as is normal with
ground anchors.
Unstable slopes or excavations
consist mostly of unconsolidated
soils or deteriorated rock forma-
tions. To install conventional soil
nails, a cased borehole drilling me-
thod is required to overcome such
difficult and unstable ground con-
ditions. An alternative is the MAI
Self Drilling Anchor (MAI SDA),
which is specially designed for use
in ground where the boreholes
tend to collapse during the drilling
process if casings are not used.

Installation of SDA R38 N with ROC D7 at Carriere dArvel, Switzerland.

Advantages of Self Drilling

Anchors standard thread, affording the flexibi- Method of installation
lity to adjust the nail to the actual re-
Since the slow cased borehole drilling quirements on site, without waste or Self Drilling Anchors are installed
methods were superceded, the speed of delay, as construction proceeds. with air driven or hydraulic rotary
installation has increased considerably, Transportation and handling of MAI percussion drilling equipment, using
up to 20-30 soil nails/day using MAI SDA to and on site is safe and economi- a borehole flush medium suitable for
SDA, and the risk of redrilling time cal, because of the commonly used rod the specific ground conditions.
spent cleaning collapsed boreholes has length of 3 m or 4 m. There are three types of borehole
been eliminated. These can be extended using cou- flush: water flush for long boreholes in
The selection of the drilling equip- plings to allow installation of soil nails dense to very dense sand, gravel forma-
ment for MAI SDA installation is also up to 15 m depth, depending on the ge- tion or rock conditions, for a better trans-
more flexible, especially for working ology. There is also the option to use portation of large cuttings and cooling of
in confined space. MAI SDA rods are simultaneous drilling and grouting in- the drill bit; air flush for short boreholes
manufactured with a continuous ISO stallation techniques. in soft soil such as chalk and clay, where

surface Drilling 65
Talking Technically

Galvanized MAI-SDA R 25 and R32 anchors

installed into loose and collapsing ground
using simultaneous drill and grout at the
Shortlands Junction, Bromley, Kent, UK.

without extraction, until the design depth

is reached. To reach a required nail length
of 12-15 m, the 3 to 4 m standard rod
lengths are easily coupled together.
When using the first two flushing
media for the drilling operation, the
soil/steel interface has to be created by
grouting through the hollow stem of
the anchor. The grout exits through the
flush holes of the drill bit, and backfills
the annulus around the nail that has been
cut by the larger diameter of the drill
For the third operation, the flushing
medium is already a grout mix, which
has the ability to harden after the instal-
lation process is completed.
A typical application of SDA is cur-
water spillage is to be avoided; and simul- all lengths of boreholes in all unconsoli- rently being carried out by the open cast
taneous drilling and grouting (SDG) for dated soil conditions. mine Carriere dArvel in Switzerland.
Using SDG, the grout stabilizes the Here an Atlas Copco ROC D7 drill rig,
borehole during installation, providing equipped with a IRIA (integrated rotary
Principle of the MAI Self Drilling Anchor. a better grout cover along the nail shaft. injection adapter) and a rod handling
The grout has good penetration into the system, is being used for SDA instal-
surrounding soil, so higher external fric- lation.
tion values are reached, and the instal- The ROC D7 feed reaches to a height
lation is completed in a single drilling of 7 m, allowing installation of two rows
operation, saving time. of SDA from one position.
By utilizing a sacrificial drill bit, the The rod handling system contains
MAI SDA is drilled continuously forward at least two sets of three 3.5 m long

Installation of MAI Self Drilling Anchors with a ROC 442PC and a MAI grout pump m400NT.

66 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

R 38 N SDA rods, facilitating instal- Atlas Copco ROC D7

lation of two complete 10 m long Soil installing MAI SDA
Nails without having to manually feed for soil reinforcement
extension rods at these extreme work- using MAI m400NT
ing heights. grout pump.
The newly developed integrated in-
jection adapter (IRIA) can be used for
either simultaneous drilling and grout-
ing, or as in this case, first drilling to
full depth with an air flush and then
grouting the annulus of the borehole.
The SDA installation becomes a fast
continuous mechanized process with
high grouting quality in a safe working
Similar methods were used to sta- R32 and R38 anchors, it requires a flu- most, out of their equipment. For some,
bilize the slope at Shortlands Junction, shing head with inner diameter of 53 mm, it may open up whole new markets that
Bromley, Kent, UK, where loose and normally used on surface crawlers, be- they have previously not even consid-
collapsing ground was affecting opera- cause of the size of the female front part ered.
tion of the railway. of the shank adapter. The beauty of being able to adapt the
The IRIA is a SDA shank adapter ROC D7 for such applications is that the
Installation using combined with a separate swivel pro- contractor can make full use of the rigs
viding flushing media and grout. The powerful and flexible hydraulic system.
ROC drill rigs swivel is mounted on the rock drill with The folding boom, for example, can be
The use of self drilling anchors for sta- a bracket and has two separate inlets. positioned up to a height of 7 m beside
bilization and reinforcement work in The Shank Connector is a coupling sleeve a slope, or very low for horizontal toe-
soft rock is common both in the under- locked to the shank adapter. To provide hole drilling. It can also be positioned
ground world of mines and tunnels, and the locking function a special male T38 at extreme angles, enabling SDAs to be
for a wide variety of applications on the shank is required. This is an alternative to used in very inaccessible places.
surface. SDA-shank, when installing R51 or T76
On surface, it is generally poor qu- anchors, and when alternation between Connecting grout pump and
ality ground and soil that threaten the bolting and blast hole drilling is required. IRIA adapter
stability of installations or landscapes. A flushing head with inner diameter of
Embankments along roads and railways, 53 mm is needed. Most of the time there is a need to al-
various types of foundations and hills The Rod Handling System RHS 52 ternate between flushing with water
prone to landslide, and the sidewalls of is used for carrying bolts on surface and grout. In surface SDA installation,
cut-and-cover tunnelling are just a few crawlers. The system is equipped with it may be inconvenient to grout during
examples. SDA bushing halves in the gripping drilling, as this may contaminate the
Field tests have shown that the Atlas arms and the star wheels carrying the feed with the grout, or minimize spill-
Copco ROC D-series of drill rigs can rods. age during collaring. The alternative
be used to install self-drilling anchors BSH 110 is a hydraulic drill steel is to flush with water when drilling-in
(SDAs), as well as for blasthole drill- support providing gripping and guiding the anchor, and then grout it through
ing. Hence, contractors who own one of function. To drill SDA it is equipped the IRIA. This would be the final step
these crawler rigs for quarrying opera- with the rubber bushing and steel bush- in the installation sequence, prior to
tions are perfectly equipped to take on ing halves to match the anchor size. uncoupling the last rod from the rock
stabilization jobs. The grout pump m400NT, available drill. To alternate between water and
A simple conversion kit enables this from Atlas Copco MAI, is also recom- grout, connect the grout pump and
rig to be converted to an SDA installa- mended. water hose to a Y-coupling equipped
tion unit, without losing the advantages with two valves, so that water or grout
of the ROC D7 standard, high-tech Two-man operation may be selected. The hose from the
features. Y-coupling is then connected to the
The rock drill is fitted with a kit Only two people are needed one to IRIA, either direct or by letting it run
consisting of an IRIA (integrated ro- handle the drilling, and one to handle on the feed through the hose tree
tation injection adapter), swivel and the pump. The SDAs, with their R and over the hose drum. This type of
brackets to replace the standard shank threads and sacrificial bits, are installed Y-coupling requires manual switching
adapter. The SDA shank adapter is a fe- and grouted in one operation. between water and grout.
male shank having integrated coupling These easy adjustments will enable When installing SDAs using a sur-
sleeve to ease uncoupling. Available for ROC D7 owners to get the best, and the face drill rig, some contractors have

surface Drilling 67
Talking Technically

on the rig. The water supply hose should

be equipped with a non-return valve at
the connection to the IRIA, in order to
prevent grout from entering the water
system. The two hoses can be put on the
feed over the hose drum.
This system makes it easier to con-
trol both water and grout f lushing,
with the water controlled by a valve on
the rig, and grout flow by starting and
stopping the pump. The grout pump
can be controlled remotely by the rig
operator, or by the pump operator on
demand from the rig.
COP 1838 rock drill with IRIA adapter.
SDA installation cycle
The optimal SDA installation cycle
comprises the following steps:
1. Drill first SDA rod, either with
simultaneous drilling and grouting or
with conventional air or water flush,
guiding with the Drill Steel Support
(DSS) in open position.
2. When the rod has fully pene-
trated into the soil/rock, stop the flush
and loosen the rod end connection
to the drifter by clamping the DSS
and unscrewing the female shank
adapter. Uncouple before retracting the
rock drill.
Standard rod handling magazine with SDAs and couplings. 3. Extend with next rod using the rod
handling system, open DSS and com-
mence flushing, then resume drilling.
4. Repeat rod-adding sequence until
final design length of the anchor has
been drilled.
5. If simultaneous drilling and grou-
ting modus has been used, then the in-
stallation cycle is now complete, and
the feed can move to the next anchor
6. In air- or water-flush modes, switch
over to grouting mode and, while main-
taining a slow rotation of the anchor,
commence grouting until the hole is
The special bushing halves prepared for firm gripping of the SDAs. full. The in-situ rotation mixing process
of the grout guarantees a homogeneous
filling of the annulus, improving cor-
chosen to drill and grout simultaneously, is possible to replace the hose for air rosion protection and external friction
using only grout as the flushing me- flushing by the grout hose by attach- values of the rockgrout interface.
dium. This has the advantage that, ing it to the hose tree and letting it run 7. The installation cycle is complet-
once the anchor is completely drilled over the hose drum to the rock drill. ed, and the feed can move to the next
into the ground, it is fully grouted and To simplify the system further, and to anchor position.
ready to be attached to the face plate. reduce the number of people needed to
This makes the connection between the do the installation, two hoses can be con- Mark Bernthaler
grout pump and the IRIA straightfor- nected to the IRIA, one to the grout pump
ward, needing only a single hose. It and the other to the water flushing system

68 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Radio Remote Control

Automation of surface drilling ope-
rations may have different focus-
es, depending on individual cir-
cumstances, but safety, ergono-
mics, quality, and productivity are
major considerations.
Safety is required to minimize
the risks for operators, while er-
gonomics improves the working
Quality in hole positioning and
straightness will result in better
fragmentation, producing less
waste rock compared to the theo-
retical drill plan.
At construction sites, remote
guided access to difficult drilling
positions is faster, because the
driver can obtain the best view
of the route.
Above all, a successful automa-
tion project should lead to increa-
sed productivity.
Requirements for remote con-
trol capabilities are growing, es-
pecially in the market for non-cab
surface drill rigs with remote con-
trolled tramming and drilling.
Since its introduction, more
than two hundred RRC rigs have
been delivered to customers
around the world.

Introduction to remote
control technology
The operator can see the rig or vehicle,
and has instrumentation on the radio
remote control (RRC) unit correspond- Atlas Copcos new ROC D9RRC and ROC D7RRC drill rigs are fully radio
ing to the set-up in the cabin. The RRC- remote controlled for safe, efficient operation in most conditions.
system consists of two hardware units:
one for the operator with all controls a matter of defining how joysticks, in- and alarms, is transmitted as serial data
and indicators, and the other mounted dicators and pushbuttons should be po- messages on the CAN-bus to the rig.
on the machine, integrating the RRC- sitioned. The integration of RRC-units The information is then interpreted by
unit to its electrical system. to the rig governs the cost and perfor- RCS, and executed. On a rig without
Some RRC-units are also available mance of the system. The new generation an electronic control system, the RRC-
with a cable, but this is a limited system of Atlas Copco drill rigs are equipped unit has to be interfaced to the dash-
which can only be used for control of with RCS Rig Control Systems, which board and the electro-hydraulic system,
rig tramming and not for drilling. For offer a clean, straightforward CAN-bus and logic must be programmed in the
line of sight applications, standardized interface between the rig and the RRC- RRC-unit. This integration means a
RRC-solutions are available, and cus- unit. Control information, such as joy- more extensive wiring and programming
tomization to the actual application is stick positions, activated pushbuttons, of the RRC-unit.

surface Drilling 69
Talking Technically

side walls, or to carry out horizontal

drilling operations.
The ROC D series are fitted with a
C7 Tier III/stage 3 Caterpillar diesel
engine with 168 kW (225 hp) of power.
The engine has been sized with ge-
nerous power reserve, to reduce fuel con-
sumption, exhaust emissions and noise.
The extra power also allows the rig to
work in a wider range of conditions,
and increases the life of the engine.

Remote in Norway
Treacherous autumn conditions at
Lindesnes, on the southernmost tip of
Norway, were overcome by Terreng-
transport AS, one of the first contrac-
tors to adopt radio remote control tech-
Terrengtransport ROC D7RRC working at Lindesnes, Norway.
nology for surface drilling operations.
With a workforce of 110 people, the com-
Radio Remote Controlled ing the best possible view. All principal pany specializes in drilling and blasting
functions, such as tramming, drilling for roadbuilding, trenching, prepara-
drill rigs and rod handling, are controlled from tion of construction and property sites,
Improved operator safety and increased the RRC, and stepless controls allow industrial contracting and even small-
productivity were the most important smooth positioning of the rig. scale tunnelling.
reasons for developing RRC drill rigs. A new feature of both these drill rigs Expansion means they have to invest
Both of these goals have been fully rea- is the Atlas Copco patented Automatic in productive equipment and new tech-
lized in the new Atlas Copco ROC Drill Stop. This function automatically nology, and they were interested in the
D9RRC, and the ROC D7RRC, with a stops the drilling at a preset depth, and concept of radio remote control from in-
hole range of 64-115 mm. loosens the rod threads. This increases ception.
These two rigs belong to the same the overall quality of the drilling, while At Lindesnes, Terrengtransport was
family, but are equipped with rock drills reducing the time required to retract the preparing the ground for a new chemi-
that provide different production capa- rods and move to the next setup. cals production facility. Here, they took
bilities. Their principle strength lies in Atlas Copcos unique folding boom delivery of an Atlas Copco ROC D7RRC
combining radio remote control with a provides both the ROC D9RRC and radio-controlled crawler, equipped with
well balanced design that has excellent ROC D7RRC with exceptional reach a COP 1838HE rock drill and 127 lit/sec
stability and high productivity in all and coverage. The versatile boom head compressor, for drilling 76 mm holes.
types of terrain. permits the drill feed to be positioned Many of their jobs include both drill-
The new design is well thought to drill rockbolt holes to secure unstable ing and blasting, and radio remote con-
through. The boom is centrally placed, trol allows the driller to charge holes,
with a low mounting point for optimum or prepare for blasting, while the actual
stability and maximum coverage. Ground drilling is in progress. Another benefit
clearance is a full 455 mm (17.5 in) to Radio frequencies is that the driller can stand at a safe
provide great manoeuvrability in the distance away from the rig when driv-
For surface applications there are ing it into position, using superior line
roughest of conditions. These features,
a limited number of frequency of sight to negotiate the best route over
combined with the onboard Atlas Copco bands that a Radio Remote Con-
compressor and rock drill, driven by a rough ground.
trol can use. These are the most
powerful Caterpillar diesel engine, pro- common frequency bands used in Terrengtransport has since taken
duce a remarkably capable drill rig. Europe and USA: delivery of a second RRC rig, and
others have been delivered to contrac-
Tramming, positioning and Europe (MHz) USA (MHz) tors throughout the world.
400-475 400-469
drilling 868-870 902-918 Jrgen Appelgren
1880-1900 DECT
Both the Atlas Copco ROC D9RRC and 2400 2400 WLAN/
ROC D7RRC are fully radio remote con- Bluetooth
trolled. The operator is able to manoeuvre
the drill rig from a safe distance, choos-

70 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

CARE for benching

Entry of rock
Choosing rationally PROJECT PARAMETERS characteristics
and the required
For a quarry owner or drilling/ annual output.
Rock type: Limestone Rock density: 2,60
blasting contractor working with
surface excavations, it is not Compressive 1 400 bar
always easy to find the optimum
Volume of 3 000 000 tons 1 153 845 m 3 solid
tool for the drilling task. Suppliers excavation:
offer a wide range of rigs with Excavation 12 months
variable capabilities such as hole period:
dimensions, rock drills, and differ- Target 96,154 m3 solid per month
ent degrees of automation.
In addition to this, comes a Type of Drilling: Tophammar / Rotary / DTH
choice of blasting agent and det-
onating system. There are so many
input parameters to deal with that
it can be difficult to make a ratio-
nal choice. Sometimes, the cus-
tomer ends up selecting the same Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 data such as hours
rig as last time, simply because he per shift, shifts per
knows what the output and costs Hours per shift
Shifts per day
shifts day, working days
will be. In many cases, this choice Working days / month 22 22 22 days
per month, etc.
may be the correct one. But in Working months / year 10 10 10 months
others, a different rig might well Non-operative time 1 1 1 hrs/shift
Long term utilization 80 80 80 percent
have given better drilling and
blasting economy.
In order to solve this dilemma
by evaluating all the input data
from both drilling and blast-
ing, a special Lotus Notes-based

Entry of drill rig data
calculation program was devel- such as rig type, hole
oped by Atlas Copco under the DRILL RIG PARAMETERS diameter, expected
banner Computer Analyzed Rock
penetration rate, etc.
Excavation (CARE), a mainframe Case 1 Case 2 Case 3

program first developed and used Crawler drill rig ROC D7-11 ROC F9 CR ROC L6
in the 1980s. Since it was updated Rock drill COP 1840 COP 2550 COP 44 model
in 2006, the CARE program has
Air pressure 10,5 10,5 25 bar
been described as the most com- Hole diameter 89 105 115 mm
prehensive of its kind available. Estimated penetration 1,70 1,40 1,10 m/min
Drill rig availability 90 90 90 percent
Drill rod/tube T51 CR89 89 type
Drill rod/tube length 3,66 3,66 5,00 meter
Holes per rig set-up 2,0 1,0 1,0 nos.

Overcoming limitations
The previous CARE had similar ca- drilling parameters required when fragmentation, this has not been includ-
pabilities but more limitations, and estimating the drilling cost and output ed, but a program which can estimate
like many other computer programs, capacity of a rig. this parameter should be available
it had not been properly modernized The optimization of the whole drill within a couple of years.
or upgraded, so eventually it became and blast operation is also accounted
obsolete. for, and the input of the explosives and Using the CARE program
So what are the specific benefits of detonation system is included in the
this new, upgraded version of CARE calculations. After entering worksite data, three
for bench drilling? Firstly, it is based Fragmentation of blasted rock is different drilling alternatives can be
on knowledge of bench blasting engi- difficult to predict, as it is the result compared by inputting more specific
neering dating back to Langefors, of prevailing geological conditions data in the following mode: a general
in common with most other bench- and a number of other factors, such description of rock characteristics,
blasting programs. The reason for as hole alignment and straightness, required annual output in terms of
spending time and effort on creating overdrilling, blasting practices and cubic metres or tonnes, and the cur-
another program is that none of those drill patterns. Due to the complex- rency to be applied; working time
currently in existence cover all of the ity of predicting a calculation of the conditions in terms of working hours

surface Drilling 71
Talking Technically

Entry of blasting data extracted, of which cost/t or cost/cu m

such as bench height,
blastability factor,
BLASTING PARAMETERS CARE might be of prime interest.
Naturally, the computed results will
hole inclination. Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
never be better than the quality of the
Bench Height (m)
Blastability factor (kg/m3)
input figures, and it should be empha-
Burden (m)
Hole inclination (degrees)
- Calculated -
- Calculated -
- Calculated -
sized that the program does not strive to
Stemming height (m) - Calculated - - Calculated - - Calculated - arrive at exact figures. Its main feature
is to display a fair comparison between
alternative approaches to the drilling
and blasting parameters, to assist the
user in selecting optimum equipment,
Entry of explosive bench geometry and other working
characteristics such
as type, weight
The comparison is normally repeat-
strength and Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
ed several times by making minor input
density of Bottom charge
data changes to the best initial alterna-
explosive. Emulsion explosives Emulsion explosives Emulsion explosives tive.
Gelatin Gelatin Gelatin
Height bottom charge (m) - Calculated - - Calculated - - Calculated -

Column charge
Who can use this program?
Emulsion explosives Emulsion explosives Emulsion explosives
Gelatin Gelatin Gelatin CARE is a tool primarily for joint use
by the Atlas Copco salesperson, togeth-
er with the customer. The idea is that
Result of drill and
blast calculation they sit down together, and discuss the
such as burden, prevailing conditions at each individual
spacing, drilling and Unit Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 site, agree the input figures, and define
charging density. Burden meter 2,96 3,76 4,05 the span of uncertainties.
Spacing meter 3,70
4,70 5,06 After that, they jointly enter their
Drilling density drill m/m3 0,06 0,05
Charge density kg/m3 0,48 0,41 0,42 characteristic figures into the program.
Est. rig production drill m/month 2 270 4 784 5 451
They analyze the results, and probably
m3 /month 61 986 76 556 101 916 make a few more calculations with
Drill rigs required
161 164
199 045
264 981
adjusted figures. Hopefully, after a
couple of hours, they end up with a
result that points them in the right

Result of the
estimated cost for
It is an advantage if the customer has
drilling and blasting.
COST ESTIMATES some experience from the actual site
where the drilling will take place. After
Rock driling cost SEK / m3 2,34 2,29 1,93
Rock blasting cost SEK / m3 5,05 4,22 4,35 the selected equipment has been started
up on the site, production results, as
Drill+blast cost SEK / m3 7,39 6,51 6,27
well as consumption of consumables,
Rock drilling cost SEK / ton 0,90 0,88 0,74 should be closely monitored, with
Rock blasting cost SEK / ton 1,94 1,62 1,67
the aim of checking that the primary
Drill+blast cost SEK / ton 2,84 2,50 2,41 estimates on which the purchase of
equipment was made were reasonably
By changing parameters in any sec-
per day, and effective hours; drilling entered); explosives data such as type, tion, the program automatically recal-
data such as type of drill rig, method, density and weight strength (this can culates and presents a new result. This
rock drill, hole diameter, rod length, also be entered or calculated); cost of provides the user with an almost infi-
penetration rate and time split of the explosives and detonators; service life nite number of alternative solutions.
various drilling activities; geometry of of rock drilling tools; prices of rock
the bench such as height, inclination, drilling tools; and all remaining costs Gunnar Nord
errors in hole collaring and in-hole such as price and depreciation of d rill
deviation (it is also possible to preset rig, interest rate, parts, labour, and fuel.
spacing and burden as well as stem- Having entered all of this information
ming and sub-drilling these can into the calculation program, a menu
be calculated by the program, if not of various estimated results can be

72 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

The power of repowering

Solve problems
by upgrading
There are times when drill rigs fail
to live up to their owners expec-
tations. The reasons can be many
and varied, resulting in slow prog-
ress, frequent breakdowns and
higher costs in terms of increased
drill steel consumption and overall
In situations like these, which
naturally impact total project
economics, it is understandable
when drillmasters wish they had
better equipment at their dis-
posal. However, if an investment
in new and better equipment is
not an option, all is not lost. The
ROC 542HP repowered by COP 1640.
p erformance of an old drill rig
can sometimes be significantly
enhanced, simply by upgrading in downtime compared to before. Dif- and drill steel support, hose layout and
its rock drills. ferent drill rigs require different solu- addition of hydraulic valves.
This is known as repowering,
and is becoming an increasingly tions before they can be equipped with For example, to change from a COP
popular way to solve short-term new rock drills. 1238ME 12 kW rock drill to a double-
rock drilling problems. Another First, all data must be collected re- dampened rock drill like the COP 1640
reason for repowering could be a garding the capacity of the power pack, with 16 kW impact power, requires no
change in drilling conditions, such the hydraulic system and so on. modifications to the cradle, and only
as hole diameter or type of rock,
where existing equipment is not Atlas Copco uses its specially- the addition of one hose for the damper
sufficient. developed Diarot software program oil supply.
to simulate the sort of performances However, changing from a COP
that customers can expect, including a 1432ED 14 kW rock drill to the COP
Developed for performance recommendation for the most suitable 1640 16 kW rock drill requires another
drill string and settings of the drilling cradle.
Atlas Copco rock drills, which are widely system. The program is based on more Atlas Copco has the experience to
considered to be amongst the best in the than 20 years rock drilling research, carry out these modifications effective-
world, are developed and manufactured and experience and analysis of real ly, with a view to significant improve-
for optimum performance, along with cases from all over the world. ments in productivity and drill steel
the drill string and rigs. life.
Hence, there are many instances Modifications It must be clear, however, that to
where customers have chosen to fit mount an advanced rock drill onto a
Atlas Copco rock drills to their rigs, The most common way of repowering a rig of another make is not an easy task,
irrespective of their make, with vastly drill rig is to use a rock drill of the same and that it is not accomplished in just a
improved results. Continuous product brand as the rig. Changing the rock drill few hours. Rig modifications are often
development ensures that each gen- might require modification of the cradle required, especially to the hydraulic
eration of rock drills is an improve-
ment compared to their predecessors,
making new Atlas Copco rock drills an
alternative to old Atlas Copco models
in repowering.
In all cases, they report improved
penetration rate, lower drill steel costs,
fewer regrinding operations, fewer ser-
COP 1640
vicing intervals and drastic reductions

surface Drilling 73
Talking Technically

COP 1640
Impact power, max 16 kW
Hydraulic pressure, max 200 bar
Impact rate, max. 60 Hz 1 Constant
Lubricating air
3 bar oil flow
(at the drill), max.
Flushing water 5.5-25 bar
Flushing air, max. 12 bar
Weight, without adapter 193/237* kg
Length, without adapter 1 048 mm/ 4
1 245 mm
Width, without connectors 317 mm
Height above feed sled 223 mm 4
Height above drill centre 88 mm
Adapters floating
Male adapters, 38 mm, position 7 6
Thread type, order number
R32, length 565 mm 403-13302-05,00
T38, length 565 mm 435-13302-05,00 Atlas Copco COP reflex dampener system.
T45, length 565 mm 436-13302-05,00
performance estimate from which the waves are reflected up the drill steel
system, including settings and con- customer can calculate the payback and into the rock drill, they will then be
trols. Atlas Copco sales companies time for his investment. transmitted to the feed and the boom,
will advise on what is possible, with causing serious damage.
assistance from the product company Cool joints and fast drilling Hence, Atlas Copco rock drills have
in rebro, Sweden. After repower- dampening systems, which e ffectively
ing, the rig and new rock drill must be The Atlas Copco concept of repowering absorb these shocks. This function also
thoroughly tested before returning to was born in the mid-1980s, when it was ensures that the joints in the drill string
full-scale o peration. realised that some drilling operators are kept tight and do not overheat, which
wanted better performances from their is an extremely important factor in
Successful rejuvenation existing rigs. bench drilling. Dampeners not only pro-
In 1992, Atlas Copco began to produce vide protection for the rock drill, they
Repowering can be the ideal way to a new generation of rock drills equip- also safeguard consistent and continu-
increase productivity, particularly ped with double dampeners, COP 1838 ous feeding of the drill steel to ensure
for short-term projects where time is and COP 4050. These machines were that the bit maintains constant contact
limited, and where an investment in soon joined by the COP 1432ED, COP with the bottom of the hole. This also
a brand new rig is not economically 2150 and COP 2550. Todays range of contributes to increased drill steel life
justifiable. In this way, contractors can rock drills with double dampening con- and higher penetration rates.
gain access to Atlas Copcos advanced sists of COP 1640, COP 1840, COP 2560 Referring to the diagram, the basic
rock drill technology precisely when and the COP 4050. These machines have reflex dampener system consists of a
they need it, and at a modest price. double dampeners, which not only dam- dampening piston (1), accumulator
The first step to repowering is to pen the shockwave recoils in the drill (2) and shank adapter (3). The impact
investigate the pressure, f low and string, but also absorb the excess energy piston (4) hits the shank adapter which
power capacities on the rig. Will they from the returning shockwave, giving creates a shock wave in the drill string,
match the requirements of the new rock lower coupling temperatures and longer when the reflected shock wave knocks
drill in mind? life of the drill string. In addition, the the damper piston backwards (to the
Next, ask Atlas Copco for a free drillstring joints are kept at an optimal right), the pressure rapidly rises in the
Diarot simulation. The following data tightness, enabling the bit to maintain chamber (5) as the check valve (6) is
is required: model of rock drill; impact full and constant contact with the rock closed. This forces oil in chamber (5)
pressure; rotation rate; bit type and throughout the drilling process, result- to be released to the oil volume (7) over
diameter; average regrinding wear flat ing in higher penetration rate. the edge (8). This absorbs the energy
diameter; and average penetration rate. by means of heat. At the same time,
From these data, an accurate prediction Double dampening the accumulator (2) is charged, which
can be made for the new equipment. provides a fast movement of the damper
It is necessary to investigate if the Over many years, Atlas Copco has ac- piston back to establishing contact
cradle, drill steel support, and other quired considerable knowledge of how again with the shank adapter (3).
components need to be modified. shock waves from the piston are re-
Then, Atlas Copco will quote for the flected from the bottom of the hole back Joakim Zander
equipment necessary, together with a to the rock drill. If large reflex shock

74 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Reduction of oversize boulders

with hydraulic breakers
Although the reduction of oversize
boulders is not one of the main
quarrying operations, the process
generally has a significant impact
on overall costs and efficiency.
These lumps of rock are too big to
be transported, and cannot be tip-
ped into the crusher unless they
are broken up. Their reduction is
increasingly being handled by ex-
cavator-mounted hydraulic break-
ers, with service weights ranging
from 300 to 7,000 kg. These can
be operated at the quarry face, at
storage areas, or at the crusher.
Hydraulic breakers offer numerous
advantages, and can be used for
many different quarrying applica-

Maximum lump size

The first link in the chain of processes
is the most important criterion. This
may be the loading process, the quar-
rying operation, or the primary crusher.
In the past, the size of the rock to be
broken was often restricted by the
capacity of the loader. However, these
units have grown over the years, so
that the maximum lump size is nowa-
days more often determined by the ca-
pacity of the primary crusher.
The upper limit lump size does not
necessarily depend on technical para-
meters. There are economic criteria that
must be taken into account as well. For
instance, not producing oversize boul-
An HB 2500 used in secondary breaking.
ders in the first place might seem to be
economic, but the rise in drilling and
blasting costs eats away at any gains. A distinction has to be made be- drilling and blasting methods. On the
The amount of oversize boulders, or tween the impact strengths which the other hand, it is not possible to fully
the distribution of lump sizes in the rock and the bedrock have. compensate the bedrock features that
heap of rock in general, is mainly in- The tensile and compressive strength, have an impact on the production of
fluenced by the drilling and blasting or impact strength, are the most promi- boulders.
parameters, as well as the conditions nent rock features. These influencing The production of boulders depends
of the deposit. factors are compensated by modern on the interface structure, interface

surface Drilling 75
Talking Technically

An HB 5800 breaking up a large oversize boulder.

characteristics, and non-homogeneities can be made between different organi- they can be sorted out during loading,
of the bedrock. Non-homogeneities, in zational structures. and broken up separately. This may be
particular, have a significant impact, be- Secondary breaking can be carried
cause there is no way in which the out directly at the quarry face, in a cen- HB 3000 at a crusher.
drilling and blasting parameters can be tral breaking area, or at the crusher.
adapted in a flexible manner in such Central breaking areas are needed
small areas. when secondary breaking is only car-
The oversize breaking performance ried out occasionally. In most quarries,
depends on the breaker efficiency, type secondary breaking is carried out dir-
of rock, carrier unit, operator, and the ectly at the quarry face. The use of hy-
organizational structure of the quarry. draulic breakers at the crusher for quick-
Achievable performance is affected ly breaking stuck lumps is widespread.
by the scatter of the non-homogeneities
in the strata and the pre-stress levels in a) Breaking oversize boulders at the
the lumps resulting from the blasting quarry face
operation. The scatter is particularly Often, the crushing of oversize boulders
large in small boulders, where defects directly at the quarry face is the most
have a stronger impact. economical solution. The heap of rock,
The time needed to position the over- which is often too coarse, originates
size boulder for breaking mainly de- from the edge areas of the blast, or from
pends on the operators training and the stemming zone. The oversize boul-
motivation. Skilled operators recognize ders are usually positioned where they
the structure of the material much bet- are easily accessed by the carrier unit
ter, and achieve much higher breaking with breaker, and can be broken on the
performances. spot.

