Sandvik DI550 Drills Down Fuel Costs
- 18 January 2012
- Company & Industry News
A UK drilling and blasting contractor is enjoying significantly reduced fuel consumption levels and increased productivity following the recent purchase of a Sandvik DI550 down-the-hole drill rig, the first unit of its kind in the UK.
Leicester-based TI Drilling & Blasting Services is reporting a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption and a 20 percent increase in drilling productivity following the purchase of a new Sandvik DI550 down-the-hole drill. The 24-tonne unit is spearheading production at the Old Cliffe Hill Quarry that was recently reopened to access the site’s extensive reserves of South Charnwood Diorite.
UK’s Oldest Rock
The estimated 80 million tonnes of rock reserves that lie beneath the Old Cliffe Hill Quarry and the neighbouring “New” Cliffe Hill Quarry are thought to be among the oldest in the
Both the old and the neighbouring new quarry — which are adjoined by the 720 metre long Joskin Tunnel — are operated by Midland Quarry Products, one of the
TI Drilling founder Terry Inskip says that blasting takes place at the old quarry site approximately three times per week (as opposed to the daily blasts employed during his initial deployment at the site) with each blast dropping between 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes of rock.
Inskip reports that his bold decision to purchase the first DI550 crawler mounted DTH drill rig in the
Even though this was a key factor in his purchasing decision process, even Inskip says that the fuel consumption reduction has come as a pleasant surprise. “Compared to our existing, competitive rigs, we have seen a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption with the Sandvik machine,” he asserts. “With diesel fuel price rising on a monthly basis this is proving to be a significant cost saving.”
That reduction is afforded to a large degree by the use of a clean-running Tier 3 Caterpillar C13 diesel engine that delivers 328 kW at 1,800 rpm, and by a variety of advanced controls including automatic flow and pressure control and engine RPM optimisation during different phases of operation.
But Inskip is keen to point out that those impressive savings have not been achieved at the cost of productivity. Combined with a 24.4 m3 capacity at 24 bar compressor pressure and a 5” hammer, the Sandvik DI550 is uniquely productive. “The rig is incredibly fact. Even the twin-speed tracking has been a bonus, allowing us to move from face to face quickly,” Inskip adds. “Based on the first two months of operation, it is already around 20 percent faster and more productive than our older rigs.”
And that speed is not confined to the rig’s drilling capabilities, according to Inskip. He reports that daily servicing and maintenance duties are also easier and faster, thanks to a redesign that ensures that all key maintenance points can be readily accessed from ground level. “Maintenance duties that would have taken hours previously can now be accomplished in minutes,” Inskip insists. “And even large-scale maintenance operations do not keep the machine out of action for more than an hour or two.”
However, TI Drilling & Blasting will not be spending too much time “under the hood” of its new machine in the near future, thanks to the sophisticated design of the machine and excellent field support from Sandvik. “We bought the machine with the Sandvik Security+ warranty that covers the machine for three years or 5,000 hours and a four year, 8,000 hour warranty on the engine,” he says. “But with the hours that we’re working, this is absolutely vital as we need a service every month.”
Man and Machine
Inskip further highlights the Sandvik DI550 unit’s suitability for the Old Cliffe Hill Quarry site which features an almost constantly shifting geology. “All drill rigs love constant hard rock drilling, but when they hit a bed of clay, the material has a tendency to clog the tool,” he explains. “The DI550 rig has an anti-jamming system that senses softer material and automatically pulls the tool back.”
Like any modern quarry professional, Terry Inskip is ever-mindful of the need for operator comfort and safety. But within TI Drilling & Blasting, this has taken on even greater significance as Terry’s son Jack is learning to operate the Sandvik DI550.
“Of course, we want all our operators to be safe and comfortable while they’re at work. But when it’s your own son at the levers, it is even more important,” Terry Inskip concludes. “Thanks to the Sandvik DI550, I am happy that my son is learning in one of the most advanced rigs of its kind, and that he is safe, protected and comfortable while he’s doing so.”
To view a brief video of this machine in action, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/79uhogh