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Cat rotary drills set operating hours records

Published by
World Coal,

Caterpillar Mining.

At Glencore’s Ravensworth mine, two new Cat® MD6420B rotary drills have been cutting their teeth on the overburden of Australian coal for the last 12 months. Their production results are in with engine hours well above the industry’s “good” rating of 5000 engine hr/yr and even beyond the industry’s “excellent” rating of 6000 engine hr/yr. The first unit, #112 (a.k.a. Judy) has achieved a record level 6876 hours in her first year and #113 (John) has come in at 7006 hours in his.

These operating hours results are unprecedented and are fully supported by Ravensworth’s maintenance summary reports.

“What this means is the MD6420B is a low maintenance drill overall,” explained Andrew Elbourn, Caterpillar Product Support Representative – Drills. “It self-monitors and diagnoses issues, which drives low mean time to repair. The performance of these drills has been incredible. They just keep drilling.”

With a maximum bit load force of 42 000 kg (92 594 lb) and three different mast lengths to choose from, the MD6420B can drill holes as large as 311 mm (12.25 in.) in diameter and as deep as 74.4 m (244 ft) – making it ideal for high-production drilling in hard- or soft-rock applications. The rotary drill features heavy-duty structures, rugged components, a comfortable cab, convenient service access and many other attributes that reduce cycle time, improve productivity and lower ownership costs.

One example is the new operating system. The MD6420B has advanced controls and technology, such as the control system that is ECM/CANbus, which is fully electronic with state-of-the-art user interface. Drill monitoring and diagnostics are displayed on a large touch-screen panel. History files detailing machine performance and health are downloadable. Advanced automation features include:

  • Auto-Level.
  • Auto-Drill.
  • Auto-Mast.
  • Virtual Stops in upper and lower head positions.

The control system also includes real-time machine health monitoring and built-in diagnostic tools that contribute to strategic service and maintenance planning.

Glencore Ravensworth North mine site is in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and uses Cat equipment almost exclusively. The mine equipment is supported by regional Cat dealer, Westrac, under a maintenance and repair contract. Drills now operating at Ravensworth include two MD6420Bs, one MD6420A, two MD6290’s and one SK40.

Written by Caterpillar Mining. Edited by .

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