Mode of operation b) Sorting out oversize boulders

and breaking them before loading
When using hydraulic breakers for sec- If oversize boulders are irregularly
ondary breaking operations, a distinction spread throughout the heap of rock,

76 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

useful in heavily dislocated and fissu-

red deposits.

c) Central oversize breaking area

Use of a central area definitely allows
a higher number of oversize boulders
to be broken up. The central breaking
area offers the advantage that the
quarrying processes can be disentan-
Most oversize boulders are best in
material quality, and feature the highest
strength. In many cases, they can be
sold profitably for use in embankments
and dry walls, or as breakwater rocks.
In suitable rock types, hydraulic break-
ers can be used to create appropriate
Another important application for Breaking boulders at the quarry face with an HB 7000.
hydraulic breakers is in ripping, clearing
and trenching.
If necessary, quick-couplers allow the impact on the processes. Secondary full cost transparency
breaker to be rapidly detached from the breaking in open-pit mining is often sub- no machine breakdown risk and
carrier unit. contracted. From the quarry operators a source of specialized and motivated
point of view this offers the following machine operators.
Conclusion advantages: Additional jobs, such as building ramps,
low oversize breaking costs can also be undertaken using the hy-
Although the reduction of oversize bo- no investment in equipment that is draulic breaker.
ulders is not a main quarrying opera- otherwise hardly ever needed
tion, these boulders have a significant no need to employ breaking personnel

Guideline figures which can be achieved using hydraulic breakers for secondary reduction.

Secondary reduction performance Examples of rock type

High Shell limestone, sandstone, slate, gneiss, marble
Average Limestone, dolomite, greywacke
Low Lava, porphyry, diabase, basalt, granite

surface Drilling 77
Talking Technically
Talking Technically

New upgraded D-series drill rigs

New family
Atlas Copco has created a new,
upgraded family of D-series rigs,
and this article overviews the
many changes made to the range.
The ROC D-series is celebrating 9
years since initial launch.
The first rig, delivered in Octo-
ber, 1999 heralded great success
in the marketplace, as a result of
which D-series rig number 1,000
was delivered to the US in late-
2005. Todays ROC D7 is better than
ever, and the ROC D9 now offers a
more powerful rock drill and im-
proved flushing.
Recent additions to the range,
such as the ROC RRC radio remote
controlled rig, and the Silenced
SmartRig ROC D7C/D9C, have
ensured the future of this popu-
lar series well into the next gen-
eration of drillers.

General upgrades
An even stronger and stiffer boom de-
Atlas Copco ROC D-series are tough on rock and friendly to the environment.
sign on the new D-series rigs facili-
tates perfect collaring and stable drill-
ing. It is designed to carry optional offers yet more comfort for the opera- to stabilize the hole walls when drilling
equipment, such as the Silencing Kit. tor. ROC D7 is now also available in a in poor rock. It comprises a 120 litre-
A durable cylinder-operated alumi- LF (Long Feed) version handling 6.1 m capacity pressurized water tank connec-
nium feed system gives optimal pene- starter rod and one 4.3 m rod in the ted directly to the flushing air. The hole
tration and drill steel life. RAS (Rod Adding System), a great inclination and hole depth instrument,
A new engine with variable rev/min, time saver when drilling holes shorter located inside the cabin, assures the
which meets the exhaust emission limits than 9.6 m. drilling of straight, inclined holes and
in Tier III/Stage 3, ensures lower fuel fast feed positioning, increasing safety
consumption. A bigger fuel tank is and reducing production costs. A robust,
fitted, to allow 12 h continuous ope- SmartRig ROC D7C/D9C hydraulically operated support leg is
ration, while an upsized generator and available for stable set-up when drilling,
batteries secure start-up of the rig.
and can also be used to stabilize the rig
Improved design of the hydraulic SmartRig ROC D7C/D9C have been when moving in rough terrain.
support leg avoids getting stones stuck upgraded with a new version software Today it is possible to get Hole Na-
between leg and engine. which adds more drill control functions vigation System (HNS) as an option on
All Atlas Copco ROC D7 drill rigs such as control of impact and feed force SmartRigs which guides the operator
now have a larger, more comfortable by feed rate. to find the right drill location of a hole
and quiet cabin with better ergonomic By far, SmartRigs offer the best from a designed pattern within 10 cm
controls. drilling control for tophammer drill accuracy.
The cabin version has considerably rigs in the market today. The optional GPS compass is another option that
improved balance and stability for tram- Silencing Kit enables the rig to be used can be found in all versions of ROC
ming in the roughest terrain, for which in restricted urban areas. D7/D9 and F9 rigs which replaces the
the track frames have been moved for- Major changes have been made to aiming device. With the help of GPS,
ward and sideways. A new higher ca- the list of standard and optional equip- the operator can align the holes with
pacity air conditioning/heating system ment. A water mist system is available better accuracy.

surface Drilling 79
Talking Technically

terrains in general. Owners are well pla-

ced to take on stabilization jobs, in-
stalling self-drilling anchors using a
simple conversion kit. The folding boom
can be positioned up to a height of 7 m
beside a slope, or very low for horizontal
toe-hole drilling. It can also be posi-
tioned at extreme angles, enabling sta-
bilization drilling to be carried out in
almost inaccessible places.
The ROC RRC rig is perfect in pla-
ces with extremely restricted space and
difficult access, for example when wor-
king close to, or even directly above,
The optional Silencing Kit enables the SmartRig ROC D7C to be used in restricted urban areas.
road or railway traffic. At various ty-
pes of foundations, and hills prone to
landslide, the ROC RRC rig can be
Radio controlled ROC RRC through powerful generator and bat- used for completing the job efficiently
teries. and safely.
The Radio Remote Controlled ROC Radio technology is revolutionizing An optional hydraulic winch can be
RRC rig from Atlas Copco reduces hard rock drilling. The ROC RRC separates specified for working in extreme con-
work, drilling safely in places where the operator and rig, improving safety ditions, and where it is necessary, to
operators cannot go. It has a remote for both man and machine. The drill anchor the rig. It also secures safe tram-
controlled rod handling system that rig is controlled by radio waves, and ming. The optional toe-hole drilling kit
saves time and increases production. the operator can stand on a safe spot, gives the rig a versatile boom head allo-
The powerful rock drills easily adapt to even when the rig is in a challenging wing easy service access to the rock drill
various rock conditions for best pene- position. It is slightly different to oper- and good reach for horizontal drilling.
tration rate. ate than a conventional rig, but many As in the cab versions, the optional
Accurate collaring is possible in ROC RRC customers have reported that robust, hydraulically positioned support
rough terrain by virtue of the total flex- it just took a couple of days before the leg can be specified for stable set up
ibility of the operator position. operators were drilling more holes than when drilling, and used to stabilize the
The ROC RRC is exceptionally sta- ever before. rig when travelling in rough terrain.
ble, with its low centre of gravity and The ROC RRC rigs are not only the
rigid hydraulic support leg. perfect choice for drilling in challenging Hakan Aytekin
It has a long reach and stable drill-
ing, thanks to the strong and stiff boom Nothing stops the ROC RRC.
The boom anchor point is located in
the middle of the frame to give a per-
fect balance and low centre of gravity.
The powerpack is mounted at the rear
of the machine to provide balance and
All components are easily reached
from separate inspection ports.
ROC RRC rigs are the result of com-
bining well-designed components and
systems, for a drill rig that enhances
safety, reduces workload, and increases
The rigs are equipped with engines
that meet all the new exhaust emission
limits in Tier III/Stage 3. The rigs deliver
exactly the power needed in each phase
of the operation, which considerably re-
duces fuel consumption. A large fuel
tank allows 12 h of continuous ope-
ration, and easy start-up is secured

80 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Combining drilling simplicity

with efficiency
Filling the gap
Rapid development of the Atlas
Copco ROC series of crawlers has
resulted in drill rigs with output
capabilities that outstrip the requ-
irements of smaller operators.
A range of smaller, simpler hy-
draulic rigs is available to opera-
tors who no longer wish to suffer
the higher costs and lower effi-
ciencies of pneumatic systems.
Backed by the legendary quality
and support associated with all
Atlas Copco equipment, the 470
series of surface crawlers is de-
signed to fill this gap.

Beating pneumatics
The Atlas Copco 470 series of hydraulic
crawlers has proved popular at smaller
operations, where hydraulic is replacing
pneumatic for reasons of economy.
Quite simply, the 470 series offers up Atlas Copco CM 470 hydraulic drill rig features top specification.
to double the penetration rate, com-
bined with much lower fuel consump-
blasting, rock excavation in road and the operator an easy time with soft touch
tion, down to one third compared with
railway cuttings, slope stabilization, joysticks.
equivalent pneumatic rigs.
and production blasting in construction The CM 470 is fitted with ROPS/
Worldwide sales of the two models
mines and small quarries. FOPS approved cabin. The cabin, which
in the range, the CM 470, which have ca-
The CM 470 and CM 470LC drill is the largest in its class, gives good vi-
bin, and the CM 470LC, which has a side-
rigs combine simplicity and flexibility sibility through a wide front window,
mounted operator panel on the left side
with low running cost, while being easy and is pressurized by air conditioning,
over the tracks, have exceeded 350 units
to learn and operate, and capable of both which uses external filtered air. The
to date.
vertical and horizontal drilling. CM 470 has indexed drill guide cover-
The 470 range is ideal for pre-
ing 20 degrees.
splitting in urban construction, trench
General layout There is no gearbox in the power
train, and the rod changer has a simple
CM 470 benefits Direct hydraulic systems on the 470 series structure, both of which contribute to
drill rigs means less time spent on main- the overall reliability of the drill rig. All
Low running cost tenance and servicing, and more time relief valves are concentrated in one ea-
Easy to learn and spent drilling. sily accessible position, and shorter uni-
Complex electronics have been av- form hoses and efficient hose routing
operate oided in the interests of simplicity of contribute to sensible hose manage-
Flexibility drilling both maintenance, and simple on/off elec- ment.
vertical and horizontal trics are used on the automatic rod- Each model is equipped with a Cum-
changer, with unit mechanical index- mins 107 kW diesel engine with stan-
ing system. This eliminats components dard consumption of 16 lit/h. Oil and
Combining simplicity such as indexing motor, inductive sen- filter changes are required at 500 h in-
and flexibility sors and other electronics, reducing the tervals, while the engine overhaul period
total number of components and giving is between 8,000 h and 10,000 h.

surface Drilling 81
Talking Technically

small number of movements, results

in fewer adjustments, and offers easier
servicing. The capacity of the rod han-
dler is five T38 rods as standard, with
the option of four T45 rods. Drill steel
lengths are as starter rod 4.27 m (14ft) or
3.66 m (12 ft) and as extension rods
3.05 m (10 ft). Drill bits in the range
65-89 mm can be fitted.

Hose management is designed to en-
hance front facing toe hole forward ca-
pability, with the operator able to achieve
a lower angle without pinching the hoses.
In addition, hoses are designed in uni-
form lengths to minimize maintenance
costs and heighten serviceability, and
percussion hoses are separated from
other non-vibrating hoses to reduce wear
View of a cement quarry in Japan. and damage.
To further enhance the service-
A direct drive power train is achie- torque of 451 Nm, and rotation speed of ability and maintainability each hose
ved by coupling the air end to a fly- 0-180 rev/min. connection at the bulkhead is separated
wheel, while the engine PTO drives two On the CM 470 the overall length of for easier access and less risk of dirt in
tandem gear pumps, and another three the feed is 6.55 m, with actual feed length the hydraulic system. The sliding hose
are coupled to the crankshaft. This five- of 4.17 m. Feed force is 17.65 kN, and reel, with separate rollers for each hose
pump system permits less electronics fast feed is 36 m/min and slow feed a to reduce the internal hose contacts is
over hydraulics, less maintenance on maximum of 10 m/min. Feed dump designed to increase the life of the hoses.
the power train, and less concern about angle is 180 degrees, and swing angle The maintenance sliding hose brackets,
possible oil leaks. Inspection and main- is 45 degrees each side of centre. A feed which are detachable and swingable,
tenance of the gear pump system is unne- extension of 1.3 m is possible. Boom and sliding steel sections all contribute
cessary: it is not sensitive to oil con- overall length is 2.1 m, and lift angle 50 to the overall reduction in wear and
tamination, and the direct control leads degrees upward and 25 degrees down- tear.
to low cost and easy fault finding. ward, with swing angle right 60 degrees
Yhe engine cooling fan has a 52 de- and left 10 degrees. Dust handling
grees ambient temperature capability, The hydraulic tank on all models
and the engine and pump compartment holds 200 litres, and the fuel tank 290 The dust handling system on the 470
has fullyopening doors for maximum ser- litres. series drill rigs is based around polyes-
viceability. The drill rigs have ISO9001 ter synthetic filters, which are more
quality certification. Rod handling water resistant than paper filters. They
have a large filtration area of 13.8 sq m,
Technical specifications The rod changer on the 470 series mo- which, combined with suction capacity
dels is constructed with a limited num- of 18 cu m/min, means less chance of
The CM 470 weighs 8.95 t and has ber of components, without hydraulic clogged filters. Longer fan life is possi-
overall length of 8 m, width of 2.65 m, motor, gearbox or rollers. It has two ble because the hydraulic system stops
and tramming height of 3.07 m. The arms with hydraulic cylinders, two the fan hydraulic motor from running
The width of the track links is 300 mm, clamps with hydraulic cylinders, a swing during rod changing, while maintaining
track oscillation is 10 degrees up and shaft and a sleeve retainer, each with the dust removal pulse. The lightweight
down, and ground clearance is 420 mm. a single hydraulic cylinder. A set of so- aluminium fan requires less time to
Tramming speed is 0-3.0 km/h with lenoid valves actuates the hydraulic cy- reach maximum speed when the motor
grade ability of 30 degrees from hori- linders, with on/off switching. restarts.
zontal. The drill rig is equipped with a As a result, the rod changer performs
screw compressor producing 83 lit/sec with fewer motions, accomplishing arm Bo-Gran Johansson
at maximum pressure of 0.78 MPa. swing, arm slide, clamp opening and
The rock drill features impact energy closing, and sleeve retainer in and out.
of 363 J, frequency of 50 Hz, rotation The simple structure, combined with

82 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Compressed air for drillers

Pressure means
Drillers are always looking for bet-
ter efficiency, using higher pres-
sure and more capacity. On mo-
dern DTH drill rigs, for instance,
the onboard compressor both po-
wers the hammer and flushes the
hole, using most of the energy ge-
nerated by the engine. Having the
most reliable and efficient com-
pressor makes the difference. To-
wed compressors are just as im-
portant, with fuel economy high
on the agenda. With Oiltronix el-
ectronic oil management system,
and FuelXpertTM economy, the Atlas
Copco Portable Air Division offers
the most reliable compressors on
the market, with best efficiency.
Coupled to the COSMOSTM re-
mote monitoring and transmis-
sion system, compressors can be
located, and maintenance can be
condition based, planned in ad-
vance of the technicians visit.

Drilling methods
Surface drilling methods using com-
pressed air can be summarized as fol-
Drifting uses holes of less than 74 mm
diameter (3 in), mainly in dimension
stone quarries for cutting blocks of mar-
ble and granite. Compressed air is used
to drive the hammer.
Atlas Copco XRXS compressor in drilling application.
Tophammer drilling is for hole dia-
meters 64-152 mm (2.5-6 in.) Gene-
rally, compressed air at 8.6 bar (125 psi) hammering is done at the bottom of if there is backpressure from the water
is required for flushing. This method the hole, there are less energy losses. level. Every 10 m (32.8 ft) of water pro-
has the fastest penetration rate, lowest For efficient DTH a higher pressure is duces a backpressure of 1 bar.
fuel consumption and highest produc- recommended. The higher the pressure, The hybrid COPROD system com-
tion capacity for holes up to 30 m deep the higher will be the penetration rate. bines the speed of tophammer drilling
(98.4 ft). However, because of difficulty Also, high volume Free Air Delivery with the precision and long service life
controlling hole straightness at depth, (FAD) is important for optimal flus- of DTH. Most Atlas Copco tophammer,
and energy losses in the rod couplings, hing. If flushing is poor, efficiency is DTH and COPROD rigs have an Atlas
tophammer drilling is not used for lost at the bit by recrushing the cut- Copco compressor onboard, provided
deeper or bigger holes. tings. DTH hammers have a lower noise by Portable Air Division.
Down-the-hole (DTH) hammers are level, and a longer life, than topham- Rotary drilling is for diameters 73-
used in a wide range of applications as mer rock drills. 445 mm (2.9-17.5 in) in soft rock, using
an alternative to tophammer drilling. However, DTH penetration rates drop Secoroc tricone bits, with compressed
The holes are straighter and, because drastically when reaching the water table, air flushing. Fully pneumatic rigs, known

surface Drilling 83
Talking Technically

Operating a rig using a towed compressor.

as small crawlers, use towed portable hole. When drilling in very hard rock, steers the oil injection temperature to
air compressors. The larger rotary rigs very deep, or with high back pressures, its optimal point. The system offers the
also use portable compressors when a 30 bar unit offers higher efficiency. customer greater security of operation,
there is no onboard unit. If a rig is drilling at 0.6 m/min (23.6 in/ while releasing him from daily drain-
min) with 20 bar (290 psi) pressure, it ing and high replacement costs due to
Performance will drill at 0.8 m/min (31.5 in/min) condensation.
with 30 bar (435 psi). When below the Water caused by condensation is
Availability can be summed up as re- watertable, a 30 bar (435 psi) machine known to have a harmful effect on com-
liability plus service, and is a most cru- will maintain better penetration rates. pressor components and oil, entailing
cial factor in the profitability equation. For example, a driller capable of 150 high service and replacement costs.
A rig owner who is paid EUR 25 for each m/shift (492.1 ft) will drill 200 m (656.2 Condensation occurs whenever air is
metre drilled, and normally drills 200 ft) with a 30 bar (435 psi) machine. This compressed at high pressure and low
m/day (656.2 ft), will lose EUR 5,000/ is especially significant for heat pump temperature. In a conventional system,
day if his machine is out of operation. holes, because 200 m (656.2 ft) is the to avoid condensation, a thermostat ke-
An Atlas Copco ROC drill rig, equip- standard depth. Likewise, a mine dril- eps the oil temperature high. However,
ped with an efficient and reliable Atlas ler can increase his output from six the thermostatic valves react slowly,
Copco compressor, and first class service, holes/shift to eight holes/shift. Drilling and control oil injection temperature
ensures availability and underpins pro- faster also means more metres drilled without reference to load condition, or
fitability. for less fuel. Higher productivity means ambient conditions such as temperature
The 30 bar (435 psi) compressor with higher efficiency. and humidity.
560 lit/sec (1200 cfm) is job-matched In drilling operations, 80% of the As a consequence, at partial load, the
to drill a 5 in (127 mm) hole, while the compressor cost goes to fuel consump- cooling exceeds that strictly needed for
25 bar (365 psi) compressor with 601 tion, while the drillers wages generally compression. The result is condensation,
lit/sec (1250 cfm) is the best for holes constitute less than 5% of the total cost. reducing the life of the bearings. If oil
of 6 in (152 mm). There are two choices contains 1% of water, bearing life may
available for drilling: a portable silenced Oiltronix be reduced by 40%.
compressor (XRHS, XRVS, XRXS) or Oiltronix provides an optimal oil in-
OEM (ORV & ORX). Onboard com- Atlas Copco expertise in electronics, jection temperature that eliminates con-
pressors are used in Atlas Copco ROC compressor regulating systems and oil densation of water into the oil. Depen-
hydraulic rigs. Selection of a compressor systems are combined in its Oiltronix ding on the load condition, a low oil
depends on hammer size and depth of electronic oil management system, which temperature is provided for low ambient

84 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Portable silenced compressor in operation.

temperature and low humidity, and a The innovative new Atlas Copco FuelX- Atlas Copco COSMOSTM is a remote
high oil temperature for high ambient pertTM system regulates engine speed and monitoring system that collects, transmits
temperature and high humidity. air inlet with a view to optimizing fuel and manages all operational data. The
A logarithm uses these parameters consumption for each working condition. system provides information on machine
to define the optimal oil injection tem- It combines hardware such as regulat- utilization, service interval, history, po-
perature, and sends the signal to a step- ing valve, inlet throttle and regulating sition and all available measuring points
per motor controlling a valve. system with software, which electroni- and parameters, allowing real time mes-
The Oiltronix electronic controller cally measures regulating pressure and saging when required.
reduces the average oil injection tem- adjusts engine speed. COSMOSTM outperforms every other
perature to 75 C (167 F) , whereas a con- Even if the air demand is lower than similar system, with remote diagnostics
ventional system has an average oil tem- the capacity needs, the system ensures facilitating condition based maintenance,
perature of 105C (221 F) . This reduc- the correct capacity for the application and allowing interventions to be pre-
tion in oil temperature increases the theo- needs. pared in advance and executed more effi-
retical bearing life by 300%, and the FuelXpertTM gives separate signals to ciently. Technicians can go to the right
lifetime of the oil doubles with every the engine and air inlet so that, for ev- place at the right time, allowing timely
10 degrees C decrease. Servicing inter- ery individual part, the optimal position and accurate delivery and pickup, more
vals are reduced as a result, with cost is calculated. This ensures a stable regu- uptime, insight into job costing, better
savings on materials. lating system that guarantees savings invoicing, and evaluation of appropriate
In very hot and humid regions, Atlas on fuel consumption. The system also machine and fleet size.
Copco recommends fitting Oiltronix to aids cold weather starting, by closing COSMOSTM contributes to the effi-
all compressors working above 20 bar the inlet until air is required. cient management of service contracts
(290 psi), and in hot and humid regions, FuelXpertTM was rolled out with the and reduces warranty claims. As a re-
above 25 bar (365 psi). new Atlas Copco 2006 range. sult of managing the equipment more
efficiently, COSMOSTM reduces cost of
FuelXpertTM COSMOSTM ownership, increases revenue, and allows
better customer service. It is offered as a
Atlas Copco portable compressors al- Mobile compressors and generators have plug-and-play solution with three com-
ready have a reputation for fuel econo- a tough life, and it is frequently diffi- ponents: hardware, communication, and
my, particularly at high air demand and cult to keep track of their whereabouts, software. The module has to be instal-
full load. However, it has been difficult let alone service history and perform- led, configured, set up and linked to the
to realize fuel savings at partial load. ance. customers office.

surface Drilling 85
Talking Technically

COSMOSTM is designed for global a full service. To facilitate preventive

operation, to support all Atlas Copco maintenance, service kits containing
compressors, whether new or already recommended replacement parts, such
operational. It provides real time com- as air filters and seals, are available.
munication with excellent coverage, These are tailored to match specific
using satellite technology, and also in- service intervals.
cludes GPS for tracking units world- It is of great importance that all ser-
wide. vicing is carried out using Atlas Copco
An open interface allows COSMOSTM genuine parts, which are made to the
to be integrated with customer business same exacting standards as their com-
systems, but access to the office infor- pressors and generators, having passed
mation is highly protected. Sessions the same endurance tests.
using the wrong format are systemati-
cally shut off. The hardware module is Portable air
robust, weather resistant, and impervi-
ous to water and dust. Atlas Copco is the world leader in the
supply of portable air compressors, with
Aftermarket services a long history of product innovation. The
current series has built on that experi-
Atlas Copco has compiled a portfolio ence to produce heavy-duty compres-
of aftermarket services that guarantees sors that work, and work hard. Above
to protect clients investments in their all else, these machines are built for ex-
compressors, with the highest quality tremes, and are absolutely reliable in
of service, both locally and worldwide. difficult and extraordinary conditions.
Parts kits can be delivered, individual They are engineered to withstand the
service calls arranged, and service plans rigours of arduous terrain and all man-
tailored to specific needs. ner of climatic extremes.
The Atlas Copco service organization XS-series outputs range from 296-545
is established in 150 countries, in each lit/sec (17.8-32.7 cu m/min, 628-1,155
of which trained personnel deliver top cu ft/min) at 7-25 bar, or 102-365 psig.
class support through a single point of All have high quality build with advan-
contact. This service operates 24 h/day, ced specifications, making them the ideal
7 days/week. Local centres and fully- workhorse for the big jobs, with top
equipped service vans are an integral fuel efficiencies at all loads. The elec-
part of the global Atlas Copco after- tronic control panel provides full diag-
market network. The logistics organi- nostics on the engine, compressor and
zation that supports the service activi- oil system to help in maintaining peak
ties includes worldwide direct daily de- performance and best fuel economy. All
liveries for genuine parts. Atlas Copco compressors are now fit-
More than 1,700 service technicians ted with Caterpillar ACERT engines
are continuously trained and updated on for clean running, reliability, and com-
the latest developments in products and prehensive after sales service.
servicing. Service plans range from in- The screw system at the heart of ev-
spections, through periodic servicing to ery Atlas Copco compressor is precision
total responsibility. The inspection plan engineering at its very best, with per-
provides regular inspection and reports, fect synchronization producing maxi-
together with service recommendations mum pressure to deliver more air with
for the client. less energy.
The preventive maintenance plan of- The infinitesimal tolerance margins
fers periodic servicing cover, including in this type of engineering require con-
parts, labour, travel, accommodation and tinuous investment to keep abreast of
complete diagnostic report. evolving manufacturing techniques, and
The total responsibility plan gives this is how Atlas Copco maintains its
complete peace of mind, with full cov- leadership in screw technology.
erage of the unit.
There is also a fixed-price service for Gathuru Mburu
individual repairs, ranging from a sim-
ple inspection and diagnostic check to

86 surface Drilling
Talking Technically

Protection by ROC Care

Scheduled service
Nowadays, drill rigs are considered
to be a major capital investment,
and their owners, whether one-
man contracting businesses or lar-
ge corporations, have to be satis-
fied that their investment is being
correctly serviced. In this way, they
can get the best possible return on
investment by maximizing availa-
bility and producing the lowest
possible cost/t of rock, while pre-
serving the long-term value of the
asset. This is where ROC Care, the
popular value-for-money service
package for Atlas Copco surface
drill rigs, comes into play.

Key ingredients
ROC Care scheduled service ensures
consistent drill rig performance, hour
after hour, day in, day out. Supported
by inspection protocols with recom-
mended actions, and extended warranty
to protect against the risk of extra costs
if a major component fails, the customer
is given the required service at the rec-
ommended intervals over the full du-
ration of the agreement, for which he The four cornerstones in the Atlas Copco ROC Care service agreement are scheduled service, extended
is invoiced at the agreed low monthly warranty, inspection protocols and satellite monitoring.
This translates into scheduled serv- each original equipment manufacturers maintenance documentation that enhan-
ice without financial penalty, encour- maintenance scheme. ROC Care covers ces the resale value of the rig.
aging both parties to concentrate on all parts needed for scheduled mainte- The general extended warranty that
preventive maintenance rather than risk nance, including oil filters, air filters accompanies every ROC Care agree-
costly breakdown. and fuel filters. The service is carried ment provides protection against the
ROC Care is tailor-made for the qu- out by fully-trained and professional breakdown of key components such as
arry and construction business, protecting Atlas Copco engineers, who know every the diesel engine, compressor, hydraulic
all that is essential to the drilling opera- part of the equipment, and can submit pumps, feed motor and cylinder, trac-
tion. It extends the warranty and guar- recommendations to prevent potential tion motor and traction gears. In addi-
antees regular inspections and service, future problems. Indeed, at each service tion, all major fabricated mechanical
giving security and peace-of-mind for occasion, the engineer hands the cus- components such as the wagon frame,
at least 5,000 engine hours of drilling. tomer a detailed rig inspection protocol, track frames, boom support, booms,
By focusing on breakdown prevention reporting the rig condition and identi- boom head and feed holder are included.
rather than unplanned repair, it helps fying any corrective measures. These Rock drill and wear parts are excluded.
keep operating costs to a minimum. can then be carried out at the next sche-
duled service, or at a time chosen for Satellite based monitoring
Scheduled service least disruption to production. Such mea-
sures minimize breakdowns and contri- ProCom, included in ROC Care, knows
Scheduled inspection and maintenance bute to savings in overall cost of owner- when each drill rig next needs service.
is a key element of ROC Care, with the ship. In addition, the inspection proto- It is a global, satellite-based system
drill rig being serviced according to cols and service book provide verified that monitors rig location and status,

surface Drilling 87
Talking Technically

ProCom knows when drill rigs next need service, allowing efficient forward planning.

facilitating remote viewing of engine Copco can schedule service with mini- they no longer have to plan their wor-
hours, impact hours, and time-to-ser- mum disruption to drilling and provide king lives around emergency breakdown
vice. On certain models such as ROC valuable rig performance data to sup- callouts, resulting in a decrease in stress
D-RRC, ROC F-series, ROC L-series and port the owners costing and billing. for both customer and engineer, and more
SmartRigs, ProCom also transmits de- Because every effort is made to plan satisfaction all round.
tails of drilled metres. The system works the ROC Care visits to cause as little
worldwide, monitoring rigs wherever drilling downtime as possible, Atlas Joakim Zander
they are located. By knowing exactly Copco service engineers are conscious
when each rig next needs attention, Atlas of a happier reception at site. In turn,

ProCom monitors rig status around the world.

