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New SmartROC D65 drill rig for EPC-UK

Epiroc SmartROC D65 drill rig

Company looks to the future with new, cutting-edge, down-the-hole hammer rig from Epiroc

TO remain at the forefront of drilling technology, EPC-UK have taken delivery of an Epiroc SmartROC D65 ‘down-the-hole’ hammer drill rig, the first of its kind in the UK. Incorporating cutting-edge automation and GPS technology, the SmartROC D65 has the power and intelligence to consistently drill accurately located, high-quality blastholes.

The accurate drilling of blastholes, combined with fully digital blast design and analysis via EPC-UK’s in-house Expertir software, means the blast process can be managed with precision from beginning to end to deliver the desired outcome for the customer. 

The new rig’s hole navigation system (HNS) allows faster setup at each blasthole location, whilst the automated drilling process ensures consistent contact with the rock and controls the compressor and air flow to maximize fuel efficiency. The HNS, in conjunction with the built-in GPS, removes the need to manually mark and survey hole positions, greatly improving both efficiency and safety.

‘EPC-UK are continually investing in the future to ensure their technologies and engineering expertise are industry leading, which demonstrates our continued commitment to providing customers with the most up-to-the-minute drilling and blasting technology,’ explained Ben Coppock, national operations manager at EPC-UK.

‘The Epiroc SmartROC D65 will help us to further optimize the blasting process to produce the best-possible fragmentation, as well as reduce fuel consumption, due to its intelligent control of compressor-load and engine rev/min.’

Paul Warren, SED sales manager at Epiroc, explained the importance of EPC-UK’s inaugural UK investment: ‘The SmartROC D65 is our first ‘down-the-hole’ smart rig to be deployed in the UK. This is a significant step for Epiroc in terms of product development and we are delighted that EPC-UK have decided to introduce this new technology to the industry.

‘We have worked with EPC-UK for a number of years and understand their business ethos of constant development and improvement, as it mirrors our own.’

Ben Coppock continued: ‘The addition of the new SmartROC D65 drill rig to our portfolio will put EPC-UK at the forefront of drilling and blasting technology, and when combined with our other technologies – drone surveys, fragmentation analysis, digital blast design – and our engineering expertise, will enable us to provide our customers with the next level of blasting services.’

In conjunction with these technological developments, EPC-UK are also in the process of constructing a new bulk emulsion facility at their Rough Close Works facility, in Derbyshire, which will allow the company’s ammonium nitrate blasting intermediate (ANBI) manufacturing process to incorporate some of the latest safety-enhancing technologies.

The plant will provide a safer and more ergonomic working environment for both operations and maintenance personnel, and will be the first emulsion plant to comply with the BS EN 61511 standard (Functional Safety for the Process Industry).

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