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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Epiroc deliver powerful service in the Philippines

PowerROC T35 drill rig

Local contractor discovers the benefits of the PowerROC T35 drill rig in tough conditions

PHILIPPINES-based Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation are currently using a fleet of four PowerROC T35 rigs, supplied by Epiroc, at four sites north-east of Manilla where the highly fractured ground conditions and abrasive basaltic rock make the work challenging for both operators and equipment.

To achieve delivery of some 162,000 tonnes blasted rock per month, the rigs are equipped with COP 1840 rock drills and T45 rods, and drill for approximately five hours a day.

Working on 8m high benches, they drill 76mm holes at an angle of five degrees. The drilling pattern is 2m x2m and the hole depth is 9m, which includes around 1m of sub-drill.

Despite the tough conditions, each rig has the capacity to drill approximately 810m per shift and straight holes are the norm, with only occasional deviation. The drill bits, also supplied by Epiroc, have an average life of 1,750m.

Apart from the robustness of the PowerROC T35 and its ability to get the job done efficiently and safely, Rapid say the availability of service and maintenance in this remote region was a big factor in choosing the equipment.

Edson Lee, co-ordinator at Rapid, said: ‘Previously, the operators were using cabinless drill rigs which made the job very hard for them, as they were exposed to direct heat and the dusty environment.

‘With the arrival of the PowerROC T35s, the first benefit the operators experienced was the air-conditioned cabin; the next was the service arrangement with Epiroc.’

A support team consisting of two technicians – one field service technician and one service engineer – is permanently stationed in the area and keeps the equipment performing to expectations, which Mr Less described as ‘very helpful to the business’.

The team visits each rig six times a week. Each day during normal operations, they proactively monitor the condition of the rigs according to an audit checklist, as well as performing planned maintenance and breakdown repairs if necessary.

Monthly reports are also compiled to keep the owner informed of the condition of the rigs.

The design of the PowerROC T35 is said to be a big advantage when carrying out maintenance work. For example, the rig has a minimum of electrics and all components are easily accessible behind side panels for easy troubleshooting.

The local environment is particular a challenge for the service engineers as they travel from site to site, off road and in steep terrain. During the rainy season they sometimes have to travel on foot to get to where the rigs are located.

Previously, particularly in the summer, excess dust was another a frequent problem at the drill sites, mainly due to the poor performance of the dust collectors on the drill rigs that were used at the time, making it difficult to both operate and service the equipment. Today, thanks to the efficiency of the dust collector on the PowerROC T35, this problem has been eliminated.

Rapid say another benefit of the service arrangement is that Epiroc provide an on-site training programme for the operators every six months. This is aimed at improving overall performance and focuses on maintenance and rig operating efficiency, helping the company to optimize both rig utilization and productivity.

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