88 surface Drilling
Sweden and Spain

First impressions on new cab

Initial response
Atlas Copco involved its clients in
the design process for its new ROC
cab, evaluating their views on how
improvements could be made. The
new cabs are now in the field with
some experienced rig operators,
so it was a good opportunity to
test their initial response. They
find the cab to be more spacious
and the new layout extremely user
friendly. The extra space is put
to good use to stow more of the
necessities of life, and the cabs
are proving easier to keep clean.
Above all, the objective of improv-
ing the operator environment has
been met, to the satisfaction of all

Swedish experience
Bjrn Nordahn operates an Atlas Copco
SmartRig ROC D9C, fitted with the
new cab, for contractor Bohus Berg- The new cab is a big improvement. Bjrn Nordahn, operator, Bohus Bergsprngning AB.
sprngning AB in Sweden.
He states This new cab is a big improve- also installed one in our ROC D7. And of the steps and grab-rails on the door
ment. The extra space is great. Theres its easy to keep the storage compart- make it very easy and safe to climb in
room for everything, from lunch-box ments clean because they are large and and out of the cabin. The air condition-
and stove to sprays and drill bits. Some straight. ing is good too, and everyone is very
of my colleagues say its now so big that In the old cab there was just a little happy with the new positioning of the
it echoes! place at the front where you could put joysticks.
I think the controls are now positi- a few tools down temporarily. Now
oned much better. Its really very easy theres a whole toolbox there, which is Cabs vs open air
to get to them when you want to change great. All-in-all, I think the new cab is
the angle of the boom or drive the rig good, even though there are a few small Some of the range of Atlas Copco hy-
to the next hole. I think the reposition- things that can still be improved. draulic surface drill rigs are cabless, for
ing of the controls is the best improve- Nordahn finishes with a word on dril- different applications and specific situ-
ment. ling with the SmartRig: Its almost too ations. For instance, the ROC D3, ROC
The placing of the control buttons is easy, and can make you a bit lazy, he D7RRC and ROC D9RRC series are
good too, but I prefer small switches as says. Almost everything is automatic, cabless rigs. RRC rigs are operated via
it can be difficult to feel your way across so once youve thought about the job, radio remote control for use in difficult
the smooth buttons to the find the right ground the bits and cleaned up theres or dangerous drilling positions, while
one. This can be a bit tricky when, for not much left to do! on some versions the operator stands
example, you are using the rigs support up on the rig to operate it.
legs and you need to have your eyes to- Winner in Spain
tally focused on what you are doing. Acknowledgements
I have only had this rig over the sum- Maite Santamarta, application engineer
mer this year, so I cant say anything yet at Atlas Copco in Spain, confirms that Atlas Copco is grateful to its clients opera-
about the climate control system, but the new cab is a winner among opera- ting rigs with the new ROC cab for the
the air conditioning has worked well. tors in Spain. All our customers are feedback on which this article is based.
Its also easy to keep this cab clean very happy with the new cab because A version of this story first appeared in
and the vacuum cleaner is a great idea! it is just so comfortable, she says. Mining & Construction magazine 3-2007.
We thought it was so good that we have Another advantage is that the placing

surface Drilling 89
prague, Czech Republic

Czech contractors choose

Large concentration
When Atlas Copco launched the
SmartRig concept, it was expec-
ted that contractors would need
time to appraise its drilling cha-
racteristics and performance.
However, in 2006, six Czech
drilling contractors took delivery
of eight SmartRigs. More orders
followed to keep pace with the
ongoing construction boom in
the country, with its gargantuan
consumption of aggregates and
cement. The attraction of SmartRig
is its drilling efficiency, resulting
in more output for less input. The
experience with two of those early
SmartRig machines is described

Destrukce Trebic
The crushing and screening plant at the Cenkor quarry, owned by Colas.
Destrukce Trebic was set up in 1999 by
two directors who have 40 years experi- ROC L6 followed in 2004. The latter is are two Krupp 1700 breakers, one Atlas
ence in quarries, dam construction and equipped with 25 bar compressor for Copco 900, and one Montabert 900.
motorway building. Some 70% of its use with a 105 mm diameter COP 34
work is now concentrated in quarries DTH hammer. It is employed on long SmartRig ROC F9C
owned by Colas, the French supplier of holes for 25 m high benches in a quarry
aggregate. featuring non-homogeneous rock. Two Atlas Copco SmartRig ROC F9C
The forerunner of Destrukce was The current fleet comprises two com- rigs were delivered to Destrukce in
Ingstav Brno, set up in 1952 for dam con- puterized SmartRig ROC F9Cs, the 2006. One has a folding boom and the
struction in the old Czeckoslovakia. ROC L6, and a ROC 742 HC equipped other a fixed boom. Atlas Copco ser-
Ingstav Brno purchased an Atlas Copco with a COP 1238 rock drill. The fleet vices both rigs under a maintenance con-
ROC 601 air-powered rig in 1974, fol- works across 17 quarries in the Czech tract. The machines work at 12 quarries,
lowed by a Drillmaster DM4 in 1975, Republic, transported between sites by where Destruckce is usually both drilling
and eight ECM 350 air-powered rigs a company-owned low loader. and blasting contractor. The average stay
over the ten years from 1977. In 1989 Quarry outputs vary, but two sites is three days, during which time 1,000-
they bought an ECM 360 rig, which is are producing around 500,000 t/year, 1,500 metres will be drilled. At a couple
still in ownership, and in 1990 a ROC and the remainder have outputs of of quarries working fractured basalt,
460 pneumatic. 150,000 t/year and below. Rock qual- slurry explosive has to be pumped into
In 1992, the first rig of the new era ity varies from site to site, and broadly the drill holes. Elsewhere, cartridges of
arrived, an LM 100 with Atlas Copco comprises limestone, basalt, granite and emulsion are generally used, with dyna-
XAS 175 towed compressor. This was sandstone. All rigs work equally well mite primers and millisecond delay de-
followed in 1994 by a new ROC 742 HC, in all of these strata, so bench height is tonators. In four of the quarries, Nonel
and a further ROC 742 HC was added the deciding factor as to which machine detonation is required to limit vibration
to the fleet in 2001. will work in which situation. The ROC due to the proximity of local habitation.
L6 works in three quarries around The SmartRig ROC F9C working at
Present day Prague. Cenkov quarry, owned by Colas and
In addition, Destrukce operates four situated 15 km from Prague city centre,
The first cabin rig, an Atlas Copco hydraulic breakers to reduce large boul- has a folding boom and is mounted with
ROC D7 was purchased in 2002, and a ders ahead of the primary crushers. These a COP 2560 tophammer rock drill. It is

surface Drilling 91
Czech Contractors Choose SmartRig

SmartRig ROC F9C with folding boom.

working two shifts/day in basalt and Speedrods in a 1+7 carousel. A maxi- workload. Indeed, when the ROC D7
metamorphic granite. It drills 8,000 mum of five rods is used in each hole. was sold in 2006, the second SmartRig
metres/month using Secoroc 102 mm The drilling grid is normally 2.5 m x ROC F9C was purchased just two hours
diameter spherical button bits, which 2.5 m. The first rod is drilled under later. The new machine drills 40%
have to be reground after 40 m. Bit life manual control, and then the rig com- faster for the same fuel consumption
is around 10 regrinds, or 440 m. puter takes over to complete the hole. as the ROC D7, and is more economic
A Secoroc Jazz grinding machine is The two operators rotate shifts, and on tools.
installed in a workshop at Destrukce vary their shift times according to de- Indeed, the company fleet average
offices, to where bits are sent back daily mand. In winter, the shifts can be as for 2006 was 23 drillmetres/hour, en-
from each rig in colour-coded boxes for short as 5 h. hanced by figures of 30 dm/h for the
grinding. This allows the company to However, in summer, peak demand first SmartRig ROC F9C and 35 dm/h
keep track of costs at individual quar- can sometimes result in 12 h operating for the second.
ries and on each rig. The SmartRig at shifts. It is at times like these that a com- Bear ing in mind that the t wo
Cenkov quarry is drilling 13-16 m fortable cab is a bonus. SmartRig ROC F9Cs are working in
benches using 3.66 m long Secoroc The quarry has a Nordberg Metso the hardest material, and are moving
primary crusher feeding a Metso secon- between sites for a higher proportion
Compact TV fitted into cab of dary crusher with six-product screen- of their available time, these are excep-
Destrukce SmartRig ROC F9C. ing plant. tional performances. The litres of fuel
consumed for each drill metre are also
Recent history significantly below the company fleet
The recent history of the company can be All in all, it is easy to believe Destrukce
summed up in its annual metres drilled. directors when they assert that they sim-
In 1999, production was 40-45,000 ply could not carry out their present
drill metres for 500,000 t using two rigs. workload without their two computer-
In 2006, Destrukce drilled 210,000 me- ized machines.
tres for 3.8 million t using four rigs. The
metres drilled have increased by 500%, Acknowledgements
while there has been an eight-fold
improvement in tonnages. This can be Atlas Copco is grateful to the directors
attributed to deeper, more accurate drill- and management of Destrukce for their
ing. The SmartRig ROC F9C is the key, assistance with the preparation of this
and the directors admit that, without article, a version of which first appea-
these machines on fleet, it would be red in Mining & Construction magazine
impossible to carry out the present 1-2007.

92 surface Drilling
brevik, norway

Cementing relationships with

Atlas Copco is a familiar name in
the cement industry, with a strong
reputation for supplying quality
quarry equipment. The company
has forged a long-standing tech-
nical partnership in Norway with
Norcem, a Heidelberg Cement sub-
sidiary, where a new generation
of limestone quarrying and mining
equipment has been tested. The
latest offering is the new GPS-
based Hole Navigation System
(HNS) developed by Atlas Copco
for its SmartRig, a product that
is poised to lead the way for faster,
more efficient and safer drilling.

Sole producer
Norway has a small, but well-established,
cement industry, with Norcem as the
sole producer. The company operates two
integrated works, one located at Brevik,
near Porsgrunn in southern Norway,
and the other at Kjepsvik in the north.
Both plants have marine locations, and
three bulk carriers take care of cement
supply to some 30 ports and terminals
along the Norwegian coast. Cement ca-
pacity from both factories amounts to
1.9 million t/y, serving a strong domestic
market worth around 1.4 million t/y.
Additionally, the company uses its stra-
tegic locations and deep water quays to
serve its overseas markets.
Located alongside the picturesque
waters of the Eidangerfjord on the sout-
hern coast of Norway, Norcem Brevik
is the larger of the two plants, with a
clinker production of 1.05 million t/y, One of Norcem's trucks, used to transport limestone at the Bjrntvet quarry.
and a cement production capacity of
1.25 million t/y. the Dalen underground mine, and the Valuable advances have been made
Originally built in 1918, the plant is factory is able to produce no less than in the area of quarry operations as a
now operating kiln No 6. Operationally, three types of clinker and seven types of result of the longstanding and fruitful
Brevik is a plant of great interest. It cement. Management at the plant have relationship between Norcem Brevik
has access to limestone from two sep- consistently sought to improve and re- and Atlas Copco. Over the last two years,
arate geological formations, including fine operations throughout the produc- Atlas Copco has used Brevik's surface
high quality limestone extracted from tion chain. quarry to field test and refine a range

surface Drilling 93
Cementing Relationships With SmartRig

Increasing productivity
An Atlas Copco drill rig is at the heart of
operations. This is a single Atlas Copco
SmartRig ROC F9C, which was deve-
loped over two years, and field tested at
Bjorntvet. This revolutionary surface
crawler is now equipped with Hole
Navigation System, in addition to un-
paralleled automation features.
The SmartRig control system pro-
vides a high level of automation to the
drilling process, resulting in higher pe-
netration rates and service life for drill
string components. By using the laser
plane as a reference height, all holes are
drilled to the same depth, leading to
improved fragmentation of blasted rock
and smoother benches. Hence, the costs
for secondary breaking, crushing, loading
and haulage are considerably reduced.
Automatic Feed Positioning redu-
ces setup time, and cancels out operator
error by setting the feed to predefined
angles at the touch of a button. As a result,
the rig is capable of drilling a series of
exactly parallel holes, which also con-
tributes to the safety of the operation.
The SmartRig is also equipped with
the automatic rod adding system, Auto-
RAS, which enables it to drill automa-
tically to a predetermined depth, while
allowing the operator to leave the cab
to carry out other tasks, such as main-
tenance checks or grinding bits.
Measure While Drilling (MWD) is
a powerful tool that logs a number of
parameters at requested intervals while
drilling, such as hole depth, penetration
rate, and damper, feed, percussion and
rotation pressures.
The SmartRig is also accompanied
Statistics from the Bjrntvet quarry show a 25% reduction in use of explosives and a 40% drop in by ROC Manager, which is a stand-
secondary blasting with SmartRig. alone, PC-based tool for making drill
plans, measuring hole deviation, and
of drilling rigs, one of which is the GPS- back in 1954. It has another 20 million t logging, presenting and reporting drill-
equipped SmartRig surface crawler. of remaining reserves. The Bjorntvet qu- ing data graphically. In ROC Manager,
arry requires a workforce of eight wor- the MWD data can be illustrated in sli-
Bjorntvet quarry king one shift/day to produce 0.7 mil- ces through the bench, with the rock
lion t/y of crushed limestone. In terms properties identified by contrasting
Nearly half the limestone used by Norcem of quarry equipment, a CAT 990H wheel colours.
Brevik is produced by the Bjorntvet loader loads two dumptrucks with bla-
openpit quarry, located 10 km from the sted limestone, for transport to the pri- Hole navigation system
Brevik plant, and served by a dedicated mary crusher a 1954-vintage Allis Chal-
rail link that shuttles limestone to the mers 42-65 gyratory crusher which is The latest function to be added to the
factory several times each day. still going strong. Impressively, the unit SmartRig, and one that is now being
The quarry has produced a total of is fully operational, only requiring new used at the Bjorntvet quarry, is the inte-
46 million t of limestone since it opened, wear plates every four or five years. gration of real-time Global Positioning

94 surface Drilling
Cementing Relationships With SmartRig

Norcems mine manager Trond Kaasa.

System (GPS). This Hole Navigation even need to aim it, because the system of the explosives is better; drilling to
System feature allows for the accurate runs it. Multiple holes can also be drilled correct depth is achieved every time;
positioning of the rig in relation to drill without moving the rig. Should the ope- and each hole is parallel. The result is
holes, according to a predetermined rator find that he needs to deviate from improved safety and less explosives
blast design, and completely eliminates the plan, for example, to drill another needed to achieve the same result. The
the need for surveying or staking. Apart hole in a series, he can simple press documentation function also helps meet
from saving time, this results in an al- the 'Add hole' on the dialogue screen at regulatory requirements in Norway.
together more precise drilling process, any point. The most noticeable improvement on
with less than 10 cm deviation, regard- During operation, accurate drill logs all SmartRigs is the reduction in hy-
less of weather conditions. are automatically documented and sto- draulic components by 30%. This re-
The drill plan, with blast angles, hole red on the PC-card, downloadable in sults in greater drilling efficiency, and
depths and other drilling data, is drawn a Microsoft word document. At the end releases space in the cab, improves ope-
up on a PC using ROC Manager and of the shift, the operator returns the PC rator ergonomics, and reduces noise.
exported to a PC card for transfer to card, with the drilling log, to the office The Silenced SmartRig is available for
the computer on the SmartRig. Using computer, so that the latest data can use in noise sensitive areas.
information from the drill plan on his be used for the next drill plan. Quarry SmartRigs are available in three dif-
cab display, the operator can navigate managers and operators are thus pro- ferent models, the SmartRig ROC D7C,
the rig to the coverage position for a vided with all the information they need SmartRig ROC D9C, and SmartRig
given hole, and the computer will give to plan the most effective, productive ROC F9C.
him the information to place and align and safe drilling patterns.
the feed exactly over the collar posi- The SmartRig ROC F9C is now fully Acknowledgements
tion. There is no need to mark out holes operational at the Bjorntvet quarry,
manually, saving valuable time. where the management is in no doubt Atlas Copco is grateful to Norcem for
At the drill location, the operator dis- that this new generation of surface craw- facilitating the site visit upon which
play switches to a second screen sho- ler rig represents an important step this article is based, and to Tom Arm-
wing the coverage area, calculated hole forward. strong of ICR Research, who wrote the
start and other relevant information. The new rig has improved perfor- original article.
Once the rig is set up, the operator doesn't mance in three dimensions. Distribution

surface Drilling 95
Bergen, Norway

Accurate drilling in Norway

with Hole Navigation System
Norwegian contractor Mesta is
improving the efficiency of its bla-
sting operations at the Romarheim
road improvement project, 50 kilo-
metres north-east of Bergen, Nor-
way. Using Atlas Copco SmartRig
ROC D7C GPS-guided drill rigs,
Mesta is achieving a level of speed
and accuracy with drilling and bla-
sting that is resulting in a reduc-
tion in the traffic disruption nor-
mally associated with this type of
operation. This is proving crucial
to keeping this important road
open for traffic in the absence of
an alternative route.

Pinpoint accuracy
The EUR18.5 million Romarheim road
improvement project represents the first
application of Hole Navigation System
for surface drilling on a construction Atlas Copco SmartRig ROC D7C working at Romarheim road improvement project.
project. To facilitate the exercise, a
Hole Navigation System was retrofitted For much of its length, the gradient scheduled, Mesta has to close the road
to a SmartRig ROC D7C rig originally will be 4%, with a stretch of 6% gra- for one hour for the clear-up operation.
supplied to Mesta in 2005. dient before entering the portal where The Hole Navigation System can
As the SmartRig ROC D7C was the there will be an additional lane for heavy, be used on any type of Atlas Copco
forerunner of the current SmartRig slow-moving vehicles. SmartRig. It features real time (RTK)
range of rigs, it was already prepared Drilling for the tunnel construction GPS, offering accuracy ranging from
for upgrading with the new technology. started in early-2007. +/-100 mm to +/-50 mm, depending on
Mesta is typical of Norwegian con- the number of satellites that are in view.
tractors, who are quick to adopt inno- Safety paramount The customer supplies the external
vative drilling technologies GPS equipment such as the receivers,
The Romarheim road development Around 4 km of the new road runs antennas and modems.
involves construction of 7.2 km of new along the line of the existing road,
road, which requires blasting some although the new stretch will be raised Anmask software
225,000 cu m of hard rock and moving on a bed of rock blasted from the cut-
350,000 cu m of earth. The overburden tings. The remaining 3 km of road, as On the Romarheim project, the system
has to be shifted along the existing well as the tunnel, will be completely is using Anmask mapping software, a
narrow road, a logistically difficult task new. The existing road carries an aver- commonly-used tool in Norway's con-
because the contractors trucks have age of 1,500 vehicles/day. struction sector, as it has data on the
to operate at the same time as normal The busy road is being upgraded be- geology of the entire country. This soft-
vehicle traffic is flowing. The job also cause it is now too narrow for the am- ware requires some additional hard-
includes a 950 m tunnel and four small ount of traffic it carries, and is subject ware, and there is an extra PC in the
bridges. The tunnel will have two lanes, to dangerous rockslides in winter. cab. All drilling data is taken straight
and will have a cross-section capable Blasting takes place every day, and sa- from the Anmask package, so drill
of accommodating large trucks. fety is paramount. Each time a blast is plans are not necessary.

surface Drilling 97
Accurate Drilling in Norway With hole navigation system

The display screen in the rig cabin

shows standard codes that the operator
can follow, and by logging the posi-
tion coordinates provided by the Hole
Navigation System, there is no need for
road boundaries to be marked out prior
to drilling the blastholes.
The cab display shows exactly where
each hole has to be drilled, and the soft-
ware takes account of variations in the
surface height of the rig. Every time the
operator repositions the drill rig for the
next hole, Anmask tells him how deep
to drill, and at what angle.
The operator's skill in moving the rig
is key to reducing set-up times, and the
Hole Navigation System's most obvious
benefit is its ability to ensure accurate
hole positioning. It is vital to get the
accuracy, especially at the sidewalls of
the road cuttings.

Level bottom
A major benefit of using HNS is that it
ensures that the bottoms of the holes
are level, leaving a flat floor after bla-
sting. Meanwhile, ensuring that the
blastholes lie in the same orientation
maximizes blasting efficiency, and re-
duces the need for costly and time-
consuming secondary breaking of over-
sized material. Parallel holes and flat
benches translate into reduced use of
The system also allows the operator to
optimize positioning, so that the great-
est number of holes can be drilled from
one set-up without moving the entire
rig, maximizing productivity.
The combination of these advan-
tages reduces clear-up time and cuts
wear and tear on loading and hauling
equipment by controlling the fragmen-
tation of the blasted rock. In addition,
f loors are smoother, which reduces
wear on tyres and transmissions. As the
holes are more parallel, the risk of fly-
rock is also reduced, providing added
safety. Documentation is improved too,
as all the data is logged and can be stored
for analysis.

Atlas Copco is grateful to contractor
Mesta for help received in the produc-
SmartRig ROC D7C with HNS system.
tion of this article.

98 surface Drilling
Sultanate of Oman

Oman mountain challenge

Major projects
In two major road construction
projects in the Sultanate of Oman,
the contractor Consolidated Con-
tractors Co Oman LLC, known as
CCC, has chosen six Atlas Copco
ROC D7 drill rigs to cut through
rocky hill barriers under tough
conditions. Availability and output
of the rigs has been higher than
would normally expected, mainly
due to the service support pro-

Muscat bypass
The 35 km long Bjwr Bandar-Jissat Witti
(BBJW) road will bypass Muscat, the
congested capital of Oman. The align-
ment passes through high, rocky hills
to link two existing roads to the Baj re-
sorts and replace the existing old roads,
which are in poor condition.
The route passes through a limestone
ridge, where a cutting is being excavated
in a series of 10 m benches. Three Atlas
Copco ROC D7 drill rigs with COP 1838
tophammer rock drills equipped with
Secoroc T38 1.5 in diameter rods are
drilling 64 mm blastholes.
Holes are typically 11 m deep, in-
cluding a metre of subdrilling. Each rig ROC D7 copes well with rough terrain near Muscat.
drills 25 to 30 holes per 10 h shift, aver-
aging a steady 25 m/h, using Secoroc
flat-faced bits with spherical button in- The local Atlas Copco distributor, Atlas Copco manager Andreas
serts. Bin Salim Enterprises LLD, carries out Papadopoulos, who is based in Greece
The drilling pattern comprises a grid all rig maintenance, servicing and re- and is responsible for Oman, agrees that
of 2.5 m burden x 3 m spacing, with a pairs according to a planned main- good service support from both Bin
15 degree inclination. Presplit holes are tenance schedule drawn up by Atlas Salim Enterprises and Atlas Copco on
drilled at the back of the bench, with a Copco. this project has been a major factor in
27 degree inclination. The area plant manager at CCC as- maximizing the performance of the
serts that Atlas Copco is the best choice ROC D7 rigs and in keeping them at
Service and support in these harsh conditions. Their perfor- full productivity.
mance on the road contract has persu-
The rocky hills of the ridge present a aded him to buy similar rigs for ongo- Sojar to Al Burin
challenging working environment, with ing requirements.
arduous tramming of the rigs and dif- The CCC worksite manager com- CCCs other road construction project,
ficult positioning. Extreme tempera- plains that he suffered 30 percent less from Sojar to Al Burin, is arguably even
tures, which often rise to 50 degrees C productivity due to breakdowns with tougher. The remote 80 km long route,
in the summer months, are the highest the previous fleet, and that no service some 200 km from Muscat, will pass
under which drill rigs work anywhere. support was provided on site by the sup- through mountains for half of its length.
Nevertheless, the ROC D7s have suffe- plier. All of that changed for the better The prevailing limestone and gabbro is
red no major technical problems. with the arrival of the ROC D7 fleet. harder here than that encountered at the

surface Drilling 99
Oman mountain challenge

The 18 kW hydraulic rock drill COP 1838 .

Muscat bypass, and there is also some equipped with COP 1838 rock drills an older IR LM 401 rig. The standard
fracturing that can make drill hole de- and T38 rods working at this site, where drill pattern is 3 m x 3.5 m with a 15
viation control difficult. The contrac- they are successfully meeting the chal- degree hole inclination. Hole diameters
tor has another three ROC D7 rigs lenges. The ROC D7s are supported by are either 64 or 76 mm depending on
the hardness and fracturing of the rock,
Secoroc equipment for bench drilling. Button bits, extension and guide rods and coupling. and bench heights are set at 10 m with
one metre of subdrilling.
Despite the tough conditions, each
rig drills 180-230 m per shift. Sixty per-
cent of the working time is taken up
tramming and positioning the rigs, ma-
king these outputs more than accepta-
ble. As in the BBJW road project, local
factory-planned servicing and training
are provided by Bin Salim Enterprises.
CCCs experience with the Atlas
Copco rigs has been much the same on
this difficult project as on the BBJW
road construction. The project plant ma-
nager considers Atlas Copco as a partner
of CCC, in the same way as Mercedes,
Caterpillar and other big companies.

Atlas Copco is grateful to CCC for its as-
sistance in the preparation of this article,
a version of which was first published
in Mining & Construction magazine

100 surface Drilling

Ankara & Cappadocia, Turkey

ROC D7 rigs on top in Turkey

Brand loyalty
A surge in construction activity
around the capital, Ankara, com-
bined with technically advanced
drilling products and dedicated
attention to customer needs, has
brought Atlas Copco one of its
best years in Turkey. Activities
in two major Lafarge quarries in
central Turkey demonstrate how
contractors and quarry operators
rely on Atlas Copco products and
aftercare, and also highlight the
major technical improvements
found in the ROC D7 Mk II drill
rig compared to a Mk 1 still cate-
ring for high production require-

Construction activity The new ROC D7 is designed for greater stability; a great advantage when developing the new top
benches at the Bunyan Quarry.
Cement and aggregates are valuable
commodities around Ankara, where hardcore, asphalt, and concrete aggre- hole work, and in particularly difficult
construction activity can be seen in all gates. geological conditions, by virtue of the
directions. Although much of central versatile COPROD drilling system.
Turkey is built on limestone, it is im- Ten ROC drill rigs The reputation of iftay and its fleet
portant to work the best materials for of equipment is reflected in the fact that
concrete production, asphalt and hard- The iftay drill rig f leet comprises Lafarge invited them to bid to work its
core, resulting in many quarries being eight Atlas Copco ROC D7 rigs cur- quarries in Turkey.
spread out around the area. As this in- rently working, with another on the The Bnyan Quarry, lying near the
creases transport costs, and Turkish busi- way, anda ROC F7 COPROD. The city of Kayseri in Cappadocia, is one of
ness complains of the highest priced fuel latter is used for occasional deeper the more recent star performers. It is
in Europe and the Middle East, over-
all costs control is vital. Contractors Close relations: iftay management and Atlas Copco representatives at the iftay headquarters in Ankara.
are striving for true economy in their Foreground: Zia Aydin - managing director of the iftay group. L to R: Medet Attila Aydin; Suat Guven;
operations, and this often means adopt- Mustafa Cecil Yce - Atlas Copco Turkey Ankara works manager; Yavuz Akkaya; Mnir Tertemiz
ing astute working practices rather than - Atlas Copco Turkey CMT sales engineer.
simply buying cheap.
A leading example of these trends
in Turkish quarrying is the family con-
struction business iftay. The company
has been in operation since 1987, but the
familys involvement with rock exca-
vation, and a close association with Atlas
Copco, goes back many years.
Headquartered in Ankara, iftay
works throughout the country and ope-
rates quarries of its own, as well as pro-
viding excavation contracting services
to other quarries, including those opera-
ted by Lafarge. Four of iftays six
quarries supply cement works exclusively
for ready-mix concrete, while the others
have a multiple range of products for

surface Drilling 101

ROC D7 Rigs on Top in Turkey

The larger canopy doors on the new ROC D7 rig enhance service access.

situated in the foothills of the Tahtali plant, and iftay is responsible for all subjected to extremes of temperature
Dalari mountains, about four hours production up to the crusher. from +30 degrees C to 30 degrees C.
drive southeast of Ankara, and is over- The quarry produces 1 million t of The success of the quarry is also a
looked by Turkey's fourth largest moun- limestone a year, which is double that result of improved marketing of the
tain, the 3,734 m-high Mount Erciyes. obtained by the previous contractor limestone, and strict quality control.
The elevation of the quarry itself is using Japanese rigs. This output has to All of the dolomitic limestone, defi-
about 1,700 m, and the area licensed for be reached during only eight months of ned as 18+% magnesium content, within
extraction extends over 600 hectares. the year, because the snow lies too thick the licensed area is usable. Samples of
The quarry supplies two cement fac- for proper access and normal operations all rock for delivery are analysed at an
tories and a ready-mix concrete batching during most of the winter. The area is on-site laboratory, and the results trans-
mitted to the customers batching plant,
The stiffer square-section boom of the new ROC D7 aids more accurate collaring. and to Lafarge.
Despite a fairly remote location, the
future looks bright for the quarry, which
is capable of 2 million t annual produc-
tion in a growing market.
All production drilling is carried out
by a single Atlas Copco D7 rig, which
iftay placed on the site new in April,
2006. By September that year, the rig
had drilled 32,000 m.

Economy and stability

The new ROC D7 is equipped with a
new generation of diesel engine in which
exhaust emissions and fuel consump-
tion are major design priorities. iftay
reports relative fuel consumption of 0.70
litre/drillmetre, which is considerably
less than that of the old generation ROC
D7. The new rig is also equipped with
a larger fuel tank for 12 h operation, so

102 surface Drilling

ROC D7 Rigs on Top in Turkey

Demonstrating the steepness of the slopes on which iftay and Yibitis-Lafarge plan to use the new ROC D7 in future.

it does not have to be brought down for fixing is much easier to use, and to re- midnight, but the quarry only has to
refuelling so often from its relatively move when not needed. The improved work one shift to keep up production.
inaccessible location. ROPS/FOPS-approved cab includes
The ROC D7 is working new benches a protective plate beneath for better Flexible drilling
at the top of the hill overlooking the safety.
preparation plant, where the natural There is also improved access for The standard bench height varies, de-
slope can be 45 degrees. iftay believe servicing of important items within the pending on surface contours, between
that no other machine can work such engine canopy and, in particular, a new 12 m and 21m. At present there are six
slopes without a special safety line. side doors layout. The central lubrica- benches in the central main part of
The improved stability of the new tion system has been relocated, and there the quarry, and three on the sides.
ROCD7 can be an important considera- is improved access to the compressor The ROC D7 drills vertically with
tion when working virgin ground and oil drainage point. a one-metre overdrill below the bench.
steep slopes such as at Bnyan Quarry. The preparation plant is worked on The average penetration rate achieved
The chassis is located further forward two shifts of 8-9 h between 07.00 h and is 30 m/h.
to offer improved balance which, cou-
pled with a greater width, gives more On-site support: ektas' ROC D7 operator, Omer Altun, and Atlas Copco Turkey's manager of
stability in transit. The 2-piece folding training & technical development, Yavuz Akkaya, discuss finer points of production drilling.
boom is of square section, its extra
rigidity making it easier to position the
feed correctly for collaring.

The cab of the new ROC D7 is equipped
with both heating and air-conditioning,
coupled with a positive pressure venti
lation system. Whilst the full advantag-
es of heating and air-conditioning have
not yet been experienced, the positive
ventilation has a great effect on work-
ing conditions.
The cab lets in less dust, and the cab
ladder with new pin rather than bolt

surface Drilling 103

ROC D7 Rigs on Top in Turkey

ektas' old generation ROC D7 has been giving long, high-production service at the Yibitis-Lafarge Lalahan Quarry near Ankara.

The new ROC D7 is equipped with quality as at Bnyan, and is slightly 230 m/day at penetration rates of 40-
the COP 1840HE hydraulic tophammer softer and highly fractured. The prod- 45m/h, excluding rig moving time.
drill with double dampening. The drill ucts are mainly aggregates for concrete ektas carries out regular mainte-
tools used are Atlas Copco Secoroc production, plus some raw materials nance every 400 h, leaving 600 h lee-
89 mm diameter Retrac spherical button for a nearby cement works, with a total way on the maximum interval of 1,000 h.
bits with T51 Speedrods of 3.66 m length. output of 150,000 t/month, or 5,000 t/day. Drill rig fuel consumption is just
iftay has tested other brands, but pre- Aggregates go to an adjacent Lafarge 0.92 litre/drillmetre, and 0.04 litre/min,
fer Secoroc because the drill string life premix concrete plant, and for manufac- which is very low. ektas gained its con-
is better. They buy centrally for all their turing precast products such as pipes. tracts on low margins, so costs are very
operations, and supply all quarries from The old ROCD7 rig at Lalahan has important to them. Although compet-
a central store. worked for 10,272 engine hours with ing contractors use similar drilling eq-
Two main drill patterns are used, with no defects. Both drill rig and quarry uipment, they use them to full capacity,
staggered hole alignment, depending work one 10h shift/day. The quarry incurring high fuel and consumables
on the fracturing and hardness of the operates 10m high benches at the costs.
rock. For hard rock, an overburden of top elevation, and 12 m on the lower The normal drill pattern has 3.1 m
3.25 m is used with 2.75 m hole spac- sections. burden and 3.2 m hole spacing. Blasting
ing. For softer, or more fractured strata, Efficiency tests revealed that three is by ANFO with Dynamit primers, and
a pattern of 3.5 m x 3.0 m is adopted. 3.66 m rods is the best combination for non-electric Nonel detonation.
ANFO explosive with Dynamit pri- these bench heights. Including connec- This comparison of the new and old
mers and electronic delay detonators tion time, the first rod takes 1.5 min- generation ROC D7 drill rigs in similar
are used for blasting. utes, the second 3 minutes and the third circumstances shows that, although the
iftays own on-site artisans carry 6 minutes. Four rods are only ever used old rigs continues to give reliable serv-
out drill rig maintenance, but an Atlas on the top bench where the surface is ice after many hours of working, the
Copco contract maintenance service is uneven, to avoid unnecessary fatigue in new rigs have been well received, and
under consideration. the drill string. its design improvements appreciated.
Rods last 6,000 m on average, with
Lalahan quarry some breakages in the hole in very frac- Acknowledgements
tured rock. The Atlas Copco Secoroc
One of iftays partner companies, 89 mm diameter Retrac button bits last Atlas Copco is grateful to the directors
ektas, is working in Yibitis Lafarges 8,000 m on average, with the odd lost and management of iftay and ektas
Lalahan Quarry on the outskirts of bit in the hole. The ROC D7, equipped for permission to publish this article.
Ankara. The limestone is not such high with a COP 1838 rock drill, achieves

104 surface Drilling

Kalimantan, Malaysia

High dam rising at Bakun Hydro

Tropical rainfall
The Bakun Hydroelectric Project
(HEP) is located in the island of
Kalimantan, formerly Borneo, one
of worlds largest islands. The
main infrastructure is located in
a gorge on the upper course of
the extensive 900 km-long Rejang
River. The attraction and moti-
vation of the Bakun HEP is the
catchment area of 14,750 sq km
with an average rainfall of 4,100
mm in a tropical rainforest. The
water reservoir will cover an area
about 695 sq km. The nearest ma-
jor town with an airport is Bintulu,
which is about 180 km distant
along a tarred road.

