Atlas Copco goes one step further in low built mechanized drilling equipment
Substantial redesign and engineering works have been made on the low built Rocket Boomer S1L, currently working in 1.7 m roof height in Anglo Platinums Waterval mine in South Africa. During 2003, a modified, extremely low built version has been involved in a successful test drilling programme at the KGHM Polkowice- Sieroszowice copper mine in Poland, where roof heights are excavated down to 1.6 m to ensure selective mining with a minimum of waste content.
KGHM is operating three mines at about 1000m depth; Lubin, Rudna and Polkowice-Sieroszowice, producing totally 28 Mt copper ore per year by using various types of room and pillar mining methods. Mining at all mines are progressing into thinner seams, which constitutes a major challenge for equipment suppliers. The problem is especially acute at Polkowice- Sieroszowice, where machinery height cannot exceed 1.4 m to enable efficient and profitable operations in 1.6 m high workings. The mining department started already in 1998 to cooperate with Atlas Copco in the development of modern machinery for low seam mining. Thanks to the successful introduction of COP 1238 and COP 1838 hydraulic rock drills followed by the first generation of low built Boomer rigs, the cooperation has now been further strenghtened.
”The main design challenge” says Ulrika Falk at Atlas Copcos Engineering Department ”was to provide a good drilling environment and sufficient visibility for the operator when having the protective roof as low as 1.3 m above floor level. This was accomplished by lowering the main frame and changing the operators position forwards. Furthermore, the specially developed pilot control system resulted in improved collaring and anti-jamming functions.
The electric system was modified with an easily accessible cabinet to facilitate monitoring of voltage meter and automatic fuses through a glass window. As protection against rock bursts, Polish regulations specifies 60 kJ protective roof as well as front and side protections. Also air conditioning and a special steer- and brake system was introduced to comply with Polish regulations concludes Ulrika Falk.”
In addition to the test rig, five more rigs will be delivered before end of the year whereof one unit will report to the KGHM Lubin mine.
The Rocket Boomer S1 L with roof down.
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