South Korean cement producer boosts drilling rate and lowers fuel consumption with intelligent rig from Epiroc
AIMING to improve their drilling rate and hole quality, in 2018 Hanil Cement opted to invest in an intelligent SmartROC T35 surface drill rig from Epiroc for use at their limestone quarry near Danyang, in the north-eastern region of South Korea. Renowned for its fuel efficiency and high productivity, the rig has done exactly that – and fuel consumption has been reduced, too.
For Hanil Cement’s whole machine fleet, the average number of drill metres per hour in September 2020 was 26.2, whereas for the SmartROC T35 was 28.6. Likewise, average diesel consumption the whole fleet was 27.9 litres/h, whereas for the SmartROC T35, it was 17.4 litres/h.
Sang-Gil Lee, Hanil Cement’s resource team manager, explained: ‘Due to underground cavities and dynamic geological effects at Danyang, constant and accurate penetration is difficult during the drilling process. By replacing old equipment with this new, high-technology machine, we sought to improve operational rates and achieve safer, more stable quarrying.
‘The drilling rate of SmartROC T35 is the highest in our machine fleet and the drilling quality is superior. We get precise, parallel holes at the correct drilling depth, which is needed to produce the optimal fragmentation size, and our diesel costs have gone down, too.’
The SmartROC T35 rig is equipped with HNS (Hole Navigation System), which, along with the Rig Control System, allows Hanil Cement to drill an entire pattern in automatic mode, and makes it easy to operate the machine even when a skilled operator is not available.
‘With the Rig Control System, we can visually see during drilling that the work is being done consistently and correctly,’ said Mr Lee.