Dam history
The design is for a Concrete Faced Rock
Filled Dam (CRFD), built to a height of
205 m. This will be the second highest
CRFD in the world after the Sibuya dam
of China. It will have a powerhouse with
turbines fed by eight tunnels to produce The ROC F7 working on one of the many benches at Bakun.
a total output of 2,400 MW.
Work started in 1997 under a contract
civil work awarded to a Malaysian and Engineering Bhd, MTD Capital Bhd,
awarded to Ekran Corporation Bhd, but
a Chinese joint venture named Malaysia- Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd, Syarikat
was almost immediately delayed by the
China Hydro Joint Venture (MCH JV). Ismail Ibrahim Sdn Bhd, and Edward
Asian economic crisis. By this stage, a
MCH JV comprises mainly China Na- and Son Sdn Bhd. From this joint ven-
substantial amount of work had been
tional Water Resources and Hydro- ture group MTD Capita and WCT Engi-
done in developing the site roads, base
power Engineering Corporation and neering Sdn Bhd formed a company
camp, and offices, together with three
Sime Engineering Sdn Bhd together with called Intraxis Sdn Bhd to undertake
concrete-lined diversion tunnels of 12 m
smaller Malaysian companies like WCT Package 1A of the civil works. This
diameter and lengths of 1,300 m to
1,470 m subcontracted to Dong Ah
Construction of Korea. Statistics for the Concrete Faced Rockfilled Dam (CFRD):
The project was taken over and re-
Crest level EL 235 m asl
started by the government in 2001. It is
now divided into packages, with con- Slopes 1V : 1.4 H
struction of the auxiliary cofferdam Height above foundation 205 m
awarded to Global Upline Sdn Bhd. Crest length 740 m
They completed the 70 m high rock-
Crest width 12 m
filled embankment, with an upstream
sealing layer constructed from residual, Maximum width at base 560 m
impervious soils. Volume 5.8 x 10,000,000 cu m
Concrete face area ~ 120 sq m
Construction contractors Power/pressure conduits 8 steel lined shafts (diameter 7 m) and 8 tailrace
tunnels (diameter 8.5 m), total length of 680 m
The main CW2 civils construction be-
gan in October, 2002 with the main Power house 8 x Francis type 315 MW

surface Drilling 105

High Dam Rising at Bakun Hydro

Clearing bedrock for dam foundation.

involved the clearing and removal of and general rock clearance along the were mainly used for drilling 76 and
overburden for the main dam and qu- banks of the river downstream of the 89 mm holes to various depths, depen-
arry area and associated works. dam. Most of the work was carried out ding on the situation, using Atlas Copco
using the ROC D7, which proved to be a Secoroc rock tools.
Drilling and blasting versatile machine, handling varied de- FMS also have the ROC F7 and the
mands at the difficult site. ROC L6 to handle the bigger jobs, espe-
Specialist drill and blast contractors In some instances, the bund width cially where 102 mm holes are needed.
Fong Mook Seong Sdn Bhd (FMS) were was narrow and the slope was steep, These two machines proved to be
assigned to carry out the drill and blast but the ROC D7 was able to handle very productive on huge volume bla-
at the lower spillway and powerhouse, these jobs efficiently. The two ROC D7s sting. During an 8 hour shift, each ma-
chine is capable of drilling more than
Datuk Puspanathan, Managing Director of Overseas Tunnelling and Construction Sdn Bhd. 300 m. FMS also used a couple of old
faithful ROC 742s during the initial
stage of the job, proving this is still a
very productive machine for the par-
ticular jobs assigned to it.

Upper spillway
The upper spillway was originally co-
vered with various sizes of boulders
and weathered rocks providing a chall-
enging drilling assignment for Over-
seas Tunnelling and Construction (OTC).
Their three ROC D7 and one ROC D5,
complete with folding boom and long
or high reach, helped tremendously on
this tricky job. The blast holes were ge-
nerally drilled using 89 mm bits from
Secoroc. OTC achieved a high utili-
zation rate for the drill rigs, despite using
them to drill rockbolt holes as a cost

106 surface Drilling

High Dam Rising at Bakun Hydro

Drill rig performances

Model Hole dia Drill tube Secoroc bit type Drillmetres

ROC D5 76 mm T45 flat front spherical 250 m/day
ROC D7 89 mm T45 and T51 flat front spherical 250 m/day
ROC F7 89-102 mm T51 flat front spherical 300 m/day
ROC L6 112 and 115 mm COP 45 concave front 300 m/day
ROC 742 76 and 89 mm T45 flat front spherical 200 m/day

and time saving measure. These bolt coverage were definite strong features project is expected to be end-2009, after
holes were mainly horizontal, and up of the machines, with COP 1800-series which it will require two years to fill.
to 15 m deep, and drilling them at the rock drills capable of handling up to The cost of implementation of this
same time as the blast holes signifi- 115 mm diameter drilling in all rock project is expected to be about USD
cantly reduced the work cycle times. conditions. The rock drills also have 1.84 billion.
Preparations for the dam foundations a unique reflex double damping system
were carried out by drilling and bla- that keeps the drill bit in optimum con- Acknowledgements
sting contractor M K Ting using the tact with the rock at all times.
ROC D7. These involved precise and The ROC D7 is easy to set up for Atlas Copco is grateful to the contractors
controlled blasting to deliver a high qua- drilling straight, quality holes utilizing at Bakun Hydro who contributed to this
lity platform for further foundation double drill steel support, hydraulic article.
work. feed, and intelligent hydraulic system.
This contractor also has a ROC F9 The Atlas Copco hydraulic drilling sy-
available to drill 102 mm holes. They stem increases penetration rates while Atlas Copco COP 1838 rock drill being prepared
faced very challenging geology in the reducing drill steel costs to improve pro- for overhaul at the jobsite.
predominantly conglomerate sandstone ductivity and overall drilling economy.
greywackes with interbedded shale and Added to similar features as the ROC
mudstone, mostly folded at more than D7, the ROC F7 also has a more powerful
45 degrees. In this type of rock the driller engine on board to provide increased
has to recognize changes in rock con- hydraulic power and compressed air for
dition in order to change drilling tactics. larger diameter drill holes.
During the early stages of the project, While the tophammer drill rigs were
there was high cost due to premature capable of handling most of the work
breakage of drill rods. This was cor- at the dam, a higher capacity machine
rected by training the drillers in appro- was required for the big volume blasting.
priate drilling techniques and paying The DTH system is capable of hand-
attention to the drill rig parameters. The ling drill holes where up to 20 m deep
anti-jamming and RPCF systems were is the norm, satisfying the demand for
explained in detail so that the drillers volume drilling.
could obtain maximum benefit from All drill bits are reground at specific
these advances. intervals using an Atlas Copco Grind
Matic Manual B.
Service contract All the drill rigs are equipped with
CAT engines, known for their relia-
Atlas Copco maintains a fully equip- bility, and a Caterpillar service centre
ped workshop at site to carry out main- is located at the dam site.
tenance, repairs and overhauls. Adequate Other Atlas Copco equipment at
supplies of rock tools and spare parts site includes portable air compressors
are held on stock to reduce the turna- models XAMS 326 Md and XRHS 355
round time. Two technicians are at the Md for shotcreting and DTH drilling of
jobsite fulltime, with administrative long drainage holes.
support from the head office. By end-2005, construction of the dam
The ROC D7 is a multi-purpose ma- filling was at the 126 m level, with about
chine designed to handle a variety of 40% volume completed. The com-
tasks at construction and quarry sites. pletion level of 205 m was reached at
The large drilling area and very high end-2006. The completion of the dam

surface Drilling 107

Nam Theun, Laos

Hydro construction in Laos

Landmark project
Construction of the Nam Theun 2
hydroelectric plant is a landmark
project in Asia. It is the largest In-
dependent Power Producer (IPP)
project in the region, and the big-
gest construction project ever un-
dertaken in Laos. Upon comple-
tion, the NT2 hydroelectric plant
will have the capacity to generate
1 070 MW of electricity, of which
93.5 % will be exported to Thailand.
Landlocked and heavily forested,
the location of the site presents
huge logistics challenges to the
constructors. However, experien-
ced contractor Nishimatsu, using
Atlas Copco equipment with first-
class service and support, has pro-
duced superb drilling performance,
averting some of the potential pro-
blems normally associated with
such difficult conditions.
Power house work at Nam Theun 2 dam.

Power generation from headrace inlet to turbine, before equipment and associated maintenance.
running 27 km in a downstream channel In the wet season, the near-constant
Work on the Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric to the Xe Band Fei river, which ultima- rainfall complicates the simplest of ope-
project officially started in May, 2005, tely joins the Mekong. The NT2 pro- rations, and the remote location means
one month after Electricit de France ject also involves the construction of that, if a part or tool is not available,
(EDF) signed the construction contract. a 138 km long, 500 kV transmission everything has to carry on without it.
EDF then divided the work into three line to the Thai border, to facilitate the Nishimatsu chose Atlas Copco. Ha-
separate subcontracts for tunnelling, po- export of electricity. ving worked together on many previous
wer station, and dam construction. projects, Nishimatsu were very con-
Site preparation work in 2004 be- Skilled partner fident of the ability of Atlas Copco to
gan with the creation of access roads. deliver the drilling tools and quality of
In June, 2005 work started to drive the The Japanese company Nishimatsu Con- service demanded.
tunnels, and over 3,000 workers now po- struction was awarded the tunnelling The pay-for-performance drilling con-
pulate the site. The scheme includes con- contract and looked for a partner that tract means that only drilled metres will
struction of a 39 m high by 436 m wide could provide reliable drilling and main- be paid for, and at a guaranteed, fixed
dam wall at the Nakai flood plain, which tenance services for the project. Most price. As a result, Nishimatsu can be
will create a reservoir of 450 sq km. important to Nishimatsu was that the sure their rock faces get drilled as and
A channel will carry the water 70 km winning partner could provide a fixed- when needed, allowing them to concen-
to the intake tunnel for the power gener- cost service, and had the infrastructure trate on other things rather than spend
ating plant. From here, a downhill gra- and expertise to offer reliable main- time dealing with maintenance issues.
dient of 10 % will take it into the 200 m- tenance in what is a very demanding
high vertical pressure shaft. From the environment. Set-up phase
base of the shaft, it will reach the tur- Landlocked and with poor accessi-
bines through a 1.43 km long, steel- bility to the worksite, the chosen partner An Atlas Copco Senior Service Ad-
lined pressure tunnel with 90 sq m cross would need to operate self-sufficiently, visor from the Hong Kong office was
section. This will reduce to 60 sq m and ship in all the facilities and spare called in to assist with setting up a base
as the tunnel narrows before joining a parts it might need during the con- close to the worksite, and training the
manifold which will split the flow into tract. operators on the drill rigs and associ-
four streams, one for each turbine. The It was never going to be an easy task ated equipment. As the local population
water will run a total distance of 2.75 km for any company to provide the drilling comprises mainly subsistence farmers,

surface Drilling 109

Hydro Construction in Laos

At damsite, Atlas Copco has three

Boomer L2 C twin boom drill rigs, one
Boomer 352 and one Boomer 322. The
onsite camp that carries out service and
maintenance of the rigs houses a self-
contained unit comprising a hose work-
shop, regrinding facility, administration
office and spare parts centre. A com-
plete spare rock drill was also brought
in at the start of the contract to provide
a backup, but has not been needed so
In fact, apart from routine servicing,
the fleet has had no significant pro-
blems, and has maintained an effective
availability of 100 %. This is testament
to the investment in the maintenance
facility, and the thorough preparation
of the infrastructure to cope with the
remoteness of the site.
Service at the site is provided around-
the-clock by a team of eight mainte-
Atlas Copco service team at Nam Theun 2.
nance engineers and several assistants.
Each rig is allocated a service engineer,
drill rig operators and other skilled wor- experienced and highly skilled, so it who is responsible for keeping it ready
kers had to be imported. The operators was just a question of showing them to drill at the face, regardless of the
brought in by Nishimatsu were very the latest features on the rigs. time of day or night.

Atlas Copco Boomer L2 C rig at the face.

110 surface Drilling

Hydro Construction in Laos

Blast and bench

Tunnelling on the project consists of pro-
gressing four faces through predomi-
nantly sedimentary sandstone and mud-
stone rock, amounting to a total of
4 000 m excavation. The headrace tun-
nel is being advanced from either end,
along with a service tunnel and a high-
pressure tunnel.
The tunnels are created in two stages,
with Boomer L2 Cs advancing the
crown of the face by drill/blast, follo-
wing which surface crawler rigs bench
blast the floor to create the final profile.
Drilling of one round of blast holes
with the Boomer L2 C drill rigs takes
between 90 and 100 minutes, after
which they are charged with ANFO
emulsion. Penetration rates range from
2.5 to 4 m/min, resulting in rates of
advance of 150 m/month at each face.
Both 45 mm and 48 mm ballistic but-
ton bits are used, with 4.3 m and 4.9 m
rods. Holes in the centre of the blast
pattern are reamed to a diameter of
102 mm, using domed bits, to create a
breaking face for the initial detonation
of each round. Four regrinds at the on-
site facility is enough to get the bits
through their 1 000 m drilling life, with
each shank adapter lasting for more than
6 000 h. The hauled waste is removed,
and used around the site to improve its
Reinforcement in the tunnels is achie-
ved with 3 m and 4 m Swellex bolts in-
stalled into 43 mm holes drilled by the
Rocket Boomers. Shotcrete, mesh and,
where necessary, reinforced arches are
also installed.

Nam Ngum 2 project Atlas Copco ROC D7 rig working at Nam Ngum 2 site.
Atlas Copco equipment is also being
used to drive the 4 km long diversion As with the tunnels at NT2, the on the site is critical for the contractor,
tunnel upstream. The tunnel will be Boomers clear the upper 8 m of the tun- as the diversion tunnel must be ready
used to regulate reservoir levels, and nel profile before the ROC 642 HC craw- by the end of the next dry season, when
allow drainage of the water for periodic ler rigs move in to bench blast the floor, the river will be diverted and the dam
inspection of the dam shields. removing a further 5 m of rock. The team created.
Contractor C K Lao has assembled a has had good experience with Atlas
fleet of Boomers and surface crawler Copco from previous projects, and so Acknowledgements
rigs, including 8 x ROC D7, 6 x is familiar with the machines.
CM 348, 3 x ROC 203, 2 x ROC 642 Working two drilling shifts, C K Lao Atlas Copco is grateful to the contractors
and 2 x CM 35 with two MB1600 hy- is aiming to advance at the rate of 4.2 m/ at Nam Theun 2 and Nam Ngum 2 for their
draulic breakers completing the excava- day employing 136-hole rounds. The help in the production of this article.
tion fleet. The tunnel is being driven using charge holes are 4 m deep in normal
drill/blast in sandstone and siltstone. conditions. Keeping progress up to speed

surface Drilling 111

offshore, norway

Drilling the seabed for underwater

Improving the
sea lanes
Since the mid-1980s, the Norwe-
gian government has been upgra-
ding the coastal harbours and sea
lanes of Norway to facilitate the
passage of larger vessels. From
Nordkapp in the north, to Lindes-
nes in the south, a remarkable job
is being carried out by teams of
drillers working from platforms
positioned using D-GPS satellite
navigation in order to locate each
worksite. These teams are respon-
sible for the entire process, includ-
ing getting the platform into place,
drilling underwater into rock, char-
ging the holes with dynamite, blas-
ting and dredging the rock mass,
and hauling it away on barges.
Needless to say, the task is highly B/R Nyhavn with the Atlas Copco ROC D7 drill rig aboard.
challenging and requires a multi-
tude of skills and precision, and team underwent comprehensive famil- worked in shifts of two to three weeks,
supremely reliable drill rigs. iarization t raining, while adjusting to in teams of three plus one foreman.
their new living accommodation aboard The changeover on B/R Nyhavn pro-
Drilling platforms a separate pontoon, anchored closer to ved very successful, with the rig func-
the shore. The drilling itself was hand- tioning according to plan, and the project
Kystverket, the Norwegian Maritime and led by Kystverkets own production unit, finished on time and within the stipu-
Coast Guard Agency responsible for the Kystverket Produksjon, whose drillers lated budget.
ports project, expanded the capacity of
their drilling platforms in 2002. At this Using a D-GPS satellite navigation system, the platform can anchor at the exact location of the worksite.
time, they introduced new, more effec-
tive Atlas Copco ROC drilling equip-
ment on two out of their three existing
platforms. B/R Nyhavn is a semi jack-
up platform, while B/R Vestbor is a full
jack-up platform, which can be raised
as high as 5.0 m above the water-line.
The different characteristics of the two
platforms demanded separate solutions
for each drilling operation, so a ROC
D7 was purchased for B/R Nyhavn, and
a ROC D5 for B/R Vestbor. The third
platform in the fleet is expected to be
updated, with the addition of a ROC
drill rig in the near future.
The B/R Nyhavn drillers got acquain-
ted with the ROC D7 rig in the calm
waters of Torangsvg, Bergen, a har-
bour on the south-east coast of Norway.
Before the introduction of the rigs, the

surface Drilling 113

Drilling the Seabed for Underwater Blasting

Blasting in Torangsvg, Bergen.

All-weather operation On B/R Nyhavn, the ROC D7 has a Acknowledgements

wave change compensator fitted onto its
The projects are operational all the year feed. This enables the unit to maintain Atlas Copco is grateful to the manage-
round, although occasional snow and contact with the rock, even though the ment of the Norwegian Maritime and
ice at the height of the winter has brie- platform may be rolling on the waves. Coast Guard Agency and its operating
fly halted the drilling process. The full jack-up platform of B/R subsidiary Kystverket, for their help and
However, weather conditions are ge- Vestbor is supported by four iron pillars assistance with this article about un-
nerally not a problem, and the ROC D7 anchored on the seabed, a system which usual applications of ROC drill rigs.
has proved equally functional on a plat- makes it very stable, and compensates
form when drilling in water into the for waves as high as 1.5 m. The ROC D7 feed is fitted with a wave change
seabed, as when it is drilling on land. The positive effect of the modifica- compensator.
Equipped with a COP 1838 HE rock tions on both platforms has encouraged
drill, T45 Speedrods and a Secoroc the team to extend the capacity of the
spherical drop centre bit, the ROC D7 rigs even f urther. Drilling is currently
drills 76 mm holes at a maximum pene- restricted to 12 m below the surface of
tration rate of 2.5 m/min. the water, but new modifications on
This enables a total excavation ca- the rigs will increase the maximum
pacity of two full-size barges of spoil drilling depth to 20 m.
per 10-hour shift. Since the success of the project at
The drilling work in Torangsvg was Torangsvg, Kystverket sees new possi-
completed in December, 2002, when bilities ahead in connection with a plan
the platform equipped with the ROC D7 to privatize its services. Thanks to the
rig was transported northwards along reliable performance of the Atlas Copco
the coast to start work at a new site at equipment, they have gained the confi-
Lofoten. dence to expand, and in future expect
to be competing for drilling projects
Rig modifications in coastal waters around the whole of
Scandinavia. A fourth platform ordered
The different systems utilized on the by Kystverket has been designed with
two platforms have demanded indivi- living accommodation incorporated
dual modifications to the drill rigs. onboard.

114 surface Drilling

Matosinhos, Portugal

Underwater blasting for Leixoes

Three barges,
six rigs
Leixoes harbour, at Matosinhos,
north of Porto in Portugal, is being
deepened in order to handle lar-
ger ships. This involves drilling
and blasting some 200,000 sq m
of seabed to remove 250,000 cu
m of rock. Three barges are emplo-
yed, two mounting Atlas Copco
ROC D7 drill rigs, and the third
with three purpose-built pneu-
matic rigs equipped with Atlas
Copco rock drills. Comparisons
between the two systems are ine-
vitable, but it can be safely said
that the pneumatic rigs use more
manpower than the hydraulic rigs.
It remains to be seen what the
comparative costs/m will be.

Leixoes harbour
The Leixoes harbour deepening involved Etermar/Somague barge Porto de Aveiro with two rail mounted ROC D7s.
drilling and blasting sea floor that was
previously at -6 m to -8 m, and lowe- are owned and operated by drilling sub- has three specially fabricated tower rigs
ring it to -10 m. Sea floor that was al- contractor Dipax, a key client of Atlas equipped with Atlas Copco gravity-fed
ready at -10 m was lowered to -12 m. Copco Portugal. They use 3.7 m Seco- BBE 57 pneumatic rock drills powered
When the harbour project is completed, roc T45 Speedrods with Secoroc 76 mm by a trio of Atlas Copco XAHS 365
ships of up to 215 m long and with drafts ballistic button bits, with an expectation mobile compressors, each delivering
up to 11 m will be able to berth at Leixoes, of 15 holes/shift for each drill rig. 12 bar pressure at 365 lit/sec FAD.
modernizing its capabilities to present- Porto de Aveiro was moved and posi- The BBE 57s use 2 m rods, with coupled
day standards. tioned in the drilling area by tugboats. 4 m lengths being inserted into the drill
The seabed is uneven, with steep un- Once in position, it dropped four seabed string from platforms on each drilling
dulations in places, making collaring, anchors, and used its onboard winches tower.
and holding position, difficult. Drilling to move across the drilling area. At each The Eng S A Nogueira ROC D7
was in granite and schist, and some al- drilling position, it extended its two legs drilled 15 holes in each 16 hour shift,
tered strata. The contract was paid on to the seabed to steady itself, slacking and each BBE 57 on the Pocinho Rock-
cubic metres excavated to the required off its anchor cables until they lay on fall barge drilled 15 holes in each 12
levels, so the performance of the drill the seabed, out of danger of snagging. hour shift using 76 mm diameter drill
rigs was crucial to success. Their second barge, Eng S A Nogueira, bits.
The contractors who used the barges is self-powered. It has a single ROC D7 The drill rigs were washed off every
equipped with Atlas Copco ROC D7 rigs mounted on rails so that it can traverse day using fresh water to prevent salt-
were Etermar and Somague, who work the entire length of one side. The barge water corrosion.
together on various similar projects. On has two retractable legs to help maintain
this occasion, Etermar was the leader. correct drilling position, allowing a Wave compensation
Their barge Porto de Aveiro was eq- single row of 14 holes to be drilled along
uipped with two ROC D7 with folding its length for each setup. The ROC D7 on the Etermar/Somague
booms and 6 + 1 cassettes mounted on The third barge, Pocinho, was ope- barges were equipped with a specially
rails along one side. These machines rated by Rockfall as subcontractor. It developed Atlas Copco balancing wave

surface Drilling 115

Underwater Blasting for Leixoes Harbour

off the service quay, so a number of ves-

sels were employed ferrying men and
materials between the barges and the
The contract commenced in October,
2005 and was completed in November,
2006. Work was carried out 24 h/day,
with the exception of Sundays.
Blasting could take place at any time
during the dayshift between 08.00h and
18.00h, with an embargo at lunchtime
from 12.00h to 14.00h. At the end of
each dayshift, the remaining drill pat-
tern was charged and blasted in case
there was need to move the barge.
The standard 500 kg gelignite charge
was made up in plastic pipes, which
were lowered into the holes. Adjacent
holes were wired up in sequence, and
fired using millisecond delay detona-
tors. The nightshift drilled for 12 hours
and blasted at 08.00h. The result was
Etermar/Somague barge Eng S A Nogueira with one rail mounted ROC D7. around one cubic metre of blasted rock
for each kilogram of gelignite. The re-
compensation system. This comprised a The drillplan evolved by the joint quired explosives were delivered to the
hydraulic valve bank located in the venture was on a grid measuring 2.5 m quay every day by supplier SPEL.
cabin, which kept the rock drill feed x 2.5 m, and to datum depths. Each hole The harbourmaster was informed
pressure constant despite the wave con- was located using GPS, and the rigs ahead of blasting and could direct ship-
dition. then moved laterally along the barge, ping away from the operation, if nec-
A drilling tube developed by Etermar using their folding booms to reach out essary. If a barge was in the way of a
afforded 1.5 m of flexibility to keep it to the hole position. The area of ope- ship, the ship was held back for a short
in contact with the seabed. rations stretched from 500 m to 1 km time while blasting operations were
Rockfall barge with three tower rigs mounting BBE 57 pneumatic rock drills. Vibration monitoring instruments
were positioned to protect port installa-
tions. Up to 10 mm/sec of vibration was
allowable, but the range experienced
was only half of this maximum, so no
problems occurred.
The spoil from the blasting operations
was excavated by a long-stick backhoe
into a curved bottom barge. When sea
conditions were good, the spoil was
taken out at least 6 km to a designated
offshore dumping area. At other times,
it was brought ashore and transported
to a landfill site owned by the Port
Authority. Two self-powered spoil bar-
ges were used, each in excess of 600 cu
m capacity.

Atlas Copco is grateful to the manage-
ments of the contractors and subcon-
tractors at Leixoes harbour for their
help and assistance in producing this

116 surface Drilling

Australia, France, Switzerland, US

Excavation without blasting

Breakers fit for
Every quarry has its hydraulic
breaker, usually employed for
trimming benches and faces,
and dealing with oversized boul-
ders. However, the advent of large,
efficient Atlas Copco hammers
equipped with patented Conti-
Lube II automatic lubrication pro-
jects this rockbreaking technique
into a new league. Contractors and
quarry owners are finding novel
applications for hydraulic brea-
kers, either as prime produc-
tion tools or as backup for other
production techniques. Mounted
on a suitable excavator, these
machines offer production flexi-
bility at acceptable cost, and in
some situations are proving to
be more economic than drill/
blast. Certainly, if the overall eco-
nomics of an operation are stu-
died, hydraulic breaking has to
be considered as a viable option.

Mountain view, Australia

Mountain View is a basalt quarry located
just behind the Avalon Airport, near
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, which
produces aggregate and road base for
the many construction works around
the area.
Owned by the Barro Group, the qu- With HB 3000 Paul Riemer (right), quarry manager at Mountain View.
arry is one of nine company operations
in the Melbourne region. The quarry the work that the HB 3000 now does the automatic greasing system stand-
uses an Atlas Copco HB 3000 hammer in one and a third shifts. This frees up ard on all HB breakers. It is a feature
for oversize breaking. resources on the second shift for other with which the company is particularly
The decision to buy the HB 3000 was work, and represents a good saving. impressed.
based on the company's previous ex- The quarry is also saving on mainte- The previous hammer had to be ma-
perience with Krupp equipment, having nance costs. The old hammer required nually greased, a job which fell to the
found them to be totally robust. The monthly bush changes, and retainer operator, who had to leave his cab to
new hammer is fitted to a CAT 350 ex- rotation for even wear, whereas the HB carry out the service.
cavator, which the owners find to be a 3000 needs little maintenance. So little, The ContiLube cylinder, on the other
very good match. in fact, that after nearly 11 months of hand, is fitted onto the hammer to get
Like most quarries, Mountain View continuous use, the quarry got concer- auto-greasing all day. The operator,
uses its HB 3000 to break the over- ned and ordered a precautionary service who used to wear ear plugs all day long
size boulders left after blasting. The for the hammer. Having found nothing in the cabin of the excavator when
HB 3000 hammer replaced a similar wrong, the fitters simply changed the operating the old hammer, now finds
hammer, and had an immediate effect. bush to ensure another year of trouble- the noise element has decreased to
The previous model was similar size to free service. Mountain View Quarry's the point where he doesn't need ear
the HB 3000, but took two shifts to do HB 3000 is fitted with ContiLube II, protection.

surface Drilling 117

Excavation Without Blasting

Atlas Copco HB 7000 breaker mounted on CAT excavator at Arthur Kill River.

Lac du Chevril, France Unlike other systems, the ContiLube II In the past, extraction was primarily
is directly mounted on the breaker box, by blasting, a method that took a great
When building the tunnel tube through where all connections are very well pro- deal of time. Drilling the shot holes, clos-
the Lac du Chevril, France, some 700 tected. There are no long hoses running ing off the area for blasting, and clean-
cu m of granite had to be cut out of the over the excavator boom up to the lubri- ing up afterwards was costly in terms
rock faces lining the approach road to cant tank. The lubricant cartridge can of time and the number of people in-
straighten several dangerous bends. be refilled and quickly replaced, with- volved. However, these costs have been
Figuere Entreprise used the new out need for any special tools. minimized by introducing an Atlas
Atlas Copco HB 4200 breaker on the Figuere Entreprise also used the Atlas Copco HB 7000 hydraulic breaker as
job, finding it much quieter and vibrat- Copco HB 4200 breaker on its recent the principal production unit, backed up
ing less than other breakers the company contract terracing a site in limestone at by two existing Atlas Copco MB 1200
has used. Marseille, in the south of France. hydraulic breakers.
The HB 4200 breaker proved as re- The company is fully satisfied with
liable and with the same high breaking Cave Onsernone, the HB 7000, which is the largest hy-
capacity as their existing fleet of Krupp Switzerland draulic breaker currently available.
and Atlas Copco breakers. However, it The 7,000 kg breaker clears the blocks
is the first time they have used the Cave Onsernone quarry, in the Swiss from any loose surrounding rock, and
ContiLube II automatic lubrication Ticino Alps, is owned and run by the then cleaves them into easily transpor-
system. This fully automatic system Pollini family. The quarry produces the table crude blocks.
saves a lot of operator time, because most exquisite gneiss in the region, used A sure eye for the proper selection
work is not interrupted while lubrica- to make stone tiles for facades, path- of blocks, and the accuracy with which
tion is carried out by hand. As a result, ways, interior floors and kitchen walls. work is carried out, are of utmost impor-
Figuere Entreprise has noted a clear Naturally, extraction from the quarry tance, since fissured or cracked blocks
improvement in productivity. face requires special skills, lithology cannot be sold.
The ContiLube II unit is coupled to expertise, and a great deal of inherited The local Atlas Copco dealer has
the breaker, and delivers lubricant only wisdom. Every year, some 15,000 cu m come up with a special adapter that
when the breaker is in operation. It en- of material is quarried, even though pro- allows the breaker to be used horizon-
sures that the breaker is always supplied duction is only possible in snow-free tally with the boom lowered, so the ope-
with the optimum quantity of chisel paste. months. rator in the cab always has an excellent

118 surface Drilling

Excavation Without Blasting

Atlas Copco HB 7000 with underwater kit.

view of the rock structure. The efficient use an Atlas Copco HB 7000, the most be set to Auto Stop, so that the breaker
sound and vibration damping system on powerful breaker on the market, eq- will not function until it comes up ag-
the breaker ensures there are no distur- uipped with an underwater kit. ainst a solid object. This helps the ope-
bing effects on the operator, carrier, or Following consultation with the local rator to avoid hitting soft areas, reduc-
environment. The excavator operator Atlas Copco equipment supplier, this ing the risk of possible internal damage
reports that the HB 7000 produces ab- was installed on a CAT 385B hydraulic caused by blank firing, and increasing
solutely no vibrations in the cab. excavator mounted on the companys the life of the breaker.
The proven economy and high relia- dredge Newark Bay.
bility of the HB 7000 breaker is al- The combination of immense power Acknowledgement
ready helping to guarantee the future and light weight was perfectly matched
of this family-owned business. to the job, and the HB 7000 proved Atlas Copco is grateful to its clients in
very capable in the underwater envi- Australia, France, Switzerland and the
Arthur Kill River, US ronment. US for their help in the production of
Atlas Copcos underwater system ap- this article.
The amount of trade and cargo moving plies compressed air to the percussion
through American ports has increased, chamber to keep a positive displacement
along with the size of vessels required of air constantly coming out of the
to sustain this activity. Larger ships bottom of the breaker. Without this
require deeper channels through which compressed air, the piston would draw
to navigate to ensure that traffic flow is water into the percussion chamber on its
uninterrupted. upstroke when the breaker was submer-
In 2003 Donjon Marine began work ged. If the piston comes down on water,
on a project to deepen the Arthur Kill it can pressurize the water enough to
River channel that separates New Jersey break internal components and cause
from Staten Island. It was calculated catastrophic damage.
that the channel needed to be deepened A GPS unit creates a map on the
from 11.4 m (38 ft) to 12.9 m (43 ft). cab screen to help operators to posi-
This required removal of 46,000 cu m tion the breaker in the dredging area.
of rock, for which Donjon decided to The HB 7000 StartSelect system can

surface Drilling 119

Manhattan, NY, USA

New York solution

Rock removal
Manhat tan translates from the
Lenape language as island of
many hills. In reality, the island
of Manhattan in New York City
doesnt have many hills any lon
ger, having replaced them with
skyscrapers. Over the centuries,
massive amounts of rock have
been removed and excavated to
create one of the largest com-
mercial, financial and cultural
centres in the world. At the busy
corner of Madison Avenue and
53rd Street an excavation is being
made in the notoriously hard coun-
try rock without blasting, and an
Atlas Copco ECM 590 drill rig is
drilling the thousands of closely
spaced holes required.

ECM 590 drill rig hard at work in Manhattan.

Following tradition
John S. Civetta of Civetta & Sons, Inc, The ECM 590 was a much-needed Civetta required every ounce of po-
specialists in excavation and founda- upgrade for Civetta. He would be drill- wer that the chemical could muster.
tions from the Bronx, NY, is following ing hundreds of 63 mm (2.5 inch) holes Rock splitting holes were generally dril-
in the tradition of removing rock from 4.8 m (15 ft) deep to hold the chemi- led 80 cm (2.5 ft) apart for most of the
Manhattan, only he is doing it a bit dif- cal mixture that would break up the project. In softer rock the spacing can
ferently. bulk of the rock. The drill rig would be opened up to create a larger pat-
When an old eight storey building on also have to line drill 100 mm (4 inch) tern, but there isnt much soft rock in
the corner of Madison Avenue and 53rd holes 200 mm (8 inch) apart around the Manhattan.
Street was demolished to make way for perimeter of the foundation. After the chemical is charged, a large
a 30 storey building with 350,000 sq ft This is a sizeable undertaking for steel slug is placed in the hole, and bla-
of office space, Civetta was called on to any drill rig, but he found that the ECM sting mats arranged to cover the area.
remove rock 6.4 m (20 ft) to 11 m (35 ft) 590 handled it without difficulty. After the rock cracks, it is hit with a 5 t
below the city surface. (12,000 lb) hammer to break it into
Since 2001, blasting in Manhattan Rock splitting pieces.
has become a very cumbersome process. The ECM 590 was part of a rental
Proximity of a subway tunnel also mili- Drilling in the rock of Manhattan is a purchase agreement in which some of
tated against blasting, so Civetta had to challenge. The pegmatite and Manhattan the rental payment is used as equity for a
be creative. To crack the rock he turned schist that support large concentrations down payment. The financial arrange-
to a chemical product called Damite. of skyscrapers is extremely hard. It can- ment is just one of several flexible fin-
not be broken with a hydraulic hammer, ancial solutions offered by Atlas Copco
Necessary upgrade and any alternative to blasting has to be Customer Finance.
very efficient to be successful.
To pull off the job on Madison Avenue, The Daigh Company of Georgia di- Acknowledgements
Civetta, who previously had been using st ributes Damite, a highly expansive,
a first generation hydraulic drill rig, rock-splitting mortar. Atlas Copco is grateful to the directors
needed something more powerful and When it is mixed and poured into a and management of Civetta & Sons, Inc
versatile. Accordingly, he employed an hole, it creates 18,000-20,000 psi of pres- for their assistance in the preparation
ECM 590 drill rig from Atlas Copco to sure after 24 hours. If it sits for several of this article, a version of which first
drill all the holes necessary for exca- days, 40,000-50,000 psi of breaking appeared in Mining & Construction
vation. force can be generated. USA magazine 1-2008.

surface Drilling 121

New York solution

The word Manhattan translates from the Lenape language as island of many hills. The island of Manhattan in New York City doesnt have many hills any longer.
Over the centres, massive amounts of rock have been removed and excavated to create one of the largest commercial, financial and cultural centers in the world.
John S. Civetta of Civetta & Sons, Inc., specialists in excavation and foundations from the Bronx, N.Y., is following in the tradition of removing rock from Manhattan,
only he is doing it a bit differently.

122 surface Drilling

Charlotte, NC, US

Supporting downtown Charlotte

Urban dig
Taking a street-level parking lot
down vertically more than 20 m
in busy downtown Charlotte is a
job for the professionals. Because
of variations in the rock formation,
and complications working around
existing structures, the process has
required many types of ground en-
gineering. These include retaining
walls, mini piles, and soil anchors
for securing the walls during ex-
cavation. Specialist cont ractor
Hayward Baker is using two Atlas
Copco ECM 780 drill rigs to handle
the changing ground conditions

Parking underground
The former parking lot is in the process
of becoming an 18 storey Ritz Carlton
hotel and a 33 storey office building,
with a multi-level parking deck below The ECM 780 drilling anchor holes in the excavated wall.
the two structures.
At one time, Hayward Baker, a Keller the street sides of the pit, soil nails while on the west wall they are installed
Company, had as many as five rigs dril- are installed 4.8 m to 16 m deep at 15 on 2.55 m centres.
ling at the site. Currently this number degree angles, then lagged on a wood
has reduced to two, both of which are retaining wall with 3 to 4 strand tie- Reflections
Atlas Copco ECM 780 rigs. On this pro- backs each. The nails were tested to 28
ject the crew has run into every kind of KIPS after three days. Hayward Baker superintendent Reggie
rock that North Carolina has to offer. Under the existing parking garage, Goodchild likes how the drills can han
The new structures to be built on the 8 m to 19 m soil nails were installed at dle it all. He has been with Hayward
site are at the end of the block, with an 20 degree angles and tested to 80 KIPS. Baker since 1984, and for the last 19
existing parking deck on the one side. To seal up the wall, mesh is wired to years has been a superintendent. During
This needs to be tied below street level the rebar and shotcrete is sprayed on to his long career, he has operated every
into the new parking ramp, which is yet complete the process. type of equipment they have, including
to be built. During construction, mini all of their drill rigs. In his own words,
piles were installed along the existing Good combination Goodchild finds the ECM 780 very nice
parking deck columns to keep the struc- and easy to run, and good on rough ter-
ture stable while excavating for the new To drill the holes, the ECM 780s are rain. The rigs can also be successfully
buildings. equipped with QL40 hammers, a com- applied to a wide range of jobs, such as
bination that has given no problems installing shear anchors, rock anchors,
Retaining walls with drilling. In total, between 800 and tiebacks, and soil nails.
1,000 of the 11.25 mm (4.5 inch) holes
Hayward Bakers part of the job inclu- will be drilled on the project. Acknowledgements
des earth retention during excavation of The job was engineered to utilize Nos
the pit, where the grade is being taken 8, 11, 14 and 18 threaded bar anchors at Atlas Copco is grateful to the manage-
down in 1.6 m lifts using hydraulic bre- various locations on the site. The type ment and staff of Hayward Baker for
akers, with excavators to load out the and spacing of these anchors is depend- their assistance in the production of
rock. ent on the nature of the formation at each this article, a version of which first
After the material is removed, the place. For example, on the east wall, appeared in Mining & Construction
crew shores up the exposed wall. For anchors are installed on 1.6 m centres, USA magazine 1-2008.

surface Drilling 123

Supporting downtown Charlotte

An ECM 780 tramming down the bank after finishing a line of holes.

124 surface Drilling

Bleiberg, Austria

Flexibility and economy with

COPROD in Austria
Simply the best
The management at the Jakomini
Quarry in the Bleiberg region of
southern Austria has experience of
all types of drilling, including top-
hammer and DTH. However, when
an Atlas Copco ROC F7CR equip-
ped with the patented COPROD
system started work at the quarry,
they unanimously decided that
it was the best drill rig on the
market for their conditions.

Large operation
Bauholding Strabag has 40,000 emplo-
yees, making it one of Europes largest
construction companies. Its quarrying
division Mineral Abbau GmbH em-
ploys 800 operatives and produces
18 million t/year at 57 quarries in Jakomini Quarry is located on an alpine slope in the Bleiberg region of Austria.
11 countries.
One of these is the 650,000 t/year in the mainly metamorphic diabase, worth in the field for more than 15
operation at Jakomini Quarry, located which is quite hard rock of 140-150 MPa. years. It is aimed at quarries with a high
on a Bleiberg alpine slope in Austria. At the same time, the strata is very frac- demand for productivity, and specifi-
Jakomini Quarry has seven benches, tured and subject to water influx when cally designed to provide the best pos-
each around 20 m high. drilling, making blasting a challenging sible overall economy in terms of cost/t
A small f leet of three drill rigs task. of rock drilled.
includes an Atlas Copco SmartRig The blasthole depth varies between The COPROD system combines the
ROC D7C and a new ROC F7CR. 20 m and 26 m and the slope/drill holes high penetration rates of tophammer
A team of 25 people work at the quarry are drilled at an angle of 80 degrees. drilling with the hole quality of DTH
to cover all operations, including dril- Pre-split drilling is carried out to main- drilling. The unique dual-string design
ling, blasting, loading, crushing, pro- tain the stability of the walls. of COPROD allows more energy to be
cessing and administration. Of these, The ROC F7CR drills 92 mm holes, transferred to the drill bit through the
three rig operators spread their time the optimum hole diameter for the type jointless inner rods. The second gene-
over two 8 h shifts/day from 06.00 of rock in this region, and for the pro- ration of COPROD, introduced in 2005,
to 22.00, operating the rigs between duction needs. The impact pressure du- has been improved to increase both pre-
08.00 and 20.00 to avoid unduly dis- ring collaring is 120 bar, and working cision and reliability. A thicker, 8.8 mm
turbing local residents. pressure is 200 bar. Net penetration is drill tube wall with a new, stronger fe-
The ROC F7CR is making a valu- 1 m/min and it takes around 20-30 min- male T-thread connection to the end
able contribution to production effici- utes to drill one hole. At 10,000 drillme- piece virtually eliminates the risk of
ency, drilling fast, straight holes. The tres, the wear on the drill tube is 0.5 mm, tube breakage, and helps to prevent in-
operator has a perfect view over the drill- and one bit lasts around 2,000 m. hole deviation. In addition, the end
plan area and, when tramming between pieces new male T-thread connection
the benches on steep hills with incli- Second generation to the drill tube eliminates the risk of
nes of up to 30%, feels safe in the COPROD thread breakage.
ROC F7CR, with its centre of gravity In the COPROD head itself, the bit
towards the front of the rig. COPROD is Atlas Copco's patented sy- rod has been redesigned to eliminate
The flushing air on the ROC F7CR stem for fast, straight drilling in deman- the rod guide, closer tolerances pre-
is optimized to take care of the cuttings ding rock - a system that has proved its vent the risk of bit shank breakage, and

surface Drilling 125

Flexibility and Economy with COPROD

Atlas Copco ROC F7CR at Jakomini Quarry.

the improved air flow reduces the risk A tophammer rig can get stuck when drill planning and adopts hole align-
of the bit becoming plugged. it hits clay, whereas COPROD works ment monitoring.
The bit is also made of a new grade everywhere, giving it the flexibility to
of steel with higher impact and fatigue be used in all Mineral Abbau quarries, Acknowledgements
strength. and in all rock conditions.
Soon after delivery in 2005, the ROC Atlas Copco is grateful to the manage-
Straight holes F7CR was drilling an average of 25 m/h, ment at Jakomini Quarry for consent-
with a best performance of 31 m/h. ing to the site visit on which this article
Straight holes are crucial in order to A further improvement in both per- is based, and for their help and assist-
control the burden and distance be- formance and productivity is expected ance in its publication.
tween the holes at Jakomini Quarry, when the quarry brings in computerized
and also to make it easier to install the
explosive charges, which are sunk down
in the partially water-filled holes. Some- Mineral Abbau GmbH has 57 quarries in 11 countries.
times the quarry also uses toehole drill-
ing, which is a common technique in
Germany, Austria and Japan. This clears
the bench walls from excess burden,
and makes sure that the bench is level
after blasting.
The COPROD system, together with
the ROC F7CR rig, is ideal for the
conditions and type of drilling carried
out at Jakomini. It is efficient and flexi-
ble, has much lower fuel consumption
than the DTH method, and features
the percussion rate of a tophammer
drill rig.
The fuel consumption of the ROC
F7CR is only 0.7 lit/drillmetre, while
DTH rigs commonly consume 1.4-1.6 lit/
drillmetre in the experience of the man-

126 surface Drilling

southern Belgium

COPROD boosts contractor

Top driller
DGO M3, a top drilling contractor
in Belgium founded in 1993, has
a long association with the deve-
lopment of the unique COPROD
drilling system, culminating in its
order for the first of the new ge-
neration system, on a ROC F9CR.
This is hard at work in quarries
throughout southern Belgium.
DGO is part of the French ECP
Groupe, and drills 90-115,000 m
of holes per year, nearly all for
quarry production work.

Difficult formations
As a drilling contractor, DGO is keen
on adaptability, speed, and reliability
in its drill rigs, including the ability
to successfully tackle difficult forma-
tions, which can play havoc with hole
alignment. First in the fleet: the five-year-old ROC F9CR, now fitted with the second generation COPROD.
As is common in Belgian quarrying,
DGO is paid by the cubic metre excava- 25 bar air pressure. Generally, 127 mm The ROC F9CR is equipped with
ted, and so can adapt the drill pattern for bits are used on the F-series rigs, with triple-bar grousers on the crawler track
maximum drilling efficiency. 115 mm and 140 mm bits on the ROC instead of deeper, single bars. This
The contractor drills a wide variety L6H. improves tramming speed and protects
of rock types and formations, including Quarry customers in Belgium gene- sensitive materials on some quarry
medium-to-hard limestone, sandstone rally prefer higher benches. The benches.
and diorite intrusions. Bedding of the ROC F9CR rigs are capable of drilling As a responsible contractor with work
limestone, in particular, can be very con- down to 30-32 m depth, which accom- at many locations, DGO makes sure
torted, tending to divert tophammer sy- modates the requirements of most quar- each job is completed properly. All holes
stems. However, it is in rock such as ries, but the ROC L6 can cover the are measured and alignment checked
this that the COPROD system excels. maximum requirements, which can before signing off, and any bad holes
be for as much as 45 m drill depth. are redrilled immediately.
New generation comparison Although the rig carousels can hold
eight drill sections, DGO always ope- Blasting
When DGO M3 started working with rates with a ninth on the feed. In con-
Atlas Copco on the testing and intro- trast, blasters tend to prefer smaller Charging and blasting activities are the
duction of COPROD, the COP 1850 rock benches of 15-20 m depth to safely responsibility of Dynamichaines, ano-
drill was used on the ROC F7CR. How- achieve adequate fragmentation. The ther member of the ECP Groupe, but
ever, the latest models use the higher drill accuracy of COPROD is an impor- DGO staff assist as a team. DGO has 22
powered COP 2150 rock drill which, tant factor over greater depths. employees, including staff for admini-
together with the COPROD system, Normal bench height is 15 or 24 m, stration, artisans and explosives control.
improved performance considerably. for which the ROC F9CR average pe- Of these, 12 are involved in drilling and
DGOs current drill rig fleet com- netration rate has been 55 m/h. The blasting, most of which share the duties
prises two ROC F9CR with new-gener- speed of the controls and operation has between both companies. The main ex-
ation COPROD, and a ROC L6H with proved attractive to the operator. plosive is Nitrochimie bulk ammonium

surface Drilling 127

COPROD Boosts Contractor Flexibility

Using COPROD, DGO finds it can less airflow in the large annular space,
drill anywhere, with no problem. For resulting in less wear on the tubes.
the first line of shots in bad ground, Also, the diameter of the COPROD 89
they use the lower pressure of 12 bar tube can wear down to 87 mm without
rather than 25 bar, so that the air and problems.
cuttings do not destroy the hole collar. Another important consideration in
The ROC F9 has a 20% increased per- an optimum blast is low vibration,
formance compared with the ROC L6H. achieved through experienced charging
The main limitation is the hole dia- and detonation of the holes. Acceptable
meter, for which the ROC L6H is avai- vibration levels have been steadily re-
lable for larger holes. Only 127 mm balli- duced, and are particularly important for
stic button bits are used with COPROD, community relations if the quarry has
with frequent grinding to maximize bit close residential neighbours.
life. The hole spacing is adjusted to suit Correct blast design and execution has
the actual diameter of the bit, especially been facilitated by the accuracy achie-
in hard rock. Some 35-40 bits are stocked vable with electronic detonation DGO
for each drill rig, keeping five or six at was one of the first to use it in quarrying,
the machine so they can keep the same and all its blasts now use this method.
diameter for the whole round. Electronic detonation is more consis-
tent, and misfires can be detected more
Grinding easily. Vibration can be reduced to about
2.5 mm/s from 5-6 mm/s for non-electric
DGO uses an Atlas Copco Secoroc Grind blasting.
Matic BQ2 grinding machine to keep Up to nine COPROD rigs are cur-
the bits in top condition, finding that rently operating in Belgium, nearly all
the bits last longer and give good over- in the Walloon, French-speaking pro-
all performance. In sandstone, they re- vince, and served by Atlas Copco Forage
grind every 60 m of drilling, finding et Demolition, based near Paris, through
they can put the same pressure on a bal- the Belgium agent SEMAT, based in
Rapid changeover: Paulo Ferlisi shows how listic bit as on a spherical button bit, Spy, near Charleroi.
the bit is changed in a few seconds.
without deviation. Rapid bit changeover SEMAT carries out major repairs
with the COPROD system, compared to and overhaul work, whilst DGO does
nitrate/fuel oil, prepared in an ECP the DTH systems, ensures that regrin- its own weekly servicing. Every six
Multiblend mixer truck and poured ding and frequent bit changing does not months, each rig is taken out of ope-
into the holes manually. Each hole has cause any undue delay. ration for one week for a major service,
a basal Nitro Bickford Dynaroc 9 cart- Every drill pattern and blast is de- usually to coincide with a slack period
ridge as an initiator, with electronic signed using Geolaser laser profiling of around holidays such as Christmas/
detonation and Daveycord detonating the face, checking hole alignment with New Year and July.
cord. the Pulsar system. COPROD results are DGO uses genuine Atlas Copco parts
DGO works on 24 sites in Belgium, very good in terms of deviation, and they as a matter of course, finding they are
including 15 large operations, and also can charge the holes with confidence. the best defence against lost production
cooperates on Group work in The Nether- They find that the new COPROD sec- due to breakdown.
lands and northern France. As well as tion is good for maintaining align- Nearly all COPROD users in the re-
limestone, they drill harder rocks such ment, but state that 80% of correct gion have increased the diameters of
as granite, porphyry and hard sandstone alignment comes from the hole collar, their drill bits, due to increased confi-
and grit. and machine position and inclination. dence in maintaining correct hole align-
DGO started in blasting, and then mo- ment. This means that they need less
ved into drilling, so has a different ap- New COPROD holes to blast the same amount of rock.
proach to contractors who are only inte-
rested in metres drilled. They maintain DGO has been using the latest version Acknowledgements
that 80-85% of a good blast is down to of COPROD since May, 2003 when the
the drilling pattern and its implementa- ROC F7CR was converted to its use, and Atlas Copco is grateful to the manage-
tion. When they start at a new quarry, they the drill was changed to the COP 2150. ment of DGO for permission to visit
rarely change anything straight away, The improvements in the tubes and the their sites and for their kind help and
preferring to use the in-place drilling COPROD head brought about optimal assistance in the production of this
pattern and explosives. Any changes availability, with no broken sections in article.
can then be made on the basis of expe- the first 60,000 metres drilled. Com-
rience. pared to high-pressure systems there is

128 surface Drilling

shuichang, china

Replacing rotary in iron ore

Small is beautiful
The large Shuichang open pit
iron ore mine is located near the
Luan River, about 200 km east of
the Chinese capital, Beijing. It is
one of the major sources of raw
materials for the Capital Iron &
Steel Company, and was once the
largest open iron mine in Asia,
with an annual output around 15
million t of ore, and 45 million t
waste stripped. Shuichang is a
subsidiary of the Mining Company
of Shougang Corporation, and is a
state-owned enterprise.
For some 30 years, large rotary
rigs had formed the main drill rig
fleet, when t wo Atlas Copco
ROC F9 crawlers were introduced.
To the great surprise of the local
operators, they outperformed the
rotary rigs, resolving presplitting
problems in the very weathered
rock, while creating a much safer
loading and hauling e nviron-

Geology and operations

Shuichang started operation in the early
1970s, mining magnetite as the primary Atlas Copco ROC F9 crawler rig, one of four working at Shuichang iron ore mine.
mineral in the ore, with martite as a se-
condary product. The natural ore deposit More than ten rotary drilling units it comfortable, and making it easy for
is composed of four constituents: mag- have been used from time to time for them to operate the rig. The manage-
netitic quartzite, pyroxene-magnetitic presplitting and production work. The ment has expressed satisfaction with
quartzite, magnetitic pyroxenolite and bench height is about 12 m, and the hole the high penetration rate, and the output
hematitic quartzite. Mineral size in the diameter drilled by the rotary rigs is of almost 400 m/day. They have also
ore is usually 0.062-0.5 mm, with a moi- about 310 mm. found the rigs to be very flexible, drill-
sture content generally between 0.10% Two ROC F9-11 folding boom crawler ing at all angles to meet their presplit
and 0.20%, averaging 0.143%. The aver- rigs were delivered to the jobsite in No- requirements.
age porosity of the ore is 4.08%, and vember, 2002. These were equipped for The dieseline consumption is also
its average weight/unit volume is about drilling 115 mm holes to nearly 30 m much lower than expected, leading to
3.24 t/cu m. depth. At first sight, the mine staff better overall costs.
Shuichang Iron Mine is rated as a had great difficulty in accepting that As a result, the company has taken
lowgrade iron deposit. The average geo- the ROC F9-11, which is physically a delivery of a further two Atlas Copco
logic grade is 26.71%, and the average much smaller rig than the equivalent ROC F9 rigs, and another five iron ore
iron silicate content in the ore is 1.73%. rotary machine, would be a suitable producers in the region have expressed
From these data, the Fe grade is calcu- replacement. interest in buying this type of rig in the
lated to be about 28.44%. Geologic However, the new rigs soon proved near future.
grade varies greatly with depth. their worth and, after six months opera-
The main associated gangue mine- tion, the customer was very satisfied Acknowledgements
rals are quartz and mussite, with hyper- with their flexibility and performance.
sthene, hornblende, garnet and black The operators are very happy with the This article first appeared in Atlas
mica as s econdary constituents. ergonomic layout of the cab, finding Copco Mining & Construction maga-
zine 2-2003.

surface Drilling 129

Pinarhisar, Turkey

ROC F6 boosts production

in soft limestone
Choosing well
Turkish contractor Ozturk Yapi ne-
eded to find a way to increase its
monthly production capacity of
165,000 t. Careful investigation
of the available models of drill rig
from various manufacturers led
to the choice of an Atlas Copco
ROC F6 to replace two ageing
wago n drills. In one move, the
company not only restored its
current productive capacity, but
also created spare time that can
be utilized on new contracts. Ope-
rator productivity has also impro-
ved greatly, an important consi-
deration in a country where the
s o c ial c os t s o f e mp loy me n t
account for more than 50% of the
overall total!

Wagon drills
Ozturk Yapi was established in 1982
and specializes in drilling, blasting,
loading and transportation contracts
for cement factories. It started drill-
ing operations with two locally made
wagon drills, which until recently for-
med the main production fleet. How-
ever, in recent years the wagon drills
have struggled to meet production
targets and have suffered increasing
amounts of downtime.
This was at a time when business
was developing to support the ever-
increasing need for cement in the ROC F6 owner Ali Ozturk with Atlas Copco SDE Business Line Manager Cetin Kara.
Turkish construction industry and, as a
result, Ozturk Yapi came under pressure DTH flexibility with some cavities, in which both DTH
to increase its drilling capacity. The and tophammer could be employed.
search for modern, advanced drilling The decision was complicated by the The DTH down-the-hole drilling
equipment technology with high pro- fact that the company works two main method was duly chosen as the more
duction capabilities to replace the ailing sites, both of which have very different compatible with the geology, and the
wagon drills started by researching rock formations. One of the job sites shortlist was whittled down to two pos
products from different manufacturers has solid soft and humid limestone for- si ble models. The eventual winner
to form a reference on which the direc- mations, which are probably the softest was the popular Atlas Copco ROC F6,
tors could make their decision. Having in Turkey. Drilling with tophammer is which was delivered in early-2008.
produced a comprehensive overview of not as efficient as in hard rock, and The ROC F6 set the original stand-
the various models available, they were mechanical excavation is not economic, ards for a modern crawler in the quarry
left with the choice between tophammer so DTH would be the wise option. The market and is still widely appreciated
or down-the-hole drilling. second site has dry and hard limestone thanks to its functionality, safety and

surface Drilling 131

ROC F6 boosts production in soft limestone

Atlas Copco ROC F6 achieves 3 m/min in soft limestone at Pinarhisar.

ergonomics. For the Turkish weather, it The ROC F6 is equipped with a research revealed that spare parts avail-
has a comfortable cabin. It is equipped Secoroc COP 44 hammer and 89 mm ability is good, and the second hand va-
with an efficient 8-tube handling and drill tubes to produce good hole quality lue of Atlas Copco rigs is high, espe-
breakout system for drilling 85-130 mm without deviation. cially when the rig has been main-
blast holes to a maximum depth of 36 m It is drilling 115 mm diameter holes tained under a full service agreement.
using a range of COP hammers. to a depth of 11 m to produce a finished The company complimented the Atlas
bench height of 10 m. Hole burden is Copco sales team on the fact that they
Surplus capacity 4.5 m with spacing of 5 m on a rectan- managed the sales process very well
gular grid with drilling angle 15 degrees with their positive approach. As a
Ozturk Yapi employs six people in five off vertical. The time to complete each result, Ozturk Yapi opted for an Atlas
shifts, working 16 and 24 h/day of ope- hole is 3 minutes. The blast holes are Copco service agreement that includes
rations at the two different job sites. charged with ANFO or emulsion explo- Procom.
The wagon drills each drilled 25 m/ sives which are detonated using Nonel.
hour, and about 200 m/shift. Since the arrival of the ROC F6, pro- Acknowledgements
Prior to purchasing the ROC F6, duction capacity has risen to 2 million t/
they could hardly complete their target year, and the machine has proved it can Atlas Copco is grateful to the manage-
production, even under the best weather easily handle up to 4.5 million t/year in ment of Ozturk Yapi for their assistance
conditions. the current geology. This puts the com- in the preparation of this article, a ver-
In some circumstances production pany into a very comfortable position, sion of which appeared in Atlas Copco
slowed, and sometimes stopped, due to with ample spare capacity for potential Surface News 2-2008.
sudden changes in weather. Heavy rain future projects.
or high temperatures in summer, and
very low temperatures in winter, affec- Footnote
ted both the wagon drills and their
operators. Now, the company finds that, Ozturk Yapi chose Atlas Copco as its
using only its new ROC F6, it can easily supplier because the brand name has
exceed the combined level of produc- a high profile in Turkey and is associ-
tion of the two wagon drills. ated with top quality manufacture. Their

132 surface Drilling

Nowa Ruda, Poland

Upgraded ROC L6 gives satisfaction

Good decision
Jrgen Kunze, the owner of Polish
contracting company Geo Blast,
was so pleased with his existing
Atlas Copco ROC L6 drill rig that
he decided to buy another. The
impact that the new, upgraded
version of the ROC L6 had on pro-
duction quickly affirmed his good

Increased capability
Geo Blast operates in three quarries in
Polands Nowa Ruda region, which
together produce a total of 5 million
The new generation ROC L630 is a
high capacity down-the-hole surface
crawler. It is primarily designed for
quarry blast hole drilling in virtually
all types of rock formations. Among
other improvements, the upgraded rig
benefits from increased percussive
capability, improved coverage area and
increased mobility. However, the extra
5 bars of pressure make a big differ-
ence to productivity, according to the
new owner.
The increase in performance is about
30 percent. In the prevailing rock con-
ditions, this makes a difference of 15
extra m/hour, which is a very satisfying
result. Over three shifts, Kunze is drill-
ing an extra 200 m/day.
Straighter holes are achieved thanks
to the rigidity of the aluminium feed,
while the rig also benefits from a new ROC L6 on the benches at Nowa Ruda.
environmental Tier III diesel engine, a
better dust collection system, improved traction motors, it takes only 3 minutes that he has ordered a further two rigs.
filtering volume and redesigned, ergo- to relocate the rig for its next hole. He is very pleased with Atlas Copco,
nomic cabin. The ROC L6 is designed for a hole having worked with their machines for
range of 90-154 mm using various COP about eight years. There are no prob-
Satisfaction rewarded hammers. It is a high capacity DTH lems with the ROC L6 rigs, and the
crawler for quarrying in soft, medium service is good.
The contractor is drilling 110 mm dia and hard rock, with a power unit that
meter holes at 10 degrees off vertical delivers compressed air at a full 30 bar. Acknowledgements
using COP 44 DTH hammers with The tube handling system has a capac-
76 mm diameter drill tubes. Hole depth ity of 8 tubes, and the ergonomic cabin Atlas Copco is grateful to Jurgen Kunze
is generally 20-25 m, with 3.5 m burden has air conditioning. for his assistance in the preparation
and 4.0 m spacing, and 2-4 rows are Kunze is so satisfied with the per- of this short report and permission to
blasted at any one time. With two speed formance of his two ROC L6 drill rigs publish.

surface Drilling 133

Upgraded ROC L6 gives satisfaction

From left to right: Waclaw Garnzarz, Blasting Engineer; Edyta Wisniewska, Assistant Manager; Jrgen Kunze, Owner; and Edward Sadlak, Quarry Manager.

134 surface Drilling

republic of Ireland

High productivity quarrying

in Ireland
Drilling on the move
Away from the coast, Ireland is a
country of small towns, each with
its own particular demands for
building aggregates and mineral
inputs to manufacturing industry.
A lack of motorways across the
country means that transporta-
tion is slow, so, where bulk com-
modities are concerned, it is bet-
ter to produce close to the market.
In the quarrying industry, this has
spawned large numbers of small
operators, who may only need a
couple of days of drilling each
month to meet their output de-
mand. Using the new breed of self-
contained Atlas Copco ROC drill
rigs, they can set up and drill with-
in minutes of arrival at site. High
productivity and efficient utiliza-
tion are transforming the Irish qu-
arrying industry, to everybodys

Hogan ROC L6 drilling at Tobins Quarry, Limerick.

Hogan Drilling
Family concern company undertakes operations in quar-
Eddie Hogan Senior has been excavating rock
Eddie Hogan Sr has his roots in mining, ries, surface mining, civil engineering for most of his life.
having worked at Silvermines, Nenagh projects and on road construction sites,
during the entire lifetime of the under- employing the latest technology such
ground operation. He started as a shaft- as laser profiling and vibration moni-
sinker, took his blasting licence at an toring. This allows changes in drilling
early age, and worked through the patterns, and redesign of blasts to limit
1970s as a shift boss. When the mine the effects of vibration, and to protect
eventually closed in 1982, Eddie had surrounding properties and installa-
been mine captain for four years, super- tions.
vising the second and third production
levels. ROC L6 experience
Hogan Drilling was set up in Sep- The changing nature of the quarrying
tember, 1983 with a single secondhand industry has made safety a major factor
rig powered by a 120 psi Atlas Copco of every operation. Efficient drilling,
700 compressor. Twenty five years on, low fuel consumption and controlled
the company has flourished, and now labour costs are also high on the opera-
has a fleet of drill rigs, including one tors wish list. For Hogan, the ROC L6
Atlas Copco ROC 460, two ROC L6 rigs, machines have improved overall drill-
five ROC L6H rigs, and two CM760. ing productivity from 16 m/h to 25 m/h
Hogan Drilling has developed into for 110 mm holes, with 30 m/h as the
a family operation, with Eddies son maximum recorded. These figures are
Edward now a quarry engineer, and based on a 50 h week, and include time
daughter Ann as office manager. The spent moving from quarry to quarry.

surface Drilling 135

High Productivity Quarrying in ireland

for air flushing, and COPROD pene-

tration rate is 50% faster than DTH.
Most drilling is 20 m deep, using five
rods, but 30 m holes are easily achiev-
able. Grids range between 3.8 m x 3.8 m
and 4.5 m x 4.5 m. He reports that the
small shoulder on COPROD does not
stick so often as the larger shoulder on
the DTH hammer, probably as a result
of the Rotation Pressure Controls Feed
(RPCF) fitted to his COP 2550 rock drills.
This system limits the rotation pres-
sure, ensuring that the torque produced
doesnt overload the COPROD tubes.
Service accessibility is much impro-
ved over the ROC F7, and help can be
quickly arranged for any maintenance
or breakdown problems. He observes
that the engines on his latest rigs have
no problems with 2,000 rev/min opera-
ting speed, and are very economical to
run, with a worthwhile saving on diese-

Stephen Lydon operates four ROC F9 rigs with COPROD and two ROC L6 rigs with DTH. DTH fuel efficiency
Stephen Lydons Atlas Copco ROC L6s
The ROC L6s are currently working Stephen Lydon drilling are high-capacity down-the-hole crawl-
at 20 quarry locations, and are used ers with power units that deliver com-
anywhere that the terrain is suitable. First COPROD pressed air at up to 25 bar. They have a
Clients outputs range from 50,000 t/y Stephen Lydon still operates the first range of hole diameters from 92 mm to
to 700,000 t/y at each location, with COPROD drill rig to work in Ireland, 152 mm with different hammers, and
an overall total of 6.5-7.0 million t/y, and is very proud of the fact. He has a the standard tube handling system has a
nearly all of which is drilled and blasted number of major clients, with a spread capacity of eight 4 m long tubes which,
by Hogan Drilling. The standard 110 of quarries, and aims to drill 2,500 m/ together with the starting tube, gives a
mm holes are drilled up to 20 m deep, week with his eight Atlas Copco rigs. maximum hole depth of 36 m.
using DTH hammers with 4 m and 5 m His company, Stephen Lydon Drilling, The onboard Atlas Copco screw-type
rods. Under special circumstances, 30 m owns four ROC F9 equipped with XRV 9 compressor offers 295 lit/sec of
holes may be drilled, subject to exemp- COPROD, two ROC L6 with DTH, one free air delivery. The novel feature of
tion by the local inspector of quarries. ROC D7 RRC and one ROC 460. The the ROC L6 is its boom concept, which
Hogan Drilling, for the last few years, Atlas Copco ROC F9 is a tophammer gives the rig excellent flexibility for
has used bulk emulsion and Nonel de- drill rig, which can be equipped with vertical, horizontal and angle drilling.
tonators supplied by Irish Industrial either the fast drilling COPROD or con- The ability to drill at different angles,
Explosives. Experience with the ROC ventional systems. Both the 188 lit/sec and to accurately set the inclination and
L6 has shown increased production rate, compressor and 231 kW engine pro- control the depth of the hole, contri-
lower labour cost, and greater customer vide enough power to drill straight and butes greatly to the overall economy of
satisfaction. Hogan Drilling advertises a fast. The ROC F9 features a state-of- the operation. Fuel consumption is only
cost-effective, fuel-efficient and envi- the-art cabin with air conditioning, and 0.6 0.8 lit/m, making the ROC L6 as
ronmentally-friendly service using its drilling controls in the armrest to allow fuel efficient as a tophammer rig. The
Atlas Copco drill rigs, with equipment a clear view when tramming or collaring. water-cooled diesel engine, rated at
suited to drilling holes in the diameter It has heavy-duty tracks for safe and fast 272 kW, is understressed at full pro-
range from 2.5 in to 5 in. The company movement. The ROC F9 hole range is 89- duction, with nearly 25% of its power
also specializes in controlled low vib- 127 mm to 30 m depth using COPROD. in reserve. The standard feed length is
ration blasting for road construction. It drills mainly 105 mm holes using 7.55 m with a travel of 4.6 m, and a 1.3 m
Objectives are to work safely, and 85 mm tubes and a COP 2550 rock drill. feed extension is available. Feed rate is
achieve best results, within an agreed Stephen rates his rigs as extremely ver- up to a maximum of 0.92 m/sec at a ma-
budget, as a one-stop drilling, blasting, satile, but the ROC F9 is more tractable ximum feed force of 20 kN and tractive
profiling and vibration measurement due to its smaller compressor. He finds pull of 30 kN. The rotation speed is
contractor. that a 12 bar compressor is sufficient 30-80 rev/min, with two rotation units

136 surface Drilling

High Productivity Quarrying in ireland

offering a choice of 2,400 Nm or 3,250

Nm of torque. The ergonomics of the
ROC L6, and its control layout, are more
amenable to long hours of working. It
has a tramming speed of 3.4 km/h, with
traction force of 110 kN. It can climb
hills at 20 degrees using its two-speed
traction motors, and, with a 10/8 degree
track oscillation, is able to maintain
ground contact in the worst underfoot
situations. Ground clearance is 405 mm.
The drill rig has a ROPS/FOPS cabin as
standard, and is fitted with electronic
hole inclination and depth control in-
struments. One of the most attractive
features of the ROC L6 in the Irish wor-
king environment is that its transport
dimensions comply with European road
regulations for normal loads. It weighs
around 18.5 t, and, with the feed in the
forward position, is 2.49 m wide, 12.7 m
long, and 3.15 m high.

Huge utilization
Raymond Ballantine is the proud owner/
operator of four Atlas Copco rigs, com-
prising one Atlas Copco ROC L6, one
ROC L6H, one ROC F9 COPROD and
one ROC L825. Raymond works for
some twenty quarry clients within a
150-mile range of his home base in
Londonderry. He drills more than
150,000 m/year, some two-thirds at 110 Langan Drilling
mm and the remainder 121-140 mm.
His rigs spend more than half of their Langan Drilling Ltd is a family-run business based in Galway, with 20 years
available time drilling. He reckons to experience of drilling and blasting rock. The company specializes in civil engi-
get nearly 50% more work/year out of neering and site clearance. At present, Langans Atlas Copco ROC D7 is the only
his first ROC L6 than he did with his construction drill rig in Ireland with the capacity to drill holes in the range
previous rig, with comparable service 32-102 mm diameter.
costs, and reckons to save 25% on fuel.
The rock that Raymond drills is hard
and abrasive, some of it whinstone, in Perfectly straight
which he admits that he could not get vertical 22 m deep
a hole started without the water mist x 140 mm diameter
system. He is conscious that he drills hole drilled by the
less than his southern counterparts, but ROC L6 with COP
this is due to different rock characteris- 54 at Roadstone
Quarry, Ballintra.
tics and larger holes. He is thankful for
the excellent parts and service offered
by Atlas Copco, because this would
otherwise be a worry.
The bulk of Raymonds drilling is
in limestone, at 110 mm diameter. He
expects 0.2-0.6 m/min in whinstone,
with a bit life of 250-400 m, and 1 m/
min in limestone, where the bit life is

surface Drilling 137

High Productivity Quarrying in ireland

increased to 2,000 m. He undertakes

between 300 m and 450 m of drilling
at each location, normally using 4-5 x
5 m rods for 20-25 m deep holes. Of the
ROC L6 owners in Ireland, Raymond
reckons to have the roughest ground un-
derfoot, and is amazed at just where his
rigs will safely go.
Raymond spends a lot of his avail-
able time moving the drill rigs between
quarries, spending an average 36 hours
at each location.
The single greatest saving for him is
that the ROC L6 is self-contained, and
can drive off the low loader and start
drilling straight away.
His previous rig towed a compressor,
and took two hours setting up at each
job. The ROC L6 engine is easier to
service, and oil changes for the engine
and hydraulics can be completed in
2.5 h, compared to a whole day previ-
ously. The tap and pump for hydraulic
oil on the ROC L6 make life much

Water infusion
All of the ROC drill rigs are plumbed
for air and water, and Raymond finds
ROC L6 drilling in whinstone at Churchill Quarry, Donegal prior to addition of water tank.
that water infused holes are far superior
to those drilled using air alone. The air
pressurizes the water and drives it into
McCaffreys Quarry, Donegal uses 9 m-deep x 110 mm diameter holes drilled by the ROC L6 on a the rod, where the 25 bar pressure to
3.8 m x 4.1 m grid to achieve this beautiful fragmentation. the DTH rock drill creates a mist. He
adds a foaming agent when drilling in
loose ground, where his time/hole has
reduced from an hour to around 20 mi-
nutes. He also now drills holes in poor
ground that previously were impossible.
This method is used at the housing
stone quarry near Meenaneary in Do-
negal, where the rock is quartzite, and
is amongst the hardest and most abra-
sive that he currently drills. Here, the
objective is to ease out the building
stone in useable blocks, so a 3.2 m x
3.2 m grid is sufficient.

Atlas Copco is grateful to the ROC ope-
rators in Ireland who contributed to
this article.

138 surface Drilling

Burgas, Bulgaria

Spearheading aggregate output

in Bulgaria
ROC L6 takes over
A couple of years ago, Bulgarian
aggregate producer Andezit was
faced with a sudden output de-
mand on its quarry operation at
Burgas, on the Black Sea coast.
Expansion of the port facility at
Burgas required 2.5 million t of
rock, and Andezits Gorno Ezerovo
quarry was well-placed to supply.
The company marshalled its re-
sources, which comprised mainly
archaic equipment from the late-
eighties, and bent to the task.
Output increased from 256,000 t
in 2001 to 700,000 t in 2002, and
1.47 million t in 2003. By 2004, with
its financial situation secure, the
company felt able to re-equip, and
went shopping. In a position to buy
what-ever they pleased, they chose
an Atlas Copco ROC L6. A couple
of years later, they can be congra-
tulated. The ROC L6 has displa-
ced three pneumatic rigs, and
handles the entire output of the
quarry, using just one third of the

Pleased with the ROC L6: From left, Vesselin Slavov, Drilling Manager, Stefan Dimitrov, General Manager,
Painful privatization and Stoyan Pavlov, operator.

Until 1992, aggregate production in Bulgariti could be used in glass pro-

Bulgaria was controlled by the State by
Andezit concessions
duction, but is presently supplied to Bul-
way of quotas. Since privatization, small In 2001, concessions for four quarries garian Railways for track ballast.
companies have sprung up in geogra- were transferred to Andezit: the depos- Karnobat is also predominantly ande-
phical regions, and these are now opera- its of volcanic rock at Gorno Ezerovo, site, hardness 160 Mpa and density
ting as private companies. Immediately Bulgarovo, and Karnobat; and the Plio- 2.8 t/cu m, which is suited to concrete
after privatization, the market dissol- cene sands at Novoseltsi. and for road construction asphalt. It does
ved, and most companies mothballed Gorno Ezerovo, near the Black Sea not polish with use, and maintains its
their equipment fleets, expecting renatio- port of Burgas, is the largest operation, coefficient of friction within the prescri-
nalization at any time. The uncertainty producing 1.37 million t in 2004. bed specification. In 2001, an order for
lasted until 1998, and as a result Andezit Bulgarovo and Karnobat each pro- 200,000 t of railway ballast was received
only completed the privatization process duced 40,000 t, while 454,000 t of sand from Greece, heralding Andezits entry
in 2000. As far back as 1993, Andezit was extracted at Novoseltsi No 3 bal- into the export market, and another
was split into two companies, with last pit. Bulgarovo features a trachean 40,000 t was sold into Athens airport
Andezit Ltd responsible for mining, andesite of 180 Mpa hardness, 2.44 t/ rail link in 2003.
drilling and quarrying, and its sister cu m density, which is softer than that
company Andela PLC handling min- at Gorno Ezerovo, and red in colour Burgas port expansion
eral preparation. Each company has due to the presence of potassium and
its own marketing and sales organiza- sodium. Output at Gorno Ezerovo has increased
tions. Since 2001, Andezit has been This has been defined as a new type spectacularly, multiplying six-fold be-
supplying Andela with rock. of rock and given the name bulgariti. tween 2001 and 2003, mainly driven by

surface Drilling 139

Spearheading Aggregate Output in Bulgaria

Bank. Stage One of the west port was

completed in 2005, while the 1.3 km-long
sea protection wall was completion in
mid-2006. Stage Two will double the
area of the port, and Stage Three involves
construction of a container terminal.
Mitsubishi Penta Ocean purchased
two Atlas Copco generators QAS 168
and one QAS 138 for use on its construc-
tion barges.
To date, Andezit has supplied the port
construction with 384,000 t in 2002,
769,000 t in 2003, and 466,000 t in 2004,
and 131,000 t in 2005 in three sizes of
aggregate and three types of boulder.

Gorno Ezerovo
The Bulgarian government has awar-
Atlas Copco generators are used on the Burgas port construction barges.
ded a 35-year concession to Andezit for
production at Gorno Ezerovo. The stan-
dard bench height is 27-28 m under a
the expansion and renovation of the continued with rock filled caissons and special dispensation from the quarries
nearby port of Burgas, and the con- a new harbour wall. Andezit supplied inspector, who has taken into account the
struction boom along the Black Sea nearly 70% of the total 2.5 million t rock high standard of work and good safety
coast. demand for the Burgas port, which was record of the company when agreeing an
The port job started in 2002 with constructed by Mitsubishi Penta Ocean increase from the normal maximum of
the erection of new sea defences, and and financed by the Japanese Investment 18 m.

Crushing and screening plant at Andezits Gorno Ezerovo quarry.

140 surface Drilling

Spearheading Aggregate Output in Bulgaria

Atlas Copco ROC L6 drilling at Gorno Ezerovo quarry.

An Atlas Copco ROC L6, delivered output of 120,000 t/month in four pro- but the loading length in this configu-
in July, 2004, drills the bulk of the out- ducts. Andezit has 36 employees at ration increases to 13.6 m.
put. Holes are laid out on a grid varying the Gorno Ezerovo site, four of whom The ROC L6 was joined by an Atlas
from 3.6 m x 3.6 m to 4.2 m x 4.2 m, are trained to operate the ROC L6, and Copco CM 760 rig in 2005, equipped
and are generally drilled at 75 degrees Andezit and Andela together have a total with the same COP 44Q hammer and
from horizontal. The rig is equipped workforce of 300. Secoroc 110 mm bits.
with a 25 bar compressor and 8+1 x 5 m The rock at Gorno Ezerovo comprises
long, 89 mm diameter tubes. Comparisons very hard volcanic andesite basalt of
Between full commissioning in 320 Mpa with 2.55 t/cu m density and
August, 2004 and end-January, 2005, The Atlas Copco ROC L6 is a high- 55-66% silica content. Nevertheless, the
the ROC L6 drilled 33,000 m with its capacity DTH crawler for quarry drilling Secoroc bits are returning 2,200-2,700 m
COP 44 hammer equipped with 110 mm in soft, medium and hard rock. It is eq- life, with 3,000 m reached on occasion.
Secoroc bit. It logged 1,200 engine hours uipped with an Atlas Copco XR V9 Meantime, the COP 44Q achieves 9,000
in this period, and no breakdowns. screw compressor that delivers 295 m on its first life, extended to 17,000 m
Minor repairs were undertaken during FAD at 25 bar pressure. The diesel en- with a service kit. The bits are reground
scheduled downtime, so 100% avail- gine has a rated capacity of 272 kW at at site using a handheld Secoroc Grind
ability has been achieved. 2,000 rev/min. The ROC L6 can handle Matic machine.
Atlas Copco maintains a basic ser- hole depths of 45 m and hole diameters Andezit is happy with the overall fuel
vice contract, supplying consumables up to 152 mm, using drill tubes of up consumption of both ROC L6, and CM
and spares on demand from its Burgas to 102 mm and 5 m long. The hydraulic 760, currently 1.7 litre/drilled metre,
office. rotation unit DHR 48H-45 offers maxi- including movements. This compares
Production for the Burgas port ex- mum 112 rev/min and maximum torque with 3.5 litres/drilled metre for the
pansion was moved around the quarry of 1,800 Nm. The tube handling system original pneumatics.
according to quality demands. Blasting has a capacity of eight tubes.
generally takes place 3-4 times each The basic weight of the ROC L6 Acknowledgements
month, using explosives which are de- is around 19 t, and its length of 10.65 m,
livered ready for use by Eskana Invest, width of 2.5 m, and height of just over Atlas Copco is grateful to the directors
a company in the same group as Andezit. 4 m comply with European regulations of Andezit Ltd for their kind assistance
The quarry works 12 h/day, 7 days/week. for unescorted loads. The height can be in the production of this article.
Gorno Ezerovo has two crusher/screen- reduced to 3.11 m by lowering the feed
ing systems in parallel, with combined from the canopy to the forward position,

surface Drilling 141

Ashanti, Ghana

ROC L8 increases versatility

Reverse circulation
Sampling work using the reverse
circulation method is becom-
ing inc reas ingly c ommon in
open pit mines. So is the use of
Atlas Copco drill rigs in order to
get high performance and rapid
In the gold mines of Ghana, ore
sampling, or grade control, is of
vital importance to ensure mining
efficiency and ore recovery, as
well as accurate planning of the
The Atlas Copco ROC L8 sur-
face crawler rig has a widespread
reputation for versatility and
efficiency in all types of surface
mining, and West Africa is no
exception. In the current boom,
characterized by high gold prices
and increased opportunities, mine
operators and contractors in the
region have not lost sight of the
need for maximum efficiency.
As a result, the ROC L8 is being
used for rapid grade control work,
as well as blast hole production

Golden Star
The ROC L8 equipped with reverse circulation kit at the Golden Star Wassa mine.
Golden Star group is a Canadian reg
istered mining company based in drilling and a ROC F9 tophammer rig separated by a cyclone, and collected
Colorado, the USA and Accra, Ghana. on pre-splitting. The other rigs employed in a bag.
In Ghana, the group has three main in the Wassa operation are two ROC F9 The bagged chippings samples are
companies: Golden Star (Bogoso/ rigs and a ROC L7CR which was recently correlated to approximate drilling depth
Prestea) Ltd, Golden Star (Wassa) Ltd, converted to the COPROD 102 system. by the operators, collated and sent to
and Golden Star Exploration Ltd. These In addition to an average of 150 m/shift the mine lab for analysis.
companies operate six open pits, and of reverse circulation for grade control,
have licenses to develop further sites, the Bogoso ROC L8 also drills 280 m/ Easy changeover
as well as two underground mines in shift of conventional blast holes in
prospect or development. softer oxide ore deposits The rigs are quick to change from one
The Bogoso/Prestea operation uses This results in a total drilling per- function to another because a quali-
one Atlas Copco ROC L8 drill rig on formance of about 10,000 m/month. fied mechanic is not required to change
down-the-hole (DTH) reverse circula- Reverse circulation sampling with the rotary seal for reverse circulation.
tion grade control, while at Wassa there the ROC L8 is carried out by using According to the management, the cir-
are two ROC L8 rigs, one of which the powerful onboard compressor with culation unit and high power compres-
has reverse circulation capability. The 25 bar and 405 lit/sec FAD to blow air sor are definite good points.
ROC L8 at Bogoso drills at approxi- down the drill hole annulus. This forces Most open pit gold mines, includ-
mate right angles to the orebody, which the hole chippings up the centre of the ing those in the Golden Star group,
lies at about a 60 degree dip. The rest drill pipe rather than via the hole annu- have comparatively narrow benches
of the fleet comprises five ROC L7CR lus, allowing them to be passed through so that working space is at a premium.
COPROD rigs on main production a suitable sealed rotary connection, Therefore, it is important that grade

surface Drilling 143

ROC L8 increases versatility

Golden Star mines have a fairly regu- in the horizontal plane is about 2 m in
lar dip, gold grades can vary consider- different directions, so the ore may not
ably. The average at Bogoso has been end up where expected.
1.50g/t, but the benches sometimes With the expansion of operations at
show 2.64 g/t, and grades have been as Wassa, Golden Star has taken delivery
high as 40 g/t in adjacent underground of two more Atlas Copco ROC L8 rigs
mines. to be used for both reverse circulation
It is also important that the type of grade control and blasthole drilling.
deposit, whether oxide or sulphide,
is checked so that production can be Service support
tuned to the capacities of the prepara-
tion plants. A new bio-oxidation plant is Under a site service agreement, Atlas
currently being completed at Bogoso. Copco has two mechanics and a support
team on site at Bogoso where it holds
Drill string all the necessary drilling consumables
and spare parts. There is also additional
At Bogoso/Prestea the ROC L8 employs service support available from the main
Atlas Copco Secoroc drill string com depot at Obuasi, about two hours to
ponents, including COP 44 DTH the north-east in the central Ashanti
ham mer drills and 105 mm diameter mining area.
spherical button bits. However, ballistic Training is also considered an impor-
button bits are used for the softer oxide tant aspect of service. Atlas Copco has
deposits and clays. Penetration rates provided initial training for the drill rig
vary greatly, depending on whether operators and to enable Golden Star to
Professional bit grinding: training by Atlas the superficial oxides, or much harder set up its own bit grinding operations
Copco enabled Golden Star to set up its own and abrasive waste or sulphide ores, are using a Secoroc Grind Matic machine.
bit grinding operations at the Bogoso/Prestea being drilled. The average times for a There is also cross fertilization in trai
mines using the Secoroc Grind Matic machine. 9m pass are 8-10 minutes in oxides and ning between the Bogoso/Prestea and
10-14 minutes in sulphides. Wassa teams. In addition, drill operators
sampling can be carried out as quickly For reverse circulation ore grade who were withdrawn from underground
as possible, both ensuring that the control at Wassa, the ROC L8 uses an work at Prestea during a major refur-
necessary information is available to RC hammer with 140 mm, or 5.5 in, bishment project have been retrained to
progress mining when required, and to drill bits. For blasthole drilling it uses operate surface rigs. The most recent
clear the bench for production drilling a COP 44 DTH hammer with 115 mm, training has been conducted by Golden
as soon as possible. or 4.5 in, spherical button bits. The Star's own senior operators, and there
The turnaround of the ROC L8 is ROCL7CR uses the COPROD 102, are currently 33 drill operators in the
much quicker than with other rigs, get- drilling 127 mm holes with spherical whole of the Bogoso/Prestea operation.
ting in and out of the benches quickly button bits in fresh rock and ballistic The Atlas Copco ROC rigs are easy
to make room for the blasthole rigs. The button bits in oxides. units to train operators on, both due to
pipe carousel improves safety. At Wassa, one ROC L8 is used simi the ease of controls and the available
larly on reverse circulation ore grade cab space. The controls are manual,
Good mobility control, with constant pressure on assisted by guidance instruments.
time. The mine management puts great
Rig mobility is also an important issue emphasis on the importance of their
as the ROC L8 at Bogoso/Prestea not Blasthole drilling partnership with Atlas Copco, and their
only has to get on and off the benches commitment to making things work
quickly, it has to cater for the needs of The ROC L8 is a very powerful machine, through service backup, maintenance
five different pit locations spread over drilling single pass blast holes day and procedures, and the training of mine
about 15 km. Both tramming and low night. At Wassa, the rig drills 115 mm operators and management.
loader transport are relatively easy. diameter holes, using the COP 44 DTH
The normal bench height is 9 m with hammer and spherical button bits. Acknowledgements
one metre of subdrilling to obtain good Another important aspect of the fre-
blasting results. However, benches have quent grade control work at Wassa is Atlas Copco is grateful to the Golden
been as low as 6 m in sloping surface the effect of blasting. Major movements Star mine management teams for
areas. The degree of variation in ore of the bench rock can be generated from their assistance in the preparation of
grades and in the direction of the ore- adjacent blasting. It can move about this article, a version of which first
body increases the importance of grade 2.4m in the middle, less at the top, and appeared in Mining & Construction
control drilling. Whilst the orebodies in is held firm at the bottom. Movement magazine 1-2007.

144 surface Drilling

Countrywide, United Kingdom

ROC L-series drill rigs quarrying

across the United Kingdom
Aggregate for
the cities
Large quarries are located near
railheads in the United Kingdom,
so that aggregate can be shipped
across the country with minimum
inconvenience. All of these ope-
rations are governed by strict en-
vironmental regulations, particu-
larly in relation to dust and noise.
Less drilling for more production
is a very attractive proposition,
and that is what Atlas Copco rigs
in various guises are delivering.
Owned and operated by specialist
drilling contractors of long stan-
ding, the drill rigs are worked hard
and moved often. The four largest
operating companies are featured
below, and all of them endorse
the Atlas Copco ROC L-series of
hydraulic drill rigs that are setting
the pace at every quarry in which
they appear.

Sleeman Atlas Copco ROC L8 at Moons Hill quarry.

From its Frome base in Englands West Since inception, Sleeman has offered 13 kg/m of Orica bulk emulsion and
Country, W C D Sleeman & Sons, Ltd a full drilling and blasting service to its a 16L Pentolite booster primed using
supplies drilling and blasting services clients. The company provides the drill a Sureline non-electric detonator. The
to a total of 18 quarries in Somerset and rigs and site personnel, and undertakes top 4 m of each hole is then stemmed
Herefordshire. the design and layout of the blasting using 14 mm chippings.
Most of this output is crushed and grid, surveys the holes, carries out laser Every month, Sleeman brings in a 20 t
screened at site, and railed to London profiling of the face, and specifies the excavator equipped with a hydraulic
on purpose-built trains. blast design. breaker to dispense with any build-up
Set up some 30 years ago with a sin- At Moons Hill quarry, Somerset, in of oversize boulders.
gle Atlas Copco pneumatic drill rig, an extension of the main pit, a Sleeman The Sleeman ROC L6H rotate be-
Sleeman now operates a fleet of five ROC L6, equipped with a Secoroc COP tween drill and blast contracts with
Atlas Copco DTH machines, compris- 44 hammer, has been employed drill- bench heights in the order of 14-15 m,
ing a ROC L630, three ROC L6H, and a ing 115 mm holes on a 4.0 m x 4.0 m which is close to the maximum height
new ROC L825. grid. The bench height is 10 m, and the allowable in the United Kingdom with-
All of these machines are moved fre- basalt is hard and loose jointed, a situ- out a full geological survey. Hole size
quently between sites, because their ation where DTH drilling excels. Face is normally 115 mm, but some 20%
individual productivity outstrips the angle is normally 15 degrees, but this are drilled at 127 mm diameter. In the
capacity of any single client quarry. may be reduced to 10 degrees in certain limestone rock that characterizes most
However, the combination of fast drill areas. of their sites, a 4.5 m x 4.5 m grid is
rigs and easy movement makes per- Explosives are delivered on an as- chosen, in order to reduce fly rock and
fect economic sense, and is becoming needed basis, to avoid the potential concentrate the muckpile.
increasingly popular amongst contrac- problems associated with site magazine Planned performance for the ROC
tors working small and medium-sized location and security. The lower 6 m L-series machines is 1.5 m/min. The
quarries. of each prepared hole is loaded with Secoroc Magnum premium quality drill

surface Drilling 145

Roc L-series Drill Rigs Quarrying Across the United Kingdom

ties of the proven ROC L6 and ROC L8

rigs, features a high-delivery 401 lit/sec
of air from the onboard 25 bar Atlas
Copco compressor, for increased drilling
speeds in medium-strength to softer
rock formations. The rigs provide high
production capability for Blasting Ser-
vices quarry blasthole drilling opera-
tion, and also feature the flexibility nee-
ded for development work. For exam-
ple, the mast, which accommodates 5 m
long drill tubes, can be turned through
90 degrees to drill toe holes, as well
as any angled holes in between. The
hole inclination is controlled electroni-
cally, and instrumentation is provided
to check on hole depth. A dust collec-
tor has a retractable suction hood and
The rig is also highly manoeuvrable,
with a tramming speed of 3.4 km/h, a
grade climbing ability of 20 degrees,
and a traction force of 110 kN from a
two-speed drive. The ROC L6H is de-
signed for drilling holes in the diameter
range 92-152 mm using COP 34, 44 or
54 down-hole hammer drills. The typi-
cal maximum hole depth is 36 m, with
a drilltube handling system to hold
eight tubes. The drive is provided by a
water-cooled diesel engine.
The Blasting Services machine fea-
tures a central lubrication system, which,
in conjunction with a daily and weekly
maintenance regime, will ensure reli-
ability of operation. The operators cab,
Sleeman ROC L8 bench drilling at 15 degree angle. with full ROPS and FOPS specification,
is equipped with air conditioning and a
bits are lasting a minimum of 1,000 drill- fleet to meet increasing customer de- heater as standard.
metres, and are treated as consumables, mand for both production, and health and The ROC L-series drill rigs are de-
so regrinding is not carried out. Sleeman safety matters. They see Atlas Copco signed with easy transportation in mind,
produces more than 10 million t/y under as a big player, and an excellent part- and the dimensions are well within the
drilling and blasting contracts. ner intent on providing the best service European guidelines for movement by
support now and in the future. low loader, so no permits are required.
Blasting Services Blasting Services carries out con- Blasting Services also employ an
tract drilling and production blasting Atlas Copco XRHS 396 MD portable
The first UK customer to invest in Atlas in the Midlands, mainly at quarries in compressor for use with their pneu-
Copcos new, high-power, ROC L6H Derbyshire, Shropshire, and also North matic crawler rigs.
DTH crawler rig was Blasting Services Wales. These quarries produce material For Blasting Services, health and
Ltd of Alfreton, Derbyshire. The busy from a variety of hard rock types such safety is top priority and the company
drilling and blasting contractor has as limestone, granite, and sandstone, has together with Atlas Copco deve-
since added another seven L6H rigs to using a hole diameter range of 110 mm loped a number of safety features: sen-
a fleet that includes a three ROC L8, through to 130 mm. The average annual sors, safety steps and isolation switch.
together with three new ROC D7 RRC blasted tonnage is approximately 1.75 Sensors are motion detectors mounted
radio remote control rigs for pipeline million t/machine, which is equivalent on both sides at the rear of the machine
work and one ROC F9 COPROD. to around 48,000 drillmetres/year/rig. that register static or moving people
Blasting Services felt the time was The self-contained, high-perform- and other objects within a 6 m range.
right for substantial investment in their ance ROC L6H, which combines proper- When objects appear too close, an alarm

146 surface Drilling

ROC L-series Drill Rigs Quarrying Across the United Kingdom

is activated and the operator is alerted

via monitors. The manoeuvre can then
be stopped immediately and the safety
hazard checked and eliminated before
Safety steps are attached to the cabin
steps when the rig has been loaded onto
a trailer for transportation. They allow
safe entry and egress from the cabin,
overcoming the added height hazard.
After use, they can be dismantled and
easily stored for reuse.
The isolation switch is fitted into the
seat switch electrical circuit and disables
the hydraulics while the operator is out
of the cabin. This ensures no uncon-
trolled rig movement.

Ritchies, part of the Edmund Nuttall
group of companies, now owns five Atlas
Copco ROC L6 drill rigs, one ROC F6,
three ROC D7 RRC, three ROC 460,
one ROC D9 RRC, one ROC L740 Operating benches at Moons Hill Quarry.
COPROD, one ROC L825 and one older
ROC 860. blastholes. Another aspect of its versa- of 76, 89 or 102 mm can be handled with
Geotechnical and drill-and-blast con- tility is manoeuvrability, with the dual- a capacity of eight pieces. The Ritchies
tractor Ritchies, based at Kilsyth, Glas- geared crawler undercarriage having rig can handle 5 m long tubes for a
gow, is engaged chiefly on quarry pro- a maximum tramming speed of 3.4 maximum hole depth of approxima-
duction drilling throughout the UK, with km/h and a maximum grade capability tely 40 m. A breakout table is standard.
some geotechnical applications. Such of 20 degrees. The traction force is The fully protected ROPS and FOPS
is the importance of Ritchies quarry 110 kN, and the track will oscillate by operator cab is equipped with air condi-
production drilling that it is responsi- +10/8 degrees. The ROC L6 can produce tioning and a heater as standard. Dust is
ble for blasting over 36 million t/year holes of 92-152 mm diameter using collected via a retractable suction hood
in quarries working limestone, sand- COP 34, 44 or 54 hammers. Drill tubes and preseparator.
stone, basalt, and granite in the UK and
overseas. Ritchies ROC L6 wears the companys distinctive livery.
The Atlas Copco ROC L6 is versatile,
and is designed to operate at 25 bar air
pressure, which means faster and more
productive drilling. It is the smallest
of a range of three self-contained, hy-
draulically operated, main DTH rig
The onboard screw compressor pro-
duces hammer and flushing air at 25
bar and 295 lit/sec output. Drive power
comes from a 272 kW Taia III water-
cooled diesel engine.
The rigs versatility includes an abil-
ity to drill holes at all angles from the
vertical to the horizontal, with accurate
electronic control of both the angle and
hole depth, for maximum production
and economy.
The rig can form quarry face toe-
holes, as well as near-vertical bench

surface Drilling 147

Roc L-series Drill Rigs Quarrying Across the United Kingdom

In addition to quarry and other drill-

and-blast work, Ritchies is also engaged
in ground stabilization drilling for
anchors, grouting, and soil nails; site
investigation; and tunnel renovation.

R&B Rockdrillers
R&B Rockdrillers of Doncaster have a
fleet of three Atlas Copco ROC L8 drill
rigs, to which they recently added two
ROC L6H and a CM 780, demonstra-
ting considerable faith in both the manu-
facturer and the products. The family
drilling contracting business uses its
drill rigs mainly in roadstone quarries
producing limestone, granite and other
A few short years ago, R&B Rock-
drillers became one of the first compa-
nies to invest in the Atlas Copco ROC
L8 self-contained DTH rig as part of a
policy of gradual conversion from pneu-
matic crawlers. All five ROC L-series
rigs work mainly around the Derby-
shire area, including the Hope Quarry
of Lafarge. R&B report that operation
is easy, with the drilling process run elec-
tronically using sensors and compu-
ter control, and the good mobility is a
major benefit.
The Atlas Copco ROC L8 is the lar-
gest of its DTH hydraulic rig range, and
is designed for pre-splitting and large-
scale production work in quarries and
opencast mines. With a 25 bar onboard R&B Rockdrillers ROC L8 moving to new position at Hope Quarry.
compressor delivering 405 lit/sec, it
has ample power for high penetration heavy duty crawler tracks with +10/8 higher potential operating pressure, of-
rates. The tube handler for 6 m long tu- degree oscillation. fering a good margin for more deman-
bes has sufficient capacity for hole The full ROPS and FOPS operator ding drilling. Maximum hydraulic pres-
depths down to 54 m. Drill diameter ca- cabin has optional air conditioning and sure on reverse and breakout is even
pability is 110-165 mm using COP 44, a heater. Other options include central greater, minimizing the risk of getting
54 and 64 DTH drills. The DHR 45H lubrication, an electric refuelling pump, stuck. Engine speed and rotation di-
hydraulic rotation unit provides a maxi- an engine preheater and a service rection are easy to set on all motors,
mum torque of 2,400 Nm and a speed winch. and the superior design gives both quiet
range of 30-80 rev/min. operation and minimal maintenance.
The rig features a breakout table, re- Rotation units There are three well-proven sizes of re-
tractable suction hood for the dust col- duction gear with various gear combi-
lector, and a preseparator. A watermist The Atlas Copco DHR series of rota- nations to suit all DHR series motor
system is optional. The R&B Rock- tion units for DTH drilling includes versions. They are strong, and designed
drillers rigs are equipped with electro- ten hydraulically-powered standard mo- for easy mounting.
nic hole inclination and depth instru- tors designed for longer life, superior
mentation. wear resistance, and enhanced output. Acknowledgements
Onboard power is provided by a All are equipped with both fixed and
watercooled diesel engine of 317 kW moving adapters for all common types Atlas Copco is grateful to its customers
rating. The ROC L8 has a maximum and dimensions of thread. Normal work- serving the featured UK quarries for
tramming speed of 3.4 km/h and a maxi- ing torque is obtained at even a very their help and assistance in the formu-
mum grade capability of 20 degrees on modest hydraulic pressure, with a much lation of this article.

148 surface Drilling

West Virginia, US

High pressure ROC L8 joins a

winning team
First for West
The ROC L8 series of drill rigs has
been a popular choice for surface
drilling applications worldwide
since its introduction in 1999. The
latest version, the ROC L830, with
its 30 bar compressor, is proving
equally popular. Geological Tech-
nologies (GTI), based in Falling Wa-
ters, West Viginia was the first US
company to add the new rig to its
fleet. With close to 80 employees,
GTI has ambitious plans for growth
based on its core activities of dis-
tributing blasting materials, engi-
neering consultancy, safety train-
ing and drill and blast services.
According to the owners of GTI,
they share a synergy with Atlas
Copco in that both companies put
the customer first. Having the same
goal of taking care of each other
creates a win-win situation in
which business will grow. Having
the best equipment is the logical
start point.

Partnering for profit

Although GTI offers its services to
other contractors, they see themselves
as forming alliances with their clients,
rather than in competition. They help
clients with their business, offering them
services that they cannot source inter-
nally. GTI also covers for its clients when
they are booked up and unable to pro- Atlas Copco ROC L830 drilling in West Virginia.
vide a full service, creating a winning
situation for everyone. (54 m) to support its quarry operations, difficult formations. The rig is equipped
In turn, GTI requires first class ser- the ROC L830 matched the GTI list of with a Secoroc COP 54 Gold Express
vice from its suppliers, so its business requirements. DTH hammer, which produces straight
agreement with Atlas Copco is more According to the owners, the drill rig holes for better blasting. Good mainte-
than just a traditional customer/vendor is doing everything that has been asked nance accessibility to the service area
relationship, it is more of a partnership. of it. It is seen to be a very sound ma- of the drill rig is a major advantage.
chine, which gives consistent day-to-
The right rig day performance in quarry operations. Operator friendly
The management acknowledges that
When looking for a rig that was mobile, the ROC L830 gives good production Drilling at a quarry near Mt. Hope, West
transportable and capable of drilling 5.5 and the high-pressure air package does Virginia, the GTI operator maintains
in (140 mm) holes to depths of 177 ft an effective job of cleaning the holes in that the ROC L830 is the finest drill rig

surface Drilling 149

High pressure ROC L8 joins a winning team

Good working environment in the cab: "This rig was designed to keep me working comfortably," says Wesley Neal, GTI drill rig operator on the Atlas Copco ROC L8 30.

he has ever worked with, citing the rod away so that none of it goes back into Despite the high silica content of the
changer's smoothness and the configu- the hole. He also appreciates the fact rock, the hardened steel on the COP 54
ration of the breakout jaws. Automation that the dust suppression control is at Gold Express hammer holds up well.
has taken the guesswork out of chang- his fingertips in the cab for easy use. GTI gets some 10,600 m to 12,200 m
ing and adding tubes, and the increased Overall, the positioning of the controls from this hammer in these conditions,
air pressure is also a major benefit. and monitoring on the ROC L830 is and will get another 6,000 m when wor-
Under normal operations, he keeps to operator friendly. The diagnostic com- king in the limestone quarries.
around 427 psi (29 bar), but can push puter, rear camera monitor and joystick With the current productivity level
to 435 psi (30 bar) if needed. controls are all perfectly positioned for and efficiency of the ROC L830, it is
He is also impressed by the dust col- the operator, keeping his working situ- expected that GTI will have no problem
lection system, which has design per- ation as comfortable as possible. getting the required 2 million t of mate-
formance, removing the material well The rig was purchased with the in- rial out of the quarry this year. Overall,
tention of drilling 1,000 ft/day (305 m). GTI welcomes the changes and auto-
Discussing rig performance: Robert Adams, After only 16 impact hours, it was drill- mation of the ROC L830, wishing to go
President of GTI (right) with Jason Blais, ing 200 ft/h (61 m) with 1,200-1,500 ft/ with the best technology provided it
sales representative, Atlas Copco. day (365-457 m) in prospect once the keeps the hole straight and offers great-
operation settles into routine. er production. Speed, reliability and
safety all add up to productivity, and
Abrasive rock that makes their business successful.

The geology across the GTI region va- Acknowledgements

ries to include very hard, abrasive ba-
salt to shale, with the Mt Hope quarry Atlas Copco is grateful to the owners
featuring hard and abrasive sandstone. and management of GTI for their kind
When selecting a suitable hammer, GTI assistance in the production of this arti-
chose the Secoroc COP 54 Gold Ex- cle, a version of which first appeared
press because of its durability in these in Mining & Construction magazine
harsh conditions. 3-2007.

150 surface Drilling

Doha, Qatar

Laying the groundwork in Qatar

On the waterfront
Rising from the sand, just north of
Doha, the capital city of the State
of Qatar, a new and luxurious wa-
terfront city is taking shape. Lusail
will eventually be home to 200,000
people. Before construction can
start, a huge amount of ground
preparation is required, and Atlas
Copco rigs are being employed on
drilling blastholes in the prevailing
coral limestone. The productivity,
manoeuvrability, reliability, and
user friendliness of the fleet of ten
rigs has resulted in their owner de-
scribing them as phenomenal. The
USD 5.5 billion project is on time,
and completion is scheduled for

Reshaping the coastline

Lusail city will cover 35 square kilo-
metres when complete, and will feature
entertainment, waterfront and business
districts, as well as luxurious resorts, a
marina and residential areas.
The amount of ground preparation
work required for such a large project
is formidable. The main contractor for
the Lusail development, Chinas Sino
Hydro, appointed Pearl NLC of Pakistan
A new and luxurious waterfront city is taking shape. Lusail will eventually be home to 200,000 people.
to the job, a company that has plenty of
experience of similar projects.
In all, 10 million cubic metres of rock diameter to be drilled each day. Each Close support
and earth will be blasted, at a produc- hole, ranging from 2 m to 7 m in length,
tion rate of more than 500,000 cu m per is drilled through the prevailing coral To get the drill rigs into action as soon
month. This volume will be taken from limestone. as possible, Atlas Copco sent service
both the seabed and dry land to be used Working two 8 h shifts/day, the drill specialists from its Dubai Customer
to reshape the coastline. Parallel to this, rig operators and blast technicians face Center. Extensive on-the-job training
ground works are underway to create temperatures exceeding 50 degrees C was then given to Pearl NLC operators
a network of seawater canals that will in the summer months, and relative hu- by local Doha-based Atlas Copco dis-
run through the city. midity of up to 95 percent. tributor Oriental Trading Company,
Pearl NLC selected Atlas Copco as Due to the high water table at the which also provided a dedicated on-
the drill rig supplier for this contract worksite, special care has to be taken site service engineer for the startup
because of their outstanding reputation by the rig operators. When water is phase.
and sound performance of their drill encountered in a drill hole, the dust The support from Oriental Trading
rigs. The initial order was for four CM collection fan is switched off to prevent has been very effective, with the com-
470 surface crawler rigs, and this was damage to the dust filters. Such holes pany seen as cooperative and forth-
quickly followed by further orders for are then air flushed and PVC piping coming when resolving maintenance
another six CM 470 machines to meet inserted on completion to prevent col- issues, and providing tools and parts.
the construction schedule. lapse of their walls. K. Ramachandra, Business Manager,
The rate of extraction requires a min- They are then charged with a special Surface Drilling Equipment, Atlas Copco
imum of 1,200 blast holes, 89 mm in water resistant explosive. is based in Dubai and is responsible

surface Drilling 151

Doha, Qatar

A minimum of 1,200 holes per day: after drilling through the coral limestone, PVC pipes are inserted to keep the holes open for charging.

for the Middle East and North Africa. First for Qatar month, even though the operators face
He explains that the CM 470 surface the challenge of drilling in ground that
crawler was selected for this project The CM 470 drill rigs are the first hy- often contains cavities.
because it is a robust hydraulic rig that draulic rigs to be used in Qatar. They They have to be very careful to avoid
is easy to maintain in the extreme tem- are equipped with Secoroc T38 and 89 deviation or stuck rods. Fortunately,
peratures experienced in Qatar. The air mm drill bits. Each bit achieves 2,000 they are able to feel on the joystick when
conditioned cabins are indispensable, drillmetres before being discarded. a cavity is encountered, because the feed
representing an oasis in the desert to A very high pace is maintained on pressure drops and they can adjust the
the drill rig operators in such extreme the production schedule, with the rigs pressure accordingly. The CM 470 drill
outside temperatures. achieving 270,000 drillmetres every rigs are viewed as operator-friendly,
not least because of their air conditioned
Hot work: with temperatures exceeding 50C and relative humidity reaching 95 percent, the cabins and easy-to-use controls. The con-
CM470 air conditioned cabins represent an oasis in the desert to the drill rig operators. tractor describes their performance with
regard to penetration rate and manoeu-
vrability as phenomenal in the hard rock
strata, leading to a remarkable experi-
ence. So far the project is on schedule,
and the availability of the rigs, despite
the extremes of the environment, has
been excellent.

Atlas Copco is grateful to both Sino Hy-
dro and Pearl NLC for their assistance
in the preparation of this article, a ver-
sion of which first appeared in Mining
& Construction magazine 2-2007.

152 surface Drilling

tongling, China

Expanding relations with China

Boosting quarry
Chinas booming economy conti-
nues to race ahead at breathtaking
speed. Unprecedented numbers
of roads, railways, tunnels, power
plants and other infrastructure de-
velopments are under construc-
tion. To keep pace with the demand,
the cement industry is working at
full capacity. Conch Cement, the
largest producer in Asia, is leading
the way, using Atlas Copco drill
rigs in its numerous quarry opera-
tions. While Conch is expanding
its output, the company is also
keeping an eye on the safety and
environmental considerations that
are now paramount in China.
Happy days for the Chinese cement industry: Shouhui Liu, Assistant Director of Yingde
Listed company Conch (right) with colleague at the Yingde Conch site in Guangdong Province.

More than 2,500 Mt of cement were pro- production to 100 Mt; become one of the deposit was discovered in 1978 by a
duced globally in 2006, of which almost top three cement providers in the world geological exploration team stationed
half was produced in China. Now, the within 3-5 years; and to complete an- in Anhui Province. Located at Datong
countrys cement industry is working other 31 clinker lines by 2010. Town, 12 km southeast of Tongling City,
harder than ever to meet domestic de- Part of the effort to achieve these the deposit stretches in a northeast-
mand for its products and is rapidly adop- goals is the recent purchase of a fleet of southwest direction across an area of
ting new technology to increase produc- eight new drill rigs from Atlas Copco. about 3.7 sq km and is estimated to have
tion and maximize productivity. These will operate in eight of the com- an effective operating life until May,
Conch Cement was founded on Sep- panys limestone quarries. Fusui, Yiyang, 2032.
tember 1, 1997 and mainly specializes Shimen and Hunan quarries have each The rock here is mainly micrite, partly
in the production and sale of cement benefited from one CM760 drill rig, with calcrudite. The strata in the area
and clinker. It has several subsidiaries while Digang, Shuangfeng and Xingan are mainly in the form of anticlines, with
and organizations, which include Anhui quarries have each received a DM 30 eight faults in the Sanxing Mountain and
Conch Cement Co Ltd and Wuhu Conch drill rig and Chizhou quarry a DM 45 seven in the Chishan Mountain.
Profiles and Science Co Ltd, together drill rig. It is anticipated that the annual Tongling quarry has proven reserves
with other businesses handling trade, production by model will be 2.5Mt, of 760 Mt, most of which consists of
logistics, hospitals, and schools. 4.2Mt and 6Mt for the CM 760, DM 30 limestone layers. Bench drilling is used,
Conch Cements shares (H-shares) and DM 45 rigs respectively. a method which is considered highly
were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Conch has been using Atlas Copco efficient and also enables quick infra-
Exchange on October 21, 1997, making hydraulic DTH drill rigs in its quarries structure development on the site.
it the first company in the Chinese ce- since the 1990s, including ROC 860, There are two dry process 10,000 t/d
ment industry to be listed overseas. Its CM 695D, CM 760D, DM 30HP and clinker lines with an annual production
A-shares were listed on the Shanghai DM 45HP, and the new rigs will bring of 15 million t, and a further two 12,000
Stock Exchange on 7 February, 2002. the company fleet to a staggering 45 t/d clinker lines are planned.
By the end of 2006, Conch Cement units. Since 1997, when Tongling quarry
had 17 clinker plants, 21 cement grind- started using the Atlas Copco ROC 860,
ing works and 36 clinker lines produc- Experience at Tongling it has expanded substantially and now
ing up to 70 Mt of clinker annually. The uses two ROC 860 and three DM45 rigs.
company is already into its next stage The Tongling quarry, about 350 km east The ROC 860 rigs have been in use for
of development and has set itself new, of Shanghai, is an important and typi- 11 years, and the DM45 for five years.
ambitious goals to increase its annual cal Conch operation. This limestone The drilling record using any these rigs

surface Drilling 153

expanding relations with China

to a minimum. It has established a sa-

fety management system and formulated
safety management codes for the vari-
ous operations. In addition, contingency
plans are in place to cope with acci-
dents, and training exercises are held
on a regular basis to cope with possible
incidents of fire, explosions, rock col-
lapse, vehicle collisions, and so on.
Furthermore, site conditions each day
are recorded, warning signs are used to
indicate potential hazards, and State
regulations on explosives management,
standardized blasting procedures and
design specifications are strictly obser-
Drilling at Yingde Conch: an Atlas Copco CM 760 D surface crawler. Energy and emission reductions are
also seen as priorities, and Conch is
is 16,000 hours, and the total length independent projects. Service and trai- keen to contribute to state initiatives on
drilled is 32,000 m. On average, a rig ning by Atlas Copco have helped Tong- environmental protection and sustain-
drills about 16 h/day, with 6.5 h for each ling quarry fulfill, and even exceed, its able development.
shift and rig. For each rig, four to five production targets. Conch has also been awarded ISO
shifts are arranged every week. Three operators are required for each 14001 certification.
Drilling is vertical and the holes are drilling shift. After training, the opera- During excavation, large quantities
drilled in a triangle shape with a spac- tors improved their skills, resulting in a of volcanic waste rock are created which
ing of 9-9.5 m and a burden of 5.5 m. corresponding increase in productivity are used as a mixing material for ce-
The bench height is 15 m, and the and operation efficiency. Workers also ment production. The measure not only
width provides plenty of room for the greatly improved their contribution to saves the cost of purchasing mixing
drill rigs to manoeuvre. On a regular rig service and maintenance. materials but also reduces the cost of
bench, an 18 m long hole can be achie- Conch Group previously used Chinese transportation, dumping and storage.
ved in a one-step operation. This am- DTH high pressure drill rigs, but find By investing in technologically ad-
ounts to 220 m for each rig shift, and the Atlas Copco rigs offer bigger and vanced equipment and production pro-
4,000 m every month. deeper holes, higher penetration rate, cesses, Conch Cement has successfully
The air pressure used for the DTH higher productivity and better mobility. achieved the local manufacture of
hammer is 24 bar (350 psi), and it takes Overall, they have proved to be better 2,500 t/d lines, 4,000 t/d clinker lines,
40 minutes to complete a 225 mm dia- quality and more reliable, and Atlas and part of the Groups 10,000 t/d
meter hole with good quality and an Copco aftermarket services, mainte- cement lines, and has greatly promoted
accuracy of within 3 cm. Net penetra- nance, and training have greatly impro- the development of cement processing
tion rate is 0.45 m/min using the DM ved the productivity, contributing to in- equipment in China.
45. creased output. Atlas Copco facilities for local as-
The service life of the drill string is About 600 km further to the south, sembly as well as manufacturing of mi-
6,000 m for main drill tubes; 8,000 m in Yingde, in Guandong Province, lies ning and construction equipment have
for auxiliary rods; 15,000 m for adapt- another huge Conch Cement limestone been established in China since the
ers; and 5,000 m for drill bits without operation and cement production plant. 1980s. This local presence is extremely
regrinding. Here, environmental considerations, important to ensure quick deliveries and
For blasting, emulsion and water-gel as well as productivity requirements, full aftermarket support, and facilitates
explosives are used. Detonators include played a part in the decision to choose easier adaptation of products to match
Huainan electric and Nonel, and Orica Atlas Copco, whose products are ideal the needs of the customer.
inhole long delay and surface delay. in a situation that demands higher stan-
During the process, unstable rock dards for quarrying with regard to eco- Acknowledgements
conditions sometimes occur, requiring logical protection and environmental
smaller scale blasts to give better frag- pollution. Atlas Copco is grateful to Conch Ce-
mentation control. ment and its managers for assistance
Safety and environment received in the preparation and publi-
Role of training cation of this article.
Safety is a constant concern at Conch
Today, there are 285 employees at the and the company has put strong meas-
site, including 20 who are involved in ures in place to keep onsite incidents

154 surface Drilling


Maintaining uptime with ROC Care

Long experience
Emil Fredriksson has been in the
rock drilling and blasting industry
for 14 years. To get the best produc-
tivity from his drill rigs, he signed
a ROC Care maintenance agree-
ment for one of his machines. His
feedback to Atlas Copco is repre-
sentative of owners experiences
with these agreements, and ma-
kes some interesting observations,
not the least of which is that the
price that he will get for his rig when
the time for replacement comes
will be much enhanced by its full
service history.
Emil Fredriksson, founder and owner of Emils Bergentreprenad, Sweden.

Four ROC rigs highlighting additional measures that convinced of the benefits. He confirms
will help prevent potential problems. that ProCom really makes his business
Swedish contractor Emils Bergentre- more effective. It helps him plan his
prenad specializes in rock drilling, bla- Clear benefits drilling schedules, and he uses it when
sting and rock reinforcement. The com- making cost estimates with customers.
pany has a fleet of four Atlas Copco sur- Measures designed to eliminate break- He maintains that the job of his em-
face crawler rigs comprising a SmartRig downs before they happen are usually ployees is to drill, and they dont have
ROC D9C, a SmartRig ROC D7C, a simpler and cheaper than waiting until time to work on the machines. With
Radio Remote Control ROC D7RRC and equipment fails. Unplanned and costly the ROC Care agreement he earns
a ROC 642HC. This varied fleet allows interruptions to operations can be pre- about two weeks of production per year
Emils Bergentreprenad to cover nearly vented by a systematic approach to pre- because his rigs and operators are more
all types of surface drilling projects with ventive maintenance. readily available.
its own resources. The proven reliability of the ROC It also provides great peace of mind
Hole navigation and the hydraulic al- Care service package is so consistent to know that the rigs are under profes-
uminium feeds are two features that are that Atlas Copco includes an extended sional care, and it is economically worth-
highly valued by the companys founder warranty in the deal. This improves dril- while because regular servicing also
and owner, Emil Fredriksson. However, ling costs by extending the guarantee increases the secondhand value of the
his first priority is maximum uptime, on all major rig components to 5,000 machines.
which is why he recently signed a ROC engine hours of drilling. No matter how technology and pro-
Care contract for his two-year-old ROC Care also includes Internet- ducts develop in the future, Emils Berg-
SmartRig ROC D7C. access ProCom software, a global, entreprenad is the type of forward-
ROC Care is a service package pro- satellite-based system that monitors rig looking company that will be among
viding scheduled service, inspection re- status. It lets the customer view engine the first to try out new innovations. For
ports, extended warranty, and ProCom, hours, impact hours, drilled metres and instance, Fredriksson has declared an
an Internet-based satellite monitoring time-to-service, and allows the rig to interest in the new silencing technology,
system. The package includes regular be monitored from anywhere in the which he believes can make a huge dif-
inspections and services, with an ex- world. ference when it comes to working close
tended warranty for all major rig com- By knowing exactly when the rig to urban areas.
ponents. This is the basis on which con- needs attention, Atlas Copco can sche-
tractors can secure problem-free opera- dule service times with minimum dis- Acknowledgements
tions for an expected 5,000 engine ruption to drilling operations.
hours. Atlas Copco is grateful to Emil Fre-
Service inspection and maintenance Peace of mind driksson for permission to publish the
are key elements of ROC Care. At all story of Emils Bergentreprenad, a ver-
inspections, the customer is provided Fredriksson has had his ROC Care sion of which first appeared in Mining
with a detailed rig inspection protocol, agreement for nearly two years and is & Construction magazine 1-2007.

surface Drilling 155


Drilling method guide

Different applications need different kinds of drilling equipment and performance. The drilling method has normally been
established for some time, and well proven techniques are seldom replaced by new methods. This guide is an attempt to
start a discussion around the method and equipment that might provide the ultimate solution for an application. Below,
we compare three different percussion drilling methods on offer from Atlas Copco, and list their advantages. We also
describe rotary drilling.

The tophammer method The down-the-hole method The COPROD system

The classic tophammer method is The down-the-hole method is a The COPROD system combines the
renowned for high penetration rates reliable way to drill both difficult speed of tophammer drilling with the
in good drilling conditions. Atlas and easy rock. The rock drill piston precision and long service life of the
Copco is developing the method strikes the drill bit directly, while the down-the-hole method. Inside each
continuously. Exhaustive research hammer casing gives straight and rigid, threaded pipe section is an
into how impact energy can be stable guidance of the drill bit. This impact rod. It is furnished with stop
transmitted into the drill bit in the results in minimal deviation and lugs to hold it in place inside the pipe
most efficient way, with the least greater hole wall stability, even in section. The COPROD sections are
possible stress, has resulted in fissured or otherwise demanding joined together via the drill pipes.
new generations of rock drills. rock. Since the annulus between the Since the drill pipes transmit rotation
Development has been focused on drill pipes and the hole wall is force only, stress to the threads is
the key component in the rock drill comparatively small, a high flushing minimal and their service life very
the piston. The piston length, mass, velocity is maintained, which long. All negative effects of the
and geometry have resulted in even contributes further to hole quality. transmission of impact energy
faster penetration. The effect is that Good hole quality enables the through the threads are eliminated
more rock is crushed with each blow burden and spacing to be increased, entirely. The result is high impact
from the piston. Moreover, a double which saves time and money. Straight power with minimal wear. Since the
damping system reduces the load on holes make charging easier and outer pipes are smooth and flush
components to give long service life, enable the amount of explosive to be along the entire length of the drill
at the same time as drill steel wear is reduced. The reliable DTH method is string, it is almost impossible for
reduced. In other words, the positive an easy way to produce deep, straight jamming to occur. Practical
results of faster drilling are not holes. From an environmental point experience with COPROD has been
counteracted by higher drill steel of view, the noise emissions and exceptionally good. The method
costs. An extractor unit is available vibration from DTH drilling are gives good overall economy,
as a useful accessory for poor rock comparatively low. This is of parti- particularly in large scale production
conditions. cular advantage when drilling in drilling and when drilling in fissured
densely populated areas. or otherwise demanding rock

Principle: As the Principle: The Principle: The rock

name tophammer hammer is situated drill is situated on the
implies, the rock drill down the hole in feed beam on the rig
is situated on the rig direct contact with the and impact energy is
and works on top of drill bit. The hammer imparted from above.
the drill string. The piston strikes the drill Threadless impact
impact energy of bit resulting in an rods are stacked
the rock drill piston efficient transmission inside the threaded
is transmitted to the of the impact energy drill pipes. The
drill bit in the form and insignificant po- impact rods are used
of shock waves. The wer losses with solely to transmit
method is fast in good the hole depth. The impact energy and
rock conditions. method is widely feed force, while the
used for drilling long drill pipes transmit
holes, not only for rotation. COPROD
blasting, but also for combines the speed
water wells, shallow of tophammer
gas and oil wells, drilling with the
and for geo-thermal hole straightness of
wells. In mining it is the down-the-hole
also developed for method.
sampling using the
reverse circulation
technique (RC drilling).

156 surface Drilling


Rotary drilling methods

The prime difference from other
drilling methods is the absence of
percussion. Rotary cutting, using
fixed type claw or drag bits, is mainly
used for soft rock which is cut by
shearing. Rotary crushing uses tricone
bits relying on crushing and spalling
the rock. This is accomplished by
transferring downforce, known as
pulldown, to the bit while rotating in
order to drive the teeth (commonly
tungsten carbide type) into the hole
bottom as the three cones rotate
around their respective axis. The softer
Drilling Method Tophammer DTH COPROD
the rock the higher the rotation speed.
The drill rigs need to be heavy to Penetration rate
avoid lifting off the jacks, which means
that they are less flexible and not very
well suited for drilling at different an- Straight holes
gles. Generally, drilling below 152 mm
(6 inches) is best accomplished by Hole depth
percussive drilling unless prevailing
rock conditions are suited for rotary Production
cutting. Rotary crushing is the prime capacity
choice for large diameter holes, above (tonnes/shift)
254 mm (10 inches) in open pit mining,
overburden stripping at coal mines, Low fuel
and deep well drilling. consumption

TONS Economic drill

string life

Low investment
for drill string

Principle: difficult drilling
Rotation is conditions
provided by
a hydraulic or Suitability,
electric motor
good drilling
driven gearbox,
called a rotary conditions
head that moves
up and down Operator friendly
the tower via
a feed system, Flushing
the pulldown
required to give
sufficient weight Fair
on the bit.
Flushing of drill
cuttings between Good
the wall of the
hole and the drill
rods is normally Very good
made with
compressed air.
Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information

surface Drilling 157


BVB 25
Technical data
Hole range 48 - 76 mm (17/8" - 3")
Rock drill BBC 120F
Drill steel type R32, T38
Drill steel length 3.05 - 3.66 m 10'-12'
Feed and boom
Feed type Chain drive
Feed length, total 5,430 mm 17' 9"
Travel length 3,940 mm 13'
Feed force 8 kN 1,800 lbf
Boom type Single section
Drill control panel Side mounted
Traction type Pneumatic wheel drive
Tramming speed, max 2 km/h 1.3 mph
Traction force, max 7.8 kN 1,750 lbf
Hill climbing ability1) 20 degrees
Track oscillation N/A
Ground clearance 310 mm 1'
Max allowable according to CE directives

Transport dimensions
Weight 1,340 kg 2,948 lb
Length, transport position 5,430 mm 17' 9"
Width 2,100 mm 6' 10"
Height 1,600 mm 5' 3"

A robust rubber tyre three wheeled wagon drill.

Fitted with the robust powerful rifle bar rotated rock
drill BBC 120F it covers the hole range 48-76 mm. BVB25
offers an effective and inexpensive alternative as a first
step in mechanisation of hand held drilling and features
a hydraulic hand pump for boom lift, mechanical jacks,
a pneumatic powered steering wheel with tow bar for
Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information
tramming. With an optional conversion kit its easy to
convert BVB 25 for down-the-hole-drilling with 3"
and 4" hammers for drilling of 90-130 mm
(31/2"-51/8") blast holes. Reach (degr.)

Optional equipment
Water mist flushing 15 15

Hole incl. instrument

DTH conversion kit


158 surface Drilling


ROC 203
Technical data
Hole range 48-76 mm (17/8" - 3")
Rock drill BBC 120F
Drill steel type R32, T38
Drill steel length 3.05 m-3.66 m 10'-12'
Feed type Chain drive
Feed length, total 5,430 mm 17' 9"
Travel length 3,940 mm 13'
Feed force 8 kN 1,800 lbf
Boom type Single section
Drill control panel Side mounted
Traction type Hydraulic crawler drive
Tramming speed, max 2.5 km/h 1.6 mph
Traction force, max 18,8 kN 4,225 lbf
Hill climbing ability1) 20 degrees
Track oscillation 12 degrees
Ground clearance 295 mm 11 58"
Max allowable according to CE directives

Transport dimensions
Weight 2,570 kg 5,664 lb
Length 5,500 mm 18'
Width 1,950 mm 6' 5"
Height 1,600 mm 5' 3"

The tophammer version of the versatile ROC 203 is

equipped with the robust powerful rifle bar rotated rock
drill BBC 120F, which is well known for simplicity and
reliability. Suitable for hole sizes from 48-76 mm (17/8"-4"),
the ROC 203 tophammer crawler is an inexpensive but
efficient choice for quarrying and construction works.
With an optional conversion kit its easy to convert the
Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information
unit for down-the-hole drilling with 3"and 4"
down-the-hole hammers for drilling of
90-130 mm (31/2"-51/8") blast holes.
Reach (degr.)
Optional equipment 72
Dry dust collector 68 33 37 35

Water mist flushing
Hole incl. instrument
DTH conversion kit
CE-approval kit 13




surface Drilling 159


ROC 442
Technical data
Hole range 48-89 mm (17/8" - 31/2")
Rock drill COP 131EB
Drill steel type R32, T38
Drill steel length 3.05 - 3.66 m 10'-12'
Feed and boom
Feed type Chain drive
Feed length, total 6,350 mm 20' 9"
Travel length 4,350 mm 14' 3"
Feed force 17 kN 3,820 lbf
Boom type Single section
Drill control panel Feed mounted
Traction type

68 33 Hydraulic crawler drive
37 35
Tramming speed,
48 max 2.5 km/h 1.6 mph
Traction force, max 45 kN 10,100 lbf
Hill climbing ability1) 20 degrees
Track oscillation 12 degrees
Ground clearance 350 mm 13 34"

13 Max allowable according to CE directives
Transport dimensions
Weight 5,000 kg 11,025 lb
Length, transport position 6,350 mm 800 20' 9"
Width 2,300 mm 7' 6"
Height 1,500 mm 4' 11"


The ROC 442 pneumatic tophammer crawler drill is

designed to meet toughest challenges, day after day.
It comes with a modern, silenced and high capacity
rock drill - COP 131EB for drilling with a variety of
drill steel dimensions covering hole dimensions up
to 89 mm (3).
Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information
Optional equipment
Dry dust collector
Water mist flushing Reach (degr.)
Hole incl. instrument
Hyd support leg 35 80
Feed mounted rod rack 450
Swing arm drill control panel 540
Work light set 1280 1!
CE-approval kit
30 30



160 surface Drilling


CM 348
Technical data

Hole range 64-102 mm (21/2" - 4")

Rock drill VL 140
Drill steel type T38, T45
Drill steel length 3.05 - 3.66 m 10'-12'
Feed and boom
Feed type Chain drive
Feed length, total 5,732 mm 18' 9"
Travel length 4,275 mm 14'
Feed force 13,3 kN 3,000 lbf
Boom type Single section
Drill control panel Side alt. feed mounted
Traction type Pneumatic crawler drive
Tramming speed, max 3.2 km/h 2 mph
Traction force, max 30 kN 6,680 lbf
Hill climbing ability
20 degrees
Track oscillation 10 degrees
Ground clearance 254 mm 10"
Max allowable according to CE directives

Transport dimensions
Weight 4,600 kg 10,140 lb
Length, transport position 5,732 mm 18' 9"
Width 2,660 mm 7' 5"
Height 3,275 mm 10' 9"

Model CM 348 can drill 64 - 102 mm dia holes with the

powerful gear type rotated tophammer VL 140.
It has a varied application in quarry and construction
works. It features powerful air driven propel motors,
a boom and feed system for drilling in vertical and
horizontal planes. The feed, boom and controls are held
on a rugged main frame, which is mounted on a heavy Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information
duty track assembly with built in transmission brakes.

Optional equipment Reach (degr.)

Water mist flushing

47 35

45 45


surface Drilling 161


CM 350A
Technical data

Hole range 64-102 mm (21/2" - 4")

Rock drill VL 140
Drill steel type T38, T45
Drill steel length 3.05 - 3.66 m 10'-12'
Feed and boom
Feed type Chain drive
Feed length, total 5,125 mm 16' 9"
Travel length 4,000 mm 13' 1"
Feed force 12 kN 2,700 lbf
Boom type Single section
Drill control panel Side mounted
Traction type Pneumatic crawler drive
Tramming speed, max 3.0 km/h 1.9 mph
Traction force, max 20 kN 4,500 lbf
Hill climbing ability
20 degrees
Track oscillation 10 degrees
Ground clearance 254 mm 10"
Max allowable according to CE directives

Transport dimensions
Weight 5,300 kg 11,985 lb
Length, transport position 6,900 mm 22' 8"
Width 2,260 mm 7' 5"
Height 1,800 mm 5' 8"

Model CM 350A is a pneumatic self propelled crawler drill

fitted with the most powerful pneumatic tophammer drill
in its class. The rig is most suitable to tackle almost any
terrain conditions with highest tramming performance.
The flexible boom and feed system allow holes to be drilled
in most required directions.
Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information
Optional equipment
Water mist flushing
Reach (degr.)

51 35

45 45


162 surface Drilling


Main specifications
Recommended hole range
Hole range 22-45 mm 78"-1"
Hole depth Optimal up to 9 m depth
Hydraulic rock drill
COP 1019 HF 4.5 kW 6 hp
COP 1022 HF 5 kW 6.7 hp
COP 1028 5.5 kW 7.4 hp
Atlas Copco C55 C106 GD, screw compressor
Working pressure, max. 8.5 bar 123 psi
FAD 23 l/s 49 cfm
Deutz, Diesel engine, TD 2009 L04, Tier III/stage 3
Rating at 2,500 rpm 46 kW 62 hp
Boom variants
Folding boom system
Fuel tank
Capacity 70 l 18.5 US gal.
Feed length, folding boom 4,443 mm 14'7"
Travel length 3,250 mm 10'8"
Feed extension 600 mm 1'11"
Feed force, max. 4 kN 899 lbf
ROC T15 is our smallest hydraulic surface drill rig in the Tramming
range. It is your best mate for demanding jobs and when Tramming speed, max. 3.5 km/h 2.2 mph
transport is an issue. It is perfect for small construction Traction force 20 kN 4,500 lbf
Ground clearance 230 mm 9"
jobs, dimensional stone industry and unique applications
such as bolting, boulder blasting and trench drilling. Transport dimensions
Weight approx, excl. options 2,800 kg 6,172 lb
Width 1,770 mm 5'10"
Standard equipment Length feed dumped 4,850 mm 15'11"
Hydraulic rock drill, COP 1020 series, Deutz TD 2009 L04 Height feed dumped 2,250 mm 7'5"
diesel engine, On-board Atlas Copco screw compressor
(C55), Aluminium profile feed beam, Rubber tyred
carrier, Rod rack, Full remote control for all boom,
drilling & tramming functions, Support legs,
Air outlet with claw coupling.

Selection of optional equipment

Tropical ambient kit for 50 Celsius ambient temperature,
Hydraulic outlet for grinding machine, Electrical engine
heater, Hydraulic winch including wire with towing eye
and wire guides, Electric refuelling pump, Service hand
lights inside canopy, Hydraulic drill steel support (only
combined with COP 1028), Mechanical hole inclination
instrument (ROC-Angie).

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All dimensions in mm

surface Drilling 163


Main specifications
Recommended hole range (ROC D3-01)
R32, T38, T45 41-89 mm 158"-3"
Hole depth 17.5 m 57'
Recommended hole range (ROC D3-03)
R32, T38 41-76 mm 158"-3"
Hydraulic rock drills
COP 1240, Impact power 12 kW 16 hp
COP 1640, Impact power 16 kW 22 hp
Atlas Copco OIS, screw compressor
Working pressure, max. 8.5 bar 123 psi
FAD (-01 ver) 95 l/s 201 cfm
FAD (-03 ver) 80 l/s 170 cfm
Cummins turbo charged, diesel engine, QSB4.5, Tier III/stage 3
Rating at 2,000 rpm 116 kW 156 hp
Boom variants
Folding boom system
Fuel tank
Capacity 270 l 71.3 US gal.
Equipped with new Tier III Cummins engine and two Feed
ROC D3-01
different compressor selections ROC D3 has a completely Feed length, total 7,140 mm 23'5"
new face now. ROC D3 is available in two series as it used Travel length 4,240 mm 14'
to be with its old version, -01 folding boom and -03 long Feed rate, max. 0.5 m/s 98 ft/min
folding boom. -01 is equipped with a rod handling system Feed force, max. 20 kN 4,400 lbf
that can equip four plus one 3,660 mm rods and -03 can ROC D3-03
Feed length, total 6,000 mm 19'8"
be ordered with a rod adding system or a rod rack Travel length 4,070 mm 13'4"
option. Feed rate, max. 0.33 m/s 64 ft/min
Feed force, max. 12 kN 2,160 lbf
Two new rock drills, COP 1640/COP 1240 completes the Tramming
family of robust rock drills for small to medium sized Track oscillation 15
surface construction applications. Ground clearance 340 mm 13.4"
Transport dimensions
Standard equipment ROC D3-01
Reduced impact pressure mechanism, Anti-jamming Weight, excl. options 10,500 kg 23,150 lb
Width 2,390 mm 7'10"
system, Automatic feed force control (RPC-F), Fuel Length 10,050 mm 33'
saving device, Two-speed traction motors, Dust collector Height 3,600 mm 11'10"
DCT 140 F, Hydraulic drill steel support, RHS 51 on -01, ROC D3-03
Rod rack on -03, Feed extension 1000 mm, Work lights, Weight, excl. options 9,500 kg 20,950 lb
Electric refuelling pump, Air flow control switch. Width 2,400 mm 7'10"
Length 10,050 mm 33'
Height 2,900 mm 9'6"
Selection of optional equipment
Hydraulic winch, Hydraulic support leg, Mechanical
inclination instrument, Anti-freeze equipment for external
air outlet, Electronic hole inclination instrument HQS 9,
Central lubrication, Water mist system, Cold start kit. Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information




All dimensions in mm

164 surface Drilling



Main specifications
Recommended hole range for ROC D7 RRC
T38, T45, T51 64-115 mm 2" - 4"
Hole depth 21-28 m 69'- 92'
Recommended hole range for ROC D9 RRC
T45, T51 76-115 mm 3" - 4"
Hole depth 28 m 92'
Hydraulic rock drill
COP 1840-series (ROC D7RRC)
Impact power, max. 18 kW 24.5 hp
COP 2560 (ROC D9RRC)
Impact power, max. 25 kW 33.5 hp
Atlas Copco OIS K-27-C106 GD, screw compressor
Working pressure, max. 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 105/127 l/s 215/270 cfm
Working pressure, max. 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 136 l/s 288 cfm
Engine ROC D7/D9
Caterpillar turbo charged, diesel engine, CAT C7, Tier III/ Stage 3
The ROC D7/D9 RRC with Radio Remote Control, is a Rating at 2,200 rpm 168 kW 225 hp
versatile, multi-tasking crawler drill rig for all kinds of Boom variants
drilling work. With its extraordinary rough-terrain Folding boom system
mobility and articulate, long-reach boom, it is capable Fuel tank
of drilling in places and positions well beyond the reach Capacity 330 l 87 US gal
of conventional drill rigs. Feed
Feed length, total 7,140 mm 23'5"
Standard equipment Travel length 4,240 mm 14'
Radio remote control, Auto drill stop, RHS system, Two- Feed extension 1,400 mm 4'6"
Feed force, max. 20 kN 4,400 lbf
speed traction motors, Fuel saving device, Dust collector,
Feed extension, Air-flow control switch, Anti-jamming Track oscillation 12
system, Valves for reduced percussion and air pressures Ground clearance 455 mm 17"
for collaring, Retractable dust hood, Heavy duty tracks, Transport dimensions ROC D7RRC/D9RRC
Work lights, Electric re-fuelling pump. Biologically Total weight, approx. 13,500 kg/ 29,750 lb
degradable hydraulic oil, Inclination instrument. 14,100 kg 31,090 lb
Width 2,455 mm 8'
Selection of optional equipment Length feed dumped
Thread greasing device with brushes, Thread greasing (back/forward) 11,200 mm/ 36'8"/
11,300 mm 37'1"
device (ECG), Hydraulic winch, Sleeve retainer, Engine Height feed dumped
pre-heater, Central lubricating system, Mechanical incli- (back/forward) 2,900 mm/ 9'6"/
nation instrument, Water-mist system, Extractor for rock 3,500 mm 11'6"
drill, Toe-hole drilling kit, Hydraulic rear support leg, GPS
compass aiming, Electronic hole inclination and depth

Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information




5000 2755

All dimensions in mm

surface Drilling 165


Main specifications
Recommended hole range for ROC D7
T38, T45, T51 64-115 mm 2" - 4"
Hole depth 28 m approx. 92'
Recommended hole range for ROC D9
T45, T51 76-115 mm 3" - 4"
Hole depth 28 m approx. 92'
Hydraulic rock drills
COP 1840, COP 1840EX (ROC D7)
Impact power, max. 18 kW 24.5 hp
COP 2560, COP 2560EX (ROC D9)
Impact power, max. 25 kW 33.5 hp
Atlas Copco OIS K-27-C106 GD, screw compressor
Working pressure, max. 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 105/127 l/s 223/270 cfm
Working pressure, max. 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 136 288 cfm
Engine ROC D7/D9
Caterpillar turbo charged, diesel engine, CAT C7, Tier III/stage 3
Designed both for construction and quarrying work, and
Rating at 2,200 rpm 168 kW 225 hp
based on extensive research at work sites throughout
Boom variants
the world, the ROC D7/D9 are versatile rigs. A fuel Folding boom system
efficient diesel engine delivers the power needed for
Fuel tank
quick penetration and efficient flushing. Capacity 370 l 98 US gal.
Standard equipment Feed length, total 7,140 mm 23'5"
Operators cab, ROPS and FOPS approved, RHS mech- Travel length 4,240 mm 14'
anized rod handling for 28 m (92) of rods, Double drillsteel Feed extension 1,400 mm 4'6"
support, Fuel saving device, Two-speed traction motors, Feed force, max. 20 kN 4,400 lbf
Dust collector, Feed extension, Air-flow control switch, Tramming
Anti-jamming system, Valves for reduced percussion and Track oscillation 12
air pressures for collaring, Retractable dust hood, Heavy Ground clearance 455 mm 17"
duty tracks, Work lights, Electric refuelling pump. Transport dimensions
Total weight, approx. 14,500 kg/ 32,000 lb/
15,100 kg 33,290 lb
Selection of optional equipment Width 2,490 mm 8'2"
Thread greasing device with brushes, Thread greasing Length feed dumped
device (ECG), Hydraulic winch, Sleeve retainer, Engine (back/forward) 11,000/10,900 mm/ 36'/35'9"/
pre-heater, Central lubricating system, Mechanical 11,200/10,900 mm 36'9"/35'9"
inclination instrument, Water-mist system, Extractor Height feed dumped 3,200/3,500 mm 10'2"/11'6"
for rock drill, Heated operators seat, Tinted windows,
Laminated windows, Toe-hole drilling kit, Hydraulic
rear support leg, GPS compass aiming, Electronic hole
inclination and depth instrument.

Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information




All dimensions in mm

166 surface Drilling


SmartRig ROC D7C/D9C

Main specifications
Recommended hole range D7C
T38, T45, T51 64-115 mm 2"-4"
Max hole depth, approx. 28 m 92'
Recommended hole range D9C
T45, T51 76-115 mm 3" - 4"
Hole depth 28 m approx. 92'
Hydraulic rock drill
COP 1840-series (ROC D7C)
Impact power 18 kW 24.5 hp
COP 2560 (ROC D9C)
Impact power, max. 25 kW 33.5 hp
Atlas Copco C 106 screw type compressor
Working pressure, max 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 127 l/s 270 cfm
Working pressure, max 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 136 l/s 288 cfm
Engine ROC D7C/D9C Caterpillar water-cooled
diesel engine Stage 3/Tier III CAT C7
The new SmartRig ROC D7C/D9C crawler drill combines Rating at 2,200 rpm 168 kW 225 hp
the power and flexibility of the popular ROC D7 with the Boom variants
intelligence of RCS computerized Rig Control System. Folding boom system
RCS adjusts impact and feed to the rock conditions so Fuel tank
as to achieve smoother drilling and less wear in the drill Capacity 370 l 98 US gal.
steel. Fuel efficient diesel engine delivers the power Feed
needed for quick penetration and efficient flushing. Feed length, total 7,140 mm 23'5"
Travel length 4,240 mm 15'
Standard equipment Feed extension
Feed rate, max.
1,400 mm
0.92 m/s
180 ft/min
Rig Control System RCS, Operators cabin (ROPS and FOPS Feed force, max. 20 kN 4,400 lbf
approved), RHS mechanized rod handlling, Aluminium Tramming
feed, Double drill-steel support, Angle and hole depth Track oscillation 12
instrument, Fuel saving device, Two-speed traction Ground clearance 455 mm 17"
motors, Dust collector and pre-separator, Feed extension, Transport dimensions
Air flow control switch, Anti-jamming system, Valves Weight, excl. options
for reduced percussion and air pressures for collaring, Width 2,490 mm 8'2"
Retractable dust hood, Heavy duty tracks, Work lights, Length
Electric refuelling pump. (feed dumped back/forward) 11,200/ 36'9"/
10,700 mm 35'9"
Selection of optional equipment (feed dumped back/forward) 3,200 mm/ 10'2"/
Automatic feed alignment, Laser plane receiver, Automatic 3,500 11'6
rod adding system, Hydraulic winch, ROC Manager MWD,
Measure While Drilling, Toe-hole drilling kit, Hydraulic
support leg, Silencing kit, Hole Navigation System.

Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information



All dimensions in mm

surface Drilling 167


Main specifications
Recommended hole range
T45, T51 89-127 mm 3"-5"
Hole depth 28-33 m 92-108'
Hydraulic rock drill
COP 2560, COP 2560 EX
Impact power, max. 25 kW 33.5 hp
Atlas Copco screw compressor
Working pressure, max. 12 bar 175 psi
FAD 213 l/s 450 cfm
Caterpillar Diesel Stage 3/Tier III CAT C9
Rating at 2,000 rpm 224 kW 300 hp
Boom variants
-10, single boom
-11, folding boom
Fuel tank
Capacity 400 l 106 US gal.
Feed length, folding boom 8,360 mm 27'5"
Travel length 5,110 mm 16'9"
Feed length, folding boom 7,700 mm 25'3"
Travel length 4,610 mm 15'2"
The ROC F9 crawler drill rig is very powerful in its class, Feed extension 1,150 mm 3'9"
Feed rate, max. 0.92 m/s 180 ft/min
with true 127 mm tophammer capability, and is available
Feed force, max. 20 kN 4,500 lbf
with single or folding boom for quarrying and construction.
Features the 25 kW COP 2560 rock drill with T51 drill Tramming speed, max. 3.5 km/h 2.2 mph
steel for fast penetration and perfect flushing, powered Traction force 166 kN 37,310 lbf
by a fuel-efficient diesel engine. Hill climbing ability 20 without winch
Track oscillation 10
Standard equipment Ground clearance 405 mm 16"
Air conditioner, Reduced impact pressure mechanism, Transport dimensions
Anti-jamming system, Automatic feed-force control, Fuel Weight, excl. options
ROC F9C single-section boom
saving device, Two-speed traction motors, Dust collector
approx. 16,400 kg 36,150 lb
and pre-separator, Double hydraulic drillsteel support, ROC F9C folding boom boom
Rod-handling system, Feed extension, Heavy-duty tracks, approx. 16,200 kg 37,500 lb
Operators cabin, ECM, ROPS and FOPS approved, ROC F9LF 16,600 mm 36,600 lb
Air-flow control switch, Water mist system excl. tank, Toe- Width 2,500 mm 8'2"
hole drilling kit, Inclination/depth instrument. Length single-section boom 12,300 mm 40'4"
Length, folding boom
(feed dumped back/forward) 11,300 mm/ 37'
Selection of optional equipment 13,000 mm 42'8"
Hydraulic winch, Hydraulic support leg, Electric refuelling Height single-section boom
pump, Central lubrication system, TAC tube guides for (feed dumped back/forward) 3,800 mm/ 12'6"
precision drilling, Thread-greasing device, Rock drill 3,200 mm 10'6"
extractor, Heater for cabin. Height folding boom
(feed dumped back/forward) 3,500 mm/ 11'6"
3,200 mm 10'6"

Long feed Short feed









All dimensions in mm

168 surface Drilling


SmartRig ROC F9C

Main specifications
Recommended hole range
T51 89-127 mm 3"-5"
Hole depth 28-33 m 92'-108'
Hydraulic rock drill
COP 2560, COP 2550EX
Impact power, max. 25 kW 33.5 hp
Atlas Copco M-o1, screw type compressor
Working pressure 12 bar 175 psi
FAD 213 l/s 450 cfm
Caterpillar diesel Stage 3/Tier III CAT C9
Rating at 2,000 rpm 224 kW 304 hp
Boom variants
single boom
folding boom
Fuel tank
Capacity 400 l 106 US gal.
Feed length, single section boom 8,360 mm 27'5"
Travel length 5,110 mm 16'9"
Feed length, folding boom 7,700 mm 25'3"
Travel length 4,610 mm 15'2"
The new SmartRig ROC F9C crawler drill combines Feed extension 1,150 mm 3'9"
Feed rate, max. 0.92 m/s 180 ft/min
the power and flexibility of the popular ROC F9 with
Feed force, max. 20 kN 4,500 lbf
the intelligence of RCS the computerized Rig Control
System. RCS adjusts impact and feed to the rock Tramming speed, max. 3.5 km/h 2.2 mph
conditions so as to achieve smoother drilling and less Traction force 166 kN 37,310 lbf
wear in the drill steel. Designed both for construction Hill climbing ability 20 without winch
and quarrying work. Features the 25 kW COP 2560 rock Track oscillation 10
drill with T51 drill steel for fast penetration and perfect Ground clearance 405 mm 16"
flushing, powered by a fuel-efficient diesel engine. Transport dimensions
Weight, excl. options
Standard equipment ROC F9C single-section boom
approx. 16,400 kg 36,150 lb
Air conditioner, Reduced impact pressure mechanism, ROC F9C folding boom boom
Anti-jamming system, Automatic feed-force control, Fuel approx. 16,200 kg 37,500 lb
saving device, Two-speed traction motors, Dust collector ROC F9C 16,600 mm 36,600 lb
and pre-separator, Double hydraulic drill-steel support, Width 2,500 mm 8'2"
Rod-handling system, Feed extension, Heavy-duty tracks, Length single-section boom 12,300 mm 40'4"
Length, folding boom
Operators cabin, ECM, ROPS and FOPS approved, Air- (feed dumped back/forward) 11,300 mm/ 37'
flow control switch, Water mist system excl. tank, Toe- 13,000 mm 42'8"
hole drilling kit, Inclination/depth instrument. Height single-section boom
(feed dumped back/forward) 3,800 mm/ 12'6"
Selection of optional equipment 3,200 mm 10'6"
Automatic feed alignment, Automatic rod adding system, Height folding boom
(feed dumped back/forward) 3,500 mm/ 11'6"
Hydraulic winch, Hydraulic support leg, Thread greasing 3,200 mm 10'6"
device, Heater for cabin, Hole Navigation System.





All dimensions in mm

surface Drilling 169


ROC L740
Main specifications
Recommended hole range
T51 89-127 mm 3"- 5"
Hole depth 29-36 m 95-118'
Hydraulic rock drill
COP 4050
Impact power, max. 40 kW 54 hp
Atlas Copco screw compressor
Working pressure 12 bar 171 psi
FAD 254 l/s 540 cfm
Caterpillar Diesel Stage 3/Tier III CAT C13
Rating at 2,000 rpm 328 kW 417 hp
Boom variants
Single boom
Fuel tank
Capacity 760 l 201 US gal.
Feed length, total 11,560 mm 38'
Travel length 7,500 mm 24'7"
Feed extension 1,150 mm 3'9"
Feed rate, max. 0.9 m/s 177 ft/min
Feed force, max. 40 kN 8,992 lbf
The new ROC L740 drill rig offers an economic alternative Tramming
with an extraordinary performance in its hole range. Tramming speed, max. 3.5 km/h 2.2 mph
Large scale work sites, and quarries with high demand on Traction force 166 kN 37,310 lbf
productivity, are in focus. The standard drill rig is designed Hill climbing ability 20
Track oscillation 10
to operate within the most demanding production Ground clearance 405 mm 16"
environment. We also provide the short feed version
Transport dimensions
for the contract drilling and more difficult operating Weight, excl. options 21,500 kg 48,000 lb
environments. Width 2,500 mm 8'2"
Length long feed 11,700 mm 38'5"
Standard equipment Height long feed 3,500 mm 11'6"
RHS 102 Rod magazine, Stroke length selection in cabin, Length short feed 10,700 mm 35'1"
Engine monitoring, Hole inclination and drill depth Height short feed 3,200 mm 10'5"
instrument, Dust collector and pre-separator, Automatic
cleaning system, 12 hours fuel capacity, Fuel tank in steel,
Hydraulic oil mineral, Manual hydraulic oil filling system,
Stepless water mist regulation in cabin, Triple track chain
grouser pads, Electrical outlet 12VDC, Feed lightening.

Selection of optional equipment

Service winch on feed, Thread greasing device , Diesel
driven cabin heater, Sun shade kit for cab, Reversing
camera, Compressor regulation heating kit, Fire suppression
system Manual / Automatic, Central lubrication system.
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Long feed Short feed





All dimensions in mm

170 surface Drilling


CM 470/470LC
Main specifications
Recommended hole range
T38, T45 64-89 mm 2"-3"
Hole depth T38 18 m 59'
Hole depth T45 15 m 49'
Hydraulic rock drill
Impact power, max. 15 kW 20 hp
Working pressure, max 8 bar 114 psi
FAD 83 l/s 176 cfm
Cummins B5.9-C
Rating at 2,300 rpm 107 kW 144 hp
Boom variants
Type Single
Fuel tank
Capacity 290 l ~77 US gal.
Feed length, total 6,550 mm 21'
Travel length 4,170 mm 14'
Feed extension 1,300 mm 4'3"
Feed rate, max. 0.6 m/s 118 ft/min
The CM 470 is a rugged and simple crawler drill with Feed force, max. 18 kN 4,047 lbf
Pull force, max. 18 kN 4,047 lbf
direct hydraulic controls that are easy to learn and
operate. They are suited for construction projects and Tramming
Tramming speed, max. 3 km/h 2.0 mph
site development work. This crawler drill combines Traction force 53 kN 11,915 lbf
simplicity with the flexibility to be used both for vertical Hill climbing ability 30Track oscillation
and horizontal drilling. Both drill rigs can be used for 10
drilling with T38 or T45 drill steel within the hole range Ground clearance 420 mm 16"
64-89 mm. Transport dimensions CM 470
Weight, excl. o.e 9 tonnes 19,730 lb
Standard equipment Width 2.53 m 8'4"
Length 8.00 m 26'2"
50 hour filter set, Accumulator charge kit, Anti-jamming,
Height 3.18 m 10'2"
dust collector with side opening hood, Engine auto throttle,
Transport dimensions CM 470LC
full length track guard, JIS hose fittings, JIS to JIC adapter Weight, excl. o.e 8.5 tonnes 18,850 lb
fittings set, Low level indicator for fuel & hyd. oil, Single Width 2.43 m 7'11"
grouser shoe, Standard tool set, Three sets manuals and Length 8.00 m 26'2"
parts books, Warning horn, Working light, Rod changer to Height 2.77 m 9'
handle 5 X T38 X 10rod X w/auto greaser, Rear mirror.

Standard equipment only CM 470

Cab with air conditioner, Fixed boom with 20 degrees
indexed drill guide.

Standard equipment only CM 470LC

Controls on the track frame, Front facing drill guide,
limited ambient temperature : 52 deg. C

Selection of optional equipment

Anti freezing system, ARC lockout system, 4 X T45X10 rod
handling system (63 mm coupling), Back up alarm, Drifter
hour meter, Extra parts book, Hyd. pressure test kit, Pre
skimmer, Reverse percussion system, Smooth drilling,
Super rotation, Vertical sliding dust hood.

Selection of optional equipment

only CM 470
Angle indicator 2-D lim, 4 X T45X10 rod handling system
(66 mm coupling), Vaposol (less tank).

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surface Drilling 171


ECM 580
Main specifications
Recommended hole range
T38, T45 64-102 mm 2"-4"
Hole depth T38 18 m 59'
Hole depth T45 15 m 49'
Hydraulic rock drill
Yamamoto YH80
Impact power, max. 16.5 kW 22 hp
Working pressure, max 9 bar 128 psi
FAD 115 l/s 245 cfm
Cummins B5.9-C
Rating at 2,300 rpm 127 kW 172 hp
Boom variants
Type Extendable
Fuel tank
Capacity 290 l ~77 US gal.
Feed length, total 7,380 mm 24'2"
Travel length 4,250 mm 14'
Feed extension 1,500 mm 4'11"
Feed rate, max. 0.7 m/s 132 ft/min
This tophammer crawler drill is small in size and big in Feed force, max. 19.6 kN 4,400 lbf
Pull force, max. 19.6 kN 4,400 lbf
performance. The ECM 580 designed for the hole range
64-102 mm, is featuring a 16.5 kW hammer, suitable for Tramming
Tramming speed, max. 3 km/h 1.86 mph
T45 and T38 drill rods. The boom is telescopic extendable Traction force 78.5 kN 17.640 lbf
for quarry and construction applications, as well as for Hill climbing ability 30 (in CE 20)
drilling of horizontal holes on the left side of the rig. Track oscillation (U/D) 8/10
The air conditioned cab provides for operators comfort Ground clearance 420 mm 16"
in a demanding environment. Transport dimensions
Weight, excl. o.e 10.5 tonnes 23,150 lb
Standard equipment Width 2.42 m 8'
Length 9.20 m 30'3"
50 Hour element kit, 90 deg. Indexed drill guide,
Height 3.30 m 10'10"
Accumulator charge kit, Anti-jamming, Auto rod thread
greaser, Auto throttle, Back mirror, Drifter hour meter,
Dust collector with vertical sliding hood, Full length track
guard, JIC hose fittings, Low level indicator for fuel &
hyd. oil, Safety shutdown device on drill guide, Smooth
drilling, Standard tool set, Triple grouser shoe pads, Three
sets manuals and parts books, Warning horn, Working light
(front; 3 / rear; 1), Limited ambient temperature: 52 C.

Selection of optional equipment

Angle indicator 2-D lim, Angle indicator 3-D lim, Anti
freezing system, ARC lockout system, ARC T38 X 12 X 6,
Back up alarm, Cold weather kit, Extra parts book, Hyd.
pressure test kit, Pre skimmer, Reverse percussion system,
Super rotation, Vaposol (less tank).

Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information

172 surface Drilling


ECM 585
Main specifications
Recommended hole range
T38, T45 64-102 mm 2"-4"
Hole depth, 25 m 82'
Hydraulic rock drills
Impact power, max. 18 kW 24 hp
Working pressure, max. 10 bar 140 psi
FAD 128 l/s 270 cfm
Cummins/QSB 6.7
Rating at 2,200 rpm 165 kW 220 hp
Boom variant
Type Extendable
Fuel tank
Capacity 400 l ~106 US gal.
Feed length, total 8,341 mm 27'
Travel length 4,250 mm 14'
Feed extension 1,500 mm 4'11"
Feed rate, max. 0.6 m/s 115 ft/min
Feed force, max. 19.6 kN 4,400 lbf
Featuring an 18 kW rock drill with standard reverse Pull force, max. 19.6 kN 4,400 lbf
percussion and an advanced auto drilling system, the Tramming
ECM 585 offers the combination of high penetration Tramming speed, max. 3.2 km/h 2 mph
rate, straight holes and long life for consumables. Traction force, max 89.6 kN 20,000 lbf
Hill climbing ability 30 (In CE 20)
The extendable boom provides for easy and precise
Track oscillation 9
hole positioning, and the ROPS/FOPS approved cab Ground clearance 420 mm 16"
with air conditioning for operator comfort. Suitable Transport dimensions
for T45 and T38 drill rods the ECM 586 can be used for Weight, excl. o.e 14 tonnes 30,860 lb
the hole diameter range 64-102 mm in both quarry and Width 2.47 m 8'2"
construction applications. Length 9.70 m 31'10"
Height 3.10 m 10'2"
Standard equipment
50 hour element kit, 90 deg. indexed drill guide, Arc
T45 X 12 X 6 for 63 mm coupling, Auto drilling system
(Montabert), Auto rod thread greaser, Back mirror, Back
up alarm, Drifter hour meter, Dust collector with verti-
cal sliding hood, Engine auto throttle, Full length track
guard, Hc109 reverse percussion hydraulic drifter, JIC
hose fittings, Low level indicator for fuel & hyd. oil, One
lever ARC control, Safety shutdown device on drill guide,
standard tool set, Three sets manuals and parts books,
Triple grouser shoe pads, Two lever drilling controls,
Two speed traction motor, Warning horn, Working lights
(F:3/r:1), Limited ambient temperature: 52 C.

Selection of optional equipment

Accumulator charge kit, Angle indicator 2-d Lim, Angle
indicator 3-d lim, Anti freezing system, Arc lockout
system, Arc T38 X 12 X 6, Arc T45 X 12 X 6 for 66 mm
coupling, Cold weather kit, Extra parts book, Hyd.
pressure test kit, Pre skimmer, Single grouser shoe
pads, Vaposol (less tank), Vaposol tank (asme).

Visit www.surfacedrilling.com for more information

surface Drilling 173


ECM 590-series
Main specifications
Recommended hole range ECM 590RR
T38, T45 64-102 mm 2"-4"
Hole depth, 18.4 m 60'
Recommended hole range ECM 590RC
T38, T45, T51 64-115 mm 2"-4"
Hole depth, 22 m 72'
Recommended hole range ECM 592
T38, T45 64-102 mm 2"-4"
Hole depth 21.5 m 70'
Hydraulic rock drill
Yamamoto YH80
Impact power, max. 164 kW 220 hp
Working pressure, max. 9.7 bar 140 psi
FAD 118 l/s 250 cfm
Cummins QSB 6.7
Rating at 2350 rpm 164 kW 220 hp
Boom variant
Type extension
The ECM 590-series consists of rugged, compact drills Boom ext. 590RC - 592 762 mm 30"
with simple, direct hydraulic controls. They are ideal Boom ext. 590RR 1219 mm 48"
for development work in rough terrain on remote sites Fuel tank ECM 590RR/590RC/592
where mobility and reliability are key features. They Capacity 378 l 100 US gal.
are available in three versions: a basic version (5